Mompreneur Monday: Quirky-Creative-Sassy

I was so excited to meet today's Mompreneur through our weekly #mombizmonday twitter chat, and have so quickly fallen in love with her philosophy that artists deserve some badass recognition. When I got her answers to my little survey of sorts of a Mompreneur Monday feature, I was blown away!

Meet Amanda, Quirky-Creative-Sassy

What do you do and why?


I coach creative moms, who are excited about making a killing doing what they love. There's so much romanticism attached to being a "starving artist", when in reality creative people have just as much right to make a good living as anyone else. But there's a shame attached to it. If tech industries want to make a lot of money, that's okay. But if creative people want to make a lot of money, they're branded as sellouts. So we are working together to eliminate the shame, and stamp out the "starving artist" mindset.

How do you balance it with being a mom?

I balance it with being a Mom, by making sure that I have time frames that are focused purely on my children. I have a personal policy, that if my children walk into the room, I will stop typing/writing/working and turn to give them my full attention. I also homeschool my oldest daughter, and so she gets personal time focused on that. Reading is big for both of the 2 girls...they're 7 & 2, so the 7 year old is learning to read & the 2 year old loves being read to. The 10 month old doesn't care as much, but he gets plenty of cuddle time. Baby cuddles are the best.


What do you hope to teach your children by being a mompreneur?

I want my children to know that pursuing your dreams, is so worth it. I want them to know that it's possible to be highly successful, without having trade it for a family life. And I want them to know, that they always come before my clients. When they look back on life, I want them to be proud of their Mom. Not wonder why I never had time for them.

Amazing! So many of us strive for our kids to be proud of us, but do we ever really sit back and reflect as to what we want them to be proud of us for? I think it's safe to say that Amanda's kiddos should be very proud of their mama!     

Sponsor Love: Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee


Over the past couple of months, you’ve had the chance to sit and sip along with me and Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee…experiencing the amazing health benefits of gourmet coffee infused with 100% Organic Ganoderma.

Are you a stay-at-home-mama? Not want to go back to work after your baby is born?

Take a look at the greener grass on the other side and become an Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee Rep!

The benefits are crazy amazing of this incredibly healthy productive – it literally sells itself so if you’re looking for something that is easy peasy, and you don’t have to be a born salesperson to sell and make a profitable business from, Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee is your company!

The Benefits:

  • · Earnings up to $11, 000 per month
  • · 7 ways to earn money through the company
  • · Make your own hours…make it work for you!

Interested?

For more information, contact Amanda Braun at amanda_braun1@yahoo.ca

What Makes me...amazing?

I had a good giggle, and maybe even a slight blush, when I saw that @mrs07c wanted to know "What makes you so amazing?" when I asked if anyone had any questions for me.

Gah! Really? Me? Amazing?

Then I started thinking about it, and maybe she's right! I think I'm quite a catch!

I think it stems from having a strong upbringing and parents who always encouraged me to chase my dreams {something I'm passing on to my son}. They knew that I loved art from an early age, and they encouraged me to just go with it, no matter what the outcome was.

I wasn't a sporty kid growing up. I was that geeky one in the choir, who could sing her little heart out {fairly well I might add!}...the girl in the art club who would organize fundraisers and other such things to help out in the community.

I'd like to think that I'm pretty well rounded...and that makes me amazing. I have a good head on my shoulders, have had to face challenges probably before I should have had, and had to grow up a little bit quicker than some.

I think it helps that I have a bit of a temper, and an attitude that I have nothing to lose, but so much to gain by putting myself and my work out there.

There's also a curly haired little blondey boy with blue eyes that makes me swoon...and because I made him, that's pretty amazing too.

What makes YOU amazing??

Mompreneur Monday: BailyBelle has a new look!

Remember that little shop I introduced you to earlier in the year, BailyBelle? Well...Ms. Vanessa has been working incredibly hard on her new website and I want to share it with you!!

The new BailyBelle features the same infinity scarves that I've fallen in love with, but also an incredibly celebrity collection, and unique eco-friendly tote bags that are too adorable not to share!




