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Meet Jana Kalusha-Mascionoi of Piccolo Italiano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jana Kalusha-Mascionoi.

Jana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a full-time mom, a part-time preschool teacher who believes experiences are more important than things, travel is one of the best ways to learn compassion for other cultures, and now is the time to make memories with the ones you love.

I was fortunate to marry an Italian from Rome, so for me, that means family vacations in Italy! I’m originally from Kansas City and moved to New York City to work in the fashion industry after college. When I met my husband, I moved to Los Angeles, where I started a small, online business selling Mediterranean inspired gifts. Closing the store after having my daughter opened up room for another passion of mine, early childhood education. Currently, I work part-time as an assistant teacher at a pre-school in Phoenix, Arizona, where I live with my daughter and husband.

In March of last year, I launched the reference website and blog, www.mypiccoloitaliano.com, combining my passion for kids, education, and Italian Travel. Friends have often come to me for help in planning their Italian vacations to Italy. My goal with Piccolo Italiano is to inspire and help MORE people plan their trip to Italy with their family.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am still in the beginning stages of building my presence on-line and establishing myself as a “go-to” person for travel advice to Italy with kids. One of my biggest struggles is finding the time to do “all the things.” Marketing my website through social media is extremely time-consuming. I feel a constant battle between creating new useful content and making sure the content I have already created gets seen.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Most family travel bloggers are focused on sharing their family vacations all over the world. While watching other people traveling can be inspiring, the focus of my website and blog isn’t really about my family and me. It’s about providing tips and resources to help my readers plan their trips to one of the most child-friendly counties in the world, Italy.

As someone who is married to an Italian and has traveled there many times, I can provide my perspective on going to Italy with kids. As a teacher, I can offer advice on what is age-appropriate for kids and how to make the trip both fun and educational.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Consistency and drive are essential to making an online business successful. To increase SEO and gain credibility with my readers, I have to show up with useful information consistently.

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