Like I mentioned in my Club MomMe Family Fall Fest 2013 Recap, the Entrepreneurship for Moms speaker panel was one hour filled of informational and inspirational stories. The interesting thing was you could not get a more diverse mix of styles and personalities. The one thing they had in common was the fact that they were all successful entrepreneurs.
Alicia Ybarbo & Mary Ann Zoellner, the hilarious duo that brought us Sh*tty Mom, moderated the panel with aplomb. I admire their cutting edge, authentic look at being a mom and not giving a sh*t about what other people think.
For more information on Sh*tty Mom, visit http://shttymom.com/
Wonder Twin Powers Activate
Zan and Jayna were two of my favorite Super Friends with their special powers and special twin bond. Watching them grow from child actors on Sister Sister, staying out of trouble, and becoming successful entrepreneur moms, Tia and Tamera are true life Wonder Twins. They charmed the audience, fellow panelists, and the moderators with their special relationship. When Tia faced nursing challenges, she didn’t want her sister to go through the same thing. They saw a need for Need products and the rest is history.
For more information on Need Brands, visit http://www.needbrands.com/
From the Ashes Rises the Phoenix
One of the more soft-spoken panelist, Wendy Bellissimo, shared her most inspirational story. She was laid off, in a world of hurt, but was encouraged by her husband to give her passion of pillow making a try. With her back against the wall, she persevered, made and pitched her handmade products. On her first trip out, she sold 29 out of her 30s available pillows. That 30th pillow became a cute inside joke and a rallying cry. What’s wrong with my 30th pillow?! She’s been proving people wrong ever since.
For more information on Wendy Bellissimo, visit http://wendybellissimo.com/
The Pro’s Pro
Samantha Ettus was a force. She is the pro’s pro as she displayed her skill as a radio host and speaker. She commanded the stage and eloquently explained her personality driven marketing firm. Her drive and her positive vibe make her a multi-faceted threat as a author, speaker, consultant, and host.
For more information about Samantha Ettus, visit http://www.workingmomslifestyle.com/
Speaking of forces, we all heard the phrase “She’s a firecracker and she’s a dynamo”, but Jenni Pulos is both of those combined! This self-confessed 40 year old white female rapper rocked the stage with her high-energy performance of Poo in the Potty. When she sat to catch her breath, she shared some inspiration. Her former reality TV star exploded and left her discouraged. But her self belief and persistence paid off. Toys “R” Us, you may have heard of them, picked up her children’s rap CD Old School Kids Beats. If this doesn’t get you excited about following your dreams, I don’t know what will!
For more information on Jenni Pulos, visit http://jennipulos.com/
Voice of Reason
Since parents need to take care of themselves, Urban Sitter was created to provide a resource for parents to find trusted baby sitters. However, entrepreneurs often get excited and plunge into side projects and joint ventures without thinking things through. I appreciated co-founder Andrea Barrett’s practical and objective advice on getting investors. Number One, warn friends and family that they may not get their money back because many start ups fail. ”The last thing you want is to bankrupt your friends.” Number Two, if you do get outside investors treat it like a marriage. Solid advice.
For more information on Urban Sitter, visit http://www.urbansitter.com/
I mentioned earlier that I jumped into the fray during Q&A. It might have been a shock for the audience to see a man at the Entrepreneurship for Moms panel but I felt compelled to tap into the impressive brain trust.
What advice would you give a friend who feels the only option is to be a stay at home with the kids and depend on the husband to be the main bread winner?
Samantha said part of being a mother is to protect your child’s financial future. What if someone loses a job? Wendy chimed in that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, which is very true. Tia had a great point about not losing yourself. Women can lose their identity as they wear many hats of mother, wife, friend, daughter, and sister. This resonated with me as I lost myself in Las Vegas and questioned Are You Still Having Fun? Finally Tamera countered that if a woman wants to stay at home, she shouldn’t be swayed by her friends or family. Being an entrepreneur is great, but you have do it for yourself and not for others.
What works for you? Being an entrepreneur or an employee? Why?