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Madelaine Golec – ECO Physiotherapy

Madelaine Golec is a new Elite Mompreneur member based out of Mississauga, Ontario, and as a Registered Physiotherapist, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, and owner of ECO Physiotherapy, she is passionate about helping others find their optimal health! We are excited to share Madelaine’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Madelaine Golec, owner of ECO Physio in Mississauga

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My family inspired me to become an entrepreneur. My dad always told me to go to school, get a good job and be independent when I was a little girl. Little did I know that would result in me being my own boss.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of owning my own business is autonomy. The freedom to make decisions and implement new ideas.

Can you describe a typical day?
In the morning I am typically at home with my daughter. Besides playing with her, the morning and afternoon is centered round planning for the day, taking care of e-mails and my do list (both personal and business). Once I arrive at work, it is usually catching up quickly on any events or “to-do’s” then I start treating clients. Once I arrive home from work, it is family dinner time, jiu jitsu training, followed by reading or researching and finally finishing the day with mindfulness meditation. Continue reading Madelaine Golec – ECO Physiotherapy

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Julie Rock – Julie Rock Photography

Julie Rock is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. She is a talented photographer, specializing in newborn, portraits, and head shots professionally through her company Julie Rock Photography. We are excited to share Julie’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Julie Rock of Julie Rock Photography - milton photographer

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Once upon a time ago, I worked in retail, which meant a combination of days, evenings and weekends which was ok, until I was denied a weekend off to celebrate my son’s 1st birthday. I then realized that I really didn’t want other people telling me when I had to work and decided to start offering daycare – I was able to set my own hours AND stay home with my son; it was a win-win! Little did I know that this was just the start of my journey and that 19 years later I would be a photographer!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of owning my own business is being able to set my own work days, hours and schedule those around my family!

mompreneur Julie Rock - photographer

Can you describe a typical day?
I don’t know that I really have a typical day! My days are different as I still run a daycare 3/4 days a week as well as my photography business, but a usual photography day is returning emails/phone calls in the morning before my kids get up, doing the morning routine and getting 3 out of 4 kids off to school/on the bus. I then spend the morning with my youngest who is still home with me, returning calls and emails and/or editing takes place in the afternoon before I have to go pick up the kids after school. Whatever I don’t get finished in the afternoon gets done at night after the kids go to bed. That is pretty much my typical day 🙂

maternity photography from mompreneur Julie Rock - photographer in Milton, Ontario Continue reading Julie Rock – Julie Rock Photography

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Uzma Rasikh – UZ Insurance Solutions

Uzma Rasikh is an Elite member based out of Halton Region. She is dedicated to helping others, through her company UZ Insurance Solutions, where, as a Licensed Insurance Broker, she provides Travel, Term, Life, Critical Illness Insurances, and Group Employee Insurance. We are excited to share her story!

mompreneur Uzma Rasikh - UZ Insurance Solutions

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? 
I was always an outstanding employee in my various jobs. There came a time when I felt that I could use my skills, talents and experiences to start building my own business where I could get higher returns on effort. The freedom of being an entrepreneur where I am in charge of all my decisions was the motivating factor.

What’s the best part about owning your own business? 
Knowing that I will reap 100% rewards of all the efforts. Being able to take business risks and venturing into the unknown is the freedom one gets out of owning a business. I am answerable to no one and the responsibility to succeed is solely on my own shoulders.

Can you describe a typical day? 
There is no such thing as a typical day in my life as each day is a balancing act between work, family, household etc. Having 3 teenagers to manage, being an Insurance Broker with clients all over the GTA and a Managing General Agency (MGA) in a location outside my home town, I am constantly on the go. My children are in high school. There are after school activities, tuitions, college applications to manage, then there are my insurance clients who realize they need to buy travel insurance from me when sitting at the airport . My weekly calendar is strewn with meetings with clients, one-on-one time with children and husband and a wide array of activities ranging from community and networking events to scheduled trainings for professional and personal development and quiet time at my desk spent in designing insurance solutions for clients with unique needs.

Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call? 
My husband Zafar is my support system. He is a one-man army who helps me in every way possible in my business and at home. I migrated to Canada 3 years ago from Pakistan, so all the friends I have are relatively new. I moved from Toronto to Milton a year ago when I again met new people in my community and neighbourhood. I now have some close friends, but it’s still fairly recent that I’ve met them.  Continue reading Uzma Rasikh – UZ Insurance Solutions

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Patsy Commisso – Metabolic Care Clinics

Patsy Commisso is an Elite member based out of Oakville, Ontario. She is the owner of Metabolic Care Clinics, where Patsy and her team offer a variety of solutions for your optimal health including for weight loss, disease support, athletic performance, stress management, healthy kids and female hormone support. Their programs include amazing nutrition plans, fitness programs and wellness supports, designed to get you fit and healthy! We are thrilled to share Patsy’s entrepreneurial journey…

mompreneur Patsy Commisso of Metabolic Care Clinics

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
It’s funny, looking at my parents, cousins, and even my husband, all of us are entrepreneurs! We seem to all have a special talent and we have decided to showcase it and bundle it up for sale. We know that talent alone will only get you so far! The ingredient that seems to be part of my DNA is hard work. Work was such a large part of my upbringing; working in family businesses and giving it my all is a part of who I am.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I am a take charge kind of girl; I like to see things evolve and don’t want to wait for decisions to be passed through layers. Being an entrepreneur, I have direct access to understand what my members need and can make their requests happen. I am also a mom of 3; part of my business plan includes picking up my children from school because they are not feeling well, or missing a day or two to support my kids in their sport tournaments.

Metabolic Care Clinics - mompreneur Patsy Commisso

Can you describe a typical day?
Where does the day start: I wake up at 6:00am every morning and use the first 40 minutes of my day de-stressing with high impact exercise. I then get ready for my work day and set my three kids up with a healthy breakfast and portable lunch. After dropping the kids off at school I head to MCC (metabolic care clinics). I love walking into my clinic; there is always a happy feeling that comes over me. The clinic day seems to be done with a blink of an eye… Continue reading Patsy Commisso – Metabolic Care Clinics

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Christina Proctor – Wear Out There

Christina Proctor is an Elite member based out of Waterloo, Ontario. She is a certified Style CoachTM and is dedicated to helping others express themselves through their style with her company Wear Out There. We are happy to share her story of success!

Mompreneur Christina Proctor - Wear Out There

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
From a young age, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to live a life of my own creation, do something that I was passionate about and make a difference in the world. After starting a fashion blog as a hobby, connecting with my readers and experiencing the difference image has on confidence and self-esteem, I knew I had found my career. I studied to become a Style CoachTM through the International Association of Style Coaches. Now I help women love what they see in the mirror, express themselves through their style, and achieve their goals. I feel as though I am finally making a difference.

Christina Proctor - Wear Out There Style Coach

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love being able to use my passion and skills to help others look and feel amazing. The transformations I see in my clients are what keep me motivated each and every day.

Can you describe a typical day?
My day starts around 6 am when I get up, do one of my Jillian Michaels workout DVDS and a 5-10 meditation. I then commute into work for 8:30 am at a children’s charity, where I focus on marketing, social media, and fundraising activities. Around 5 pm, I see clients one-on-one at their home or in a local coffee shop, attend networking events, host group workshops, or reply to e-mails. I am currently working towards turning Wear Out There into my full-time business. Before bed, I journal and write 3 things I am grateful for and any actions I’ve taken that day towards my big goals.

Christina Proctor of Wear Out There

Continue reading Christina Proctor – Wear Out There

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Meet Our Award Finalists: Top Tips from Christine Frances Poe

Christine Frances Poe is a Standard Mompreneur member based out of Burlington, Ontario. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneurs Momentum Award, for her work as founder of TIKKO!

mompreneur Christine Frances Poe of Tikko

The Story Behind TIKKO:

My son Dorian was the inspiration to my becoming an entrepreneur.  At the age of 9 (in 2013) Dorian, who lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, decided to send his plush polar bear Tikko™ out into the world to raise autism awareness.  Since then Tikko’s travelled to over 54 countries, met celebrities, and touched the lives of many.  Before early intervention, Dorian was aggressive with us; was kicked out of three pre-school daycares; had hour-long meltdowns throughout the day; lived in fear (of everything) and barely slept.  After 4 years working with teachers, EA’s, specialists (we all had to be on the same page in regard to “strategies”) I was seeing a new Dorian – compassionate, funny, sweet and very loving.  I thought of other families struggling at the beginning of their journey.  By supporting Dorian’s campaign, I was also supporting them.  Dorian’s dream to help other kids like him is inspiring… it touches all of us who know what it’s like to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Christine’s Words of Advice for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

I often coach women on finding their “Divine Life Purpose”; their reason for “being”. For many, it’s “fear” holding them back from their dreams. Letting go of “fear”; envisioning success and believing it’s already a reality is the first step needed to embrace one’s true passion.

