Today we talk to coffee-holic, New Jersey-born, Bianca Smith, mother of 3 teens, Entrepreneur and Virtual Book-Keeper, who has juggled several careers spanning the military, childcare and banking whilst completing her MBA with accountancy studies on the move.
You sound like a woman with her head firmly on her shoulders and you got married very young, at 20, how were you so sure of your decision?
I am the third of six girls raised by a single mother so I feel I grew up faster and matured more than most. I joined the military at 18 and moved to Germany. On day one I met my husband, and we just connected straight away. Northern girl meets southern boy. I realised during his first deployment away for 6 months that he was the one. As did he and on his return he asked me to marry him. Here we are almost 17 years and 3 kids later.
This is your second stint in Madrid, how did you find settling here this time compared to the first time in 2009?
Back then it was quite hard as I didn´t speak good Spanish, I had 3 kids under 5 and I was also studying for my Bachelor´s degree. Fortunately this time it´s a lot easier as my Spanish is much better and the kids are older and I managed to complete my Master´s before moving back here in 2018. Being an avid coffee drinker has also helped me meet lots of new people over many cups of coffee round the city.
You come across as someone with a very strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit and you´ve often combined motherhood with studying and working.
I started working at 13 and having various mentors over the years has helped a lot. I gave up my happy military career on the birth of our 3rd child. Two years later I worked in a daycare centre with a view to setting up my own as I adore kids. However, our nomadic lifestyle put paid to that. I´ve also worked in a bank and did an MBA in Accounting and right now I have my own business as a virtual bookkeeper.
You are a keen scrapbooker – can you tell us what that is and what you like about it?
Scrapbooking gives me a creative outlet. When you look through my scrapbooks from beginning to end it’s a story filled with pictures, stickers and colors. My kids love to pore over them.
As an avid reader yourself you have set up a book club, what type of books do you like to read and why?
I´m rarely without a book or in a bookclub. I start one wherever I move to if there isn´t one already. Reading lets me escape into the world of the book. My favorite author is James Patterson and I’m a real fan of books on World War 2 and North Korea.
What is your secret Madrid?
My favorite thing to do is sit at in the Retiro with a cup of coffee and watch the fascinating ebb and flow of different people streaming through. However, on a sunny Sunday afternoon you´ll often find me and my family in the unspoilt Parque de Juan Carlos in Barajas.
If you could wave a magic wand what would you do next in your life?
We´re in a great phase of settled family life right now. By 2021 I hope to get back into accounting and own a Virtual Accountant agency. I can be very persistent and once I start something I will always finish.