Back around Mother’s Day, I wrote a post highlighting a bunch of my talented mom friends who also happen to own wonderful businesses geared toward other moms. It was a hit! And since I keep connecting with more talented women, I want to keep introducing them to you. (And if you have a friend/family member/know someone who knows someone really cool, please let me know. I hope to do this more regularly.)
One of my favorite things about BlogHer is meeting inspiring people (and eating free s’mores…but mostly the first one). I absolutely loved what the women below are doing—and I know you will too. Enjoy getting to know some smart, savvy moms!
Mother of Julian (7) and Scarlett (4)
RookieMoms.com& The Rookie Mom’s Handbook (Quirk Books, 2008)
Amy’s Intro: I met Whitney and Heather at BlogHer ’10 after following their creative, insightful, funny, honest blog for years. This year I got to spend more time getting to know them and they’re just as lovely as I thought they’d be.
How long have you been in business? My partner (Heather) and I started blogging together in 2005 with no intentions of creating a business. Here we are six years later with two books under our (maternity) belts and a blog that thousands of people follow.
What inspired you to write your book? After we had about two hundred blog posts, I thought it was enough content to create a book, and since at the time, not a whole lot of people were reading blogs, we wanted to share our ideas for getting out of the house with a new baby (our first book offers 250 activities) in a format that anyone could access. I quit my marketing job to focus on writing and started freelancing for money and to keep my skills up to date.
This week’s mom “high”? My kids both swam on their backs across the deep end of a pool in a shared swimming lesson. Their pride in the accomplishment and the way they shared the moment as siblings was exactly what you fantasize all of motherhood will be. It was a “Watch this, Mommy!” that I actually loved watching.
This week’s mom “low”? My daughter currently has no interest in getting ready for preschool in the morning. The daily battle to get her dressed and brush her teeth makes me feel weak and ineffective. Today I heard myself compromising with her in a way that seemed pathetic: I agreed to let her bring her toothbrush and toothpaste to school to do the task there. Ridiculous. Also? I think I lost my everyday stroller, because I can’t find it and I know I used it just four days ago. How is that possible?
And the other, equally charming (not-so) Rookie Mom…
Mother of Holden (6.5), Milo (4.5) and Sawyer (2 months)
What inspired you to start your business? Ironically, it was that feeling of being stuck home with a newborn (my oldest) and having no idea what to do with him or myself. Whitney and I started making a list and our site was born. Now, here I am, almost exactly six years later and I’m stuck at home with a high-needs infant and I have many of the same challenges. One thing that is very different this time is that I have the confidence and the community to get through it. And an iPhone. (I guess that’s three things!)
This week’s mom low? Last night, I couldn’t find childcare to cover a work obligation so I parked the big boys with snacks in front of a movie (not even a good one!)—Star Wars Episode 1—and brought the baby in the office with me so I could get my work done. I felt frazzled and crazed. I put the screaming baby in his carrier and attempted to host a twitter party for an hour wondering, “what the hell am I doing?”
This week’s mom high? About a half hour after the low when I was still working, Sawyer was nursing at the desk and Milo walked in and said he was bored with the movie. I calmly asked him to bring in some craft supplies and work on a drawing on the floor of the office (rather than sternly sending him back to the movie-sitter). He was very happy to be close to the action. I felt like, “hey, I can do this.”
Mother of Austin (4) and Chase (20 months)
Co-Founder, Project Nursery
Amy’s Intro: I bumped into Melisa in the insane sponsor halls and recognized her from our time together at UCLA. I fell in love with Project Nursery just in time to find inspiration for decorating Pink’s room (you know, around the time she was 4 months…but then I got too tired, so now I just look on in awe of other people’s awesome decor).
How long have you been in business? Since 2008
What inspired you to start your business? I’ve always had a passion for design. So when I went from working full time to full-time mommy, I was hoping for the opportunity to reinvent myself and start a business from home. Partnering with my dear friend Pam was just the push I needed to get started. We used blogging as a platform to share our design ideas and advice. We believed there was a need for inspiring kid spaces and have been working ever since to become the online resource for baby’s first room and beyond!
This week’s mom “high”? My big one got out of bed late last night and came into the living room where I was sitting. He didn’t want water or have the need to pee. Instead, he gave me a huge hug and kiss and said, “Mom, I love you”. He then trotted off to bed. (It was only 20 minutes later that he screamed for water).
