Becoming a mompreneur isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
That is what Carolyn Mehdi of Kanata
and Janet McCausland of Barrhaven, co-directors of Entrepreneurial Moms, are
looking to teach Ottawa
A mompreneur is a woman who wants the best of both worlds: a
fulfilling career and a family. A woman who doesn’t want to have to choose
between staying at home with the kids or following her dreams.
Mehdi and McCausland are two such women.
Mehdi stays at home with her four children, but also runs
Mangosilk, an online company selling foreign accessories from around the world,
with her sister and niece.
McCausland owns Pampered Chef, a gourmet kitchen supply
company that offers home parties, along with online and catalogue shows, while
staying at home to care for her kids.
“I’d like to see this as a really powerful group for women,”
said McCausland. “What I envision this chapter to be is a voice for women who
are entrepreneurial. Those who want to have a family but who also want to have
a career as well.”
The two held their first Entrepreneurial Moms Ottawa chapter
meeting on Jan. 20 at Lago restaurant on Dow’s Lake.
Over 50 women turned out for the kick-off event with special guest speaker Erin
Blaskie, CEO of BSETC a Kanata-based company that helps businesses develop
their online presence.
Blaskie, who began her company on her own in 2004 is now
projecting an annual income of over $1 million.
The 27-year-old, spoke to the ladies about how to use social
media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, for further their businesses.
“The quality of the women entrepreneurs that were there were
just astounding,” she said of the event. “They were really energetic and really
motivated. It was great.”
Both Mehdi and McCausland said moms face common obstacles
when they’re thinking of starting up their own business. This group gives them
the chance to discuss these obstacles and brainstorm ways around them.
The biggest two hurdles are time and guilt said Mehdi and
Mehdi often starts working on her business at 9 p.m. after
the kids have all gone to bed. It’s all about finding what works for the
individual family, she said.
“Your energy and the family’s energy changes,” said Mehdi.
“It’s OK if (your business) is slow to develop; don’t hit yourself over the
head because of that.”
McCausland said the feeling of guilt that comes with
spending time on something other than the kids and the home is what gets to
“As mothers we constantly feel we need to multitask,” said
McCausland. “We constantly feel guilty.”
She said that she has come to realize that she is a better
person and mother when she pursues something that makes her happy as well, such
as her business.
“It’s OK to give yourself that time and do the things that
you want to do,” she said.
Entrepreneurial Moms began in Calgary a year and a half ago under the
direction of Christie Schultz, a stay-at-home mom who was tired of discussing
business ideas amidst the mayhem of a gymboree class.
Her mandate was to give mothers a chance to get together
with like minded women who could help one another on their business ventures.
The group has spread across North America with chapters
already springing up in Austin, Texas, Edmonton, and Toronto.
chapter meets once a month at different locations across the city to discuss
timely issues with special guest speakers.
Members are given the opportunity to develop contacts at the
events as well as develop connections with other entrepreneurial moms across North America.
The cost of membership is $99 for the year.
For more information visit www.entrepreneurialmoms.org.