Vanessa has designed custom pieces for Lauren Conrad, Tenley Molzahn, Zooey Deschanel and Kim Kardashian! Pretty amazing if you ask me!


She's even been taking some of her older pieces, tearing them apart, and creating something totally new from them. I think it's so incredibly refreshing to meet an artist who has vision, and isn't afraid to look at something they've done, appreciate it for what it is, and turn it into something fantastic and new.





I proudly own four rings, an infinity scarf, am getting a custom business card holder made for my trip to BlogHer and own this amazing piece!


The photo does not do the necklace justice. It is so incredibly awesome, I just adore it!! It packs such an amazing punch, and is a real coversation starter.

Don't own a piece of BailyBelle yet? Hop on over to her Etsy shop...get 10% off with code BLOGHER


Mama's Time Out: Bowling?

Our outing for this month's Mama's Time Out was to go bowling...

Oh the best laid plans...haha how they never pan out properly! We had made plans to go out for a night of bowling and appetizers - some Mama's are pregnant, some mama's are nursing...other mama's have to work in the morning, and others get to sleep in.

Unfortunately a lot of the kiddos (mine included) took sick and only 3 of us were able to venture out. By the time we got there, the lanes were full for a few hours. Pretty disappointing...so we headed to the bar for appetizers and some drinks.

Usually our talks revolve heavily around our kids....who's sleeping and who's not...who's sick...developmental milestones.

This chat took a bit of a turn...I started talking about mortality issues. Do you mama's have them? I know it's a bit heavy to think about, but once you lose a parent, and then become a parent...it weighs on you. Or at least, it weighs on me.

So, MNO this month wasn't thrilling and exciting and relaxing. We all had things that were weighing on us between sick babies and toddlers, my mortality issues...

Being a mom never stops - whether you work at home, stay at home, or work outside of the home. You're a mom...24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year...sometimes even 366 days a year.

MNO should be fun next month...we're doing a pamper afternoon with my BlogHer sponsor, Michele from Mary Kay!

WAHM Wednesday: #Roadto30 Updates!

Welcome back, everyone!

I'm really excited to share with you some updates from my amazing roommates, Shaun and Mel, who I'm sponsoring in their #Roadto30....a journey to lose 30lbs each by BlogHer this summer!



Their journeys are going strong - Shaun and I have even connected on the Map My Run app for iPhone and I love reading about the routes she is taking. Every step may seem like a small one, but it's a step in the right direction and that's what matters!

I am growing increasingly proud of these ladies. They're not stopping at BlogHer...oh no...in fact...they're going to keep pushing themselves and are going to run the BlogHer 5km Fun Run! Amazing!






I'm considering joining them for the run. It might be crazy...it's be the first 5km I've ever run in my entire life...but I want to support them to the very end of their journey and show them just how incredibly proud I am of them.

Stay tuned! More on their journey next month!

Interested in sponsoring them? Contact Mel and Shaun today!

Mama Moments: Be Good...to Yourself

A new series...who knows how often, but I'm shooting for the second Monday of the month. A monthly series...Mama Moments

A chance for you to get to know me as a mom.

I recently went out for my monthly MNO (Mama's Night Out) with two girlfriends who have 6 month olds.

First and foremost, if you don't do an MNO but have mom friends...do it! it's such a refreshing little break, if only for a drink, dessert or {who am I kidding} a full meal that I can eat from start to finish...with it still being hot!

Anywho...I went out for our MNO, and we talked about some nitty-gritty stuff. Post-Partum Depression was a theme, as was me-time, diaper changes, solid feeding, transition to bottles and pretty much every other topic three first time mom's can chat about in 3 hours.

I was thinking about this post the entire way home and wanted to get up on the roof and scream

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, MAMA!

We sacrifice so much of ourselves as mom's, that really...what is left for us at the end of the day? Who is there to take care of us? When do we ever give ourselves a break?

