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Dawn Mucci – Lice Squad Canada

Dawn Mucci is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Innisfil, Ontario. She is the founder & CEO of LiceSquad.com. For her Success Story, Dawn shares about the inspiration behind her business, the frustrations and rewards of starting a business from scratch and what sacrifices are required when you’re the head of a household and the leader of a successful company.

Mompreneur Dawn Much founder of Lice Squad


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I cannot recall what inspired me towards entrepreneurship. I possessed those traits as a very young child and as I grew up they became stronger. My favorite childhood game and pastime was setting up my play cash register with fake money and creating things to sell to my friends and family. At around the age of five or six I began selling lemonade and other items for real money from a stand on a busy Toronto street. I think I was hardwired towards entrepreneurship as it did not run in my family but I do believe that one can be inspired and develop the entrepreneurial mindset at any age. Continue reading Dawn Mucci – Lice Squad Canada

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Creating Your Schedule for Success – Free Template!

Mompreneurs Time Map and Schedule Template for Women Entrepreneurs
Here we are – a brand new year, and a clean slate to get our business lives and personal lives in order! What better way than to organize your schedule or ‘time map’ so that you can help set a new routine for yourself and accomplish as many of your business goals as possible this year.

Why Scheduling is Important
As an entrepreneur, every minute of every day matters. If you’re not scheduling your time, you’re kind of flying by the seat of your pants, and will surely find yourself with an unending list of things to do, without an end in sight.

Scheduling your time on a daily and weekly basis can help you focus on the tasks that must be done right away, should be done by end of the day, and would be wonderful if done by the end of the week.

What’s Important Enough to Be “Scheduled”?
This is an element that changes based on your wants and needs.

  • Are you the kind of business owner who will work without a break from 9am to 3pm, just to get everything done before you’re back to being ‘mom’? If so, schedule a break for eating and even going to the bathroom. It may sound funny, but putting a little reminder on your smartphone that tells you it’s been 3 hours since you got up from your desk can help keep a bigger picture in check for you.
  • Do you have an unrelentless inbox that, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how late you stay up replying to emails, just doesn’t seem to get better? Schedule the first hour of every day to catch up on emails (only!) – put your phone on silent, clear your schedule for this important work, and get as much done in 1 hour as you can.
  • If you have young children at home, or you are a caretaker for your parents or other relatives and loved ones, make sure you schedule the necessary time where you are needed as such. You won’t do anyone any good if you are supposed to be making breakfast and packing lunches, but instead you’re on your phone with a client. By dedicating time for your family’s needs in your schedule, you can be held accountable for their needs, but they can also see that you are focused on them for consistent amount of time.
  • What about YOU? Do you take time out to go for a run or workout, or read up on the latest marketing news, or even go for a massage? Don’t forget to work some personal time into your schedule as well – without you, your business wouldn’t be here in the first place. So take care of you!

 

Keep these simple ideas in mind when you’re filling out your Schedule, and be sure to not only fill it out, but print it out, stick it to your office wall, and schedule items of importance along with reminders in your mobile calendar as well.

Download Our FREE Time Map Template!

 

PS: You’ll see a note in our template about Robin Sharma’s “Holy Hour”… a 5am wake-up call isn’t for the faint at heart, but it can do wonders for your productivity. Feel free to use or take out of the template, as you wish! It’s merely there as a reference.

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Kim Turley-Smith – TILLIE

Kim Turley Smith - owner of Tillie, mompreneur

Are you feeling down, uninspired, or just have a case of the blahs? Then you need to read this interview. Mompreneur® Member Kim Turley-Smith is the founder of Tillie, a multifunctional piece of fabric that can be a bandana, scarf, scrunchie, hood, tube top, wristband, beanie or mask. Tillie is all of those things and more – a high-tech, breathable piece of  ‘thinkwear’ and Tillie is as versatile and interesting as the women who use it.

As for the woman who invented it, however, we’re blown away by the inspiring attitude that Kim has. With a thriving company and three growing kids, life is always going to be a balancing game, but to do it with such positivity and pure joy…well, it’s pretty amazing.

We asked Kim what inspired her to start her own company, what life is like with business and family commitments and what the future might hold for both.

What Inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My father passed away at 51 years old. He always lived each day to the fullest, putting his family before work. He had a positive enthusiasm that he thankfully passed along to me along with the knowledge that life is short. This inspired me to make a promise to myself: Find something you are passionate about and work at that, because life is short. I have a husband and three great kids who not only have busy schedules of their own but are my 4 reasons for everything I do!! Continue reading Kim Turley-Smith – TILLIE

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21st Century Thinkwear – Tillie and Kim Turley-Smith, A Mompreneur® Success Story

tillie_logo

Are you feeling down, uninspired, or just have a case of the blahs? Then you need to read this interview. Kim Turley-Smith is the founder of Tillie, a multifunctional piece of fabric that can be a bandana, scarf, scrunchie, hood, tube top, wristband, beanie or mask. Tillie is all of those things and more – a high-tech, breathable piece of  ‘thinkwear’ and Tillie is as versatile and interesting as the women who use it.

As for the woman who invented it, however, we’re blown away by the inspiring attitude that Kim has. With a thriving company and three growing kids, life is always going to be a balancing game, but to do it with such positivity and pure joy…well, it’s pretty amazing.

We asked Kim what inspired her to start her own company, what life is like with business and family commitments and what the future might hold for both.

What Inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My father passed away at 51 years old. He always lived each day to the fullest, putting his family before work. He had a positive enthusiasm that he thankfully passed along to me along with the knowledge that life is short. This inspired me to make a promise to myself: Find something you are passionate about and work at that, because life is short. I have a husband and three great kids who not only have busy schedules of their own but are my 4 reasons for everything I do!!

If you truly love your work, it doesn’t feel like work!

So what’s the best part of owning your own business? 

There are two main reasons that I love owning my own business. One is it allows me the flexibility to be there for my kids after school, whenever they need me as well as get them to their after school activities. Second,

I am a creative person by nature and owning my own business allows me to put my creative ideas into action and see results fast.

Also, sitting down at the dining room table for dinner all together is super important to me and owning my own business means we can maintain this tradition as a family. I also love being able to collaborate with other entrepreneurs!!

image of a woman with pink boxing gloves and purple tillie thinkwear

Is there such a thing as a typical day for you? 
Morning. Wake up, check emails, get the kids off to school and hit the gym at Reebok CrossFit FirePowerfor a workout and an hour or two of coaching. I still love to coach Crossfit. It is an amazing community to be a part of and it is where the idea for all of my business ideas all started years ago.

Afternoon. Filling Tillie orders, delivering Mighty Girl school program, working on new designs for Tillie, networking for Tillie, working on new program idea designs, planning Fall Fit Women’s Weekend (a year-long process), planning for upcoming shows, trade shows, talks or conferences, hold in person and phone meetings, sometimes simultaneously while doing laundry, scrubbing floors, and making dinner!! I also need to fit in a visit to my mom each day as she is disabled and needs a daily check in.

After School. Homework, sit down together as a family for dinner, off to hockey!! With three rep hockey players in the house, we can have up to 12 hockey days a week! At hockey I usually catch up on social media communications.
Evening. Check emails, write up a daily to-do list for the next day.

image of Kim Turley-Smith and her family at the beach

Wow, busy much?!  So who do you rely on for help? Or are you the do-it-yourself type? 
This is one I know I need to work on! With no parents able to help I rely heavily on my husband when he can. Also, now that my kids are getting older, I am able to count on them to pitch in as well with the home and with each other. Really, I do tend to take on too much myself. Now, I try to really feel when the balance is tipping and then be honest with myself as to what I can take off my plate or even re-prioritize. I know that I have a few good friends and a huge community at Reebok CrossFit FirePower who would step in in a heartbeat, but I am NOT good at asking for help!

Has that meant making sacrifices for the family or the business?
I think sacrifice is a part of life! Yes, I have missed some of my kids events that I really wanted to attend because I had work commitments. However, I definitely have said no to some work opportunities to be at a family event. I strive for balance. I look way ahead in the calendar when I book a show, or a conference as I want to make sure there are not too many in a row where I would be overextending myself. None of this stresses me out at all. I can only do so much. My family comes first and that will never change. It’s all about balance, and keeping the stress level below “crazy”.

What do you like to do on a day off?
With a full day off, the one thing I want is family time! So this means family game night, movie night, a hike, visiting extended family and sometimes traveling together to watch one of their hockey games!! Even on a day off, my wheels are always turning and you can always find the notes section of my phone open and papers in my purse filled with my new ideas, and more!!

image of a woman doing yoga andwearing tillie thinkwear

It almost seems crazy to ask with all that you do, but do you find time to be active in the community in other ways?
I still coach at my local Crossfit, help out at my children’s schools and on my kids hockey teams where I can. I love connecting with people in person around town!

