We had the good fortune of connecting with Valeria Lease and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valeria, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
As a first time mom, I was horribly sleep deprived. I had read so much about child sleep, and yet nothing I tried seemed to work for my son. I was simply too tired to piece it all together. That’s when I decided to hire a sleep consultant and — boom — my son became a superstar sleeper. I, on the other hand, forgot how to sleep. I developed postpartum anxiety and insomnia which later morphed into depression as well. After months of denial, I sought professional help for myself and slowly started to sleep again and feel like myself. It was then that I decided that my purpose was to help new mothers like myself feel less alone as they embark on this entirely new journey. Initially I did this through writing (I’m a former journalist) but then I realized I could actually study and become a sleep consultant. I was helping all my friends with their babies’ sleep — so why not do it professionally?! The sleep consultant I worked with was great, but I knew deep down I could do it better. The empathy I bring to the job is really what sets me apart. I’ve been there, I’ve struggled and I’m here to tell you with the right professional by your side — helping your child become a pro sleeper does T have to be so hard. It really doesn’t.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe what sets me apart is my honesty, empathy, and dedication to my clients. I’m committed to speaking the truth about my past and present struggles with motherhood and I share that with my clients. There’s no bullshit when you hire me because I strongly believe that when we share the not so pretty parts of motherhood with another mom — we are helping them open up about something they’re not comfortable sharing. I also know that time is precious and I’m not going to waste anyone’s time. If I don’t think we’re a good fit to work together — I’ll say so right off the bat. Because I’ve struggled with postpartum anxiety, insomnia, and depression and am candid about it, I bring a certain empathy to the job and mothers especially feel they can open up to me. A child’s sleep success is just as much about them as it is about their parents. I won’t push a parent to do something they’re not comfortable with. There are many methods to helping a child sleep through the night and take good naps and I’m committed to finding one that will work for each unique family. Val the Sleep Gal is built on the premise that while motherhood is hard, getting your child to sleep well doesn’t have to be when you have me educating, guiding, and supporting you along the way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite place in Miami is the Design District. There you can find incredible dining, shopping and cultural destinations. Mandolin Aegean Bistro, Michael’s Genuine, Le Jardinier and MC Kitchen are some of culinary favs for lunch or a casual dinner. For a special occasion, L’Atelier by Joel Robouchon has the best fine dining in Miami hands down. The Design district is also super family friendly. State of Kid has wonderful children’s classes and the chicest clothing for kids. I also love the Children’s Museum and the Frost for kids, as well as the Poppet Project for art and Sensory Play. A visit to the beach is a must. Grab some pastries at True Loaf in Sunset Harbour and then stroll along the newly redone boardwalk. Then lay out on the beach followed by dinner at Matador Room, 27 Restaurant or Byblos.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Two weeks after starting my sleep consulting program with the family sleep institute, the entire world shut down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. I also learnt I was pregnant with our second child. Overnight my world turned upside down. My husband was working from home, and my two year old was out of school. I never would’ve graduated had it not been for my mother in law and sister in law stepping in to watch my son for a couple of hours each day while I studied and took care of our home and myself so I wouldn’t get burnt out. My husband’s support and help after work and on weekends was also what helped me through. And, of course — a shoutout to my therapist and psychiatrist because I truly believe mental health comes first. I was able to give birth to a healthy baby and take care of my toddler because I took care of my own mental health first.
Emma Del Rey Photography for first 2; Jamie Jerome for solo shot of yawning baby.