Missy Robertson, wife of Jase Robertson from the record-breaking reality television series "Duck Dynasty," always has had a strong faith and belief that drove her to succeed.
In addition to being a mother of three, she has contributed to the family business, Duck Commander, which started producing highly crafted duck calls and has grown to include other specialty hunting supplies.
In 2003, the Robertsons' daughter Mia was born with a cleft lip and palate, requiring five surgeries over 10 years. (Her first was at just 3 months old.) Since then, Robertson has started several clothing and jewelry lines, including Missy Robertson by Southern Fashion House, Laminin and Mia Moo Jewelry. Portions of the jewelry line go to the foundation she started, the Mia Moo Fund, which raises awareness and funds for research and treatments of cleft lip and palate.
Robertson, in addition to helping with the family business and maintaining an extensive public speaking schedule, has authored "Blessed, Blessed … Blessed," chronicling her family's journey through Mia's birth defect, and has co-authored "The Women of Duck Commander," with her mother- and sisters-in-law.
Recently Robertson took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions through email on motherhood, her faith, raising children in fame and starting a business.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you ever imagine you would be on TV?
I absolutely never thought I'd be on TV. I knew from an early age that I wanted to make a difference in people's lives in order for them to go to heaven. Coupling that with TV didn't seem plausible. God has a funny way of furthering his kingdom sometimes.
Did your husband have a beard when you started dating? No!
Have you ever asked him to shave it?
Yes! He always grew it out for duck season but would shave the day after duck season was over each year. Since "Duck Dynasty," he has kept it year-round. Believe me — I can't wait until we get the "all clear" so he can shave again. He's just too darn cute under all that hair!
You and your husband have been very open about your daughter Mia's health struggles. How has this journey changed your understanding of what it means to be a mother?
Being a mother is wonderful. It's helped me understand my Father's love for me. Even though he lets us go through struggles, I understand more now that they help us grow in our dependence and gratitude for him and his ultimate sacrifice. This life is not about me. It's about Jesus.
You and your family seem to have stayed grounded in the midst of fame, a business success and controversy. How do you balance that with family time, volunteer work, your businesses and time for yourself?
We vowed to stay together with or without the TV show. When fame or monetary success is never your goal in life, it's not difficult to see it as "icing on the cake" rather than an ultimatum. We loved our life before all that, and we love our life now. We also understand that it all came from God.
Is there anything you personally do to relax or unwind?
I love sitting on my back porch and listening to Christian radio, the waterfall in my pool and Mia with her cousins on the trampoline. Their laughter is one of the best sounds in the world. In fact, that's where I am right now as I'm typing these answers.
What has been your biggest success until now?
My children have been, are and most likely will be my biggest success. God entrusted three beautiful souls to me to raise and point toward him. I pray every day they keep on his path. I could not be more proud of each of them. They have surpassed every one of my dreams for them. They all work hard, are kind and inclusive of all people around them. Most importantly ... they understand that without Jesus, we are nothing. They also understand that they have and will mess up, but that they can go to their Father in heaven and their parents on earth for forgiveness and understanding. Success!
What message do you have for women who are thinking about starting their own businesses?
Pray long and hard. It's a difficult task that requires much time, effort, money and even heartache. I also believe that there is no better time than right now to take the chance.
After your faith and your family, how do you decide what priorities to invest your time in?
Again, lots of prayer. Jase and I have had many offers and opportunities presented to us, but we have taken each one very serious in order to make sure it is what is best for our family and for shining the light on Jesus. Each opportunity is different [from] the next. Right now, we're taking some time off to rest and re-evaluate what our next steps will be after "Duck Dynasty." Jase is playing a little golf, and I'm enjoying being able to travel to see [my sons] Reed and Cole, who are currently living in Nashville and Malibu, and spending time with Mia and all her activities.
What message will you bring to the women attending Ladies Day at Olivet Nazarene University?
I will be sharing a little from my own childhood, since people don't know very much about my own background, and how that has shaped me and my faith. We all have a story — actually multiple stories — but we can all learn from them just how much we are loved by and valuable to our Creator. If we understand those key factors, we can learn to let him use us.
How did you become a Christian?
I grew up with a dad as a preacher and a mom as a Christian school music teacher. I can't remember a time I didn't know about Jesus.