Even with her unmistakable entrepreneurial spirit, Mique Provost always knew she wanted to be a wife and mom above all else.
The goal was always to stay at home with my family. When people would say, “What do you want do?”, I would say, “Be a wife and a mom.”
But while her heart was always set on starting a family, Mique still wasn’t willing to give up on her other aspirations. One day she would combine her passion for motherhood and entrepreneurship through her blog Thirty Handmade Days, but she had other business ideas to test out beforehand.
As a teen, instead of running a typical babysitting business, she differentiated herself by creating business cards, giving progress reports to the child’s parents, and even throwing a few parties for the kids. She had a knack for taking things one step further than all the other teenage babysitters on the block.
And even though she grew up in the laid-back culture of Encinitas, California, her parents always encouraged Mique’s entrepreneurial dreams, especially her dad who was an entrepreneur himself.
Both my parents made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it and worked hard enough.
Taking after her parents, Mique pursued small business ventures until high school graduation. Then she enrolled in college in Utah for a few semesters before she made the tough decision not to finish her college degree when the chance to be a wife and mom appeared.
Becoming a Full-Time Mom
Mique met her husband Josh in Utah while she was in college. They met through their roommates that were dating the day Josh moved from LA. Josh and Mique had their first date in January when she was twenty years old and he was twenty-two. After spending every second outside of class together, they were married in August of that same year.
Shortly after exchanging their vows, Josh’s parents asked him to run the family business—a collection agency in California. Though this wasn’t Josh’s dream job, he was a hard worker and good at it. After talking it over, they both decided it was the right move.
But right before they moved from Utah to Burbank, Mique found out she was pregnant with twins. Sadly, just two days before their move, Mique lost the babies due to a miscarriage.
With so much change and chaos happening all at once, she had a difficult time grieving during her big life transition. But shortly after moving to Burbank, Mique discovered she was pregnant again.
I was scared because I had already experienced the miscarriage the first time. . . and I didn’t want to go through that again.
The anxiety she had around her second pregnancy was alleviated by the great community she built in Burbank, which prepared Mique to give birth to a sweet, happy, and hyper little boy named Jonathan in 2000. Finally, she could settle into her new life as a stay-at-home mom.
A Life-Changing Diagnosis
When Jonathan was two years old, Mique’s father-in-law mentioned that Jonathan wasn’t answering when his name was called. He didn’t know how to talk yet either. Noticing that his development wasn’t progressing, Mique started researching and learning more about autism.
After reading a list of autism traits and characteristics, Mique found that Jonathan fit all of them. This revelation came near the end of her next pregnancy—their daughter Julia was born in 2002.
When they received the official diagnosis from a doctor in 2003, Josh and Mique immediately sprang into action. They had different ideas on how to care for Jonathan, but they both agreed that therapy would provide a healthy place to start.
Mique thought that if they started therapy early, Jonathan might make huge improvements by the time he was six or seven. While he made some progress, it was clear that he had a more severe level of autism.
Launching a Family Blog
As their family faced challenges head-on, Mique gave birth to her third child, Drew, in 2006. A year later, her sister remembered that Mique always enjoyed writing and thought it could be a good creative outlet. This inspired Mique to create a blog.
I’ve always tried to have an outlet. I took a hip-hop class and a photography class. I just needed a little bit of time away from being a wife and mom. This blog was my outlet. In the beginning, it was all about connecting with other people and sharing ideas. I had no idea . . . that it could turn into a business.
At first, Mique focused on creating a personal blog where she published family photos and shared stories of their everyday life in California. While she loved sharing an inside look into her family life through the blog, she wanted to turn it into more of a resource center for creative projects.
With this change, she found that her project-inspired roundup posts started to really take off. Once she saw the content taking over her family blog, she decided to launch a separate blog under the name Thirty Handmade Days in 2008.
For the next few years, Mique spent most of her time hosting giveaways on her website and crafting roundup blog posts of projects other people were creating. This was all done in between taking care of her kids.
In 2011, Mique was inspired to post more original content on Thirty Handmade Days. After more than four years of blogging about other people’s projects, she decided to share her own recipes, design advice, and other things she was working on.