WAHM's - tap a nap, and don't feel guilty about it

SAHM's - flick on a movie and snuggle up on the couch with your little one

Downtime is so incredibly important and I'm finding that more and more mom's don't take it. I know I'm totally guilty on not taking it until I'm at my breaking point and in tears, needing a break.

But, what good are we unless we are good to ourselves first, and others second? Who are we able to love, unless we love ourselves? How can we give others compassion and our attention unless we first give it to ourselves?

I've been thinking long and hard since April 5th about this new mantra, and it has completely resonated with me.

Be Good...to Yourself.

So you go on with your bad self! Have an ice cream date with a group of mama friends and talk tirelessly about sleep deprivation, being WAHM's, having kiddos in daycare, solid feeding, being a SAHM, being a working-mom.

Go bowling, to the movies, to the spa {ahhhh....}.

Be you.

And be good to you!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday...with Casey Roberts

Good morning everyone! I have a very special treat for you mamas, WAHMs, SAHMs...just about all of you out there!

Her name is Casey Roberts, and she is amazing. Casey contacted me a couple of months ago about doing a guest post about continuing education. I find that so many of my mama friends are either in school doing their Masters at a physical institution, or are taking continuing education courses online.

Without further adieu, here's Casey and her 10 Essential Tips for Moms Going Back to School

With the start of another new semester, it can be normal for everyone to ask themselves if they should go back to school. With many mothers (and fathers) experiencing higher bills, it can also be a great way to increase your earning power while setting a good example for the kids. For those of you who are hesitant to do so or have already begun, check out these ten essential tips for moms going back to school.

1 You are not alone – As educational options become more available, a wider variety of students are enrolling. This includes everyone from the traditional college age kids to foreign students to working parents. If you think you will be the only mom in the class, chances are there will be at least one more.

2 Financial aid – It isn't just for kids who can't get their parents to pay for school. It is also for working families. How much financial aid you qualify for depends on many things like number of dependents and income, which are huge factors in determining how much aid you qualify for.

3 FAFSA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a must for any student in college. It is a lengthy form but is essential to the financial aid process of just about every school.

4 What if I need help? - If you need help with the FAFSA or any other aspect of financial aid, speak to the counselors at your current or prospective school to get all of your options. They are paid professionals whose job often entails making school as affordable as possible.

5 Grants – These are forms of financial aid that can be earned by filling out the FAFSA. They are tax payer funded and intended to help needy students of all ages get a college degree.

6 Working parents options – In addition to the usual grants, there are also those for working parents who are trying to get a degree. There are even some especially for single mothers going to college.

7 Loans – We've all heard about the burden student loans can become. The student loan is quite the temptation. It offers a huge sum up front, no payments until graduation, and low interest rates. However, it is recommended to exhaust other methods of paying for school before considering a student loan.

8 Fine print – So what is the catch with all this financial aid? Those who are granted any form of financial aid can often be asked to keep a minimum GPA of 2.0 (C average) or higher. They must also graduate on time.

9 Daycare – But what will I do with the kids while I'm in class? This is a common question that many schools are answering by providing free or low cost daycare at their facilities, which is a good thing to look for when applying for schools.

10 Degree or no degree – If you know what career you are looking for, make sure you know what kind of degree, certification, licensure, etc. you need before beginning studies. You should also make sure that graduation from your degree program qualifies you to take any exams or tests you need to work in your desired career.

Casey Roberts is a student and also writes for Radiology Assistant which helps students find the right radiology degree.

Mompreneur Monday: Amber Bryce

This week is a big big week around Sweet Stella's and I can't think of better way to kick it off than with this amazing mompreneur.

I met Amber through The Artisan Group, and it was love at first sight. She has an awesome rocker edge, with a wholesome eco-friendly outlook and I find her sense of spirit to be incredibly inspiring.


Read a little about who she is as a mompreneur and why she creates the outstanding jewelry that she does!

What do you do?

I create one of a kind jewelry from recycled Sterling & Fine Silver and genuine Gemstone Beads. A lot of my pieces include an intricate coiled design, adorned with the finest hand pic
ked Gemtones.


How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?