Having support and honesty from those around you is most important. You’ll be challenged along the way; you will make mistakes. Learn from them! You need those in your corner who are more frank than tactful; those who will push you out of your comfort zone in a supportive way. True friends see true potential. You are in the driver’s seat. Don’t rely on others to do the work for you. You are the one to make things happen!

If you’re a mom, take time to sit down with your husband and children. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish; how your success is their success. Many hours will be invested in starting your new business. Never say, “I’m doing this for you”. If it’s your dream; your passion, you’re doing it for yourself. Take time to listen; appreciating how your success can also benefit and enrich their lives. Include them; make it a team effort so no one feels neglected or less important.

Create a vision board and keep it in a place where you can view it each day with gratitude. Say affirmations.

“Thank you for making my business a success; allowing me “quality” time with my family in the process.”

Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!

TIKKO logo - Tikko Travels, awareness for autism from Mompreneur Christine Poe

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Meet Our Award Finalists: Top Tips from Sarah Willey

Sarah Willey is Standard Mompreneur member based out of Edmonton, Alberta. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneur Startup Award, as founder of Mama Knows Luxury.

Mompreneur Award finalist Sarah Willey of Mama Knows Luxury

Sarah’s Journey to Creating “Mama Knows Luxury”:

Extreme Knitting and Crocheting has been growing in popularity rapidly over the past few years. Until recently, Canadians could only source supplies from international sources and faced many obstacles in doing so. We set out to build strong wholesaler relationships, to work with local designers and creators and to bring here products to Canadian artisans and hobbyists at an affordable price and with a full customer service experience. Over the past year we have focused on building the Mama Knows Luxury Brand and have expanded our product line to include innovative and unique handmade tools, finished blankets and other items crafters and yarn artists want. Our Extreme Wood Tools are handcrafted in Alberta by a family owned business, our wool is sourced from family collectives around the world and we are committed to staying focused on being real people who help other real people pursue their goals and desires to work with our luxury products or give our items as gifts to loved ones!

Specializing in luxury Merino Big Stitch Yarn and Locally Handmade Giant Knitting and Crocheting Tools, we are the first in Western Canada to bring these extremely popular products to both Canadian and International markets. Our wool is ethically and sustainably sourced and of the highest quality. Our focus is Customer Service and we have built a reputation for being helpful and approachable!

The Top Things Sarah Couldn’t Succeed Without as a Mompreneur:

  1. My dedication to Being Flexible! Being a Momboss means that life intends to constantly throw curve balls at you. Being flexible does not come naturally, I am a stubborn person and I am proud of my determination. But, I learned long ago that you become a better Mom, a better Business Woman and a happier person as soon as you stop fighting against the things you can’t control and teaching yourself to adapt instantly and adjust the planned itinerary accordingly.
  2. My Girl Tribe! Over the past few years I have built my tribe. This is my core group of women, these women believe in me 1000%, I truly could not get through the difficult days without them. Every woman needs to find her tribe, the group of women who support her unconditionally, who celebrate her wins as if they were their own and who pick her back up every time she falls.

  3. My Reset Button! I built myself a “reset button” when the business started to grow faster than I was prepared for. I found myself so stressed that I wasn’t doing a great job at anything! My personal reset button is a quiet cozy corner of my sofa, a pen and paper so that I can dump everything that’s flying around in my head onto paper and a few moments alone to reset and put a new plan in place. Every Mompreneur should find her own personal “reset button”!
  4. My Determination and Motivation! Building a business comes with so many difficult decisions, setbacks, problems; it is not for the faint of heart. One must find a way to continually motivate themselves to put in the hours, dust themselves off when they hit a wall and create a steely determination to achieve the success they seek!
  5. My Family! I wouldn’t be a Mompreneur without them. They are the reason I am where I am today and they are the reason I push harder to be better everyday. We must make sure that we are giving them the love and attention that they need! We must set the time aside for them and honour it! My family gives me so much flexibility, they are my number one tribe, they support me and honour me when I need to activate my reset button and they revive my determination and motivation every single day. In return I do my very best to ensure they know how grateful I am to have them and how special they truly are to me!

Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!

mompreneur Sarah Willey of Mama Knows Luxury - logo

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Meet Our Award Finalists: Top Tips from Wendy Armbruster-Bell

Wendy Armbruster-Bell is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Coquitlam, BC. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneur Award of Excellence, as founder of Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear!

Mompreneur Award finalist Wendy Armbruster-Bell of Snugabell

Wendy’s Journey to Entrepreneurship:

Snugabell is actually my third profitable business, so I guess it is in my blood!  I was freelancing as a pattern maker in the apparel industry after graduating from the Fashion Design program at KPU when I had my first daughter, and my two worlds collided! I decided I wanted to pump so that my husband could take one of the evening feeds and I could get some pattern work done for my clients. It only took one pumping session – sitting on the couch with both hands on the flanges – to decide that there had to be a better way! I went online and Googled for a product that would hold the pump flanges for me however wasn’t happy with anything that I found. And the rest is history! If you had told me, that when I went back to school at 27 to pursue a career in Fashion Design, I would end up designing breastfeeding products, I would have laughed out loud.

Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear supports the beauty of breastfeeding by designing and manufacturing breastfeeding and pumping products for moms who are not willing to forgo fashion for function. With a mission to support moms’ decision to breastfeed through education, community, and beauty, Snugabell sells their varied product line both online and to over 300 retail partners in 14 countries! Snugabell‘s signature product is the award-winning, patented, PumpEase – the world’s ONLY fashionable hands-free pumping bra. Unlike competitors, we continue to manufacture in Canada despite the lure of bigger margins overseas – always maintaining the highest standard of conduct by working with customers in the spirit of understanding, support and mutual respect. With big visions for growth and a strong voice of change in the breastfeeding discussion, we will continue to empower moms in achieving their personal breastfeeding goals while creating the most beautiful products on the market!

Wendy’s Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Write a business plan – do your research, talk to retailers, conduct a focus group, search for competing products, research your proposed business model, what margins are typical in this category, etc.
  2. Seek out a mentor! The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Women’s Enterprise Centre both have amazing mentorship programs. This is incredibly invaluable and in the future, you can give back by mentoring a start-up yourself.
  3. Don’t try to wear too many hats. If you hate bookkeeping, hire a bookkeeper. I know it is scary spending the money when you’re just starting out, however the money you spend will come back to you in spades because you will be able to work ON your business not IN your business.
  4. Build an amazing team — by hiring for Core Values rather than skills. The latter can be taught, however the former cannot.
  5. Craft a 30-second elevator pitch and practice, practice, practice! You will want to know your elevator pitch off-by-heart. It’s is a great warm up when you’re networking.

A Golden Nugget: You don’t need retail packaging unless you’re selling to retail! Packaging is expensive. Save the fanciness for your retail orders. Amazon and D2C sales can be presented in a simplified (but still attractive) manner. Remember to incorporate your brand via a sticker or branded tissue.

Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!

mompreneur Wendy Bell of Snugabell - logo

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Meet Our Award Finalists: Top Tips from Melanie Wildman

Melanie Wildman is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Stratford, PEI. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneur Startup Award, as founder and CEO of Nutracelle!

Mompreneur Award finalist Melanie Wildman of Nutracelle

The Vision Behind Nutracelle:

It’s what’s NOT in our food that can be most important – free of added sugars, unhealthy chemical additives, Nutracelle is healthy and incredibly delicious. We use only the highest quality whey protein, prebiotic fiber from the chicory root, and healthy fats from flax seed, plus Nutracelle is even 100% nut-free and gluten-free!

You won’t feel deprived when you cheat with a protein treat, because every delicious shake tastes like a sinful treat. The proteins, fiber, and healthy fats will help you feel fuller up to 4x longer, so you snack 60% less. Your body feels nourished to help reduce cravings for junk food. Plus, it’s easy and fun to cook with Nutralean.

