Chic and stylish looks can sometimes be hard to achieve when you’re a mom, especially a working mom! As a mother and business owner you wear many hats so it’s important for your wardrobe to be practical, comfortable, affordable and of course, stylish.
 
Understanding the need to look good on the go, we stopped by our local dressbarn store and found three uber-chic and easy to wear looks that will keep you one-step ahead, even if you feel miles behind on your lengthy to-do list.
 
And while we’re at it, let’s add one more thing to that to-so list that you’ll definitely want to do ASAP! Leave a comment, along with your email address, about why you need to look good on the go and we’ll randomly select one winner who will receive a dressbarn $50 gift certificate to purchase a new on the go outfit. The only thing we ask is once you purchase your outfit from dressbarn, please send us a photo of you wearing it to be posted on our blog and the dressbarn Facebook page!

Home Office to Sporting Event:
We know you’re busy at home—working and tackling daily “mom” duties, but take a moment to yourself and get yourself ready for the day’s events.
 
Think versatile. We found some great items at dressbarn that will carry you from your desk to your little one’s soccer game, all the while looking like anything but a soccer mom. A pair of dark denim skinny jeans, paired with a cascading cardiganand your fave comfy white tee are great all-purpose basics. Take the time to add small touches—a roomy, yet stylish croc bag and eye-catching earrings will also score you big points. Throw on some comfy boots and you’re good to go!
 
Daycare Pick-Up to Date Night:
You have heard it time and time again—make time for yourself but let’s not forget to make time for your hubby too!
 
This wrap dress is perfect for scooping the kids up from daycare and then heading out on a casual weeknight date with your other half.  Not only is it comfy, but it’s classic and can be dressed up quite easily with bold, gold jewelry. We know you have lots to do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look good doing it! He’ll appreciate it. Trust us.
 
Business Lunch to PTA meeting:
You have finally landed that client meeting you’ve been pining for so you have to look your best. However, while you’re the business woman from noon until three, you’re mom when the clock strikes four.
 
Pencil everything in by opting for a sleek pencil skirt and a dressy topthat shows you mean business. Not only will the look impress your client, but it will help you get your points across at the PTA meeting, as well.

Giveaway Details!

The winner of this giveaway will receive one $50 gift certificate to dressbarn. Once the winner purchases her outfit, she’ll be asked to send a picture for use by dressbarn and Market Mommy. The giveaway will officially end on Friday, Oct. 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post about why you need to look good on the go. After you comment here, you can earn extra entries! {Please leave a separate comment for each, including contact information!}

1.       Like dressbarn on Facebook

2.       Follow dressbarn on Twitter

3.       Like Market Mommy on Facebook

4.       Follow Market Mommy on Twitter

5.       Sign up for the Market Mommy rss feed

6.       Sign up for the Market Mommy free e-newsletter

7.       Tweet about the giveaway & tag both @MarketMommy and @dressbarn {daily entries permitted}

Here’s a sample tweet for your convenience!

R u an on-the-go mom? Win a $50 gift card & get ur own on-the-go outfit from @dressbarn at @MarketMommy #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/449qf85

Good luck!

*This is a sponsored post sumbitted by dressbarn representatives. The winner of this giveaway will be required to send us a photo of you wearing your purchase for it to be posted on our blog and the dressbarn Facebook page!

I’ve seen it happen but it’s never affected me personally before: a blogger gone…bad.
 
Have you ever seen a blogger bad mouth a business on Facebook or Twitter? It sets you back a moment, doesn’t it? Much like the gossips in high school you wonder, “Would they talk about ME like that?” You can bet they would, if you found yourself on their bad side.
 
Just this week a client of mine emailed to tell me that a blogger had blatantly bad mouthed the business on twitter – naming her by name. If you wonderful bloggers out there wonder what gives bloggers a bad name, this is one of the factors: no discretion, lack of professionalism and no tact.
 