All of my girls are in school, so I literally work a 9-5 job. Ok, more like 7am-4pm, and then any chance I get through the evening. I try to keep on track by writing out monthly goals/to-do's, and then each week breaking those down into weekly & daily tasks. This makes it easier to accomplish what I need to do and always keep things fresh & moving forward. Though of coarse, life happens, kids come home sick, I gotta go get groceries, run errands, all of the typical mom stuff. But working at home for myself allows me to re-arrange my schedule when things happen without worrying about getting fired or not getting that raise. Or, take a day off in
the middle of the week just because I need to lounge around in pajama's and do nothing but watch old movies.
What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

I'd have to say marketing and expanding, hands down. Creating is so easy, and I could just create new jewelry all year long. But having to put yourself out there to the world and hope some people like your products enough to purchase them is hard. You have to get over rejection, because it's not personal, it's just a difference of opinion, and that's ok!

What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Don't be afraid, and do lots of research! Take some business classes; there are lots of great online resources. Join some local women's business groups for support, and I think most importantly gain the support of your family before you decide to start. Having a network of support is probably one of the best things you could have for a new (and growing) business.

Is there anything additional that you'd like to share?

I was recently contacted by the production team for The Real Housewives shows on Bravo and asked to be the exclusive jewelry sponsor for the upcoming seasons of the Beverly Hills & O.C. episodes. This is such an amazing and surreal opportunity, I don't think it's completely set in yet! So be on the lookout for my sparkly jewelry in future episodes of The Real Housewives Beverly Hills & O.C.!

Mompreneur Monday: Rebecca Nash Photography

I am so excited for today's mompreneur....someone that I actually know in real life, have had the chance to sit down and have coffee with (more than once!) and have gotten to know as a person, a mama, and a mompreneur.

I'd like to introduce you to Rebecca Nash, fine art photographer located in Southwestern Ontario. She has an eye for colour and beauty, and even has her work off to a
very special place...that she'll reveal at the end of the post!

1) What do you do?

I am the owner and photographer for Rebecca Nash Photography. I specialize in Wedding, Portrait and Fine Art photography. I love heading out to work with someone new to create beautiful images that I know will be cherished for years to come. The fine art photography also challenges me but in a completely different way. Instead of building a relationship with my subject in order to create a great portrait or wedding image, I have to create an image that shows or provokes an emotion within viewer through the subject and setting. It’s a completely different challenge and I thrive on this opportunity to change it up.


Link


2) How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?


Prioritize, schedule, and be ready for anything! Finding the balance is always a challenge for me. I make sure to plan out my tasks, have a to do list to keep me on track, and try not to get worked up about schedule changes that seem to always pop up. By having my own dedicated space for my business within our home I’m able to really get focussed on what I’m doing with minimal distractions. I also capitalize on time after my daughter has gone to bed when I’m sitting in front of the TV to go over schedules, to-do lists, and work on blog entries. Blogging at night allows me to get all my ideas out and still have a chance for a quick reread in the morning but also helps empty out my brain a bit before bed.


3) What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?


For me it’s always about finding the balance. I love my family and my daughter dearly and some days I’d rather stay home and just be a mom and homemaker but in the same breath I am a creative type and I love my photography. It is sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane. Unfortunately I have a habit of swinging from completely family focused to completely immersed in my business without any middle ground. This year my goal is to schedule time for both every week and stick to my schedule!


4) What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?


Link

Research, plan, build your support system, and then go for it! It will be a bit of a roller coaster so make sure you set boundaries and talk to your family about what you’re doing so everyone’s on the same page.


So where is your work off to now?


I’m thrilled to be having the opportunity to participate in the MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gifting Suite and Swag Bags for the upcoming awards show in early June. In honour of this event I’m in the process of designing and creating a line of new products which the celebrities will receive and you can get too! Watch my blog for all the info on the design process and the product launch!

Special Post: Tina Dean Designs GIVEAWAY!

One of my amazing BlogHer'12 sponsors has collaborated with GoGreenAmericaTV to host an amazing giveaway in celebration of her involvement in the GBK Academy Awards Gifting Suite!

