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Sunday, May 12, 2013

How 10 Mompreneurs Built their Business While Building a Family...

 Mompreneur is defined as:  A female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

 Being a Mom in today's go-go culture is hard enough as it is. Being both a Mom and an entrepreneur is an incredible task in this day and age. Despite that fact, a growing number of women are showing they are up for the challenge. In honor of Mother's Day I asked mompreneurs across the country the following question:

"Why do you think you've been successful as both an entrepreneur and a parent?"

I was fortunate enough to receive some amazing answers from some of the hardest working women on the planet. 


Mompreneur: Debbie Glickman
Business: Fairytale Wishes - Aromatherapy for kids

A:"I always put my children/family first. With that being said—My office is in my home so it makes it easier to be home when my kids get home and I really try not to work when they are around. Sometimes, of course that isn't possible. Also, I have a husband who is also an entrepreneur and he goes to work very early so he can be home before 5pm on most days so he really helps out with the kids. We sit down for dinner as a family at least 4-5 nights a week. Sometimes I am able to cook and sometimes we just go out or order something. The important thing is we are together as a family and able to check in with each other.

It is never easy to balance having a family and your own business. I am fortunate that we do not rely on my income to eat. :). So while my husband is the bread winner in our family it is wonderful to have something that I am growing at my own pace. With that being said, when you have your own business—you really never stop working. It is a constant effort to be balanced but I wouldn't trade my life for anything in the world. "

About Ms. Glickman: Is a wife and mother of two. She manufactures and distributes  aromatherapy sprays for kids to help them with common childhood fears and anxieties. All of her products are made in the USA and use ingredients derived from natural sources. Her mission is to give children everywhere a "Happily Ever After"


Momprenuer: Jenny Ford 
Businesses: MonkeyToes (painted shoes) & SugarLoco (Blog/Website for sugar addicts)
A:"I didn't feel like I was doing it all well - feeling like something was being given up in order for me to succeed at what I wanted to do.  I have listed Monkey Toes and my other business Sugar Loco ( for sale recently.  I am simplifying in this world of information overload to be with my family and make sure their being raised with good morals and ethics instead of letting everyone else do it for me.  I have three kiddos who are looking up to me, who are asking me for guidance and I am so blessed to be able to shut everything down and refocus my energy on growing good kids - and even more importantly great adults.  Probably going to be the biggest challenge I've ever taken on"
About Ms. Ford: Monkey Toes is a business Ms. Ford was inspired to start after taking a painting class with friends. While thumbing through an idea book she found a great idea for painted shoes. She developed her own designs, copyrighted them, found suppliers and ... Monkey Toes was born.  As mentioned above, Ms. Ford is taking a break currently to focus on her family. 

Mompreneur: Lisa Druxman
Business: (Fitness for Moms)
A: "I think I've been successful as a parent and an entrepreneur because of my vision. In my case, my vision is blended in to my work and my family. My purpose for the business was to create a career that was supportive of motherhood (for me and for my franchisees). Staying true to this has helped me stay focused as the business has grown. In many ways, I run my family much like my business. We have a mission statement, family meetings, goals and incentives!"
About Ms. Druxman:  A respected speaker and author, Druxman earned her Master's degree at San Diego State University in psychology with an emphasis in exercise adherence and weight control. She created the weight management program, L.E.A.N. Mommy® (Learn Eating Awareness and Nutrition) which is also the name of her book, by Hachette Books. For more about Ms. Druxman - click here


Mompreneur: Andrea Van Ness
Business: Thumbuddy to Love(positive thumbsucking aide)

A: “I believed in my product and myself and put a lot of hard work in to launch Thumbuddy To Love®”:
About Ms. Van Ness:  "Momprenuer Andrea Van Ness creates a better way to wean children from thumb sucking and pacifier sucking. Thumbuddy To Love® was born out of a necessity to help children let go of a comforting habit in a fun and positive way. Her A-HA moment came at 3 in the morning… she woke up and it dawned on her that since the time of her thumb sucking, there weren’t any positive teaching tools to help thumb suckers…only negative ones."


Mompreneur: Angelica J. Menefee,

A: "The thing that parenting and owning a business have in common is that both are my own creation. There is a direct correlation between the success of my children and business and the effort I put into nurturing them."
More about Ms. Menefee: Angel is the founder and president of Trampoline, Inc. and author of four foreign language programs in her Trampoline® Explorer series; art, music, and character development programs in her Trampoline® Scholar series; and physical education programs in her Trampoline® Competitor series. Mrs. Menefee earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture from Dickinson College where she spent her junior year abroad studying at the Universidad de Málaga in Málaga, Spain. 

Mompreneur: Lori Krolik

A: "Plan Your Time - I've been a professional organizer and productivity specialist since the time my kids were very young.  I learned quickly that managing a business and family required me to be focused and know what I needed to accomplish every day.  I keep a detailed calendar that includes all my meetings and appointments (as well as that of my kids).  I also keep a detailed task and project list so I can plan what I need to get done whether it's writing my newsletter, assessing the financial health of my business, or researching summer camps for my kids.  I've always kept set hours for client meetings and sometimes used evening hours to run the administrative side of my business.  This allows me to be focused on my kids when I'm with them.  I'm not worrying about getting out that client proposal while I'm watching my daughter's soccer game because I know I've planned the time to work on it later.  Compartmentalizing my life into work versus family has allowed me to grow a successful organizing practice while raising two great kids.  It's not always easy and oftentimes it's a serious juggling act, but I love what I do and challenging myself professionally has made me a more fulfilled and better mom." 
More about Ms. Krolik: Ms. Krolik, a Certified Productive Environment Specialist and Professional Organizer, is the owner of More Time For You.  She primarily works with residential, SOHO, and small business clients to create systems so that they can find what they need when they need it.  Lori’s 17+ years in the organizing field has resulted in thousands of clients who are more organized and productive as a result of working with her.  She loves helping people to create the space they love so they can live the life they want, whether at home or work.  She lives in Palo Alto, CA running her successful business and managing a busy household that includes her husband and two active kids.

