Tammy at Pockets of Dreams recently contacted Market Mommy to great a graphic image to use in our Holiday Gift Guide and we were more than happy to do so 🙂 Below is what we created. Check out their site, it’s really very cool.

Their motto is Dress to Bless. For every product you buy, they give a portion of the proceeds in the form of grants to seamstresses in Uganda that they’ve partnered with. These women run their own small sewing businesses. To extend the blessing, they also work with up and coming designers and partner with a small manufacturer in the Philippines that works with women seamstresses who work out of their homes.

The company is called “pockets” of dreams because their initial dresses all had seven pockets which stood for the seven wishes they have for girls everywhere – family, friends, health, wealth, education, opportunity, and most importantly love. How great is that?

I really think I need to start participating in Wordful Wednesdays instead of Wordless 😉
Have a great day!

Are you a Hybrid Mom? Click here to find out 🙂

Hybrid Mom is an online community,website and magazine for all women. They offer some great opportunities for mom entrepreneurs as well! Ways to network, newsletters, a marketplace and much more!

If you haven’t declared yourself a Hybrid Mom yet, you should!

Sisters Joy Paulson and Cynthia Mariner are proud to bring Life Changing Water Systems to customers in southern California. The direct sales business was founded in Japan 34 years ago and introduced to the U.S. in 2003.

The company is in the health and wellness industry and sells a Japanese, ISO certified medical device that splits water into two parts; one being acid and one being alkaline. The alkaline water is able to heal and repair your body when you drink it because it is changed from bulk water that cannot penetrate and hydrate your cells, to water that is microclustered and can penetrate your cells to remove toxins that can make your body ill.

According to Paulson, the company has been successful because it puts people’s health first. “The kind of water we consume is critical to our well being,” she said. “We are successful because we provide a healthy and safe method for helping people heal and we take much joy and are constantly rewarded by the physical changes we see take place when people drink this water,” she added. The company has worked with people who suffer from diabetes, cancer, arthritis, chrons disease, acid reflux, high blood pressure, autism, ADHD, allergies and other ailments.

Because it is a home based business, the sisters are able to weave it into their daily lives and work around their home schedules. Paulson said it is possible to have a healthy mix of both worlds, career and family. “It’s important to follow your dreams, use your creative minds, be your own boss and set your own schedule,” she added.

Paulson, like so many others, agrees that being a mom business owner is not always easy. “It can be a challenge sometimes, but never give up if what you are doing is something you can believe in and be proud of at the end of the day,” she said.

If you are in the Orange County, southern California area and would like to try some water from Life Changing Water Systems for two week period for free, contact Paulson at 714.962.4693, or Mariner at 714.965.7586 for more information. You can visit their website http://www.lifechangingh2o4u.com/

For the past few days I have been busy organizing and putting the finishing touches on our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide at Market Mommy. {Note:: this link will expire in just a couple days. After that, the actual guide will be found here.} I am SUPER excited for it to be published in another week. Oftentimes it is hard to compete and get your products included in various gift guides. That is why I created a guide at Market Mommy exclusively for mom entrepreneurs. And, I’m happy to say that we had a great response, and no mom business owner was turned away!

So, keeping with the Holiday Gift Guide spirit, I thought I’d let you all know about a few other great gift guide opportunities that are still available for the upcoiming season. Check them out, and submit, submit, submit. But, remember to follow their requirements and read all the details first! Happy submitting!

Gifts for everyone::
· Mom Fuse
· A Cowboy’s Wife
· Our Ordinary Life
· Rockin’ Mama
· Mama Cheaps
· Through Hazel Eyes
Gifts for children and babies::
· Mission Mommy
· Baby Friendly L.A.
· Posh Little
Foodie gifts::
· My Wooden Spoon
Techie gifts::
· Tech Savvy Mama

And, don’t forget there are just a couple days left to reserve your spot in the 2009 Market Mommy Holiday Gift Guide! Click here for details! Have a fabulous fall weekend!

If you want to be featured in the hottest Holiday Gift Guide exclusively for mom business owners, time is running out! In less than a week, listing purchases will be closed and just days after that the 2009 Market Mommy Holiday Gift Guide will launch!

HG Button

We are super excited! There are going to be some fabulous businesses featured! You don’t want to be left out! Purchase your listing today!

According to Webster’s Dictionary, being persistent means existing for a long or longer than usual time. When it comes to creating and building your own business, persistence is one of those words of advice that keeps popping up.

Be persistent. Stay focused. Do not give up. Sometimes easier said than done, right? I’ll be the first to tell you that persistence isn’t always the easiest virtue to possess. But, if you stay strong and weather the storms, I firmly believe they will pass and you will reach your reward at the end.

