Boss Babe Spotlight: LOVE MORE DECOR

Have you ever found someone on the internet, e-stalked them ever-so-slightly and just knew there was a friendship there – even if that person didn’t know you existed (yet)? This month’s boss babe spotlight was one of those people for me – in a totally non-creepy way.

In my personal pursuit to find a mommy group, I stumbled across Allison Serrao via her Meet-up group, OMG I’m a Mom. I read the group overview and blog, and instantly felt like I connected with this woman. She was open, honest, and spoke so truthfully about the realities of motherhood. After joining the group and getting to know her a bit more, I discovered my instincts were accurate.

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Not only is she a homeschooling mama of three little ones, but she’s a passionate philanthropist AND runs her own business – Love More Décor – along with her team of fellow boss moms. In addition to all of that, and whether she knows it or not – she’s inspiring and empowering so many mama’s and women through-out Orange County.

Let’s get to know a bit more about her, the team and what they do.

1. What is Love More Decor?

Love More Decor is a full service event and wedding production team of three creatives. We do everything from event design and execution to vendor management and wedding coordination! We offer wedding planning packages as well as a la carte services that you can use to create your own custom package catered to your specific needs. We are a pretty sweet package, we take care of all the fine details and handle everything from beginning to end. Our goal is for our clients to stress less and love more on the day they really should. 

All photos by  Mandy Merino Photography  unless otherwise credited. 

All photos by Mandy Merino Photography unless otherwise credited. 

2. What was the inspiration for the business, or how did it get started?

My husband and I took a trip to Astoria, OR and stumbled upon an amazing storefront called Vintage Hardware. Paul and Rebecca who run the store are amazing creative designers who re-purpose and restore furniture and hardware and turn them into amazing design pieces. After visiting their store, it was decided that I wanted to come back and buy everything they had to start a decor rental company. So, months later, my husband and I flew out and drove home to CA in a UHAUL full of goodies. 

Since I have been doing events for the last 8 years and have always loved the grind of the planning, the designing, the producing and then finally seeing how everything we've worked on is finally executed, the next step for Love More Decor came naturally to start offering event coordination and planning. It's been nice to see our rentals and our clients leave hand in hand when working with them on their big day. 

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself (the owner), and your team.

My team is amazing! We are a three person machine when it comes to working together and we really know how to use our individual strengths. Our team consists of our Creative Manager, Ashlee, our Production Manager, Allie, and myself, Allison, the Event Director. 

Pictured left to right: Ashlee, Allison & Allie. Photo credit: Mandy Merino Photography

Pictured left to right: Ashlee, Allison & Allie. Photo credit: Mandy Merino Photography


OC Headshot Photographer

Our Creative Manager, Ashlee is incredibly talented at building and designing tablescapes, back drops, altars and more. She has a keen eye for design and what pieces are cohesive together when it comes to executing a clients vision. After seeing much of her work, I was so excited to have her join the LMD team and she has truly made her mark on our brand. She is also a gentle, compassionate mom of 2 who really has a way with people. I can always count on her to be the one looking out for the guests who may need a little extra help and taking excellent care of our clients. 


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Allie, our production manager is a beast! I approached her to join LMD because I knew her standards for attention to detail were high and that she would always be working to make sure every detail and design element would meet and exceed our clients' expectations. She's incredibly organized and has a knack for being able to improvise seamlessly when needed and she truly works hard to ensure all relationships between venue, vendors and clients are working together for a successful event. Also, a mom of 2, she is such a loving, passionate and eager self starter who genuinely cares about the quality of her work and service to others. 


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A little about myself, I have been managing and producing events for 8 years now, working everything from fundraisers, community events, dances, parties and weddings. As the Events Director, I am a meticulous planner obsessed with lists, spreadsheets, timelines and organizing all of the logistics that go into planning events large and small. I oversee all operations going into an event from the first steps of planning to the last minute of clean up and I get such a rush from each event we finish up. My favorite part of all of this is being able to create and design a specific vision for a client's special day and seeing efficiently executed. It allows the creative side of me to always be at work and play! Whether it's painting, writing, building, drawing, designing, restoring, or repurposing, the artist in me loves being able to always have a project to work on and Love More Decor has created that opportunity for me. 

