Mom Next Door: Kari Kloewer / Founder of Jojo Mommy
When her friends need help choosing outfits for family photo shoots, Kari Kloewer is their first call. Last fall, the Devonshire mom decided to channel her keen eye for fashion and passion for classic children’s clothing into a blog, Jojo Mommy.
An instant hit with likeminded moms, it quickly evolved into an e-commerce site featuring smocked dresses, seersucker and gingham prints galore.
“I felt like there was space to fill, as far as the more timeless looks for kids,” says the 33-year-old mom of two: Tobin, 4, and Teddy, 1. “It started as a hobby and developed from there.”
Jojo Mommy recently set up shop in MADRE on Lovers Lane and shows no signs of losing steam. It’s Kloewer’s passion project and preferred pastime, a creative foray in stark contrast to her day job as a real estate agent.
When she’s not showing houses or spending time with her kids and husband of six years, Troy, vice president of sales for John Paul Mitchell Systems, Kloewer’s attending markets and scouring the web for the best in kids’ fashion.
“I’m liking where Jojo’s heading,” she says. “It’s something I love, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”
What’s it like to be a boy mom?
It certainly threw me for a loop at first. But I’ve learned everything about every construction vehicle and car. I play more sports now than I used to. I’m really having fun with it. I love how sweet and snuggly they are and how much they love their mama.
Did you always know you wanted to have kids?
We both love kids and came from families of four. I foresee us having more, we hope.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I’m pretty relaxed and very hands-on. I’m easygoing when it comes to getting messy and experiencing new things.
What do you consider the most challenging aspect of motherhood?
Saying no. No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast. No, you can’t stay up and play 30 more minutes. When I look at those sweet faces, it’s hard not to give them everything they want.
What surprised you most about becoming a parent?
How fast they grow. Everyone says that, but I don’t think it really sunk in for me until I watched it happen before my own eyes. Everything is a phase with them, and those phases change quickly. I’m trying to enjoy every moment.
If you could go back and tell yourself something as a brand-new mom, what would it be?
Not to sweat the small stuff. There was such a huge difference between having my first and my second. With Tobin I timed everything, recorded it and had more visits to the pediatrician than necessary. With Teddy, I learned to go with the flow a little bit more.
What made you decide to launch Jojo Mommy?
I’ve been really into the kids’ clothes since the day they were born. It’s a very classic, southern style — traditional and timeless. There are so many mom blogs, but many of them are all about more trendy clothing. I started a blog about classic children’s clothes, which led to an online store. It just organically blossomed. Now I’m doing a little bit of both — real estate and kids’ clothes — which I’m loving.
Have you always been a fashion girl?
I’ve always loved it. I’ve always been a girly girl.
How do you describe your personal style?
It’s timeless, very classic and effortless. I usually wear a simple piece that might be more on trend mixed with classic accessories.
Your favorite designers?
I wear anything from Zara to Lela Rose to Marchesa. It just depends on the day.
Where do you like to shop for yourself?
Growing up in Dallas, I’m a Neiman’s girl, of course. I love Elements on Lovers Lane. And I love to walk around NorthPark; it’s almost like a stress reliever. I find myself going to Club Monaco a lot for everyday basics.
Favorite designers for kids?
I love Pixie Lily — very classic and simple yet so chic. I put the boys in a lot of Little English and Bailey Boys too.
How do you source the merchandise you stock in Jojo Mommy?
I try to carry timeless brands that I’ve loved for years. I also love looking for new brands that offer the same feel, so I go to markets in Dallas and Atlanta. I love to find off-the-beaten-path designers. I just bought some cute clothes off of someone I found on Instagram. It’s amazing what you can find through social media.
How do you balance two careers with the family?
My little ones go to school in the morning, so I use that time to get a lot done. I do most of my writing and blog stuff at night once they’re down to bed. And a lot of my real estate stuff happens during the day. If I have to show on the weekend, the kids will go do something fun with their dad.
When do you find time to sleep?
Sleep is actually a big thing for me, and my kids are the same way. I need a good eight hours to feel energetic the next day. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it takes a village. I’m fortunate to have my family within five minutes from me, in-laws who love to visit often and Troy, who’s a very hands-on dad.
It must be so nice to have a local support system.
Yes, I’m so lucky. My sister and parents live five minutes down the road and my other two siblings are 20 minutes away. We get together a lot as a family.
What’s your favorite way to spend time on yourself?
I think there’s a lot of power behind going to get a manicure and pedicure. I love that.
Do you get much time with girlfriends?
I do. We try to get together and grab a dinner or something once a month. We seem to alternate between R+D kitchen at Preston Center and Shinsei on Inwood Road.
What’s your favorite way to spend date night?
We actually try to go out once a week. We usually find ourselves at Shinsei or at Le Bilboquet on Travis Street.
If you had to choose a few words to describe yourself, they would be …
Fun-loving, laid-back and family-oriented
Do you have a motto or mantra you live by?
I find myself saying all the time, “The kids are only little once, so enjoy it while we can.”
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m a natural blonde!
What’s your big-picture dream for Jojo Mommy?
It’s been interesting to see where it’s gone so far; I thought it would just be a blog. I want to have fun with it and enjoy it. It’s so different from selling a house. I just want to help people have fun dressing their kids.