Mompreneur: Dr. Heather Manley
A:"My children have played an active role in the creation of Human Body Detectives ( HBD); my children's health adventure books.  Having their input has empowered & allowed their confidence to grow, and has given HBD a playful, engaging aspect that I might not have been able to accomplish on my own. "

More about Dr. Manley: Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of the award winning Human Body Detectives, her children’s educational series of story-telling books, eBooks, and iPhone/iPad apps.  She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.


Mompreneur: Aimee Kandrac
Business: What Friends Do (online support network) 
A: "I believe it takes a village.  Both to raise my children and to raise my company.
Beyond my village of friends, I could not be where I am as a parent, or with my company, without my Mom and sister.  

I know my village is going to be there for my kids no matter what.  If I have to miss a ball game or recital, my kids will still have supporters with them on the bleachers or in the audience.  My village is on the look-out for my kids wherever they are.  I know any time I am running late for school pick-up I can call 15 different friends to help, and my kids feel safe and happy with any of these people.  My mom and sister are just as much a part of my children's lives as my husband and I are, which we all love!

The same is true for my company, which I started with my mom, for my sister's friend.  Without the love, encouragement and hard work from so many friends, WhatFriendsDo would not be where it is today.  Additionally, without the hard work and commitment of our team, the company will not continue to move forward.

Most importantly, I could not do this alone and I love and appreciate my village which surrounds me."
About Ms. Kandrac: Aimee Kandrac is the President and co-founder of WhatFriendsDo.  She is the mom to two kids, Claire 9 and Elliott 7, two cats and a husband, and continues to be an over-committed volunteer.

Mompreneur: Michal Chesal
Business:   Baby K'tan (baby sling) 

A: “As an entrepreneur who literally started from the ground up without outside funding, I love to share my experiences with other budding entrepreneurs. There are three tips I have to offer to anyone who is considering starting their own business.  First, do not take the world upon your shoulders!\ I wish I would have learned early on to let go of some responsibilities and delegate better to others. It's way too difficult to find enough hours in the day to get everything done properly. Even as our business has grown and we’ve hired additional help, I’ve found it hard to try not to do it all myself - but I’m learning! Second, I would suggest creating strong relationships with your customer base. This will give you a strong foundation and will help build trust for you, your company and your brand.  Everything else will follow. My third and final tip is one we’ve all been taught. The simplest way to put it is DO NOT give up! Things have a funny way of turning around in ways you never expected. The sky might look gray in the beginning, but there is always a blue sky behind it, and if you have a hard time seeing that yourself, make sure you surround yourself with friends & family that know it’s there! Don’t let any obstacles get you down so much that you consider giving up, keep on pushing. They say it takes at least 3 years to know if your business is going to succeed, and it will if you believe in it! If I’d known what I know now, I would have started earlier when I had the initial desire and inclination that our product would be a hit! I would not have waited and procrastinated and allowed typical start-up fears to rule my decisions!”
 About Ms. Chesal: Michal Chesal  co-founded the Florida-based juvenile products company Baby K’tan, LLC. It all started with my desire to provide for her son, Coby, who was born with Down syndrome. She wanted to carry him as much as possible for parent-child bonding. She can her co-founder experimented with different baby slings and carriers, improving and incorporating different aspects from all. The end result was a uniquely designed soft hybrid baby carrier that is an ideal blend of sling and wrap. 


Jessica Kim - photo from
Mompreneur: Jessica Kim
Business: BabbaCo - a monthly activity service for kids.

A: "I boil it down to 4 P's: passion, perseverance, people, and purpose. I find that there are so many parallels to being a parent and an entrepreneur. They both require unwavering PASSION - believing in what you do and what your role is as a mom and as a founder. I LOVE what I do and I LOVE being a mom. PERSEVERANCE is what separates the talkers and the doers. Life as an entrepreneur and as a mom is hard. There are lots of ups and downs, challenges, unexpected turns, and lots of behind-the-scenes hustle. You can't give up. It's not an option. You push because you love it and you believe in what you're doing. It's all about PEOPLE. Surround yourself with an amazing team, advisors, other parents, family, etc. Business and life are all about who you interact with. PURPOSE is the ultimate core. My purpose as a mom is to instill my kids with self-confidence, unconditional love, and inspiration to dream big. My purpose in starting BabbaCo is to empower parents to engage with their kids and instill that a realistic way that makes it possible.

It's definitely a juggling act, but I wouldn't want it any other way. The last and practical approach is the way I set priorities. It's not about creating a perfect balance every single day. It's not about equaling the number of hours I spend at home vs. work. It's about knowing what's important and where I need to be to make the most impact. It's a lopsided schedule that changes everyday, but I'm where I need to be where it counts."
More about Ms. Kim: Jessica was born and raised in New Jersey. She was the youngest of 3 kids. Her father was a psychiatrist (enough said) and his #1 goal was to protect his children's self-confidence. Her father once said  "if YOU believe in yourself, then everyone else will believe, too. Be yourself. Do what you love. Dream big because you can do it.” She went on raise a million dollars in capital for her first venture outside college. 

How about you? Are you a Mompreneur?Do you know of any mompreneurs? Are you a Dadpreneur going through similar circumstances? Let me know in the comments below. 


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