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I think as mothers we draw inspiration from our everyday interactions with our kids. They are so full of wonder and imagination that they are constantly encouraging your creativity.  I can be crafting or painting or even hiking with my children and as they explore the activity we're up to they easily come up with new concepts completely organically and just like that, a new idea for a backdrop has been planted or an arch or table setting, all because of the colors my kids were using on their canvas, or because of the way they built something out of sticks and leaves. So much inspiration truly comes from just spending time with our kids and I think that's what makes our job that much more gratifying. 

Thanks to   Haute Sweets Baking Co.   for letting us photograph a team meeting in their beautiful shop. 

Thanks to Haute Sweets Baking Co. for letting us photograph a team meeting in their beautiful shop. 

5. What types of brides/couples do you like to work with the most?

We really love all couples! We have worked with so many different clients with a large variety of styles. I think part of the fun in what we do is embracing the diversity of our clientele and their needs. It's allowed us to continue to work hard for our clients and keep a fresh mind when it comes to ideas and design elements. 

6. Where do you want your business go to in 2017, and what do you want to do more of?

This year we would really love to work with more local wedding vendors and styled shoots. I hope that in 2017 our business can gain more exposure and be recognized for our hard work, integrity and style!

Photo credit:  Kirstin Burrows Photography

Photo credit: Kirstin Burrows Photography

7. Share your thoughts on female empowerment, and what it means to you. 

There is a great quote about women by G.D. Anderson I read once, 

"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."

We women are built strong but for some reason the world does not commonly see us as so. I think the best way to combat this and what I think is the ultimate female empowerment tool is the act of self love. As we are still living in a man's world, I know my two daughters will still have to fight and claw their way out of the man cave, but loving ourselves fiercely, knowing our worth, enough to be our own guardian, champions and advocates, I believe we can continue to pave the way for women by not accepting anything less than what we deserve. 

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Big thanks to Allison & team for letting me get to know them and feature them on this months Boss Babe Spotlight. As a working entrepreneur mama myself, I love getting to know other women who are building their businesses and balancing motherhood! 

If you're planning a wedding or event in 2017, I definitely recommend Love More Decor


ARE YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW A BOSS BABE IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA WHO'S WORTHY OF BEING FEATURED IN THIS MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT? THIS IS A CHANCE TO HIGHLIGHT OTHER FEMALE OWNED/OPERATED BUSINESSES IN THE SOCAL AREA.

AS AN ORANGE COUNTY BASED BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER I'M COMMITTED TO FEMALE EMPOWERMENT, AND WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO UPLIFT AND SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN. 

GET IN TOUCH IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A FEATURE. 

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One of the many faces of postpartum depression | Orange County Boudoir Studio

Okay 2016...I’m officially done with you. Yes, there have been some pretty fantastic moments, but overall, it's not been my favorite year. No, I’m not talking about the general state of the world - I’m talking about stuff much closer to home. Much more personal matters.  

Like many moms these days, I’d consider myself fairly well read in the baby development department. I’m the kind of person who needs to understand what is happening so that I can deal with it. If I understand WHY my kid is being a jerk at this particular moment, it helps me cope and not take it personally.  So, when I was pregnant I was well informed of the likelihood of postpartum depression and the signs – yet when it hit me, I had NO clue how much it was affecting my life.

Photo cred: Roxy Rodriguez

Photo cred: Roxy Rodriguez

I had this idea in my head of what “depression” looked like. I pictured someone lying in bed all day, crying non-stop with a desire to harm themself and/or their child – which wasn’t me.  I also thought PPD only affected “new” moms during the first 6 months postpartum.

For me, it hit later, around my sons first birthday. I started therapy the first time around then, and began a major life re-evaluation (which is when my career change began – you can read all about that here). Finally, I started to grasp the reality that I was dealing with postpartum depression. I thought it was just a super mild case though, and figured that with time…I’d be all good, not something that was bad enough to need medication.

As with many things in life, the vision in your head often doesn’t represent real-life. In my reality, postpartum depression took the form of anxiety (not the I-can’t-get-out-of-bed-because-I’m-too-sad vision I thought it was). You know that nervous feeling you get when you’re about to do something scary or uncomfortable? I was feeling that from the moment I woke up, until I’d fall asleep at night. Some days would be worse than others, and occasionally it would subside – but for the most part, it was always there.