From elite athletes to bariatric surgery patients to Mom’s who just want to feel healthier, people love Nutracelle because it helps you burn more fat, increase lean muscle and helps you feel fuller, longer. Oh, and did we mention? It tastes amazing too!

Top 5 Realities Melanie Wishes She Knew Before Starting Her Business:

  • It always takes 2x as long and costs 2x as much as you plan. Always leave yourself extra time to complete projects and find ways to keep costs down. Ask yourself continually, is this a necessity right now? How will this cost help us grow?
  • There is no such thing as a work-life balance. If you are starting a business, you must be prepared to make the sacrifices to build it. That will inevitably mean long hours and sometimes time away from family. Carving out sacred time with your children is critical.
  • It’s vital to include your children in understanding your business. Skills such as managing money and people are best taught by example, not from a book or a university course. When you involve your children in the day to day decisions and challenges of your company, you are giving them a gift that will stay with them as adults.
  • You will feel alone sometimes. This is another reason the Mompreneur awards are so important for women. When we are in leadership positions, it can be isolating when the decisions and the livelihoods of others depend on you. Getting to meet, celebrate and network with other women in business is incredibly important.
  • You need to take time for you. Every day will bring a new fire to put out. But just like the airline crew says when you travel with an infant, you need to your oxygen mask on first before you can help others. Never stop feeding your soul, your mind, and your curiosity.

 Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!

mompreneur Melanie Wildman of Nutracelle - logo

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Meet Our Award Finalists: Top Tips from Jennifer Maxwell

Jennifer Reece Maxwell is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Ajax, Ontario. She is a Finalist for The 2017 Mompreneur Momentum Award, for her role as The Wedding Coach!

Mompreneur Jennifer Maxwell, The Wedding Coach

Jennifer’s Journey to Entrepreneurship:

I’ve never been a fan of the 9-5 lifestyle, but when I started my wedding business in 2007, I didn’t consider myself an ‘entrepreneur’, I just wanted to plan weddings.

After our children were born, the biggest reason for me to keep working my business was because a typical job wouldn’t work for our family. Not only would we simply be earning income to pay for additional childcare, but it conflicted with our desire to be physically present in the home for our children.

I needed to streamline my workflow if I was going to manage both family and business with any level of success. Without realizing it, I had begun the next phase of my business – creating templates for myself, and ultimately for other planners.

In 2014 I shared my templates with a small group of planners, which has now grown to approximately 60 users. While this is certainly exciting, my next phase is taking the system to an online format for more global use, including couples.

And so an entrepreneur becomes.

Jennifer’s Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Don’t Have “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out): I used to think taking time off from full-time wedding planning to be a mom would put me behind in business, but it didn’t. It was still there waiting for me when I was ready to return. What was changing though, were my children. They are only little once, and I didn’t want to miss it! It’s ok to wait, or go full steam ahead on either business or parenting. Or both! Just make your choice and be confident in it!
  2. You’re Going To Need A Lot Of Support if you’re going to run a business and be a mom. You’ll either have to count on loved ones to care for your children, and/or help with household tasks, and/or you’re going to have to pay for the help you need. Being a parent, running a business, and maintaining a household are three full-time jobs. You are not super human. It’s ok. Get some support.
  3. Multi-Tasking is an Illusion. You cannot do two things well at the same time, like parenting and running a business. Typing and holding babies don’t work well together. And that’s ok. Choose one, and be there fully at that time. Be excellent at what you’re doing in that moment. Give it 110%. And then do the next thing, and give THAT 110%.
  4. The Home Office: It’s no joke. It’s a lot harder to work at home than you think! Sure, you can work in your pyjamas, but beware of household distractions (dishes, laundry, Facebook – ACK!)! They can easily pull you from getting the work done to make your business successful. Refer to point 3: “Multi-tasking is an Illusion”!
  5. Follow The Cues: follow your interests and note the cues that might lead you to new places, learn new skills, and uncover talents you didn’t even know you had. You might end up doing something you’d never thought of, or change the direction of your business on a dime. Once I became a mom, the way I worked changed, and it sparked a whole new business journey that I never imagined I would be on! Be open to the cues!

Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!

The Wedding Coach, mompreneur Jennifer Reece Maxwell

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