It also helped that Drew was off to kindergarten and both Jonathan and Julia were in school full-time. Since Mique had more time to devote to her creative outlet, she took her blog more seriously than ever before.
At first Josh didn’t understand why she spent so much time on the blog, but she kept growing her audience and making connections with other bloggers.
Then a few of her blogging friends suggested Mique put ads on her website through Google AdSense in 2011. These ads created the first blog income for Mique bringing in $6.25 each month in the beginning.
Earning money felt exciting because I went from nothing to earning something. I had been blogging for so long at that point. It was validating, like I’m not just putting stuff out there and people are only commenting. That’s validating on its own, but earning income is a different kind of validation.
Introducing Multiple Streams of Income
For the next two years, Mique attended blogger conferences and spent much of her spare time learning about business. She loved researching, reading, and experimenting with new skills, so it was an exciting time for her.
She also introduced sponsored content around this time as her website traffic and Twitter following grew. Pinterest had just launched and was quickly becoming a game changer for bloggers who wanted to drive more traffic to their website.
Wanting to introduce an extra stream of income, she decided to offer printable digital products on her website in late 2015. Rather than niche down to a specific topic, she wanted to share resources for moms to simplify their lives through organization, cleaning, parenting, cooking, and more.
These printables have continually been a top performing—and somewhat surprising—source of income for her family. With ads, sponsorships, digital products, and affiliate income, Mique saw that her blog was generating substantial revenue.
With her blog quickly turning into a full-time job, Mique embraced entrepreneurship. Her dad was so proud of everything she had created. But at the height of her blog’s success, she found out her dad had cancer, and in the same year, lost him.
Mique’s dad had always been her strongest supporter and loudest cheerleader. So much of what she learned about entrepreneurship and parenting came from watching him do both with grace and love.
My dad hasn’t been able to see all these exciting blogging opportunities and things that I’m doing now. I know it sounds so cheesy, but I still feel like he can see it all happening. But I would love to be able to call him and say, “Hey, Dad, look.”
Losing her dad caused Mique to reestablish her priorities and spend more time with her family than ever. Her husband’s faith in the blog began to grow, and she kept adding to her family’s income through the blog while continuing to take care of her kids.
An Important Decision
In 2015, Jonathan hit puberty and Mique faced a whole new set of obstacles.
Even after different types of therapy and some time on medication, Mique started to notice that Jonathan wasn’t getting better. When Jonathan became more physically aggressive toward Mique, she knew a bigger conversation with Josh needed to happen.
It took months for Mique and Josh to wrestle with the idea of Jonathan living in a group home full-time. But after visiting a group home in the area, they instantly knew it would be the right place for Jonathan. It was a difficult decision for them, but they knew it was in the best interest of Jonathan and their family.
I try to imagine it being like Jonathan is in college early, because that’s what it feels like. He comes home once a month now, and we try to do fun things and the stuff he loves to do. He seems happy. He’s doing really well, and he’s progressing.
As her family settled into their new routine, she began sharing her story on the blog. It helped her connect with like-minded readers who offered empathetic words of encouragement—and her business continued to grow.
Mique’s Business Today
What started as a hobby blog has turned into a five person team operation ten years later. Advertising, brand sponsorships, digital products, and affiliate income still make up the majority of Mique’s income today. But instead of creating all of the content on her own, she has a team of contributors to help.
In 2016, she also added Josh to her growing team. It took Mique a full year to convince Josh to leave his full-time position to help her with the blog. He finally put in his two weeks’ notice after he discovered that the company he worked for wouldn’t give him the opportunity to work from home in the future.
As a natural-born entrepreneur, she has a hard time turning off and unwinding at the end of the day. While she loves what she does for a living, she also realizes how important it is to cherish the time she has with her husband and three kids in every season of life.
Like many bloggers, Mique has also struggled with comparison, but she often remembers wise words that her father would say when doubt starts to creep in:
There’s always going to be somebody who has it better than you and someone who has it worse. You just need to be okay with who you are, where you are.
She leads her business team with the same authenticity and vulnerability as she does with her family, perfectly blending her two worlds together.