Nov 18, 2014

Karen Czarnik #MomsWhoShine @MySuperBlanky

I was watching the news one day and saw this fantastic piece about a Metro Detroit Mom who was making innovative capes.  No strings, no ties around the neck.  Awesome.  I reached out to Karen to see if she wanted to work with Metro Detroit Mommy.  Karen is an extremely positive person, fun to chat with and such a people person.  It's uplifting and inspiring to speak with her.  I am so pleased to introduce to you Karen Czarnik:

Tell me about yourself. (For our fans, please share what makes you shine)
I am a wife, mother, artist, The Creator & Chief Super Hero at Super Blanky™, LLC, and professional storyteller at & While raising my kids I worked full-time as a mother and part-time as an artist, musician and storyteller. I’ve created trash to treasure art, wearables and decorative pieces that I hope still adorn peoples homes and honor their sense of individuality. I’ve performed for thousands of Michigan children and adults in schools, libraries, festivals, civic and private events as a professional storyteller and musician for the past 18 years. I am passionate about teaching the art of storytelling and have had numerous opportunities to do that over the years. As a storyteller, story curator and story lover I measure my life in story. I see the events of my life as experiences that have connected me to other humans in profound, and meaningful ways. 

Tell me about your family.
My son Kevin, age 23, is a graduate from Kendall College of Art and Design and works for a West Michigan company doing branding and digital media design work. My daughter Shannon, age 20, is a sophomore at Western Michigan University and is studying Organizational Communications & Event Planning. My husband Gary, of 26 years, owns a Michigan based commercial concrete company. I am incredibly proud of my amazing and hard working family.

What is a normal day in your home like?
A normal day for me is focused on building Super Blanky™. I continue to get contracts with my storytelling/music work but the majority of my day is built around my company. My days as a young mother were much different as I balanced parenting, volunteer work, creating, rehearsing, booking and selling my creations and performance programs. While these days I work very long hours, my days raising my kids were also long. Now, however, I’m able to focus more on one or two solid objectives which is ideal for me.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
From this vantage point the most rewarding thing is watching my two young adult children thrive. I am incredibly proud of the work they are doing in their professional lives and communities. They are both seekers and problem solvers, artists and makers, leaders and givers. I have always believed in the expression of ones creativity and am proud to say my children exercise theirs daily. I am one super proud mom!

What is your biggest challenge of being a parent?
My biggest challenge now is letting go. I have faith in my kids but my protective, nurturing mom instincts haven’t completely distinguished as they’ve grown older. I’m learning to strike a balance between having faith that I’ve taught them enough to swim on their own and addressing their need to still have a mother as an advisor. When I get a call from one of them in need I listen, advise, and assume they’ll take everything I say as gospel. Instead, they weigh and measure what I have to say but don’t always use the sage advise I offer. Understanding that supreme advisor is no longer my role is as rewarding as it is challenging. 

How do you find balance between being a mom, working and having time for yourself?
Since my children are older my balance system is not what mothers of young kids face currently. I chose to work part time when my kids were younger so that I could be available to them most of the time. My intention was always to work full time once they were out of the house and that’s what I do now. Between my volunteer, professional, and parenting work when they were young I’m not sure how I would’ve found balance if I had worked full-time. I’m always so impressed with young mothers who can do that.
When my kids were young it was a challenge to fit everything I did into my schedule. Booking, contracting, writing, marketing, rehearsing, creating art, volunteering, etc., all needed to fit in with my parenting responsibilities. While my art shows and performances were done outside the home my other professional duties were done working from home. Ultimately, it all seemed to fit.

I continue to be blessed with a wonderful group of friends that allowed me the adult time I needed as a mom. Taking time to nurture and maintain these friendships as well as my relationship with my husband was one of the best gifts I gave myself. Because of that moving into empty nest life has been fairly easy.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned since becoming a Mom?
I’ve learned that my mother worked her butt off as a mother of five and eventual full-time career mom as we grew older. Phew! I’ve learned that there is nothing I would have rather done with my life than to become a mother. I’ve learned that mothering is the hardest, most rewarding, sacred work there is. I’ve learned to chill out.

What is the best advice about being a parent you have received and who gave it to you?
I did a great deal of “how to raise children” reading when my kids were young and subscribed to the parenting methods of Love and Logic. I learned a tremendous amount from books but found that most of how I parented was by instinct and examples of what I had learned in my childhood. My mother was patient and parented with humor and Love and Logic principals long before they were principals. Her humor and guidance still lead me today.

What advice would you give to other moms?
Take time for creative play with your kids. Give them the tools they need to discover who they are. Turn off the electronics and put on a cape, dance in the living room, or put a ball of clay or skipping stone in their hand as often as possible. Encourage creativity through storytelling, imagination and play. It’s through imagination that we learn to solve problems. It’s through problem solving that we recognize our strengths and superhero selves. I believe that an imaginative kid is a confident kid.

Want to connect with Karen? You can find her online:
Twitter: @MySuperBlanky
Facebook Page:
Google Plus:

Have a question for Karen?  Please leave a comment below and I will make sure I forward it to her!
Thank you Karen for taking the time to answer our questions:)  Are you a Mom Who Shines or know a mom who would be great for this series?  Email me their contact info at

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for being included in this list of super moms! I am honored and know that I am in good company here. Have a super day!

    - Karen Czarnik