Self portrait project circa June 2016

Self portrait project circa June 2016

With the anxiety came a lack of motivation and an inability to focus. I honestly thought I had developed a case of adult ADD because I simply could NOT focus. I’d sit down at my desk each day to work, and within moments have 10 tabs open. I’d get up for a bathroom break and notice the dirty laundry, and decide to throw in a load. On the way back, something else would distract me. It was a never ending cycle of getting sidetracked by anything and everything. I’d have a million ideas, but never the “umph” I needed to act on the ideas and execute them.

It wasn’t just me that this was affecting either. It was bleeding over into all my relationships and hindering my business goals. I was irritable and short-fused, which didn’t pair well with parenting. I rarely found myself enjoying the time with my kid. Instead, I was constantly trying to keep my cool and not blow up on him. My husband? Well, same with him. I was a ticking time bomb that may start crying at any moment, so he would just steer clear. That’s the thing about depression – it’s the fucking gift that keeps on giving, to everyone around the person who’s suffering.

It wasn’t even just those closest to me. On a broader scale, it looked like me being a flake with a lot of unfinished plans. Loads of unanswered text messages, emails, direct messages and comments – because, well, I don’t know. Because I simply didn’t have the motivation. Or I was scared; afraid of being rejected or shut down.

Now, I’m not a lazy person – but I was starting to question that. Was I lazy? Why didn’t I do all these things that I wanted to do? I could imagine the type of mother and wife that I wanted to be – who I thought I was at my core, but that girl was nowhere to be seen. I no longer enjoyed things that I once did. I could envision the business I wanted to build, the service I wanted to provide…yet, I kept getting in my own damn way. I felt like a wind-up doll, who wasn’t fully wound. My frustrations led to me feeling down on myself, which only led to more anxiety and a cyclical spiral of self-doubt.

This past summer, I finally started seeing a therapist again. (If you’ve ever had a desire or curiosity to see someone – DO IT. Seriously, it’s so helpful to have someone to talk to. Someone objective and not emotionally entangled in your life and relationships, and able to give you sound advice. I strongly believe that the biggest problem with our world now, is that we don’t pay enough attention to mental health and prioritize it. One doesn’t have to suffer a tragedy to have emotional wounds.) After a few months of weekly meetings with my counselor, I was starting to feel better. She helped me devise sound strategies to dealing with the anxiety, and how to better communicate what I was feeling with my husband.

Then I suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks.

All of the progress that I had been feeling, took a bit of a setback. While I’d maintained a reasonably limited “attachment” – knowing that unfortunately, miscarriage is terribly common – it still hurt. Getting pregnant is something that happened for us rather quickly and easily, and I’d already had one healthy, successful pregnancy…so I was overly confident. Going from being pregnant for nearly 3 months, to suddenly not being pregnant was a shock.  I was sad, and the anxiety was back.

Things really boiled to a head when I went in to see my OB a few weeks after the miscarriage for a check-up, and broke down crying while talking to my doctor. After she told me that she personally ended up on Prozac after suffering from PPD after her daughter was born, I decided to accept the help. I was done struggling with postpartum depression/anxiety, and living my life at half power.

In addition to starting a super low dosage of Prozac, I joined the gym. I was determined to take this tragedy, and use it as motivation to get my life back on track. To take control of my happiness, and not be so damn stubborn and deny the help that I (now realize) was so very necessary.

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Within a month, I felt like a whole new person – or, instead of a new person, like MYSELF. For the first time since my son was born (over 3 years ago), I felt like my old self and realized that I was still in there. The brave and bold woman I knew at my core, was still in there…she was just stifled. I felt strong enough to take risks once again, and had the motivation to execute the ideas that had been simmering on low for so long. 

I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason. At the time of the loss, it was hard to imagine why that pregnancy wasn’t viable. I’ll never know for certain what the cause was, but I can’t help but think I wasn’t strong enough to handle it – emotionally AND physically. I needed to get myself on track before I could care for another little human.

I wish I could say I was “all fixed” now and no longer struggling, but that’s miles from true. In fact, I write this at a time when I feel myself backsliding. The difference is that I now know what’s affecting me, and the symptoms associated with it. Instead of letting it paralyze me, I choose to hit it head on and no longer hide in the shadows. Hopefully by putting it out there, I can cope with it – and maybe help bring attention to postpartum depression. It can have many faces, and affects every single woman in a different way. If this sounds like you, or someone you know – please seek help. Or, if you just want to talk to someone else who’s dealing with it, I’m here. Feel free to reach out to me. 

Here's the 2017! To understanding myself better with each passing year, and learning to use my own weaknesses to help empower other women.