Meet Alison Paul Klakowicz

women in business series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Today I am happy to introduce you to another amazing woman in my women in business series. Alison Paul Klakowicz is a podcaster, blogger and children book author. I met Alison at a Monday Motivation meeting in Fayetteville. Don’t forget if you missed any of the other amazing women that were featured on this series you can check out my women in business page.

Meet Alison Paul Klakowicz in the Women In Business Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Tell me a little bit about you.

Hi, my name is Alison Paul Klakowicz, I am a North Carolina native where I was raised in the coastal community of Beaufort County off the beautiful Inner Banks estuarine shores of the Pamlico River. I am a military spouse, mother of a wild little boy, children’s book author, writer, blogger, and podcaster. I worked in the human services and counseling field for 14 years. I earned a BA in English from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC in 1998 and an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA in 2012. In addition, I’ve worked as a journalist and freelance writer. I also love to paint and create and have a small art business: Nautigul: Custom Art and Gifts. 

Meet Alison Paul Klakowicz in the Women In Business Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Tell me about your business.

In 2018 I published my first book- an award-winning, children’s travel and adventure picture book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck. Becoming a published author has been a life-long dream. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would first publish a book about a mom who drives a red monster truck, but through my son’s imagination and obsession with monster trucks as a toddler, the idea was born. I’d left a career in counseling and was ready to pursue my professional writing dreams. It has been a real journey. I provide educational school events, storytime events for kid venues, libraries, and bookstores. The opportunity to read my book and talk to children about publishing books has been the highlight of my journey. 

Book marketing is hard work so to help tell my story about my journey I started a podcast and blog, Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog, which has now evolved to telling the stories of other inspiring individuals and places. My husband talked me into starting the podcast. I thought he was crazy because I thought who on earth would want to listen to me and my southern accent and what would I say. Well, I’ve proven myself wrong. Folks listen and seem to enjoy the myriad of content material I provide. It has become a wonderful platform for me to share not only my story, but the story of so many amazing people. I always secretly wanted to be a NPR journalist… so it’s like I have my very own Pirate NPR Station. It’s a joy.

What struggles have you faced in your business?

Marketing has proven to be a hard task. I am dutiful, consistent and constantly researching new ways to market my book. The writing community and children’s book author community are extremely helpful in providing information and ideas on various ways to get my book in the hands of children. Through social media, I’ve made author friends all over the world and we all have the same struggle in promoting our books, but offer crucial advice and feedback to one another. This is an ongoing, never-ending task. Anyone considering publishing a book whether independently or through traditional publishing should educate themselves on book marketing prior to publication so they are prepared for the journey ahead.

How have you overcome those struggles?

I’ve embraced the “Get used to being uncomfortable” frame of mind by placing myself in the public eye through my own marketing as well as television, radio, podcast, social media live interviews. You are your best advocate and the expert in telling your own story. It is important to trust in yourself and keep moving forward. Take risks, but be prepared if it doesn’t work. It’s all trial and error. Just don’t give up.

Who were your mentors growing up?

I was fortunate to have very supportive and loving parents, Joe and Julia Paul, who have always encouraged me, but have also been there to remind me who I am… keep my feet on the ground. My dad is an amazing engineering, woodworking mind and can build anything through his own design. My mom is a talented photographer. She has the ability to appreciate the small moments and capture them through her lens. My family is filled with creative people. My brother, Austin Paul who is a career Park Ranger, is a talented artist as is my husband, Adam. My grandmothers were talented sewers and one was a self-taught pianist. I have many cousins who are artists, thespians, musicians, and writers. My aunt Penny Paul is a career artist and retired high school art teacher.

I had a wonderful high school English teacher, the late Susan Wellborn, who made a huge impact on me and encouraged me to continue writing. She was the first person to tell me that I had a knack for storytelling and writing. I wish now as an adult I could tell her what an impact she made in my life, but I learned she passed away a few years ago.

If you were to give advice to a woman going into the field you are in what would it be?

Go for it. Tell your story whatever it is. My moto stemming from my children’s book is, “Drive Toward Your Dreams!”

Have you found that being a woman in your field is harder or easier? Tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman.

I haven’t found a barrier yet as far as gender within the writing community. Most of us despite our gender are very supportive of one another. Although, the majority of folks I have bonded with are women. We love to help promote one another and provide constructive advice. I would say if someone does run into this issue, to rethink their path and search for a new one. Meaning this is not the norm and you should not allow any stigma or bias to hold you back.

 Have you ever have to overcome a hostile work environment?

Yes, unfortunately. Within most office environments in my previous field, there would be drama that would occur frequently. I used to let it overcome me and find myself obsessing over all the little things.  I am just thankful that now in this phase of my life, I am my own boss. I have grown and matured over the years. I try not to allow petty arguments or negative feelings to rule my thoughts. If I do run into individuals who want to focus on gossip, negativity or mean-spirited behavior, I shut the door and move on. At this time in life, I do not have the time or energy to be a part of that mindset. It is very important for me to be present and grateful in my here and now.

 What made you decide on your chosen field?

Writing has been my passion for most of my life. It was only natural I would gravitate back to this constant passion.

Meet Alison Paul Klakowicz in the Women In Business Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Anything that you would care to share

I created Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog as a way to journal about my myriad of interests and pursuits in this little thing called life. It has evolved over time into a place where I am blessed to share stories of amazing individuals I meet along the way— and fabulous places I frequent and have the opportunity to visit.

I am a children’s book author, creative writer, blogger and podcaster. A military spouse to a Philadelphia born and bred, surly, skateboard-obsessed, Army soldier. The mother to a very wild, wiggly and silly little boy who keeps me on my toes. A lover of the sea, coffee addict, over thinker, storyteller, wannabe botanist, part-time Pirate, a fan of the underdog, lover of the arts and amateur historian.

North Carolina is my native home and where I still hang my hat— where my family roots are as deep as recorded Carolina history. I was raised on the estuarine tide of the gorgeous Pamlico River in Eastern Coastal North Carolina.

My husband won me over the day I heard him say, “She’s my sweeeeet tea, sweeter than all of the sweetest tea in the Carolinas!” Bless his heart. He loves me despite my occasional sour.

So that’s a bit about me. I hope you enjoy the content I provide. Get a whole lot inspired. And come back to visit from time to time.

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