Success doesn’t happen overnight for most of us. So, what do we have to gain by being persistent? Each day that you work to further your business you learn more, meet new contacts and gain credibility. You aren’t working for nothing, even though it may seem like it at times.

If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?

This is a great quote from our 30th President of The United States, Calvin Coolidge::
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.”

We have quite a few Canadian followers, so I wanted to make sure to mention that this is Small Business Week for our friends up north 🙂 It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the BDC’s Small Business Week!

If you are interested learning about the week’s events, various awards and more facts about small businesses and entrepreneurs in Canada, click here.

Kudos to all Canadian moms who are working to better their lives and the lives of their children!

When IsabellaOiver.com launched in October 2003 {yes, just six years ago this month} it was a small operation with the three co-founders working in the front rooms of their homes. Now, Baukjen de Swaan Arons, Vanessa Knox-Brien and Geoff van Sonsbeeck are owners of a large, successful online apparel business. The company has experienced double digit growth year after year.

According to the founders, the company’s biggest accomplishments are creating a brand and collection that is loved by pregnant women around the world, launching this Isabella Oliver 365 collection in the competitive arena of womenswear and winning the Drapers Etailer of the year award. The say their biggest accomplishment, however, is being able to grow organically without outside investors and retain 100 percent ownership.

According to Baukjen, it is sometimes tricky to balance family and business. However, she said, “We all have our children as the first priority in life and so whenever there is a conflict, we support one another in being able to step away and be with our family.” She added, “We have a good support network in our private lives and that really helps when we need to travel or a busy week is coming up.”

Knox-Brien agreed. “I have a strong partnership with my husband and we are basically a tag team since we both have busy schedules and the kids have busy schedules. We make time that is family time and we protect that strongly.”

The pair of mom-entrepreneurs encourage other like-minded moms to be organized and have a strong support system behind them. However, they also caution that when starting out long, unpaid hours are often required.

Creating and building a business is not easy. According to the founders of Isabella Oliver, you can easily feel like you are failing at the business and with raising your family, when in fact you are doing the best you can. “Be clear on your priorities and be kind to yourself, like a best friend would,” they said.

Mommy Monday is a regular feature on Market Mommy:: The Blog. If you know a great mom business owner that should be featured here, contact Dawn at [email protected] and put Mommy Monday in the subject line!

There has been a good deal of discussion lately about the FTC and whether they would actually put a policy into place requiring bloggers to disclose when they receive free products in exchange for reviews. Well, it has happened. Last week, they did just that. Bloggers must now disclose all products that they receive and whether or not they were free. If not, fines can reach $11,000. The FTC’s official press release can be found here.

Obviously, this is big news! Not only for all of our great mom-blogger friends, but also for us as mom business owners and entrepreneurs. It is a common discussion between mom entrepreneurs who have a limited marketing budget. Do I send free products to bloggers in return for a great review? Is it effective marketing? Is it effective budgeting?

Some bloggers are flattered by the ruling. Having the FTC acknowledge bloggers as legitimate journalists is a compliment, they say. Others are outraged that the requirements are different for them versus print journalists. The NY Times did an interesting article here.

Ultimately, I think it is a good thing for mom business owners like us, trying to effectively marketing our small companies on a very limited budget. Oftentimes there is a lot of pressure to send free gifts and it is very hard for us to compete with the large companies that send out hundreds of samples at a time.

This essentially takes a bit of that pressure off. As some have pointed out, the new policy may be hard to enforce. But, I think most bloggers will be forthcoming and disclose the information. It will be interesting to see how this affects the blogging and review world. The new policy takes effect on December 1.

What do you think?

In an effort to acquire more newsletter subscribers, more Facebook Fans and more blog and Twitter Followers …. we are going to have a bit of a competition.

Are you in the competitive mood yet?? All you have to do is spread the word about Market Mommy and Market Mommy:: The Blog. It’s easy! You can grab our button and post it on your own blog or website, you can e-mail your friends, tell your Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers ……… any and all of the above will work.

Here’s the deal. You want them to sign up for our newsletter, Fan us or Follow us or the blog and let us know that YOU sent them. There is a field on our newsletter sign-up for such a purpose, or they can message us, e-mail us or tweet us to tell us how they heard of Market Mommy. You earn one referral point for each person who does any of the above.

This contest will last for 30 days, therefore it will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 15. The person with the most referrals combined will win a great prize! What is that great prize you ask? The winner will get their choice of either a $35 gift certificate to Market Mommy {great for advertising} or a $35 gift certificate to Announcements Galore {just in time for holiday card purchasing}.

So, there you have it. Put us in your newsletters, on your blog and tell your friends! Good Luck!