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The unexplainable life-span of the mom-owned business

I’ve recently been going through the Market Mommy archives. Over the past seven years, my level of dedication to the business has sometimes waivered. It’s never been a consistent climb, but rather one of hills and valleys. As my family has changed, so has my business. As my family has grown and become busier, my business has sometimes suffered. I know I am not alone in this.

This week, specifically, I’ve updated our free online business directory of mom-owned businesses. We offer this as a free perk for our readers. Listing your business and getting an inbound link can help in your efforts to build SEO and gain more traffic. As I’ve went through the hundreds of listings, it became quickly apparent that everyone that was in business seven, five or even two years ago isn’t necessarily still in business.

There was not one category of business that stood out. There was not a common denominator that I could point to that explained why some businesses have made it and some haven’t. One site I clicked on showed a simple message. “We are sorry, but after 18 years in business we’ve regretfully had to close our doors. Thank you for your support.” Disappointing. Devastating.

Direct sales businesses, consultation companies, Etsy and EBay shops; all of them were affected.

As I looked through the list of those I was removing from the directory I was sad. Many of them I remembered fondly from our early days. Many of them were starting their businesses and trying to grow them at the same time as I was trying to get Market Mommy off of the ground. Many of them I had worked with, purchased from and/or promoted.

Others, however, are thriving. Many have been around for several years and continue to grow and evolve. What’s the difference?

Many moms, I think, start a business to fill a void. Maybe that void is income now that they have children and need more cash flow. That could either be because they’ve quit their full time gig, or simply because there are more mouths to feed. Or, the void could be now that they are trapped at home all day with their babies they desperately crave some adult interaction.

Whatever the reason, or whatever the void, it’s not necessarily a permanent need. The business landscape changes quickly, but not as quickly as a young, growing family. School schedules change, babies are born, and life circumstances are never considered constant. And yet, all of these things dramatically affect the mom-owned business.

According to Forbes.com, 80 percent of all entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. That’s a lot. And, that’s all entrepreneurs; even the ones with an office outside of their home, investors and a researched business plan.

Now, envision the mom sitting at her counter trying to run an online store while making sandwiches, combing hair and cleaning up dog puke. Doesn’t sound very conducive to running a business does it? Running a business is hard no matter who you are. Running a business when you’re a mom can be a colossal feat.

No matter if your business has lasted four days, four years or four decades, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Life is hard. Business makes it harder. We all just desperately want to do what is best for our family. Whether that is working outside of the home full-time, from home part-time, or some type of combination, the desired goal is always the same; a happy, healthy family.

Kudos to you if you’re a mom entrepreneur, past or present. You are doing hard work!


4 Simple ways to change up your small bathroom

You can say that a bathroom is your own personal sanctuary. In fact, for people who have big families, it is one of the rare places where you can isolate yourself and find some comfort. Due to this, most of us see it as a room where you can relax and take care of yourself.

Due to all of this, we cherish our bathrooms a lot. It can be very hard when you have limited space at your disposal or when the bathroom is not functional enough. This is why you have to rearrange it and place equipment and furniture in a way so that you can maneuver around. Besides that, different rules apply when it comes to decoration. We have much less options when it comes to a small bathroom and that’s why we have to be extra careful.

Here are our tips as how to do it.

Be careful with colors
Colors can have an amazing impact on tiny bathrooms. Both your floor and walls have to be painted in a certain way. White or light gray should be used as a basis. You can add some more nuances to them making a perfect blend. Soft yellow and green are also amazing choices as they leave a natural impression. But, make sure to avoid dark colors as well as very intensive ones. They can be a little bit overbearing and visually imposing. Black is especially troublesome as it “shrinks” the room.

Light is an asset
Light is another factor that needs to be considered and works great in conjunction with proper colors. In this case, windows are great solution as they add a lot of natural light to the room. You also have to be careful when adding light bulbs. Standard yellow ones are pretty hard to pull off. They are good for certain color schemes. However, white neutral light is great. It emphasizes colors and makes room more vivid. Whatever you do, make sure not do overdo it. Even though room has to be properly illuminated, you shouldn’t add to many bulbs. It can have a very negative impact on your eyes making stay in the bathroom unbearable.

Buy things according to the space
If you just moved to the apartment or house, you might have brought your old furniture and equipment. But, they probably won’t fit in your new small bathroom. Tiny bathrooms give you lot less liberties in comparison to the big ones. Every piece of equipment needs to be bought especially according to room’s dimensions. In fact, make sure to get everything in advance and project how the room will look like with all those pieces together. Each corner has to be utilized properly as well as the upper regions of the room, near the ceiling. You can do wonders with limited space if you have enough imagination. Although you need to compromise with the equipment, you can definitely try and use unutilized parts of the room.

Be Rational
We have certain expectations and views when it comes to this space. We believe that bathroom should be used for all your hygienic and cosmetic needs. Although you are right when it comes to hygienic part, small bathrooms shouldn’t be used cosmetically. Make sure to remove everything that doesn’t belong such as hair dryer, manicure kit, make-up etc. Limit yourself to using bathroom only for personal hygiene and basic human needs. Install mirror someplace else in your house and start putting make-up there. This will save you a lot of space in bathroom as you remove anything that is not absolute necessity.


There are just the main things you can do with small bathroom. However, it is possible to try some other things as well. Do not be shy and use everything at your disposal. Be creative when it comes to placing furniture. Lastly, make sure to remove anything that is not completely necessary. In the end, bathroom is not a storeroom. Any excess towels or hygienic products should be relocated.