What can you win?



a eco-chic mini tote with repurposed lining from an old pair of jeans!



And since it's a Rafflecopter giveaway, entering is a breeze!! Enter now and enter often!!

Mompreneur Monday: The Mom Writes

Happy Monday, mamas! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Prerna...the mastermind and mama behind The Mom Writes. What does she do? Well...she provides affordable and effective solutions to help mom business owners live {and survive} online!

What do you do?

I am a professional freelance web writer, business blogger and social media manager.


How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

Focus. Shutting out distractions like Twitter, FB and my email works wonders. Also, I’m an early riser and am often up at 4 in the morning. That gives me a good 4 hours before my preschooler needs to be up for the day.

Also, saying, “no” to tasks that wouldn’t add to either my life as mom or mompreneur helps.


What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

Keeping a hold on ALL the ideas that keep jumping into my head. I’m constantly thinking about how to grow my business, add more value to my clients’ businesses


What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Start. Don’t wait for the kids to grow up or to move to a house with space for an office. Just start.

Take action. Every day. Do something to build your business every single day. From researching ideas to building your customer database, make sure you’re working on your business, every day.

Stay hopeful and positive. Honestly, it isn’t easy being a mompreneur. There will be discouragement and disappointment, but don’t let them shake you. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring women who’re rocking the business world and stay encouraged and positive.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with Sweet Stella's readers?

First, I’d like to offer ALL your readers with a business a FREE one-on-one social media/web content strategy session. Please sign up here

I’d like to offer a 20% discount on ALL web content, business blogging and social media services. Please mention "SweetStellas" in your email to me. I can be reached at prerna(at)themomwrites(dot)com.

Web

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

Mompreneur Monday: CoachInU

Good morning everyone!

What a sweet week we have in store; a new Mompreneur today, and Valentine's day tomorrow!!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Nuria Lencina - a life coach and mentor who coaches specifically expectant and new mothers on how to deal with the expectations of their new role as a mama. Man...how I wish I had of met Nuria 20months ago! Her advice is nothing short of inspirational!

What do you do?

My name is Nuria Lencina and I am a mother of two, a Psychologist and a Certified Professional Coach. I empower expectant and new moms to embrace their motherhood by supporting them with their daily struggles.


How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

I do have my own struggles but I am now working on a TimeMap to support my progress and keep me on task. Not having structure makes me procrastinate and also not value the things that I do. By having a system in place that holds me accountable for my own actions I feel supported and it gives me sense of direction.


What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

I think that time management is the most challenging aspect of having my own business, especially since I have small children. In my case I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old. They are still very attached to me and I consider them my full time job. Running my business has to come in second place and it is difficult to let go of your work commitments in order to care for your family. Setting up the boundaries, and not neglecting my job or my mom priorities, is very difficult.


What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

I would say to them that the key for success, apart from a great business idea, is a really good support system and a lot of patience. If you believe in your product, and you are committed enough to start a business, there are a lot of chances that you will get what you want. But it is important to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Timely) goals and objectives and surround yourself with a good support system to help you accomplish them. Having all that in place it is a question of time, and it can take a while, but PATIENCE has to be present in your goals too.


Is there anything additional you'd like to share?

I would like to share with you that it is never late to ask for help. If you feel like giving up find someone to talk to. Get into a networking group, join some kind of group of moms who talk about what you love, call your best friend, do something, but don't give up just yet. It is really hard to have your own business, take care of your family, run the household, and on top of that remember to wash your face in the morning. But you are not alone, there are so many of us doing it everyday. Let it out.

I would like to offer EXCLUSIVELY to the SweetStellas readers a 50% discount (ONLY $45) on their first coaching session with me, if they are willing to explore what coaching can do for them, or how I can help them get a better daily structure, how to improve their communication with their partner, how to find ME time, how to cope with the emotional rollercoaster, or how to increase the confidence and self-esteem.

