Six months after our daughter was born, my husband and I discussed the possibility of me taking a hiatus from the typical nine-to-five office routine. We reviewed our finances, evaluated our life goals, separated our wants from our needs and calculated a budget. Jumping into the much-too-often-stereotyped role of stay-at-home mom was a calculated but scary move. It brought me many of the proverbial joys and challenges that all — or at least most — moms discuss.
When my daughter turned 2, I started missing certain aspects of my career and decided to follow the paths blazed by “momtrepreneurs” — women who started and ran successful businesses from their homes. I formed my own freelance communications business and took on a few clients at a time. I also began speaking at events and started a babysitting co-op in my city to help with child care.
I was on a roll, and it worked for our family. But I’ve never considered myself a true momtrepreneur. While I had my own business, in many ways it was more like a hobby for me — at least in the beginning.
That’s not the case for the following three business moms — these mothers started their own businesses geared toward helping other moms:
Susan Carraretto and Janice Croze
Businesses: 5 Minutes for Mom.com, Pedal Cars & Retro Collectables, A Rocking Horse to Love
Identical twin sisters Susan Carraretto and Janice Croze run three businesses together: Two are toy stores that they manage with their own mother, and one is a successful website with more than 65,000 subscribers.
5 Minutes for Mom.com is basically an online Grand Central Station for moms — Carretto and Croze define a mom as anyone “who loves children and is interested in the types of things that generally interest moms.” Like most professional blogs, 5 Minutes for Mom generates revenue from ads.
Moms can find a plethora of information at the site on topics that include “going green,” “hot deals,” “balancing work and home” and much more. The sisters also provide consulting services to help companies promote their brands and manage the blog’s five sister sites.
The twins’ toy stores are Pedal Cars & Retro Collectables and A Rocking Horse to Love. Both stores sell toys that promote healthy childhood development patterns. That’s something moms love.
Stacy Harfert is one of the Huggies 2011 MomInspired award winners for inventing a time-saving product for anyone who changes a lot of diapers.
When Harfert was pregnant with her second son, she was trying to organize a space for the baby. A diaper changing station can take up a lot of real estate in a nursery, and Harfert was having trouble finding a place to put the baby wipes. She needed them to be out of reach from her toddler, but still have easy access herself.
Harfert’s solution? The Bobee.
The Bobee is a cute box that mounts on a wall and holds both diapers and wipes — a little product that saves a lot of time and space. Of course, now that the product has been created, Harfert’s next step is the selling side. She told Huggies that the Bobee has had success with online sales, both nationally and internationally. Harfert now hopes to extend her creation into the wholesale market.
Business: Simple Living Media
Simple Living Media began in 2008 as the blog Simple Mom. Today, Tsh Oxenrider‘s business has become a productivity channel for home managers. She describes it as being like Zen Habits “only with an apron.” Simple Living Media contains six blogs (each with its own blogger) and a popular podcast. The organization has more than 25 contributors, both women and men.
The driving force behind Oxenrider’s business is her true intent of helping moms (and others) live fuller lives with less stress.
“When we find solutions for cutting everyday life clutter, we’re taking care of our family, our home, and ourselves. And I firmly believe that when Mom (Dad, too) is doing well, the whole family thrives” Oxenrider wrote on her blog.
Oxenrider also is an author. She has written the books Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living and One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler.