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Our Favourite Sites For Awesome WAHMs!

September 10, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

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There are a ton of really neat sites and communities out there, geared toward those that work the hardest — the kick butt work at home moms! Today I wanted to share a list of just a few which might be helpful to you fine ladies! Take care.

  1. WAHM.com is an informative online magazine for work at home mamas. The site is full of great articles about getting started as a WAHM, business opportunity listings and an active forum for chatting with others. Tons of advice and resources, especially for those new to the WAHM lifestyle.
  2. 5 Minutes For Mom isn’t necessarily WAHM specific, but it filled to the bring with great articles from seasoned pros and beginners alike. Definitely work a visit.
  3. WAHM Canada is, quite obviously, a great site specifically for Canadian WAHMs (like me!)
  4. Bizymoms is all about connecting moms and building community, especially within local circles. Great stuff!

Do you have a favourite WAHMish site? Do you chat with other WAHMs on forums?

Image source.

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: SmartSeat Dining Covers

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Today we’re chatting with Becky — the brilliant mom behind SmartSeat Dining Covers. This take-charge mama loves being able to spend more time with her family as she builds her successful home biz! Way to go, Becky!

01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a stay-at-home mom to two wonderful boys, ages 6 and 8.  Last year, I also became an accidental entrepreneur (I certainly didn’t set out to run my own business!)  My family and I live outside of Boston in Newton, MA.

02. What lead you to creating your own business?
We purchased a new dining room set a couple of years ago.  I wanted waterproof seat covers to protect my new upholstered dining room chairs from my two messy boys, but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.  The only waterproof covers on the market were made from plastic or vinyl, which my kids refuse to sit on.  I also didn’t want a full slip cover that would completely change the look of my chair.  The SmartSeat was my solution to the problem — a seat cover that is waterproof, comfortable, and attractive.  After getting positive feedback on my design from friends and family, my husband encouraged me to look into what it would take to have my covers manufactured. One thing led to another and I now run my company with the help of my husband and our third partner, who is a very close friend of our family and also a dad of two kids.

03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
I usually get an early start to the day (around 5:30) so that I can check email and get the lay of the land before the craziness begins.  It also is the only way that I can quietly enjoy my morning coffee!  Then I pack lunches and get the kids ready for school.  We are out the door by 7:30.  On the way home from school drop off, I swing by the post office to deliver any packages that are ready to go out to customers.
The rest of the day is a mix of emails, SEO time on facebook and twitter, processing orders, and, if I am lucky, a little bit of me time (either to exercise or meet up with a friend).  Around 3:00, I put my mom-hat back on, pick the boys up from school, and taxi them around to their various activities, help with homework, and make sure that dinner gets served.  We try to sit down for dinner together every night, although sometimes that means eating together on a soccer field before a game or practice!  Around 8:00, my boys head off to bed and my work day resumes.

04. What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
I think that it is so important to cut yourself some slack.  It is hard to be a working parent!  There are definitely good days and bad days.  But most days fall somewhere in between.  I try not to dwell on the bad moments.  I just pick myself up and keep moving forward!

05. The best part of being a WAHM? The worst?
The best part of being a WAHM is that I can contribute to my family’s financial well-being and still have the flexibility of being there for my kids before and after school.  I love that I am the one who gets to walk them into school every day and the one who gets the big hug at pick up time.  I also feel quite lucky to spend so much of my day with my boys.
The worst part of being a WAHM is that there sometimes just aren’t enough hours in the day.  But I think that is a problem for all working parents, not just those who are WAHM.

06. Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
Oh, I don’t know where to begin!  I’m a big fan of romantic comedies.  I read when I can — I think that my last favorite book was probably The Help or Water for Elephants.  And blog?  I come across too many good ones these days to choose only one favorite!

07. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I would love to continue doing what I am doing now, but on a larger scale.  I would love to see my product in retail stores.  And maybe if I’m lucky, we’ll even have a second or third product in our line.

Visit the SmartSeat website, check out their Facebook page and be sure to catch up on all their latest news by following @smartseatcover on Twitter!

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

One Year Of Freelance: A Business Woman’s Journey

June 6, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Back in April I mentioned one particularly savvy business woman, who was working solely freelance for the first time in her design career. Kathleen, of Jeremy & Kathleen, isn’t a work at home mama, but I’ve found the incredibly detailed journey of her first freelancing year to be inspiring, honest and bold. She loves to share her life through her blog and now, after one full year of freelance, she’s recapped her experiences — and it’s absolutely worth a peek!

Check out her look back here, and tiptoe through her discoveries and triumphs as she faces them all, head-on! This is one gal who doesn’t look back and I think we’ll be seeing some GREAT things from her in the future.

Visit Jeremy & Kathleen for more, and be sure to check out Kathleen’s contributions to the Twittersphere by following @andkathleen!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Katie Newman Gifts & Home

June 4, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Happy weekend, everyone! Today we’ve got a great interview with Katie Newman of Katie Newman Gifts & Home! One busy mama with a ton of entrepreneurial influence! Read on to learn more about her two great sites & her plans for the future.

01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I have chosen to stay home with my children for the past 15 years. I have one 15 year old daughter and one 9 year old son; they are the light of my life.  Prior to having children I worked for The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Colgate/Palmolive Company in sales and marketing so while I have loved being home with my children I also need an outlet for the driven and creative sides of myself as well as some supplemental income so I started an online boutique selling things I love such as cottage decor. It is still going strong; it’s called Katie Newman Gifts & Home.  I also just recently started a new venture that has gotten a great response. It is an online mall called Sassy Shops, where shops pay to have their business in my mall.  I heavily promote Sassy Shops all over the internet and on most social networks as well.  It saves the shops the time of marketing (which is in itself a full time job) and gives them more time to create their products and spend time with their family.  I have a special place in my heart for helping other women stay home with their children.

02. What lead you to creating your own business?
I was lead to create my own business because I have a very ambitious driven personality and while I have loved being home with my children I needed an outlet for that business and creative side of myself and need to make some money to supplement my husband’s income.

03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
A typical day in my life is getting my kids off to school in the mornings (unless it’s summer; that’s a whole different ballgame) and then sometimes I take a little nap because I am such a night owl (I sometimes work on my sites till the wee hours after the kids have gone to bed).  Then after coffee, morning devotion time and sometimes a little exercise I settle down at my computer to check all my emails (which is a lot with two businesses); I answer them and process any orders.  I then get on some of the major social networks and market the shops who are advertising in Sassy Shops, spend some time looking for new places to advertise on the internet, do link exchanging, list products in my boutique if needed and lots of other internet related activities.  I then break to do some of my household chores but am soon back on the computer.

04. What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
The best piece of advice I can give to fellow WAHMs is that you must not overlook the marketing aspect of your business.  You can create all the beautiful products in the world but if no one knows about them you won’t be able to sell them.  It’s an ongoing process that can’t be ignored. I would also say to be persisent but also patient because it can take some time to become known.

05. The best part of being a WAHM? The worst?
The best part about being a WAHM is that your family can still come first because you are your own boss and can make your own hours.  You determine your success; not someone else.  The worst part is that you can become distracted and can’t always work on your business when you want to; you have to be flexible and it can be very inconsistent.  Some months you will do better financially than others; there is no exact paycheck you can count on which is sometimes a bummer.

06. Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
My favorite blog is Counting Your Blessings: Lovely Blogs Non-Party, because it has links to lots of other beautiful blogs. My favorite music is contemporary christian music but I also love some of the classic rock and roll and some of the new age like Enya.  My favorite book is Friendship Bread; a great novel; you should definitely read it.  My favorite movie is Father of the Bride and P.S. I Love You.  Also the Twilight Series which you can blame on my teenage daughter.

07. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself still working on these two businesses and hopefully helping lots of other WAHMs with their businesses.

Find Katie online at Sassy Shops (and their Facebook page), Katie Newman Gifts & Home (and their Facebook page). You can also check out the Sassy Savvy Gal blog and be sure to follow @SassyShopKatie on Twitter!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Working Smart With Simple Mom’s Tsh Oxenreider

May 16, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Tsh Oxenreider is the brilliant and dedicated mind behind Simple Mom. Her blog, which was conceptualized in 2008, has since grown into a remarkable resource for home managers.

In a recent post, Tsh shares her fantastic motto for any and all work at home moms:

“Work smart, not just hard.”

Simple, yet ingenious.

From her site:

“Working smart means sitting like a sniper, aiming your efforts at a target, not barging in with a tommy gun and hoping to hit something of value.”

Applying this notion to her blogging career, which began as “a creative outlet with a possibly to fund [her] coffee habit”, she takes her readers through some incredibly useful steps which they might apply to their own situations, whether they are striking out as bloggers, or hoping to create their own success with a home business.

Click here to check out Tsh’s helpful post.

You can also find daily inspiration by following @SimpleMom on Twitter.

Image source.

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Kid’s Personalized Music

May 1, 2011 by  
Filed under blog, Featured Mom

This week we’re chatting with Victoria Blackney from Kid’s Personalized Music!

Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi, my name is Victoria Blackney and the women behind Kid’s Personalized Music. I am happily married to my husband of 31 years and I have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren. In addition to running my business, I enjoy boating, gardening, reading and spending time with my grandchildren.

What lead you to creating your own business?
In the summer of 2007, I was searching for a business opportunity and coincidentally came across music that sang a child’s name in every song at a festival in South Florida. Needless to say, I was sold mentally and walked away with 6 full-length cds that mentioned my grandchildren’s names up to 98 times throughout. At that moment, I knew this is what I was looking for. Four years later, here I am providing the same inspirational, educational and positive messages for kids and adults of all ages!

What advice do you have for fellow WAHMs?
My biggest challenge is to be consistent with everyday marketing, even if it is handing out one business card, that’s one more person that knows what I offer. My easiest task is staying organized. I set my morning hours to business planning, scheduling show bookings, marketing, customer orders, correspondence and any necessary follow-up is generally done in the evening hours. Networking in any capacity is my primary form of advertising.
The one suggestion I may make if you are considering starting your own business, it is important to love what you do and be consistent. There are many times you will feel discouraged, just keep at it.

The best part of being a WAHM?
I am very blessed and very fortunate to be a work at home mom and wife as I enjoy the flexibility of my schedule.

Favourite Music? Book? Movie?
My favorite music is jazz and country. My bible is an everyday read and I can never get tired of watching “Pretty Women” and “Titanic”.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself continuing by spiritual path, enjoying great health for myself and my husband, and to remain active in my grandchildren’s lives.

Check out the Kid’s Personalized Music website & Facebook page! You can also follow @mykidsmusic on Twitter!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Savvy Home Business Women: How Do They Do It?

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Personal blogs are always my favourite spots to find inspiration — especially when it comes to learning about the lives and businesses of other women. This week I’d like to highlight three wonderfully savvy business women who have been kind enough to share some of the secrets to their success with their readers.

Making it Lovely‘s Nicole has always struck me as a wonderful example of a mama who’s kicking butt while running her home business. As the brains behind Pink Loves Brown, and her beautiful blog, I’m always inspired by her words. In 2010 she wrote a great post dedicated to showcasing a day in her life.

I’m taking us all the way back to 2009 for this post, because I feel that it’s incredibly useful and I’ve found myself going back to it time and time again, especially when I need a little boot of WAHM confidence! Girl’s Gone Child‘s Rebecca is full of wit and wisdom when it comes to conquering life as a work from home mama. (Now she’s doing it all with two beautiful — and two more on the way!)

Lastly, Kathleen (of Jeremy & Kathleen fame) isn’t a mama, but she is exceptionally busy with her freelance design business while managing several rental properties. Check out her wonderful post outlining the importance of keeping a to-do list, along with some valuable insight into her creative process.

Are you feeling inspired by these business savvy ladies? Do you see any tips that you might be able to work into your daily life?

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Prospering Moms

April 20, 2011 by  
Filed under blog, Featured Mom

This week we’re chatting with Gretchen Pritts from Prospering Moms! Gretchen teaches mompreneurs to “take control of their schedule so they can earn more and work less”. Like music to our ears!

Tell us a little about yourself!
I am married with 2 boys, 13 and 10.  I live in State College, PA, the home of Penn State University.  I love to spend time outside, read, cook, and garden.

What lead you to creating your own business?
I have always loved to help people.  I have a social work degree, but after about 9 years in the field, I was burned out.  I went on into Pharmaceutical sales, and really hated it.  I had a first hand experience at doing a job that was not true to who I was.  I did some research and discovered life coaching.  The rest is history.  I received my certification and began coaching in 2008.

Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
I love my business and what I do.  My typical day consists of talking with mom business owners, and helping them create a successful business.  I typically talk with them on the phone, so I have several phone appts each day.  I also spend time at networking events, and time with other mom business owners, discussing the tricks to balancing a family and a  business.

What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
When adding new things to your schedule whether personal or professional, be sure they fit in with your values.  When you have a schedule based on what is important to you, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming.

The best part of being a WAHM?
The passion I have for my business and the women I help.  The flexibility and ability to make my schedule work for me.

The worst?
Sometimes I can feel pretty lonely.  I have to schedule time in my day to get out of my house and see other people.

Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
Blog: I love Sandi Krakowski. Music: I really love so many types of music, but most of my favorites come from the 60’s (besides BonJovi of course). Book:  Wow, that’s hard too… I have so many….Eat Pray Love, The Power of Now, and of course Twilight! Movie: Yeah, love movies too… French Kiss, Slumdog Millionaire, Sound of Music

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself doing lots of speaking at conferences for mom business owners.  I also see myself writing a book.

