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Creative Parenting Conversations Ep. 5 – Nicole Bougie


I had a wonderful conversation with Nicole Bougie this week – owner and creative visionary behind the Chuckles and Bleu brand of clothing and toys for little rockers. Here are some of my favorite quotes from this conversation. You can listen to the full episode above or on Spotify.


On Young Motherhood (2:16)

“My journey into motherhood started very early. And it was not planned. I was a junior in college, I was 21 years old. And so during the time when I would be exploring the creative side of myself, I instead became a mother. And so for most of my adult life, I have been a very closeted creative. And I would say instead of my daughter holding me back from exploring creativity, she’s probably been the biggest inspiration for it.” 

“When I was pregnant with my daughter and I chased what I thought were very practical things, I worked very left brain jobs… And I did that so I could give my daughter all these opportunities to explore her own creativity. And she’s done everything – dance, filmmaking, acting, theatre. And I saw so much of myself in her but it’s almost as if I thought I had missed the boat.”


On starting a business 

“With my business, I feel like it’s this very public exploration of creativity… I created this business that allows me to play around with music and art, but also be how I make a living. And it’s really meant to encourage kids to explore music for that very reason, kind of as a tool for using their voice and communication.”

“I treat my business like a full time job. Once the kids are at school I do every part of my business. When I started it. I wanted to keep the startup costs very low. And so I do all of the email marketing and social media and SEO and bookkeeping, like absolutely everything. I hire out the photography, and then the legal stuff. So I work… a full eight hour day. And then I do a lot of the illustration and design work… after everyone has gone to bed. I just like that quiet time after 11pm. The most recent collection, it was all done after midnight.”


On Coming back to Creativity after putting it down

“…I saw Charlie creating music, [but] I was afraid that I was just a shell of the person that I used to be, or I had completely lost myself in motherhood, or in a relationship and then I realized, yes, I totally did lose myself in motherhood only to discover this person with more depth [and] this person who is much more capable. And I feel like the music that I write now, or the creative things that I do now, they have more depth.”

“I’m actually even seeing how I was still being creative constantly, like, the entire time. I just never called myself a Creative.”


ADvice for other creative parents

“I used to have my keyboard just in an upstairs office space. But when it was there, I had to be away from my son, you know, and I ended up just bringing a lot of those things downstairs into my space right off of the kitchen, there’s this little window nook full of sunlight, and I just built this little space for myself there. And since it’s so close, and right there, I can sit down at any time and play music. So I kind of just built it into the spaces where I already was all the time.”

“Show up. Just push through it. Put your stuff out there and it’s going to mean something to somebody and then if not, you know, your kids are watching you.”

“You know, those days where you’re like, why do I feel so down? Oh, I probably should spend some time in the sun, I probably should drink water. And for me, I should sit down and make music. Or I should write a little poem in my iPhone notes. It’s like drinking water. I don’t think we’re meant to survive without it. And although we could, we won’t be thriving.”

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