With four kids and two jobs, Tanette Mucino still finds a way to be artistic, journalistic

Tanette Mucino also works is a bartender at Old Chicago where she can show off her colorful tattoos.

Tanette Mucino has taken up photography to feed her artistic side.


Tanette Mucino can pour you a pretty good cocktail.

And she can sell you a house.

The longtime Grand Valley resident has made her mark on many facets of the local community, but what’s most impressive is the way she spreads her time.

In addition to her full-time jobs as a bartender at Old Chicago and an associate broker at Independence Realty, Mucino has four kids and a husband at home — keeping her busy from the sound of the morning’s first alarm before 7 a.m. until the final flicker of light as she leaves for home around 2:30 a.m., after what’s usually a pretty lucrative tip-making night.

“I know when to say when,” Mucino said of the potential of overworking herself. “I’ll take a day off when I need to. With real estate I can work from home, and with bartending it’s always possible to give away a shift to make one of my kids’ events. Both jobs are pretty flexible, and I forgive myself if I slack.”

Slacking for her compares to any normal employee’s heaviest workweek.

“Eww, I don’t know,” she said, when asked how many hours she puts in each week. “I’m afraid to say, because I work so much at home, too.”

Mucino has an inviting personality, which allows her to excel at her various obligations. She’ll serve you happy hour pizza and firehouse hot wings with a smile, and will be prompt when she picks you up to look at real estate properties in her 2007 Chevy Suburban — which doubles as the family bus.

“It’s the best investment I’ve ever made,” Mucino said. “I knew from the time I tried to fit three car seats into my (Chevy) Impala, that it was time to get a new car. I can fit three car seats in the Suburban. I couldn’t go anywhere without it.”

After carting potential homebuyers from one end of the valley to the other — don’t mind the car seats — the places she goes in the Suburban range from dance class for 5-year-old Autumn and 3-year-old Zoe, to basketball practice, orchestra and jazz band for 13-year-old Brandon. Autumn’s about to start soccer soon, and 1 1/2 –year old Moses is just starting to find his way around the world.

With so many activities consuming each day, Mucino’s outlet away from the stresses of work comes in the form of art.

Her love for tattoos is best shown on her arms, where the green, purple and orange hues are eye-catching. Mythology and literature have always intrigued Mucino, and it shows in her “Old World” tattoos, which include artwork such as Medusa and Poseidon.

“I really get into the artist,” she said. “It’s like wearing art. Instead of buying a painting for your wall, you wear it on your body. It’s personal and something other people don’t have.”

Mucino’s passion for photography allows her to freeze her children’s extracurricular activities in time. The best gift she gave for Christmas this year was a video-like slideshow that made her mom cry, Mucino said.

“I enjoyed it so much. I love to mess around with photos,” Mucino said. “I always wanted to go to film school, but that wasn’t a reality. You don’t just move away with kids like that.”

Instead, Mucino is taking an alternate route.

And she doesn’t mind if it takes a while to get there.

After attending Mesa State College for English literature and writing, Mucino whets her appetite for writing by submitting stories to The Spot Magazine, an online magazine that’s dedicated to everything subculture — art, music, and food & drink.

The Spot Magazine’s first issue launched Dec. 3 and garnered more than 4,000 online readers; the publication’s Facebook page has accumulated more than 400 fans.

Tyler Malnerich, co-creator of the magazine with Summer Estella, has high praise for Mucino’s work ethic.

“We brought Tanette on in the very beginning and she’s been a great help,” Malnerich said. “She’s always one of the first people to have her articles in on time and she needs the least editing. She’s the queen of multitasking.”

Multitasking is something Mucino does well, although it’s hard to get her to admit it.

“I forget stuff all the time,” she said. “I’m unorganized sometimes, but my mom helps me out with stuff. She helps clean up after the kids when I’m busy.”

Mucino’s been busy bartending and serving at Old Chicago since 1998, and she’s been selling real estate for almost four years.

But the pieces are slowly coming together for Mucino to be able to ditch her day jobs for her dream.

She recently received her business license for photography and has plans to unveil Tanette Lee Photography at a wedding in August.

She’s only three classes away from a bachelor’s degree at Mesa State College, and plans to finish by taking one class at a time starting this fall. She’s also purchased an Apple iMac, which makes her beam when she talks about it.

“I was super excited to get it (iMac). I’m finally starting to piece together all of the stuff I need,” Mucino said. “It’s what I love to do, write and take photos. I’ll keep working other jobs, but ideally that’s what I want to do.”

Scott Bialkowski, a senior managing partner at Old Chicago, said he doesn’t know how Mucino accomplishes all that she does.

“She’s a vital part of our success,” he said. “She has great customer service skills, always has a positive attitude, and always goes above and beyond. She’s a fun competitor and always works extra hard when anything is incentive-based.”

Mucino always seems to be occupied, but on the fortunate chance she gets the opportunity to escape, she takes her Nikon D300s camera with her.

After all, there’s no telling what activity she’ll be pursuing next.

That is, after she picks up her children from soccer practice, dance class and jazz band.


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