I’ve always been inspired by women in business. Particularly, mothers. Even more-so now, years after I’ve started up my own small business and began freelancing as a writer. (It still feels somewhat odd to type out those words). I’ve faced hard truths and have had to make tough financial decisions.
When I first thought of opening up my own business, I must admit I didn’t give much thought to the added toll that the first few years of launching a brand (successfully) would have on my family. I only thought of the future. Our financial security for the future. The present got lost. A very tough lesson to learn on measuring what is really important in life. To me, anyways.
That’s when I began to look for success stories. To surround myself with other mothers who were entrepreneurs and working really hard to keep everything afloat and dare I say it, even become successful. It’s no easy feat juggling work and home life, no matter how you’re working it. To me, making it big as an entrepreneur doesn’t just equal fame and fortune.
Being a successful mom entrepreneur is all about remaining financially aware and responsible. Staying on top of market and social/technological trends and developing a brand that respects the world we live in, inspires and supports other mothers. Leaders of innovative invention and solutions to real issues.
Check out 10 Mom Entrepreneurs Who Made It Big after the jump…
Caroline Freedman & Lauren McCollough of NurturMe 1 of 10They saw a void in the baby food market. Everything was jarred, thick and heavy - often full of preservatives to keep it "fresh." Together, they created a product line of dehydrated powdered baby food made from organic fruits and veggies that reconstitutes itself with water, milk, or breastmilk. In it's first 10 months, NurturMe went big; sales sky-rocketed and orders started coming in from national chains like Target, Babies 'R' Us and Whole Foods. All that's next for these two mamas is the acquisition of their brand and they can retire for life!
Photo Credit: Forbes
Eden Hertzog of New Moon Cookies 2 of 10Just because she's my good pal doesn't mean she's not fair game. Conflict of interest? Nah. This woman means business and has been incredibly successful in it. New Moon Kitchen is a vegan brand of cookies that actually taste good. She went from operating out of an apartment with a gas powered confection oven plugged in the living room, making deliveries around Toronto; to running a large warehouse staffed with a bevy of full-time employees. Employees who all reap the benefits of four-day workweeks, in-house yoga classes and shiatsu treatments. New Moon cookies can now be found across Canada and the U.S. in pretty much every major grocery store and Whole Foods Market. Eden herself is the momma to a wily toddler and expecting #2.
Photo Credit: Wee Welcome
Laura Berg of My Smart Hands 3 of 10Laura Berg has written the holy grail of baby signing. She may very well be the one responsible for the huge trend that it is now. What began a self-created curriculum for her grade 8 students to better help them learn through ASL (American Sign Language), quickly turned into the trademarked brand, My Smart Hands. An international company with over 100 instructors and going strong, Laura's vision and expertise has turned into a company that teaches parents and teachers how to sign with their babies; long before they can talk and to communicate with their hearing impaired children and students.
Photo Credit: Zuza
Belinda Takahashi of The Juno Company 4 of 10As a classically trained musician, Belinda felt that the world of music for little ones was bereft of quality. Of this we know. Most kid's music? Just. UGH. So she started producing classical music videos and DVDs for kids, featuring her own original stylings. What were once home-movies, The Juno Company quickly became a TV series for babies and preschoolers and of course, the ever popular baby/toddler crack: apps.
Photo Credit: Forbes
Liz Lange of Liz Lange Maternity 5 of 10As founder and Creative Director of her own maternity line, Liz is well known around the Babbles. If you're pregnant, been pregnant or even thinking about it, you've probably heard of her, especially since she began designing the maternity lines for Target and Nike on top of her own. Liz became pregnant just four months into the launch of her small business (then). Clearly that didn't intercept her success in becoming internationally known, even publishing her own book, 'Liz Lange's Maternity Style: How to look fabulous during the most fashion-challenged time'.
Photo Credit: Bloomburg Businessweek
Michelle Cantrell of Venus Vision 6 of 10I chose Michelle as a successful entrepreneur of absolute distinction. Her popular website Venus Vision is dedicated to promoting the self-esteem in women. ALL women of varying shapes, sizes, skin colour, religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. I haven't seen nearly enough of this on the web, done with such well received success. One of her goals that stands out the most to me is Promoting Self Acceptance Amongst Women. I see Michelle as an entrepreneur who made it big because of the vital work she is doing in the on-line community for women and others, and to be able to make a living in doing so. She is a shining example of how much work, knowledge and organization it takes to start-up a business and keep it going.
Photo Credit: I Am Modern
Cause Haun of See Kai Run 7 of 10We all know about these adorable, qualtiy shoes for growing little feet, right? I may be partial given they are one of our favourite brands, but it's only because that's just it. The quality and the pricing can't be beat. Cause started her business in the basement of their home and her husband quickly caught on to her genius and joined the tiny shoe revolution. Today, See Kai Run shoes can literally be found anywhere. From online shops, to small boutiques and large department stores, Cause hit the big-time very quickly with her savvy brand and hasn't looked back since.
Photo Credit: Asian Weekly
Sonia Gupta of My Little Pakora 8 of 10Sonia worked for nearly a decade helping lauch and develop start-up companies, so she definitely knew what she was up for when she decided to launch her own baby and toddler organic clothing line, My Little Pakora. This savvy mama began her business when her daughter was a mere 9 months old and has turned it into the solid company that it is today. Sonia is an equal opportunity employer. All staff food is subsidized and provided from the organic farm the the warehouse operates out of in India. They are also provided free medical care. My Little Pakora isn't just about clothing. It gives parents unique ideas, education, and practical support to help them live healthier for their own families and the world.
Photo Credit: India Currents
J.K. Rowling 9 of 10She may not be an entrepreneur in the traditional business sense, but what does that all mean anyways? If you ask me, since she was named by Forbes as the first person to become a billionaire from writing books... she is one badass entrepreneur. She had a vision, she clearly had drive and determination and has most definitely created a world renowned brand. From a single mom who was on social assistance to becoming one of the world's most famous authors whose books have all landed major motion picture status, theme parks and any other product you can imagine…the Harry Potter brand has been there, done that.
Photo Credit: TIME
Paula Deen 10 of 10Y'all, I LOVE this woman. She is a true survivor. I'm sure not much of an introduction is needed here, as her face and gregarious, winsome personality is pretty famous. However, what you may not know is that Paula Deen didn't always have it so good. Death and tragedy early in life didn't get the best of her, neither did her debilitating agoraphobia. She went from (with the help of her two charming boys), operating her own catering company out of their home to publishing a bunch of top selling cookbooks, is a Food Network star and runs two swanky restaurants oozing the Southern hospitality and charm she is known for. Oprah is her #1 fan.
Photo Credit: Women's Conference