Can you name another entrepreneur that inspires you?
OPRAH!!!! She was actually a huge reason why I started my own business! It’s a very long story! So I sometimes say, “It always starts with Oprah!” Also, so many of my friends and women in my own community inspire me. My own best friend has a clothing line she designs out of Oakville. I love the band of collaboration and support that happens when you put female entrepreneurs together!!

image of kim turley-smith and her husband

What does the future look like for you and Tillie? 

I honestly don’t think about the future too much, and I stress about it even less. I can’t predict it and it does no good to worry about it. I am not even promised it!! But I will be working hard to build a cohesive brand around “Tillie”, that inspires through the Tillie and other thinkwear, retreats, talks, camps, and more!!  Our retreat series, Fall Fit Women’s Weekend, is expanding and will include 3 getaway options in 2016!! (Spring Fit in Mexico coming soon!)

We also look to expand our Mighty Girls program, offering franchise opportunities worldwide so that this important program can be offered to more girls!!

Finally, any tips for other women looking to start a business?
Feel the fear and do it anyway! If your business idea is in line with your values, there is no stopping you as it will always be authentic! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, just be you!! Enjoy the flexibility and carve out more family time, you deserve it!!

 

Mompreneurs® has partnered with FS Local in an effort to share the inspiring success stories of working moms who never gave up on their dreams and embraced the challenges of both owning a business and raising a family. We feature regular interviews with Canadian moms and explore  what it takes to succeed at home and in the workplace. Please visit themompreneur.com/success-stories for information on how to be featured, and be sure to list your business with FS Local!

 

 

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Anaida Deti — Dental-X Smile Centres

Starting a business…

… it can be one of life’s most challenging – and rewarding – experiences. The uncertainty, the stress of long hours, the money questions…there are so many hurdles to be overcome. Now imagine going through all that in a new country where you don’t speak the language! That was the reality for Mompreneur® Member Anaida Deti. The CEO of Toronto’s Dental-X Smile Centre (and Registered Dental Hygienist) moved from Albania with little more than her dreams, and along with her husband, started a new life from scratch.

But the courage and dedication shown by Anaida – with the support of her family – should serve as inspiration for anyone with dreams of their own. We interviewed Anaida and spoke about the hard work required to build a business, the sacrifices needed to make it a success and what the future might hold for her and Dental-X Smile Centres.

Anaida Deti, Dental-X Smile Centres, Mompreneur Canada

How did you become an entrepreneur?
When my husband and I came to Canada 12 years ago with no English and $500.00 in our pocket, having my own office seemed a dream far from reality.

I think when you really want something, there is no such thing as impossible!

As the years passed, working very hard 6-7 days a week while going to school with my son being an infant, seemed even more impossible. Every day I felt that having my own office is what I wanted.  It took some hard work but my dream became reality in May 2013.

Continue reading Anaida Deti — Dental-X Smile Centres

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Announcing “Mompreneur Success Stories” & a NEW Partnership

image of Maria Locker

We’re so excited!  We are thrilled to announce that we’ve forged an official partnership between Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc. (Mompreneurs®) and FS Local! Working together, our goal is to help Canadian working women gain the tools to establish themselves in their local communities and online. If there are moms at home considering a new business venture, we want to inspire them to make the leap. If there are new business owners struggling with the stress of getting an idea off the ground, we’re here to say ‘you can do it. Just look at all these amazing women who have taken the plunge.’

Here on the Mompreneurs® blog, and as well on the FS Local blog, we want to share the success stories – to inspire women to go after their dreams and celebrate those who have. So every week, we’re going to showcase a different Mompreneur. We’re so excited to get going, and we couldn’t think of a better way to reboot our collective series than to tell the full story of Mompreneurs® founder and CEO herself,  Maria Locker.
 
Maria’s story is very much like that of a prototypical entrepreneur: after leaving a teaching career to be with her kids, Maria realized being in business for herself was the best fit. But when she had difficulty finding a network of like-minded working women, Maria decided to organize her own networking group and trade show. Maria was asked about what it takes to start something from scratch and the realities of being the head of a growing business and family.

 

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Growing up in a family business taught me every aspect of the entrepreneurial lifestyle possible. I was a cashier at the age of 5; a manager at the age of 13; and to this day I help in the family business as much as I can. Being an entrepreneur is definitely in my blood, but it was having my children and leaving my teaching career that re-opened the possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur on my own terms.

image of maria locker at home
Maria Locker and her philosophy.

