Empowered by Fiona Kong of Home Sweet Homes Journal
Join us for a peek inside the empowering world of Fiona Kong. After working as an analyst at Yahoo for 7 years Fiona was laid off at the end of 2019. This was also the same year she and her son’s father separated. And the dawn of the COVID pandemic. In comes the power of feeling empowered! A motivation which led single first-generation Asian American mom, Fiona Kong to start Home Sweet Homes Journal as a first of its kind tool for successful co-parenting.
Read on and be inspired by Fiona Kong in this edition of the Lh Empowered Women Empower series.
Be Empowered by Fiona Kong, Founder & Managing Director of Home Sweet Homes Journal
Love Happens: As our name and the tagline of our publisher, KOKET, denotes, at Love Happens, we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love. When did your love affair with entrepreneurship begin? How did it make you feel?
Fiona Kong: I didn’t intentionally set out to become an entrepreneur, rather, I’d like to say it found me and it instinctively felt right. My love affair began when I came up with my Home Sweet Homes co-parenting journal that travels with kids between households. My son’s dad and I had just started using a $2 planner I purchased as a way to share information about our son between households and the very first time I got it back and was able to read about his day and what he did, I knew it was something special and felt like I was onto something.
Just like they say you know when you fall in love with a person, this was a similar experience where I felt such a strong belief in my idea and wanted to make it come to fruition. Since then, although it’s been full of challenges, creating my co-parenting journal and business has truly been a labor of love.
Lh: Tell us about your career change from an analyst at Yahoo to an entrepreneur and founder of Home Sweet Homes Journal?
Fiona: It was in late 2019 when Yahoo laid me off. A part of me felt scared being a single mom but at the same time, I also felt things would be okay. It was during the pandemic when I came up with my co-parenting journal idea and decided to pursue it as a business since many companies were not hiring.
Getting laid off was a blessing in disguise as it led me to not only help my own family but it fueled my passion for helping others, specifically children of divorce. Although there are many benefits to working a corporate job, founding the HSH journal has been incredibly fulfilling, rewarding and healing knowing that I created something that is doing good in the world.
Lh: How does Home Sweet Homes Journal & Planner bring stability to co-parenting?
Fiona: It is a truly unique tool and approach to co-parenting by putting the child front and center and focusing on their needs. Using Home Sweet Homes provides a unique way and easy way to communicate between homes for all parties. For split families, it allows for both parents to still be involved in your child’s life and feel connected as a family.
Lh: How do you describe the perfect co-parenting experience?
Fiona: Co-parenting is difficult all around whether you get along with your child’s other parent or not. I don’t know if the perfect co-parenting experience exists but the ideal situation is one where both parents make decisions and act based on what’s best for the child.
I believe treating your co-parent with respect and honoring their relationship with your child is really important because they will always be your child’s family.
Co-parenting also needs to involve having open conversations with your child about their experience living in two homes so you can understand their feelings and what it’s like for them to navigate their dual lives.
Lh: Why do you believe journaling is so effective and what do you think people can learn from this tool?
Fiona: Journaling is proven to be beneficial for mental health, stress relief, expressing emotions, open communication, uncovering fears, developing self-awareness and so much more. Taking the time to intentionally reflect is a wonderful and needed activity that can really help kids of divorce that have to deal with so much more complexity in their lives.
The Home Sweet Homes co-parenting journal gives kids a platform to process big feelings and events going on in their lives while helping parents see life through their child’s eyes. It is a tool that holds space for their needs and feelings, and helps them embrace the opportunity to do hard things. For co-parents, our journal helps you better understand your child and make better choices as to how you guide our kids.
Lh: What is Home Sweet Homes Journal to you?
Fiona: It’s a way to foster and nurture the bond between a child and parent for life which I believe is so instrumental in setting kids up for success.
Having lived through a tough childhood, one where my family didn’t express emotions and lacked deep connection, I want all kids of divorce to feel like they’re still a family and to know they are heard and that their voice matters.
When I look back at my son’s prior journals, it’s filled with his dad’s, my son’s and my writing, photos, drawings, and more. I see so much love and memories that I hope my son and all kids of divorce will never doubt their parent’s love for them.
Lh: If you could give one bit of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Fiona: I’d tell my younger self to know and believe you are worthy. I spent so much of my life not appreciating or loving myself and it really affected my self confidence. Everything we do is driven by our mental state so that self belief will get you further than anything else in life.
Lh: What empowers you most?
Fiona: Living with purpose, continually discovering and working toward being my true self, being the best mom to my son that I can be and helping others through my co-parenting journal are what drives me and gets me up every day.
Lh: Do you have any mottos or favorite quotes you like to live by?
Fiona: One of my favorite mottos is Be the healer of your heart, holder of your peace. There is nobody that can do things for you, and so many things outside of our control. It is up to ourselves to determine and choose how we want to live, our attitudes and what we allow into our lives.
Lh: What is next for Fiona Kong?
Fiona: I’m taking one day at a time! I have quite a few ideas that are brewing. Late last year, I launched my affirmation product line of t-shirts and pencils that tie in with the affirmations presented in the journal but are for everyone! I have plans to release several new products later this year and am also thinking about different journal versions so stay tuned!