In this edition of Vive Michigan Magazine, we feature 3 “Momtrepreneurs” that are successfully running their own start-ups. For them, becoming a mother has actually made them better leaders, better business owners and more creative and innovative entrepreneurs.
Time and time again more mothers across the country want to both work and spend time with their kids, and therefore starting their own business has become a popular option. A Harris survey found that 57 percent of women either have started their own business or have thought about doing so. The main reasons: to do work they are passionate about, and to have more flexibility.
The truth is moms are great at being entrepreneurs, or we should call them Momtrepreneurs, and that is because running a family might be more similar to running a start-up than most people would realize. For instance, delegating the grocery list to a family member might be the same as delegating the design of a logo to a freelancer.
Being a mother is an important and difficult job, but at the same time motherhood is about resourceful problem solving, which is a great business skill. No matter how seasoned in business a person can be, the learning experience taken from raising children make these women efficient and confident decision makers.
Moms running their own business know how to carve out focus time for themselves and get a lot done in those cherished hours. The No. 1 problem starting entrepreneurs often have is a lack of practicality and intention with how they spend their time. While other founders often waste hours and hours in front of their screens checking emails, Momtrepreneurs can teach them what mastery of multitasking really means.
These traits describe three local Moms who have made their business a success. The time spent with their children has not hampered their entrepreneurial spirit nor their innovative ideas, moreover have encouraged them to be more proactive, self-confident and to get a lot done with less. Meet Nancy, Denavvia and Devin, who shared with us their success stories as Momtrepreneurs.
Spreading Mexican cultural legacy through artisanal designs
The Guelaguetza, or Los lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill), is an annual indigenous cultural event in Mexico that takes place in the city of Oaxaca. The celebration centers on traditional dancing and costumes, including parades with indigenous walking bands, native food, and statewide artisanal crafts such as pre-Hispanic style textiles.
Nancy Quero Ramirez, an Oaxaca Native, migrated to the United States 15 years ago but never forgot her roots. That’s why she named her business Guelaguetza Designs, in honor of the artisans that make authentic typical handmade items from her region. “All of our products are made with dedication and passion by the hands of Mexican artisans,” she says. “This allows us to encourage the preservation of the ancestral handicraft techniques that are part of the heritage of our magical towns.”
Her business was also inspired by her mother who is also an artisan. Therefore, she developed a passion to preserve her home culture through the design of authentic products, including women's and children's clothing, jewelry, bags and items for home decoration, such as paintings, tablecloths, etc. “These products have a voice of their own, reflect our values, and are part of our identity as Mexicans,” she explained.
Nancy started her business in 2005, after seeing that the clothes she wore -that were designed by her artisan mother- caught the attention of people she met randomly. This encouraged her to start selling the products in summer festivals across the state and then, when the sales increased, she gave the business an online presence.
"My intention as an entrepreneur is not only to sell quality products made by artisans from my region but also to build cultural bridges with the Oaxacan, Mexican and Latino community of Grand Rapids as well with other cities state and nation-wide. I am also interested in making our art and culture known to other communities, regardless of their origin or race,” she said.
Her biggest challenge as a Momtrepreneur has been to manage time effectively to run her business while taking care of her three children. However, in order to accomplish her goals, she has had the unconditional support of her husband. "Without his support, I would not have been able to get where I am right now.”
“It brings me a lot of happiness to see young generations wearing designs from my native Oaxaca and most of all to wear them with pride. Beyond the monetary value that the business can provide us, our main goal is to be able to spread the cultural legacy of our region,” she added.
Visit www.guelaguetzadesigns.com to buy their authentic designs
Go for it and leave your comfort zone
“Often times my roles as a professional and as a parent overlap. I have been that mother breastfeeding while sitting in a radio station studio doing an interview,” says Denavvia Mojét, a 24-year-old political consultant, mother of Brayden, who describes her greatest challenge as a single mother and a professional is time management.
Besides being a recognized political consultant and community leader in Grand Rapids and at state-level, she provides traditional photography services. She started her business 10 years ago in high school and evolved from taking studio portrait for students to family portraits, event photography, product line images, and graphic design work.
Later on, she started her political consulting services in 2015 as a Campaign Manager for a State House race. “After my candidate won by a landslide, I realized I needed to position myself, take what I had learned and assist other candidates looking to win in office,” she added.
As a new mother, she has spent the past two years with the blessing of great child care and great family support. “My mother and siblings are incredibly hands-on and helpful when they see that I'm coordinating a major event or dealing with large demands from a client.”
She advises all women out there, especially women of color, who have the dream to become entrepreneurs ‘to go for it’. “I believe that we often times trick ourselves into thinking that as mothers, we owe it to our children to play it safe and never leave our comfort zones.” As she puts it in her own words, her experience taught her that the greatest pay-offs come from doing the exact opposite. Today, she feels capable of growing her own clientele and creating a lifestyle that works for her and her 1-year-old son.
If you need any advice reach out to her at www.denavviamojet.com
Teamwork and collaboration are essential
Devin DuMond and her husband began creating art together in 2009 when they started dating. That year, they entered ArtPrize with a collaborative piece combining drawing and music. Since then they have not only created a life together, but also two beautiful children: Autumn, born in 2015 and Damien, in 2017.
She is the co-owner of two companies, Hatch Creative Services and SHEvents. The concept behind Hatch is to be able to take a client’s idea and bring it to life through a variety of creative services, as branding, web and print materials, illustration, social media, etc., and guiding them through the whole process.
On the other hand, SHEvents is the collaboration of Snap Studio and Hatch Creative Services (Snap + Hatch + Events = SHE). “Our mission is to inspire and empower women in business through an online community and awesome events,” says Devin, and recalls that their most successful event has been the “Galentine’s Day Brunch,” where all the momtrepreneurs, ‘boss babes’ and female go-getters in Grand Rapids could come together and celebrate women entrepreneurship and positive female relationships.
She strongly believes in teamwork and collaboration and considers Jason -her husband- as her greatest support. “Our business has always been about teamwork. Jason has always supported my ambition and drive, which has allowed me to focus on my strengths and what I do well.”
Devin also thinks her life changed drastically after becoming a businesswoman: “I have designed a life that I love, and I didn’t do it alone or by accident. I intentionally surround myself with people who support me and want to see me succeed, doing everything with love and integrity.”
Haz clic para leer en Español: Tres brillantes madres empresarias están cambiando la escena de emprendimiento en Grand Rapids