If all of this doesn’t help, you can always try and completely renovate the bathroom adding more space. It is much more expensive solution but it is definitely worth it!


#MondayMotivation 10.10.16



Mommy Monday:: Shannon Tennyson and CALZICO

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Shannon Tennyson.

What is your business?
CALZICO, a globally inspired, versatile clothing brand for tweens.

When did you start your business?
I started development of CALZICO in December 2015, inspired by my own tween daughter and my travels. I have two part time team members as well, who are invaluable. CALZICO presale will launch in December and we are preparing for a kickstarter in mid-November. Outside of CALZICO, I have a part time consulting business, providing Organizational Change Management consulting services to global clients since 2003.

What services/products do you offer?
CALZICO is versatile clothing for expressive tween girls in sizes 6-12. With convertible, reversible, and layering styles, we offer tweens age appropriate options to express their style, confidently. With every flip, zip, and layer, CALZICO items simply do more; for example, our signature "zipskirt" has a removable layer. We know the transition from child to teen is an important time and we’ve designed clothing to embrace it, not obscure it. For traveling families, we love the super soft, travel-friendly features that enable girls to pack less on their next family adventure. So many ways, she’ll have outfits for days! CALZICO is cut and sewn in NC using textiles from the US, West and South Africa, Australia, Canada, and Indonesia that celebrate world diversity while aligning with others who empower locally.

How do you balance family and business?
Not easily! For my consulting work, I have flexibility and control over my work week and travel schedule. That helps tremendously. I work 80% from home, so I try to maximize the hours my kids are at school. Then when they return home, I try to be available to connect with them and ensure they start on ‘must do’s and homework before diving back into my evening work. Right now, I try to dedicate 2 days per week plus time on weekends and evenings to CALZICO, and focus on my other client work the rest of the week.

At home, each person in our family also helps with CALZICO; our 13 year old with video and photo editing, our 10 year old with design input and fittings, and my spouse with additional responsibilities that I previously handled. I reserve a periodic ‘night out with mom/dad’, as a way to reconnect with each child; it fosters some of the best memories and discussions I have with my kids.

But it’s not all roses. There is a lot to juggle. Organized chaos tends to be my norm, as it is for many mom entrepreneurs I know. While preparing to launch CALZICO, I have to forego things; downtime, time with friends, travels etc. Happy to say that conquering laundry is now partly delegated to my tween and teen!

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
Find grace! And give it freely to yourself and others. Mistakes and ‘misses’ are part of the gig. Three things I work to incorporate that help me are:

  • Creating small rituals to re-center and reduce stress (e.g. my morning tea or a walk when the house is quite). I try to remember that while there are things I may need to forego in order to achieve my entrepreneurial goals, adequate sleep, nutrition and laughter should really NOT be one of them.
  • I start my work day by identifying my three highest priority tasks and jotting them down. I'm a bit old school so I use a mini notebook for this (mine is literally 3x3" so I can't fit much more on a page). This keeps my daily 'to-dos' manageable. If I finish those three, additional tasks are a bonus. If I get off track, I go back to my list of three! I also keep an overall project plan posted on my bulletin board so I don't lose sight of the overall path I'm on.
  • Try to connect with new people. Find communities. We're all busy and I'm an introvert so this is a huge challenge for me, but when I meet new people, I am often surprised to learn of the path their life has taken - things they ventured into because they were listening to the 'nudges' in life, as I am. Give and get support. Paths cross if we make room for it.

And if none of these ideas work for you, scream into a pillow and try again. 

How do your market your business?
CALZICO will be predominately a direct-to-consumer online e-commerce store, so I have been and will continue to engage with local community feedback groups of moms and tweens, our brand blog, individuals and communities on social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), bloggers, and other media and influencers that align to our market. I expect to add Pinterest and Snapchat soon, too.

Where can we find you?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/calzico

Instagram: www.instagram.com/calzico

Twitter: www.twitter.com/calzico

Blog: www.calzico.wordpress.com




Our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide is LIVE! 

Shop Small, Mom-Owned Businesses this Holiday Season and Help Support Families and Communities

Market Mommy® is a strong supporter of small, mom-owned businesses. That’s why we are excited to launch our eighth annual Holiday Gift Guide! We are encouraging everyone to #supportmoms and buy from mom entrepreneurs this holiday season.

When someone shops small, they are supporting moms, dads and families in their communities. This year’s guide features categories such as; For Baby, For Her, Holiday Cards, For Kids and For Mompreneurs. The businesses featured offer something for almost everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Market Mommy® recognizes that it isn’t easy to balance a family and grow a business at the same time. That is why this site is dedicated to supporting mom entrepreneurs in any way possible. Millions of dollars are spent during the holiday season and we want to push as many of these dollars as possible toward small businesses; specifically toward those that are mom-owned.

This year’s guide will feature a fun, mom’s night out Twitter party on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. EST. Sponsors will be highlighted and a lot of great prizes will be given away. There will also be some great advice and conversation about how to de-stress the holidays this year. RSVP and automatically be registered to win prizes by clicking here.

This year’s Platinum Sponsors include Beads-N-Style and The Boy’s Store.  The guide is live now through January, 2017.

Market Mommy® is an online marketing resource for mom business owners that shows moms how and where to market their businesses.  Market Mommy® offers a variety of low-cost {and free!} services to help moms on a budget.  Services include marketing consultation, copywriting, graphic design, printing of marketing materials and much more.