Looking for the perfect gift this Mother’s Day? Do your shopping online at the Mompreneurs® Marketplace—where all the products and services are mom-made. Not only will you be honoring the special mother in your life, but you’ll be saluting and supporting mom-owned businesses.
“Entrepreneurial moms know what other mothers need most,” say Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, authors of Mompreneurs®: A Mother’s Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-At-Home Success. “They’ve started their businesses to attain family flexibility in their own lives, so it’s not surprising that their products and services are often designed to focus on the needs of moms and families.”
The authors started their Mompreneurs® Marketplace (http://http://www.mompreneursonline.com/) to showcase the creativity and resourcefulness of mom-owned businesses, a workforce they call Mompreneurs®. At the online mini-mall, shoppers can find anything from adorable baby accessories, to beautiful handicrafts, gift baskets, pampering beauty products, and custom-designed weekend getaways—all for that special mom in your life.
Here’s a look at what’s on the shelves at the Mompreneur® Marketplace.
GIFTS FROM THE GARDEN
Shop at: Michelle Masters Topiary Art
What you’ll find: Topiary-themed artwork, linens and stationery, featuring images of hats, birdhouses, sundials, weathervanes, and cute creatures, like leaping labs and trotting horses. There are sweetly scented monogrammed sachets, hand printed guest towels and aprons, and framed prints—all designed to bring a bit of the garden indoors.
The mom behind the biz: Michelle Masters left a promising career in computer graphic design to pursue her creative passion: painting. As she painted in her home studio in the Finger Lakes region of New York, her love of gardening and whimsy was reflected in her artwork—especially in creations like the Lady Lavender hat topiary, a design that remains her most popular.
GIFTS WITH A SOCIAL CONSCIENCE
Shop at: Mama Afrika
What you’ll find: Pottery, baskets, and other handicrafts made by African women in crafts cooperatives throughout the continent. Not only does Mama Afrika help African women earn a decent living through fair trade, but it also donates 10% of the proceeds to African non-profit groups that assist women and children. Informational letters are included with every product, so consumers learn about the country of origin, traditional uses of the item, and a little about the organization that will receive a donation.
The mom behind the biz: As a child growing up in Virginia, Ester LaPollo was always reminded by her parents of the hardships suffered by relatives and friends left behind in East Africa. But it wasn’t until she became a mom herself that she figured out a way she could help Africans living in poverty. While brainstorming ideas for a home business, so she could spend more time with her three kids, LaPollo realized that if she connected with small groups of craftswomen in Africa, she could help them sell their wares worldwide through fair trade. “I ask the ladies to tell me the price they want for their wares, and I pay it,” says LaPollo, who now lives in Lompoc, California. “All of the crafts cooperatives I trade with are women-owned groups who work at home around their daily village chores.
GIFTS FOR THE NEW MOM
Shop at: Lilypad Baby
What you’ll find: Stylish bibs, diaper covers, and baby blankets in fabrics that are fashionable and functional. Design-savvy moms will love the fabulous florals, funky prints, and trendy colors. Order a gift basket or set and have it personalized and customized for the new mom and her baby.
The mom behind the biz: Kathie Papera started sewing her own baby bibs after she discovered she was spending a fortune on baby shower gifts for friends and family members. But this savvy California mom decided that her designs should stand apart from the others on the market. Instead of pastel-colored bears and bunnies, she chose fabrics with bold florals and vintage prints. Her friends loved them, and begged for more. Now she has a staff of mom designers, who name each bib design after the special babies in their lives.
GIFTS THAT PAMPER
Shop at: The Balter Catalogue Company
What you’ll find: An array of soothing selections—from warming tea and coffee sets, delicious gourmet goodies, and specialty soaps for the bath. A sister site, called Balter Baby, offers an extensive array of natural products for the new mother.
The mom behind the biz: Gina Ritter certainly understands the needs of busy moms. Not only does she have three young boys, she juggles several work-at-home roles. She’s a cartoonist, children’s book author, and writer of screenplays and humor columns (you can read her blog at http://www.blamemama.com/). Her current project is moving her family cross-country from New York to California.
GIFTS WITH A SPRINKLING OF PIXIE DUST
Shop at: Magical Journeys online travel agency
What you’ll find: Affordable Disney getaways. Treat mom or grandma to a magical trip to Disney World during the month of May, when you can catch the annual Flower Show in Epcot and celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch in a flower-filled pavilion.
The mom behind the biz: Nancy Rossetti fell in love with Disney World on her honeymoon in 1984, but once she had kids she couldn’t afford a family trip to the land of Mickey. Determined to find an affordable Disney vacation for her family and learn insider strategies, Rossetti took travel agent courses and then started booking low-cost trips for families and friends. Today she has a staff of independent contractors across the nation—all of them Disney-loving moms who work from home.
About the Mompreneurs®
Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe are co-authors of the books Mompreneurs®: A Mother’s Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success and Mompreneurs® Online: Using the Internet to Build Work@Home Success. After coining and trademarking the phrase Mompreneurs®, which describes entrepreneurial mothers who start their own businesses, Parlapiano and Cobe have watched the movement grow. Their website, MompreneursOnline.com attracts mompreneurs from around the world.