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
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.