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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Smarty Mom: Stephanie Lineberry Billings

By Rachel H
I am happy to feature Stephanie as today’s Smarty Mom. She moved to the Triad at age 12, moved away for a while, but is now back home in Greensboro. She and her husband, Patrick, have two children, Vica (13) and Olia (11).

Stephanie is co-owner of a fabulous company, BE Creative, which we will discuss further in her questions below. She likens herself to Hannah Montana, because she has the best of both worlds! She is a stay at home mom that works from her home. Stephanie enjoys the flexibility of working from home and being able to make herself available to enjoy time with her daughters in the afternoon.

As a volunteer extraordinaire, Stephanie currently serves in the following volunteer positions: Junior League of Greensboro, Past President and Active Member, Guilford Education Alliance- Board of Directors, Guilford Enrichment Fund- Vice Chair and Co-Chair of Scholarships Committee, Appalachian State University Alumni Council, Girl Scout Leader, Kiser Middle School PTA Board, Sternberger Elementary School PTA Board, and the Greenhill Center for NC Art - Collector’s Choice Committee. I am exhausted just thinking about all her efforts! Can’t wait to share more about Stephanie with you …

Please tell us all about BE Creative and how you started this business!
BE Creative is a partnership between myself and my dear friend, and neighbor, Laura Ellison. One of us can do anything with an Excel spreadsheet and is detail oriented and the other has a passion for writing and tinkering with websites. We both happen to love ink and paper, and giving friends and family gifts that are extremely personal. These common interests motivated us to combine our skills. After years of bouncing around the idea, we decided that it was time to take our wares to the internet. For years, we had independently produced stationary, notepads, and cards for friends and by word of mouth. Pooling our talents we became the "BE" in Be Creative.
BE Creative also offers an economical alternative to small business’ Administrative or Marketing needs. We enjoy meeting with our clients, assessing their needs, and helping them realize their goals.

You are involved with so many organizations as a volunteer. What inspired you to become so active in the community?
My mom and dad have always been role models in all aspects of my life. My parents always took on volunteer roles that centered around my sister, Angie, and I. Between the two of them, they were our basketball coaches, Girl Scout leaders, and swim team parents. In my high school days, they volunteered at Urban Ministries serving meals. It was at that time I realized that giving a little time can make a huge impact. I have taken that lesson and realized that I love to volunteer to help make Greensboro a better community.

What do you think is the biggest challenge of raising tweens?
Technology is a big challenge as well as a great opportunity. With my oldest, I have noticed that her whole social life revolves around texting and her cell phone. Our challenge as parents is making sure that they can be a part of their “social scene” but provide enough restrictions that will keep them safe and promote a healthy sense of self control.

What is the smartiest way you save money?
I save a lot of money by using my computer. I typically do a lot of searching for online coupons or the best deals before I buy. is a favorite of mine!

What is your favorite family activity? The Billings love to travel! As a family, we travel to ski, go to the beach or go to a favorite destination - Walt Disney World. We also love going to the mountains. My father lives there and it is also home to our alma mater, Appalachian State University.

Favorite “me-time” activity?
I would love to say anything spa, but that is infrequent. I think “me time” is the time that I volunteer.

Favorite place to eat dinner as a family?
We love Pastabilties (336-2PASTA3) and we love their delivery service! One of our best nights out as a family is really a night in with a movie playing while we eat some yummy Pasta.

Favorite date night spot?
We really like Green Valley Grill if we are eating out. However, if the kids are away we like to have a nice dinner at home together and then run catch a movie.

Favorite book you have read?
John Hart’s Down River. John Hart is a Greensboro native and a fantastic storyteller. A dear friend gave me the book and when I finally picked it up, I could not put it down. His other two books are great as well!

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
Unfortunately those days are gone for me. My girls are in school all day. :(

Favorite place to shop for children’s clothes?
Again, those days are gone for me. I don’t get to shop for my girls…I just take them to where they want to go. They both have very specific taste, which has been fun to watch evolve, and I go to the stores which best suit them. That can change on a weekly basis!

What is your favorite mom’s must have item for around the house?
The Truly Mom Planner! Laura and I happened onto this wonderful organizational tool while at the Gift Mart in Atlanta. The tri-fold design features a pullout month-to-month calendar, address book, four useful pads, including one to completely organize your day. It also holds a pad for lists, a “note from mom” pad, and a post-it note pad. Folded, it measures 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It was designed to fold in any direction, providing a sturdy writing surface on the go. The Truly Mom is a must for mom’s on the go and comes in great colors with fun ribbon choices. BE Creative is a proud retailer of this product. Check it out here!

Mini-van or SUV?
I am an SUV girl. My husband’s love of all things Jeep makes the Commander a must for me!

Favorite park in the Triad?
The Blanche Sternberger Benjamin Park in Greensboro. Most people haven’t heard of this park because it is a passive park. That means the park is green space and it is located on the corner of Friendly Avenue and Green Valley Road. Why is it my favorite, you might ask? To me, the park symbolizes that generosity teamed with a group of solution-oriented people trying to do the right thing, can make for a great gift to the community!

Favorite or most helpful blog you have read on Triad Smarty Pants thus far?
Best Kept Secrets of the Triad on July 16. Since I have spent most of my life in the Triad, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about all of these great “secrets”.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
Although as a teen, I swore I would move far away, I could not think of raising a family in a better place. I am happy that Greensboro is a small city with some big city qualities. We have a great arts community, wonderful parks system, and a vibrant downtown paired with people that want to invest in the community and the well being of its citizens.

I could not live without my...
My family (dogs included), of course with my friends a very close second! Of course, if we take the obvious out of the equation, it would have to be my computer! From BE Creative work to my volunteer work, my computer is such a big part of my day-to-day life. So much so my husband gave it a name…”Bruce”.

Stephanie, we truly enjoyed reading your answers! For any other parents who are dealing with the teens vs. technology issue, stay tuned. We have an excellent blog from Michelle Bostian, LCSW Lower School Counselor for Greensboro Day School coming up in January on this exact topic!

Readers, send your Smarty Mom nominations to!


Anonymous said...

very cute website, stephanie!

Annalise said...

We love Greensboro, too! Wonderful place to live. Big enough, but small enough at the same time. Enjoyed your smarty mom amswers today.

Rene said...

What a fabulous interview! Congrats to of my favorite moms.

Laura said...

I am so proud to be a Smarty Partner....she isn't easy to keep up with, trust me!

griffin.sidney86 said...

I know vica she is my bestie in the WHOLE wide world.I go to kiser with her and my names sidney.

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