“Hey, my name is Lamonique Mason often referred to as Beans and The Pillow Plug. I’m 25 years old. I’m a dedicated, optimistic, success driven, thriving, single mother. I am the mother of 2 beautiful children. My son Jahari is 9 and my daughter De’Leyah is 6. They motivate me to strive harder every day.”
RAVEN: How do you maintain running a business and being a mom?
LAMONIQUE: I took a leap out on faith and invested in myself. Between my business and my children they occupy majority of my time. I try to get most of my running and delivering done in the day time when my children are in school. Also in the evenings I get most of my work done. My children are a major help. They’re so interested and intrigued by my craft they sit with me in the lab and help with several things. They actually make the process a little easier.
RAVEN: How did you get started making pillows ?
LAMONIQUE: I learned how to make pillows when I was 8 years old at a summer camp in the smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY. It was so amusing to me that Incould actually make a pillow. I continued making them over the years , but never took it seriously as a career move. It was more so a hobby.
RAVEN: As a single mother have you ever thought “Gosh I can’t do this” and why?
LAMONIQUE: Yes, all the time. I have plenty of days when I feel discouraged or don’t wanna deal with life. I’m a hypersensitive person and it doesn’t take much to overwhelm me. So sometimes I have to have conversations with myself and remind myself it is okay. “Breathe beans Breathe beans”.
RAVEN: What is your biggest worry about your children’s future?
LAMONIQUE: I pray everyday for my children to have a whole healthy mind. With a stable mental state you can conquer anything, but with a weak depressed unstable mental state everything can fall apart and I say that from experience. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety and I overcame it but it wasn’t easy.
RAVEN: What traits of your own mother do you think you’ve inherited?
LAMONIQUE: My mother is the most understanding person I ever met and I definitely see that characteristic in myself. I remember seeing and hearing my mother understand people. She always listened and understood where someone was coming from. A funny thing my mom used to do that I now do is prepare several meals in one night. *laughs out loud* My son might want steak but my daughter wants shrimp Alfredo so I make both.
RAVEN: After losing your children’s father, how did you explain to them what was happening?
LAMONIQUE: I remember like yesterday sitting in the car with my children after my son’s football game on October 24th, 2015 less then 20 hours after their father had been killed. I was crying and they ask momma what’s wrong? I tried so hard to explain it to their understanding. They were 6 and 3 at the time. We hugged for a few minutes.
RAVEN: Has it gotten any easier for them?
LAMONIQUE: My son has extreme faith in God and he feels that God needed his daddy more then him. My daughter says they talk almost every night in her dreams. She also says he’s in the sky when we’re in the car. So their coping methods keep them pretty level headed. My son has discussions about him and wants to start a movement in his name.
RAVEN: When you get free time away from your babies, what do you like to do?
LAMONIQUE: When my children are gone I enjoy supplies shopping and fabric shopping. I spend time experimenting and getting more acquainted with my programs and equipment. I am a health freak so I spend plenty of time in the gym and running in the park.
RAVEN: What is your greatest accomplishment as a mom?
LAMONIQUE: My greatest accomplishment this far as a mom is graduating college. My son talked about my high school graduation for years and I felt like I owed it to him to see me walk again. The joy and excitement in my children’s faces when I walked across the stage was indescribable. I’ll never forget that moment. They were so proud of their mother. I felt like I had done something right.