Also, if you decide to sign up for the ‘’Foundation Package’’ (4 x coaching sessions – $359) and you refer a friend that signs up for another ‘’Foundation Package’’, you will immediately receive a 50% discount on your purchase, or on your next purchase. This offer allows you to one discount only and cannot be combined with any other offers.

Mompreneur Monday: BellaGrey Designs

Happy Monday everyone! Do you know what's right around the corner?

Valentine's Day!!

What better timing to introduce you to this fantastic Mompreneur, Jennifer Kirlin from BellaGrey Designs! With super cute invitations, cupcake toppers, printable, tags...you name it and she's got it for you! There's even a free Valentine's printable at the end of the post!

What do you do?

I create custom party decor


Link

How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

I get up early to start my day, get the kids off to school and then work like crazy until I pick them up. I try to spend most of the late afternoon with them. Once they are down for the evening, I'm working again. I work when I can, for as long as I can.


What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

Drawing the line between time devoted to BellaGrey Designs and time with my family is really hard for me right now, because I'm constantly "working" in my head, thinking of new designs o
r colors I can use.



What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

If you truly believe in yourself, then you have to believe all of your hard work will pay off. Sure some days you'd like to throw in the towel, but you just persevere. One day at a time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes! I've created a beautiful Valentine's printable...free to download
here!




Talk-To-Me Tuesday....with Sarah Sloboda

Good morning everyone!!

I have a special treat for all you mompreneurs and mama bloggers out there! I'd like you to meet Sarah Sloboda, who is a brilliant photographer creates gorgeous heirloom inspired photos and runs fantastic workshops! She's here to help you all make the most with iphoneography! {note: she's seriously making me want an iPhone!}

iPhoneography for Business Owner Moms
by Sarah Sloboda

As a photojournalist-style photographer, I am enamored with real moments in
time. I love photographing kids because they’re so spontaneous! We adults can
learn a lot from their free-spiritedness. I see a lot of moms who want their kids’
hair to be brushed just so, for their clothes to be perfect, and for their smiles to be
practiced. However, none of those things speak to me of childhood. So, I
encourage the kids to giggle, to run, and to explore. Yes, I have to chase them
around a lot. But when they stop and catch their breath, I am ready with my
camera. And, they’re usually beaming.



If you want to take better photos of your family (and set your child up to be more
photogenic for life), think of yourself as a documentarian. Document what you
want, yes. But don’t manipulate. Don’t ask for poses. And, don’t fuss! Let the
kids enjoy themselves, and what you hold dear about this time in your life will
show through in the moments you capture.

The iPhone is an incredible tool for moms and business owners alike. I
recommend you turn the flash off, and pay attention to natural light sources in
the environment you’re shooting in. Make sure to arrange yourself so that light is
falling on your subject. In other words, if you’re facing a lamp and the baby is
silhouetted in between you and it, don’t expect the camera to give you a good
exposure. And, be sure you get low to the ground – you want to be on your
subject’s level.

Plus, the iPhone is something you already take everywhere you go, so using it for
social networking and marketing is a no-brainer. It’s an invaluable tool for giving
your audience that coveted glimpse behind the scenes.



iPhonegraphy tips for documenting your family and business
marketing:

1. Get on Instagram! If you haven’t already, sign up for an Instagram account.
It’s free! Just go to the app store and install. If you want to use it for marketing,
select a username that corresponds with your brand. For instance, my Instagram
name is sloboda.

2. Apply filters to your images before you share them. If you also install other
photography apps, you’ll have a whole bunch of one-click PhotoShop-like settings
at your fingertips. My favorites include Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Camera+, Iris,
and Filterstorm. They range from $1.99 to $5.99, and can seriously enhance just
about any image you take.


3. Mix and match multiple filters from various programs by saving to your photo
library and then opening in a new program. When you’re pleased with your
flashy new picture, open Instagram and click on “share,” to upload.

4. Get tagging! Hashtags are a great way to get followers of similar interests on
Instgram. Use @[username] tags to respond to someone who has commented on
yours or another’s photo. Link your profile to twitter and automatically tweet
your photo (with capture and hashtags – up to 160 characters, of course). To be
really savvy, use twitter tags in Instagram so your intended audience sees your
image.