Visit the Prospering Moms website, blog & Facebook page! You can also follow @prosperingmomz on Twitter!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Moms In Business Unite: The Conference Series You Won’t Want To Miss!

April 18, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Moms in Business Unite is all about promoting and support women and mom-owned businesses in the United States. This year they are offering five phenomenal conferences across the country to bring together business owners for a full-day educational experience! Complete with a keynote speaker, panel discusses, breakout sessions and more, this series is all about networking and taking your business to the next level!

MIBU invites you to take part in their incredible Inventor Showcase to find the best new product/service of the year! Here’s what you need to know:

Five to 10 women inventors local to each conference city (Atlanta, San Diego, Denver, Boston and Detroit) will be invited to showcase their new product or service and allow conference attendees to select the best new product or service of the year. Voting will occur at the conference, and the winner will be announced at the reception and in a post-conference press release. She will also be featured on the Moms in Business Unite website for a year.

Would you love to see a Mom Made That! mama win this competition? Amazing!

The fabulous folks at MIBU are also offering a special opportunity for business owners in San Diego and Boston with their new Mompreneur Grant!

For more info on the Inventor Showcase and Mompreneur Grant, please visit Moms in Business Unite.

How To Survive (And Thrive!) As A Work At Home Mom

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Last week we chatted a bit about balance when it comes to life as a WAHM. After seeing some of your comments, I decided to stretch out my social media feelers to find out what some of my Twitter and Facebook pals had to offer in terms of advice for surviving (and thriving!) in a work from home environment.

Here’s what they had to say:

@MamaAndDoula tweeted: Set boundaries, many people assume I can drop my work to help them out, often I can but hate it being assumed, WAH is still work.

@gerlaugh offered: Set clear boundaries for work/play time, you’ll stress if you let that balance slide.

I’m sensing a trend! Boundaries (mental and physical) are certainly important to separating your mom-self and your business-self. While a mixing of the two is inevitable at some point, it’s best to keep them separate, but friendly! You don’t want your “selves” wrapped up in a struggle for attention.

@Bellabirth shared a tweet about just this: Time management! Set aside time to just do work and just do fam stuff, I got snowed when I intermingled the two.

It’s all about keeping a bit of distance between those two lives, yet doing so in a way which doesn’t create jealousy, frustration or resentment.

From Stephanie A: Have an office space with a door! And your PC should not function as a family comp. And make a to-do list each morning! These are my needs!

From Jill SK: Now that the kids are older, I have “office hours”… that means do not disturb mommy until 5:00 unless you or a sibling is on fire. Of course I am here if they need me, but they do not need to be under my feet every second of the day.

Another common theme that popped up was the idea of having an actual, physical space where you can can conduct your business, sans interruption. For example, in our house, my partner and I both share an office, and while our two year old isn’t 100% put off by a closed door, I can ofter hear her on the other side telling daddy, “Mama’s at work!”

A tip from Jill S: Have a schedule and a sense of humour….included in this schedule is when to STOP working each day – I find some nights I keep going after Charlie (daughter) goes to bed, rather than relaxing and taking time for me.

This piece of advice is so important. How many nights have you found yourself wide awake and working away into the wee hours of the morning? I know I’ve been guilty of this myself. Sometimes I feel as though I should be DOING something 24/7, and guilty if I sit down to spend time on myself  instead. If you have to, ask your partner or a friend to talk to you, or call you, every now and again to say, “Sit down, have a cup of tea, enjoy a moment of quiet, read a favourite book, watch something mindless on TV.” We all deserve moments of nothingness. It’s good for the soul, and you’d be surprised how refreshed you feel after an hour (or 20 minutes!) of R&R.

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One last bit of wisdom:

Lacey M says: Go with the flow! Or you’ll stress yourself out!

Absolutely!

As moms I think we try very hard to control certain aspects of our lives so that they don’t get out of hand,but all to often it’s the tight rein we’re struggling to maintain which ends up constricting us and sucking the enjoyment out of life!

Know that you’re doing your best and be forgiving if things don’t turn out perfectly. Remember that a being happy mama is one of the best gifts we can give our children! We want to look back at these years with happiness and satisfaction — no regrets, no “if only”s!

Take care of yourself, know when to create boundaries and when all else fails, keep smiling and don’t give up!

Wishing you all a fabulously productive day!

Share your WAHM savvy tips in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Photo via My Girl Thursday.

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