Meet: Iliana Escarra
I am a military spouse, young mom, and entrepreneur. My roots were established in Cuba; my parents migrated to this county (USA) at a very young age. I had a good upbringing with lots of love and the essentials. I ended up marrying my high school sweetheart, married now for 20 years. Our adventure began when my husband joined the military. Military orders and moving around have taught me to be very resourceful, appreciate the support from the community, and count on friends that have become family from many parts of this nation. It truly takes a village to raise kids, especially living far away from home. My kids are resilient, and I think the military experience. My oldest daughter Katie attends the University of Central Florida; Jordan is a senior in HS and a pretty decent wrestler. Lastly, the baby, Miss Aly, is a show-stopper. I love my kids and hope I have instilled kindness, dedication, and perseverance.
How many kids do you have? What are their ages?
I have three kids: 19,17 and 14
A brief description of what a day in your life looks like.
I hustle. I usually plan out my weeks, as my business is growing immensely. I attend meetings, love to visit my locations, and still make my family priority.
How do you manage mom life while being an entrepreneur? Share some of your tips and tricks with us.
Managing life, in general, is hard. But finding people (staff) that value time, hard work, and building trusting relationships. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, the same concept goes for running a business. My employees are family, and I have built trusting relationships. I value their time and know they work hard to help me build successful childcare programs throughout Broward County. Hard work never goes unseen, I see my people, and I say it out loud, “YOU ROCK”! And I love to spoil them. But they all know I cherish my family and work together to create that time. I put it on my calendar. “JORDAN HAS A WRESTLING TOURNAMENT FRIDAY”; I know my staff will take care of business.
What’s been your greatest joy in motherhood?
Seeing my children healthy, successful, and happy.
What have you found most challenging in your motherhood journey?
Teenager phase! I am not perfect; I am okay to tell my kids, “Hey,” you know I am not perfect, right? Sometimes I have to work long hours or miss events, but I communicate to my children why I do what I do and that it is okay to be passionate and love your career too. You can do both; it is how you manage your time and set boundaries. I want my children to feel it is okay to follow your dreams and have a family too. Support is key! My husband ROCKS!
If we peeked in your purse right now, what would we find?
LOTS of RECEIPTS, chapstick, and 2 phones.
Being a mom is no easy task. How do you relax?
You need to find time for yourself! I like to get my hands and feet done once a month, I like to stay in bed till 10:00 am on Sundays, and take my 30 minute outdoor walks.
Be open-minded with your kids, you need to gain their trust
My Business: Bright Eyes Quality Child Care
I started my business in DEC 2019. Oh boy, I did not know there was going to be a pandemic hitting soon. I ran my summer camp program out of Gecko Parx, a trampoline park. I had about 25 kids in my program, and they attended throughout the whole summer of 2020. An opportunity arose when Broward County Public School allowed approved private aftercare providers vendors to run alongside Broward’s aftercare programs due to staff storage in 2021. I ran my program at one of the schools, and the rest is history. Word of mouth works wonders; other principals and families praised my programs. Here we are, 2023 about to take on multiple schools and start to work our way to other counties. It is a dream come true, and I give credit to my staff (the ones who believed in me and my vision). Again, find something you are great at, love it, and find people that are just as crazy as you are to take a chance. The rest is history!