Talk about multi-tasking. These days, many modern moms are juggling running a household with managing their own business. They are taking problems they encounter with their own families, finding unique solutions, and turning them into business models.
Mompreneurs, the term coined in the late 1990s by Ellen Parlapiano and Pat Cobe, co-authors of Mompreneurs: A Mother’s Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success and founders of www.mompreneursonline.com, are a growing group.
According to the National Women’s Business Council, about 30 percent of U.S. companies are owned by women, and a third of the trademarks granted to individuals and sole proprietorships went to women.
“The engine that has been driving the mompreneur movement is the societal change that now says it’s OK for women to be a mother and a wife and a powerful businesswoman,” said Liliana Paez of Miami, author of Female Power: A Women’s Guide to Becoming a Millionaire. “Technology has made it possible for women to manage their families and work life, while being a mompreneur has made it possible for them to be the owners of their own time.”
Teana McDonald of Margate, a mom of two and president of the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, said women have realized that they can make a difference at home and in the office.
“Am I at every event that my kids have? No. But, I am always the one to drop them off at school or camp and pick them up,” she said. “We have finally figured out that we can have it all and be successful in the process. We are leading by example and creating a healthy environment for our kids.”
Here are five moms who turned their clever solutions to everyday family dilemmas into viable businesses. Find more moms taking care of business in the Mom, Inc. series on MomsMiami.com, the Miami Herald’s online parenting community, where these stories originally ran.
Lourdes Leon-Vega of Coral Gables got pregnant with her second child 10 years after the birth of her first, and was faced with a dizzying array of new baby products. Then after several weeks of bed rest and the premature birth of daughter, Alexa, the Type-A mom was forced to rely on friends and family for help.
Leon-Vega thought there should be a system to help new moms before and after the birth, and created Tutti Bambini, www.tutti-bambini.com, a maternity concierge service and baby boutique. She rented a facility to offer personal consultations and classes for new and expecting families, such as Baby 101 and prenatal fitness. Prices range from $45 for an individual class to $250 and up for a package.
Leon-Vega had previously worked in the family business, Leon Medical Centers, which offers everything under one roof for Medicare patients. It inspired Leon-Vega to offer a one-stop shop to new and expecting families.
Leon-Vega found a 1,500 square-foot space to lease in South Miami. “I wanted a place where moms could go and be comfortable and talk about their needs,” she said. She flew a certified baby planner in from Colorado to certify herself and two staff members.
Tutti Bambini opened its doors in August 2011. Classes like sibling training and preparing for multiples were added. A baby and children’s boutique was set up in the facility, along with a mock nursery. Leon-Vega now has a staff of three that offers custom packages, like helping international clients who move to the U.S. for their birth find apartments or cars.