Meet Suann Song, the founder and creative director of Appointed in Ivy City, DC. The busy entrepreneur lives Chevy Case, Maryland, where she and her husband, Eugene Hong, are raising a 13-year-old son, Ike, and a two-year-old daughter, Novie.
What do you love about the work you do?
I’m so fortunate to have my dream job. I have loved paper, design and organization (yes, organization!) for as long as I can remember. And the fact that I get to create products and a brand that revolves around those three things is pretty great.
How do you organize your work life and your home life? What are your tricks for staying on top of appointments, meetings and to-dos for your business, your kids and yourself?
Staying organized is key for me to stay on top of everything at work and my kids’ busy schedules. I have a few simple tricks:
- We keep track of all family and work scheduling in shared Google calendars. I transfer everything in the calendar to my Appointed planner at the beginning of each week.
- At work, I write everything in my planner. I keep separate lists for work-related tasks and home tasks.
- My husband and I keep a shared Notes document on our phones. It includes things like our grocery list, errands to run, etc. that either one of us can take care of, and we check off once complete.
- Our 13-year-old son is pretty involved in helping to keep organized as well. He’s learned to be on top of his schedule, get his things ready for school the night before and check the family calendar regularly.
What do you love about being a mom?
I have two kids—a 13-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl—so each day is very different, busy and full. And sometimes it gets to be a lot while running a growing company, but I do love having such a full life and being able to create a happy and healthy home life for my kids.
What do you find challenging about raising kids?
Living in D.C. has both its benefits and challenges.You have access and exposure to so much. But given the divisiveness these days, it can be hard navigating and helping our teenage son to understand. We’re finding open and regular dialogue is key.
What’s something that makes juggling motherhood and your career a little bit easier?
I try to have a flexible work schedule. I leave the office at 4 p.m. every day so that I’m able to pick up my kids from school. I’ve come to realize and accept that you can’t do it all and you have to make concessions to make both work, and that it’s OK.
What do you love about raising kids in the D.C. area?
I think D.C. is one of the best areas to raise kids. I love the accessibility and the diversity in activities for both my toddler and teenager. For our toddler, we love Imagination Stage, Nook (which just opened a new location closer to us in Bethesda) and the National Zoo. With our teenager, we explore D.C.’s great food scene and try to catch a good play or show at the Kennedy Center or Warner Theater. We also love the schools that our kids go to and feel very fortunate for the education they are able to have here.
What’s something your family loves to do together?
We love to travel. Whether it’s an overnight trip within driving distance or flying to the beach, both of my kids love to travel and a good hotel! We usually squeeze in a trip every other month, and we take one international trip a year—last year it was Japan. Close-by, we like to go to Philadelphia or New York by train. We also recently drove to Pittsburgh, which has a great children’s and science museum and great food. This spring break we’re looking forward to flying to Panama City, Florida, and visiting Rosemary Beach, which is a very charming and quaint beach town.
How are you able to maintain a social life between working and parenting?
This is hard and I don’t do this well. I try to schedule lunches or dinners with my closest friends at least every couple of months. And each time we get together, I always regret not doing that more often!
How do you take care of your mental and physical health?
Running and yoga are essentials for me. I try to attend at least one yoga class a week. Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown and Core Power Yoga in Tenleytown are my favorite; I consider Core Power’s Yoga Sculpt class a perfect workout. And I run three times a week. It’s my favorite time to both unwind and think. I come up with some of my best ideas for work while running. My favorite place to run is through Rock Creek Park.
What are five things you can’t live without?
iPhone, notebook, coffee, snacks (nuts, chocolate and Puree Juice for me, and granola bars, goldfish crackers and trail mix for the kids) and a good book. I recently finished Bob Iger’s “The Ride of a Lifetime” and highly recommend it.
What would you do if you had one hour without any responsibilities?
A manicure! That’s a luxury that I usually get around to doing a couple of times a year.