Local Love: Renee Bolla – Debut Picture Book Author

Today we are sharing our LOCAL LOVE for Renee Bolla – Debut Picture Book Author!

“I am a self-taught writer who is inspired by motherhood. It is the beginning of my writing journey, and I am looking forward to sharing my stories and my journey with the world.”

Local Love: renee bolla

Tell us all about you! What you do and where your passions lie?

I am a curious human who is constantly motivated to learn something new and make every day count. I grew up in the Midwest, born and raised in NW Indiana. The oldest of 7 (4 brothers and 2 sisters), all of who still reside in Indiana. I have traveled across the US following my original dream of being in the fashion retail industry. I studied Apparel Merchandising, Business, and Photography at Indiana University Bloomington. I started my merchandising career in Arkansas, working for Walmart. From there, I lived in San Francisco, where I worked for Walmart.com, NYC, where I worked for Macy’s, and most recently, Minnesota, where I worked for Target. I am married to a wonderful, funny, and supportive husband, Matt. We have three strong and talented daughters, Elle (age 4), Emma (age 8), and Nina (age 11). They are my daily inspiration! I love the journey of parenting, the highs and the lows. I am passionate about paving a path for my daughters, allowing them the freedom to be their authentic selves and make a difference in this world.

Tell us all about your journey to become an author!

After 20 years in corporate retail, I made the decision to take a pause, and I resigned. It was the end of 2020, peak pandemic. While the decision was unexpected and not planned, I decided to take a chance on myself. I resigned from pushing myself to climb higher up the corporate ladder in exchange for the freedom to slow down and find purpose. It was the first time in my life I had the time and mental capacity to be fully present with myself and my family. It allowed me to tap into other skills I have always thought about exploring. I no longer felt torn between the corporate world, my family, and my personal growth. I believe the pandemic did this for a lot of working moms. It was time for me to reevaluate my priorities and my needs. With this new state of mind, I started writing. My journey began with the idea of creating a keepsake book for each of my children. Each story being unique to their personalities and real-life experiences. While it started as a hobby, it has evolved into much more. I am a self-taught writer who is inspired by motherhood. It is the beginning of my writing journey, and I am looking forward to sharing my stories and my journey with the world.

What do you love about the Twin Cities area? Why is it the perfect place for your business?

My family and I moved here from NYC, which at the time we felt was the land of opportunity, but the Twin Cities have been good to us and opened just as many doors. It has given us community and connection that we will value forever. It’s not easy to pick up and move, especially with young ones, but we are grateful for those who welcomed us. Since day one, our neighbors have treated us like family. The schools welcomed our children and supported them throughout their journey, and so many individuals wanted to get to know us, the real us. It has been a place where we can be who we want to be without judgment.

What is the best way for our TCMC community to support your business?

As a new author, the best way to support me and my journey is:

  • Buy my debut book, Finding Bunny.
  • Leave a review.
  • Follow me on my social handles and share your experience with others.

Anything is appreciated!

Now let’s talk about your role as a mother and friend. How do you prioritize friendships and connections with women?

This is a hard one! The days go by fast and can quickly fill up with to-do lists, work, after-school activities, and life planning. I could go on and on. For me, I have to make it a priority to maintain connections with friends and other women because it fills my bucket. I can tell if I have not made enough time connecting with others because I start to feel drained. It motivates me to hear others’ journeys and share my own in an authentic and unapologetic way. The best way I do this is to actually pencil it in my calendar. I know that may sound silly, but I live and breathe by a calendar. It’s the best way to hold myself accountable and stay organized. Even as simple as grabbing coffee with a friend in the morning, it goes on my calendar.

Being a mom is no easy task in and of itself. How do you relax and take care of you?

If you had asked me this a year and a half ago, I would not have had a good answer because I don’t think I did it very well. Now, I am my best self when I take care of myself. I love to work out, meditate, go for bike rides (when it’s nice), cook, read, write and sometimes just do nothing but enjoy the present. I also recently became obsessed with making my own homemade juices since my parents bought me a juicer for Christmas. It’s the little things!

What’s been your greatest joy in motherhood?

Wow, this question made me tear up just thinking about all the joys I have experienced with motherhood. For me, the biggest one is paving a path for my daughters to truly be their authentic selves and feel supported enough to explore the world. They can be and do anything they want, and I hope I inspire them to believe in themselves and take risks throughout life. They are strong, intelligent, and beautiful young girls, inside and out, and there is no greater joy than seeing them live life to the fullest.

How do you hope your lives influence and/or inspire other women?

I hope my story inspires other women to take a chance on themselves. Have the courage and confidence to start over if you are not currently fulfilled or if you just want a change. It’s ok to change direction no matter how old you are or how long you have been doing something. Find your purpose and your joy, and explore it because you have so much to give.

Renee’s Local Loves:

Date Night Restaurant: We love supporting local businesses so we frequent George & the Dragon. Great food & drinks, quaint atmosphere and the customer service is always on point.
Local Boutique: I love Bean + Ro! It’s hard to go in there and not buy a ton of stuff even when you don’t need it.
Local Coffee Shop: This is hard because I love coffee and many places but I will narrow it down to Cafe Ceres. I love to get the spiced latte.
Locally based business: Red Balloon Bookshop is pretty awesome if you have little ones. The set up is adorable and you can’t help but hang there for hours exploring all the books.
Locally based non-profit organizations : Free Book Buggie and The Family Partnership 

To learn more about Renee Bolla you can find her on her website or any of her social platforms –  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok
We love having the opportunity to share the women behind Twin Cities businesses and organizations! If you would like to recommend another local business you think should be featured in our Local Love series, please email us at info@twincitiesmom.com.
Kim Mortensen is the Co-Owner of Twin Cities Mom Collective. She has held many different titles throughout her life including, teacher, fundraiser, coach, and marketing professional. However, the titles held most dear to her are wife and mom. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Alex, and together they have three kids, Lucia (10), Ellia (9), and Decker (7). Kim is passionate about connecting women through the journey of motherhood, normalizing the hardships and challenges that come with the territory, and finding moments of joy and celebration in between.

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