5. Be yourself. Share your interests, and your day-to-day. Document moments
with your family. Get involved in an activity! Frame your shot and be ready to
snap when natural smiles (and all kinds of expressions) occur.

Sharing photos of genuine moments goes a long way towards communicating
your values to your audience. A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? That’s
like 41 tweets!

*****
Sarah Sloboda is a modern kids photographer. She has been featured in
numerous publications, and her work can be found at http://sarahsloboda.com.
Be sure to follow “sloboda” on Instagram.
All content and photos ©Sarah Sloboda 2012. These images were produced
exclusively on an iPhone.

Mompreneur Monday: Awe Inspired Designs

Happy Monday! I have a wonderful new Mompreneur to introduce you to today, Cicily Atkins of Awe Inspired Designs.

I ran across her shop on the Dreamers into Doers forum on facebook, and was immediately blown away by her letterpress invitations and custom stationery for every occasion. There's just something about an embossed font that I just absolutely love. Cicily's designs are gorgeous and wonderful, and I am pleased to introduce you to her today.

What do you do?

I take paper dreams and turn them into a reality. I meet with clients who want stationery that does not come from a catolog. With each client, I design every aspect of their event stationery (save the dates, invitations, programs, table cards, fans), each piece custom to each event.



How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

Oh my goodness, as a momprenuer, I sneak in work, whenever I can. I maximize nap time, and bed time. And when I meet with a client for a consultation I will bring the kiddos to an at home daycare close to my home.

What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

LOL.. My biggest challenge is balancing my budding baby entrepreneurs. They sooo want to help me with each project. So i might let them count (teaching them to count, ;-) ) , or I will let them put in packing peanuts, or some other VERY important task.



What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Nike-Just Do it! Don't stress when you are up late, or if your kids wanna help out. Do your best, and be patient with yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'd like to offer up a $35 gift certificate towards a Custom Invitation Suite Order (Quantity of over 50 invitations) for a random new fan on Facebook. Custom Invitation Suite includes Invitation, Response, and Information Cards (with accompanying envelopes). Winner will be drawn by random and will be contacted by Awe Inspired Designs!

Mompreneur Monday: Call for Moms!

You've seen some really great moms featured over here on Mompreneur Monday like Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels, Vanessa Hotchkiss of BailyBelle and Tina Allen of Tina Dean Designs...do you have what it takes to get some notice?Link

I'm currently on the hunt for some really awesome mompreneurs to feature in the Mompreneur Monday segment, and would so love to collaborate with you!

A few things to keep in mind...

  • Offering a discount code or giveaway to Sweet Stella's readers is always great and will get you more traffic, but it's not required so don't let that hinder you in contacting me
  • It doesn't have to be artsy and crafty in nature! If you're a mom and you run your own business, I'd love to hear from you!
  • Make sure that your website is top-notch, so we are putting your best virtual face forward
  • Include a photo sampling with your email so I know what type of work you do (if applicable)

Interested? Have what it takes? Want to get some free support from the WAHM community?

Drop me a line! shannon@sweetstellas.com

Mompreneur Monday: Camilee Designs

Happy Monday everyone! The new start to this week is absolutely beautiful, and I wish nothing but a creative week for you all!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Cami from Camilee Designs. I had posted a call for Mompreneurs on facebook and twitter, and I'm so thankful that she responded as her shop is absolutely gorgeous!

What do you do?
I am a mom to a 4 year old little girl and I make jewelry

How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running
a business?

I’m still trying to figure out the logistics on that! The one thing that I have going for me is that I have studio with a door…so I don’t have the waste time cleaning up after myself – I just close the door! J I’ve also found that some of my work can be done in large batches – for example, I add bows, logo stickers, and bubble wrap to my packages all at once so they are ready when I need to ship in a hurry.

What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

My greatest challenge as a MOMpreneur is making sure that I don’t take on too much. I love to run my business, but I don’t want my family to suffer because of it. I don’t want to look back and wish I spent more time with my daughter and less time on my business. It’s always a tricky balance!