This week’s mom “low”? I try to do most of my writing in the evenings but I had a deadline and needed to submit an article first thing this morning. I placed my little guy in front of some musical instruments and walked away to quickly bang out a few last words on the computer. I heard some shaking sounds and thought, “How nice — he’s playing the maracas!” A few more minutes went by and I smelled Italian food? There he was standing in front of me holding a jar of Garlic Salt upside down, with the top off, shaking it vigorously. He had conducted a world tour of our home with it. And this was all before 7am….
Abbie Schiller & Samantha Kurtzman-Counter
Mothers of Charlie (1) and Ona (7); Jack (5)
The Mother Company
Amy’s Intro: The Rookie Moms introduced me to these lovely ladies whose great DVD had both of my boys talking about their feelings. A lot. (Maybe they could do a version for daddies!) And their site has some of the best parenting advice I’ve ever come across. (Besides mine, of course.)
How long have you been in business? Started The Mother Company 2 years ago, launched our first product for kids, “Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show” last October.
What inspired you to start your business? As parents, we really felt like there was a huge void in children’s media to help us with the many social/emotional issues we were facing with our young kids. With plenty of shows and resources aimed at ABC’s and 123’s, where were the resources to help us raise GOOD PEOPLE? So we created our Ruby’s Studio line of products: high quality, beautiful, helpful videos (on DVD and download), books, dolls (and soon apps and other related products), as well as TheMotherCo.com, which features renowned expert articles about these same essential parenting issues. You can watch the “Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show” trailer here—and tell us what you think!
This week’s mom “high”?
Abbie: While volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, in front of 23 seated-on-their-knees-on-the-rug-super-excited kids, I got the VCR (yes, VCR) from 1984 to actually work. My daughter gave me street cred points, I swear.
Sam: At my son’s school they were talking about how you “fill someone’s bucket” when you do something nice for them. Later, a teacher told me they were having a conversation about peace and Jack said “Peace fills the world’s bucket.” I almost cried!
This week’s mom “low”?
Abbie: I gave a fireman costume to my friend’s 2 year old who I was visiting for the weekend only to realize that the megaphone it came with made a horrid siren sound that the 2 year old wanted to listen to for hours. And hours. We all wanted to kill me for that gift.
Sam: When Jack wrote his first love note to someone besides me!
Mother of two kiddos under 5 years old. I call them my interns.
Improving the lives of families in need, one diaper at a time.
Amy’s Intro: Another friend of the Rookie Moms (see why I love them?), Lisa is doing really great work through Help A Mother Out. Be sure to check out her site and, well, help a mother (or two) out if you can.
How long have you been in business? March, 2009
What inspired you to start your business? HAMO started on a lark. I saw an Oprah show about struggling families in the Great Recession. Together with another friend we decided to reach out to some agencies to see what we could do to help. Come to find out, struggling moms were in dire need of diapers, which are not covered in programs like food stamps/WIC. When we learned that moms were stretching the use of one diaper a day, our heart broke and we were inspired to action.
This week’s mom “high”? Going on a special “date” to the aquarium with my youngest child, and accompanying my oldest on a school field trip. I know that one day when they are teens they may likely stage a revolt against doing anything with their mom. I’m trying to enjoy things as they are now.
This week’s mom “low”? No matter how hard I try, being crafty is just not in the cards for me. My kids may suffer from lack of crafty.
Mother of Izzy (11); and twins Ben (8) and Livi (8…obviously…)
MommyLITEonline.com where the mission is “Finding the Funny in Parenting Before Somebody Loses an Eye”
AND the author of “GOT MILF? The Modern Mom’s Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan”
Amy’s Intro: I met Sarah quickly at BlogHer ’10 and she happened to be one of the first people I ran into at BlogHer ’11. Watch her book trailer and you’ll know why I love her. She’s hilarious. In the smart kind of way. (And I’m not just saying that because she knows a lot of book publishers. Or am I? No, no. Really, she’s great.)
How long have you been published? My first book, “The Bridesmaid’s Guerrilla Handbook” (written under the pseudonym Sarah Stein) was published by Berkley Books in 1997 and shockingly still pays for a few new bras every year. My second humor book, “Got Milf?” was published this April. WOO HOO!
What inspired you to write your book? Somebody called me a MILF. I thought he was a crazy. Then I realized it would make great book material.
This week’s mom “high”? I met Chris Noth (Mr. Big) this past weekend. I’m still swooning…
This week’s mom “low”? I used the word “asshole” in front of my kids. Apparently, I owe them about $23.
What’s next? I am very excited to add that I have my first children’s book coming out next Spring. It’s called “On My Way to the Bath” and it is about a 6 year old girl who comes up with every reason on the planet to avoid getting in the bath. Michael Paraskevas (“Maggie and the Ferocious Beast” on Nick) illustrated it. I am so crazy excited about it I could plotz!