Folks we Love with Katie Sarvas, co-founder of Wigged Out
I have been friends with Katie longer than anyone else (outside of my immediate family) in my life. I met her almost 30 years ago, when we were 5 years old. Our bond began over french fries and swimming lessons, gradually grew to include peach Snapple, card games, and boy craziness, and now we are simultaneously journeying through motherhood. We navigated our first crushes together, begged for sleepovers (please, please we're on our knees!), fought like sisters (i.e., stole each other Barbie's), and loved like sisters. Katie is from Phoenix, she did a solid stint in LA working in PR, and then relocated back home to the sanity of Arizona.
I love Katie for a lot of reasons, but some of her best qualities are her dependability, her gigantic capacity for compassion and love, and her efficiency of taking matters close to the heart and turning them into action. Years ago, one of Katie's dearest friends was going through chemo to treat her cancer just a couple of months before her wedding. Katie and some of her girlfriends wanted to help in some way, and Wigged Out was born. Instead of stopping after helping their friend, Katie and her friends grew Wigged Out into a beautiful non-profit organization, which provides wigs, and all things hair, to individuals going through hair loss from medical treatment. Katie will always hold a special, dear place in my heart and I am so happy to share her with you!
contributed by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama
Who's in your family? Ages? Names?
Sophia “Sophie” Eileen Perry (13 months)
Emma Elizabeth Perry (due Aug 1)
Co-founder of Wigged Out
Can you tell us more about Wigged Out?
Wigged Out is nonprofit organization that helps to provide wigs, hairpieces and hair accessories to woman, children and men suffering from any kind of medically related hair loss. It started as a group of women wanting to do something nice for their girlfriend that was going through chemo just months before her wedding.
How do you unwind?
Exercise has always been a release for me. Being able to just check out for an hour to do spin or Pilates, go for a long walk, or a hike helps me reset. The endorphins don’t hurt either!
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
We live in a very family friendly neighborhood where the weather is gorgeous 8 months of the year, so we spend a lot of time riding bikes, playing outside and swimming. There is a farmers market every Saturday near our house, and walking or biking for brunch has become somewhat of a ritual.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Sophie is only saying a few things here and there but she is the biggest teaser. She loves to tease us with food, toys, kisses, etc. It’s so playful and sweet and just seems to be a natural part of her personality.
What are the best and worst things people said to you when you were pregnant?
Oh goodness. When I was just starting to really show with my first we were heading to the lake for the weekend and had stopped at the gas station. The cashier asked me how far along I was and after telling her 18 weeks she responded in shock, “Oh my! Are you having twins?” When I proceeded to laugh it off and tell her that we were “pretty positive there was only one in there” she argued back “Are you sure? There has to be two in there.”
What was the best and worst thing about giving birth?
Giving birth is both a magical and terrifying experience. You don’t really know what to expect or how the birthing process is going to go. I had a bad reaction to the epidural so that was probably the worst part of it for me. The best part, besides the fact that I got a beautiful baby girl at the end, was being able to see her come out. I asked for a mirror while I was pushing to help motivate me. It is truly amazing what the female body is capable of.
What is something you wish you had known before having kids?
How much you will question and second guess yourself. Being a parent means you are constantly wondering if you are doing what’s best for them. Mom guilt is a real thing!
How has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids? How do you stay connected?
It’s easy to get caught up in what the baby is doing. We make it a point to have date nights and get away just the two of us once in a while. I also think becoming parents has brought us so much closer. No one can truly understand what you are going through like your significant other. We’ve become partners on a deeper level.
Any tips to how you balance it all?
I’m a big believer in “it takes a village”. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and I think it not only makes you a better parent, but also a better person. I also think as Moms (and Dads) we need to cut ourselves some slack.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody's parent?
The responsibility that ultimately we are shaping who this little person will turn out to be. Will she be kind? Generous? Successful?
What advice would you give a parent-to-be?
I think the best advice I could give someone is that there is no “right way” to parent and to remember everything is a phase.
What is the best advice you have every received?
My husbands 90 year old Nonie (Grandmother) came to visit me when Sophie was about a week old. She asked me how I was doing and if I was taking care of myself. I answered her politely that I was “trying” and she grabbed me by the hand, looked straight into my eyes and told me “honey, you take care of you first.” “As long as you are ok, she will be ok.” This has really stuck with my in the first year of motherhood.
I’ve also come to live by the words “this too shall pass”
How can people get more involved with Wigged Out?
There a few ways folks can get involved besides making a donation (which we always are in need of). Volunteering at and/or sponsoring one of our annual events, referring applicants and/or wig boutiques that may want to partner with us, follow, like and share on social media and grant opportunities are always welcomed as well.
Follow Wigged Out