Interview With A Mom – Allison Plumer

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We are continuing with our new series – INTERVIEW WITH A MOM… interviewing local moms about themselves. With a goal of connecting us even more as people and a community!

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I recently met with with Allison Plumer, owner of the Seventeenth Radish, at a local coffee shop for an great interview. Allison is an intelligent and warm person who was a pleasure to talk with and find out more about.

Me: What is a job (or career) you have had that was the most fun (not including motherhood)?

Allison: The most fun I have had at a job probably is what I do now, and probably the most stressful but I get to do so many different things. I love the variety, I think I’m a creature of change…I can’t stand consistency. I love the ability to try new things and be creative, to be my own boss. That quintessential “make a decision and run with it”…try things by fire really fits my personality.

Me: I can relate to that, I would much rather be in a position that is dynamic and changing.

Allison: I get to do the business side of things so I keep challenging myself and learning and growing yet I also get to come up with different projects we can do for an art class or a Spanish class…that makes it a great balance. And I get to look at laughing children, what’s better than that?

Me: Not much, I have to say, not much.

Allison: My office door is glass and it’s right on our art and science room so I have at least 20 or 30 times a day a little mini face pressed up against it giving me some kind of goofy smile…so it’s pretty good, pretty good.

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Me: What is your favorite treat or dessert to have when you’re “kid-free” and don’t have to share?

Allison: I would have to go with cheesecake, I think in the treat realm…it’s my holy grail…cheesecake. When I was a teenager in high school, I had a group of friends and that’s what we would do on our Friday nights…go to this coffee shop and eat cheesecake. People would look at us like “oh, teenagers” but it was probably one of the best things we could have been doing at that time. So it brings back fond memories.

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Me: What is your favorite music to listen to while in the car?

Allison: Like with most things I’m super eclectic. I love some Taylor Swift, some Sublime. I love going back to my Alanis Morissette and my Hootie and the Blowfish. I have recently gotten into country. I’m sort of all over the board. I do think music is something that changes your mood so drastically. Going back to the 90’s music can be really comforting, comfort music. A little bit of everything…I’m not opposed to Justin Timberlake or what some people would consider horrible pop…I love it all.

At the Radish we listen to music as well and a little of everything including the Beatles and Elvis Costello because I don’t think kids get to hear a lot of that. My youngest one, she walks around singing “Yellow Submarine”, it’s hilarious but she absolutely knows they rhythm and I just love hearing that and knowing they have a little bit broader range of experience with music than only nursery rhymes. There are some great kid’s artists out there too but I think it’s important to give children a range and variety.

Me: Yes, music appreciation.

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Me: What is your favorite most lived in outfit?

Allison: Yoga pants are a staple.  My black target tank tops…I have them on every day at some point during the day…It’s like another layer…I can’t go out without having them on.  Once summer rolls a long then it’s a long cotton maxi dress and that’s also pretty outstanding…Which I’m excited about because really my yoga pants need a break.

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Me: Who was your most influential role model and how did they help shape your life?

Allison: I was an exchange student when I was in high school in Germany and one of my host parents (while I was there) was somebody who was so extremely caring, so nurturing and had such a global view of things. [She had] the belief that you can do and try anything, there are no limitations on that you want to do. She made me feel like I didn’t need to fit the mold or stay within a certain context. If you feel like you’re capable of something and you want to try something go for it. Showing me a different culture and giving me a chance to see more of the world…it was a life altering opportunity. I was really fortunate to be placed with a family that had such an invested interest in making my experience a good one.

Me: What was her name?

Allison: Verena was her name but I think I called her something else, a nickname I can’t remember.

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Me: What’s something you do (or strive to do) just for you?

Allison: I’m part of a book club, this is a fairly new thing…a bunch of moms from my daughter’s preschool class last year that have gotten together. Now we have a little book club and it’s been really great. I never envisioned myself being a book club kind of person but it forces you to…part of the struggle getting to the point of reading a book is picking one so when somebody tells you it’s so much easier. Some of them are really good and some of them are really terrible but we get together and we laugh and talk them. We usually stay up really late, for a bunch of old ladies…like book club might get done at 11 on a Tuesday night.

Me: Ooh that is rock’n it.

Allison: So that’s my current break-away time. It’s nice because I have to sneak in my reading throughout the month so it’s not just a once a month thing…

Me: Getting that time for yourself.

Allison: Getting that time. I would love to write a book someday but that’s a ways off.

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Me: What is the best piece of parenting/ mothering advice you have received?

Allison: Follow the child. I think the best way to say it is basically not to take any parenting book or philosophy and apply it at only face value. Each child is their own individual person. You have to figure out what will work for your family and your child. Take each trouble and each obstacle as things that will pass. You don’t have to fix everything.

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Allison4

Mom to two girls, Kinley (5) and Cameron (almost 3), Allison Plumer is also owner of The Seventeenth Radish in Verona. The Seventeenth Radish is a children’s activity studio offering flexible drop off enrichment classes & drop in child care for children 1 – 5 years old.  Programming includes a fun variety of art, music, movement & dramatic play experiences that encourage exploration and independence in a thoughtfully prepared environment.

Originally from Green Bay, Allison earned a degree in German from UW-Madison and started a career in corporate Human Resources here after college.
 
After becoming a mom, Allison decided to change course to find more balance between work and family and found a position as an administrative assistant for a new start-up preschool.  The rest, as they say, is history.
 
With her newly acquired experience in early childhood and business background, Allison felt there was an opportunity to create something completely new.  With the support of her husband and a childhood friend, The Seventeenth Radish opened in June of 2014.  Check out the Seventeenth Radish on Facebook too!
Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out yummysprout.com. Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.

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