What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Be patient. It can take a lot of time for things to start happening! Also, realize that some days our little angels can be really needy and on those days it’s possible that absolutely no business will get done…and that can be frustrating – especially during the holiday season!


Is there anything additional you'd like to share?

I would love to giveaway a $25 gift card to a random liker of my facebook page! Just go to my facebook page and let me know that you're a new fan!

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WAHM Wednesday: A Whole New Year

There's just something about the first few days of the new year that I love. Almost like the first rainfall in the spring, when you cut your grass for the first time, or when you first see your baby smile.

It's all new...fresh...with endless possibilities of what can be

I say can be because I'm pretty darn determined to make this year my year. Being away for the holidays with my fam-jam has given me an awesome opportunity to pause and reflect about what's important, both as a mom and a mompreneur.

First and foremost, Monday's are going to be playdays with my son, and Tuesday afternoons will be spent at the library for toddler storytime. Tuesday evenings will be at The Little Gym in the oh-so-appropriately named Beast program, which means that work will get done Wednesday-Friday.

For those who know me, you know that's kind of a stretch for me. I work all the darn time! I write this while on vacation in Florida!

That brings me to blogging! I'm going to blog what I like and when I like...but only on Sunday's. I'll still schedule posts, SWH4T$ will be on track with Baby Shmizz, and I will keep promoting amazing mompreneurs on Mondays. If I don't have something to share on a particular day, I'm not going to feel bad about it.

The goal this year, as should always be, is to be authentic.

Artistically, my goals are to get back to my roots. I want to paint like no tomorrow, and have big plans for abstractly painted cubes and spheres that one could use as installation art, in a shadowbox, or stack on a table for a truly 3dimensional work of art. I will still dabble in paper and make pretty things, but at the heart of it all lies the paint in my veins and I cannot be more excited for it!

Cheers to 2012!!

Mompreneur Monday: Baily Belle

I had the pleasure a few weeks ago connecting with Vanessa from BailyBelle on Twitter. The lovely Daisy from Pixel&Hank connected us, as we were gushing about crying over Pampers commercials, silly mommy moments and wondering if our hormones would ever be the same again (quick answer: no).

Well!! Vanessa and I quickly started chatting, I looked up her Etsy shop and I'm now the proud owner of this beauty.



Have you ever seen something so unique and beautiful?? I haven't, which is why I snatched it up and got it for my Christmas stocking!!

I wanted Vanessa to be my first Mompreneur featured in 2012 because her vision and creativity just shines in everything that she touches. Truly and simply, she is an artist.

What do you do?

I design and create handmade accessories ranging in materials from fabric, paper, metal and Linkleather. I work in an eclectic manner producing sophisticated and playful pieces for you to enjoy! I run 3 Etsy shops (bailybelle, SoMichelle vintage and The Train Case supplies) with the main shop being bailybelle all while raising my 2 wonderful kids with my amazing husband Lucas.



How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

Ah the question worth a million dollars! Thankfully I have a great support system of family who help me out a ton, without them I'd be lost. I tend to create when the kids are sleeping or busy playing (my studio is situated so I face our living room and can keep an eye on them).



What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

My greatest challenge would have to be balancing my kids education and my work on a daily basis. My kids are small now but my son will be starting kindergarten next fall and as a homeschooling mother things will get tricky! I plan on making a lot of schedules and disciplining myself to stay on task to get everything done.



What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

Take it slow! In the past I had a tendency to jump into things and then realize I was over my head. It's best to take baby steps and learn as much as you can as you grow so you create a balanced business.

Is there anything additional you'd like to share with my readers?

I do have an announcement to make! Yippee!! One of my pieces (my chalkboard necklace) is featured in the January issue of Sacramento Parent magazine! How fun is that and appropriate for your blog?! I will be receiving a copy of the magazine when it's out so I hope to be able to share photos on twitter/facebook and my blog!

I would like to offer a 10% off code to your readers as well so have them enter code SWEETNESS at checkout for 10% off any purchase in January!