 

Can you describe a typical day? Is there such a thing?
Now that both of my kids are in school full-time, a typical day can include in-person meetings over coffee or lunch, replying to emails, canvassing event locations, attending conferences, scheduled phone calls, and just about anything in between!  I tend to work from 9am to 3pm, and then from 7pm to at least 10pm (in all honesty, it is a rare night for me to close the laptop before midnight!).

Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family and friends that answer the call?
I am truly lucky that I am able to call on so many incredible people for help. First and foremost, my husband – on weekends when I am often running out to conferences or showcases, he is flexible and accommodating and I know the kids are going to have a busy and active day with Dad!  Family and friends are all within close proximity and are often accommodating: my mom is always eager to help out in the mornings when I have to hop on the GO Train for an early morning meeting in the city; being a part of the ‘school moms’ crew helps immensely when I’m stuck getting back in time from those very meetings in order to pick up the kids – we all help each other out because we are all in the same boat!  And of course I have THE most incredible team of licensees with Mompreneurs® – each of them is amazing in their own right, and offers their own talents and support depending on what is needed!

image of the 2014 MompreneurAward finalists and judges
2014 MompreneurAward finalists and judges.

 

Have you ever had to sacrifice something at work to make the family work? Or vice versa?
There are always sacrifices no matter what I do – but I think the things I sacrifice now as an Entrepreneur are far more worth it than if I was to be working for someone else. As an entrepreneur I don’t have the benefit of a steady income or paycheck – our family has sacrificed a family vacation (for 8 years!), and a new car to name a few things.  But what I can say is that sacrificing those 2 things has meant that I can be available for my family when they need me, I can set my own parameters, and I can manage expectations based on what we have agreed on as a family – that to me is far more important than a car or a vacation at the end of the day.

What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
There really isn’t such a thing as a ‘Day Off’ in my opinion – when you’re an entrepreneur, you are constantly thinking about work as it is interwoven in your every day life – it isn’t a switch you can just turn on or off!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Being able to decide scheduling and priorities that suit my individual family’s needs is by far the best part of owning my own business. That’s not to say that everything is always timed perfectly! However being able to make it work outside of the normal “9 to 5″ realm is key. I love that I can opt to go on a field trip with my kids without ‘checking with my boss’ – I just aim to make sure everything is organized the day before so that I can put my “out of office” reply on without being stressed about it!

What does the future look like for you and the company?
Mompreneurs® has the potential to grow Canada-wide, as well as through the U.S and internationally… we have been approached by women looking to be a part of our organization in all areas of the world: Ghana, Australia, France, Italy, Abu Dhabi – it’s incredible! The goal is to first master our network and offerings in Canada as our home base, and then to look to expansion thereafter.

image of themompreneur.com

Who’s another Mompreneur that inspires you?
My mom is a huge inspiration to me – she’s taught me everything I know, and from a very young age… she’s been the ultimate inspiration behind all of my entrepreneurial efforts, and my mom has shown me what true value can come from doing something that you love, no matter how hard the daily struggle can be. On top of everything, she continues to teach me and now my own children as well – you’re never too young to work in a family business!

Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
Very much so – I have lived in my small town all my life, and I have a deep passion for keeping connected with the amazing people and events within it. My family has owned and operated a small business in town for over 30 years, and I know how much dedication and passion it takes to keep it going, especially up against big box competitors. Supporting local means everything to me: it keeps our community alive, keeps community members connected to one another, and makes you feel like you’re a part of the hustle and bustle around you. I shop local whenever I possibly can!

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
Don’t over- think it:  go with your gut, what’s the worst that could happen?!

Watch this space for more feature interviews with Canada’s Mompreneurs®! For more information on joining FS Local, visit www.fslocal.com

Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc. is Canada’s fastest growing media company and networking group for women in business. Founder and CEO Maria Locker and licensed chapter owners are dedicated to supporting, educating, and empowering Canada’s moms in business. With an online community of over 14,000 women, the media company offers a unique combination of resources, tools, and informative articles for business women, as well as online and in-person networking and promotional opportunities for all members. The company and its members have been featured nationally through the media, including appearances on Global Saskatoon, CHCH Morning Live, The Marilyn Denis Show, and Rogers Daytime, as well as being published in Maclean’s, Canadian Business, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Parents Canada, EcoParent, and Profit, and being regular contributors to The Huffington Post and Arlene Dickinson’s entrepreneurial forum “You Inc”.