When Sophia and Stella started pre-school 3 at fabulous St. Thecla I was just as nervous as them. We were new to the school and drop-off stressed me out. Thankfully, St. Thecla is a warm and welcoming school and the girls quickly made friends with their classmates. Thankfully, I met some great parents and we became friends too.
Margret's mom, Polia Towey was one of my new friends and gradually over drop-off and pick-up chats and park playdates I learned more about her background. She was born and raised in Bulgaria. Polia owned and operated a wholesale company in the textile industry. The business, which imported textiles from Dubai, UAE and Milan, Italy, was the first and largest of its kind to give customers current market and product trends. I was so impressed with her entrepreneurial spirit and a bit in awe as she talked about her travels and business deals. It was awesome. She eventually shared that she had successful sales relationships with textile manufacturers, such as Giorgio Armani, Doice e Gabana, Krizia, Versace and Prada. Again, I was so impressed and thought maybe I should step up my usual drop-off outfit of yoga pants! Polia also casually mentioned that she is fluent in Bulgarian, French, Italian, Macedonian, Serbian and Russian. Amazing! Her passion for working hard, helping her clients, and resolving problems came through in all of her stories.
While Polia met her fantastic husband in Bulgaria, he is a police officer from Chicago and they live in the neighborhood with their darling daughter Margret. Polia and I would occasionally talk about juggling kids, careers, and family. Polia thrived on the relationships with clients and the ability to help them pursue their dreams. She enjoyed the research aspect and designing a product that met their specific needs and budgets. I could see the entrepreneurial spirit in her and was so happy when she shared last year that she becoming a real estate agent. One of the special things about motherhood is that it allows you to assess where you've been, where you are with your family, what your priorities and needs are, and then the ability to design a career option that will work for you. While Polia's textile door closed, she had a beautiful family and life in Chicago and the real estate door was swinging open.
I recently had coffee with Polia and talked with her about real estate in the Northwest side of Chicago. I asked Polia about the differences from Bulgaria and in the states. She shared that people are very busy in America, it is a fast life and your home is really important. She shared that your home is your base and can help keep your kids and family be organized. Polia talked about the importance of looking at a potential home with how it can help your busy lifestyle - does it have a nice family room for entertaining, does it have a basement that the kids can play in, does the garage have storage for sports gear, bikes, snowblowers, etc. She also talked about one of the great benefits of this part of Chicago is the fantastic yards. Our neighborhoods are perfect for cook-outs, swing sets, and gardens! There are plenty of quiet streets for walking pets and kids, stretches of restaurants, and shopping for all tastes.
Polia loves the small business shops along Northwest Highway and we're all thrilled about the new Starbucks on Harlem Avenue. Polia shared that from families to single people, they are attracted to our neighborhood for the great restaurants in Edison Park, the shopping and dining in Park Ridge, the welcoming community in Harwood Heights, the activities in Niles, and the great events from the Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce. We love the St. Patrick's Day Northwest side parade and can't wait for the Memorial Day parade.
I asked Polia what advice she has for a home seller and she shared that it is important to get the real value of your home. She said it is important to know what you love about your home and your home's best features. She said to seek buyers who will appreciate your home and the home's potential. Polia shared that it is important to define how quickly you want to sell your home and recognize how attractive your price would be to home buyers. The Spring market is open, is getting faster, and people are ready to buy and sell. Now is a hot time to sell and buy because families want to have their kids moved for the start of school.
I also asked Polia what advice she had for a home buyer and she talked about the importance of looking at how much money you would like to spend and what you can afford to frame your search. Next, you should look at what areas you would like to live, if the type of street matters, what you are looking for in a neighborhood, do you need to be near schools, do you want to walk to restaurants, and other priorities for your move. Polia shared that when you go to look at the home, you often have a feeling inside if you like it or not. It is important though to look past if something is not updated. You have an opportunity to decorate by your taste and should look at the bigger picture. If you are willing to update and fix up a home you can sometimes get a better price.
Polia and I also talked about juggling being a mom and an entrepreneur. She shared that it is nice to teach your children the importance of hard work and that from hard work comes success. I agree! Polia clearly recognizes that there are so many real estate agents in the Chicagoland area. But that is the beauty of America. You can come here and create your own dream. You can open your own door and help people achieve their dreams. People can choose the agent that best fits them, the real estate agent that understands their culture, and wants to help others realize their dreams.