Here’s a much better option:
 
If you are a blogger, and you were disappointed or let down by a business/service, email them. Talk it through and explain what you found to be annoying or silly. Give them a chance to explain, as you may have misunderstood or you might have read through the information too quickly. There have been many times that I’ve replied to a business or PR rep asking for more details: “I’m sorry but I didn’t quite understand. Are you asking me to promote your client without attaching a review or giveaway to the post? You are seeking a dedicated post, then? Is that right? If so, we no longer offer dedicated posts for free. If you wish to attach a giveaway or review, however, there are a few options we can discuss. Otherwise we consider this advertising and there’s a nominal fee to advertise on our site or blog. Thanks!”
 
It may have annoyed me to think that the PR rep was asking me to post all about the business without offering anything in return (a review, a giveaway, a free code for membership, some tweets about my site, etc). However, I would never tweet, “Hey! So-and-so needs to learn a thing or two about pitches! Get a life you big loser.”
 
How incredibly rude and distasteful that would make me appear! Not to mention the damage it could do to the business.
 
Moral: Think before you tweet. Don’t burn bridges that you may need to double back and cross some day. In twitter land the “objects are much closer than they appear.” We are all in each other’s back yards here so keep watch and do your best to get along with your online neighbors.
 
That’s what mature, grown-up business owners and bloggers do.

Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in education, early childhood, special needs, freelance and marketing. She owns various websites including: Mommy Perks, Kids Perks, Personal Child Stories, Early Childhood News and Resources and Pine Media (co owner). Shara is an active member of her town charity group and a Library Board Member. Learn more about her at Mommy Perks.

Ulanda Celestine is the mom behind fab-U-tique, a new business she launched in January of this year. Fab-U-tique offers unique boutique style clothing, trendy jewelry, designer inspired handbags, fashion accessories and personalized gifts.

Celestine admits that balancing business and family is difficult, but doable. “Not only do I have two businesses (WorkFromHomeOnTheInternet.com and fab-U-tique), I also work outside the home, workout regularly, and have a husband and two kiddos to take care of,” she said.

“I make sure my family’s immediate needs are met first, however I do make sure I have scheduled time as well to work my business.  Part of the weekends are reserved for family time while a smaller portion is used to tie up loose (business) ends from the week,” she added.

As an experienced business owner, Celestine encourages other mom entrepreneurs to stay consistent and committed no matter what struggles they face. “It takes a lot of time, energy, effort and resources to get a business up and running and keep it going.”

In addition to the website, fab-u-tique can also be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

By Jill Salzman

Lesson of the month:  you never know what people will pay for until you ask them.

A few months ago, I attended a networking event where I met a tall, elegant entrepreneur who told me that she charges people to have coffee with her. 

“You do WHAT?” 

She explained that she receives several requests a week to have her brain picked.  She was tired of giving up her free time and thinkpower to people she barely knew.  So, she threw a link onto her website and advertised “Coffee” for $12 per person.  The fee did not include food or beverages.  It was for her time.

“But don’t you offend the people you refer to your link?”

She giggled at my question and shrugged.  “If they’re offended, they probably don’t sign up.  But I haven’t had a problem hosting Coffees, and people keep signing up.”

With that, I asked her if I could attempt to offend people, too.  “Can I steal your idea?”

In the three weeks that I’ve had a Coffee link on my site, I’ve had over a dozen requests.  I’m astonished that anyone would pay money to sit down with me and several strangers but the outcome is truly awesome, each and every time.  We don’t waste time talking about our children or our family histories.  There’s no shooting the poop.  We come together to discuss issues pertinent to our business situations.  And since I limit them to 4 people, everyone gets an in-depth analysis and tons of suggestions thrown at them.  No one has left hungry for ideas yet, and I’m confident that I may begin to see repeats soon.

What’s fascinating is that this is not news.  Event planners charge for meetings, conferences and forums every single day.  Folks happily pay their way to network, brainstorm and educate themselves.  But when it’s put in the context of what is normally a free exchange of ideas—literally and figuratively—and fees are introduced, it turns the tables a bit.  It brings focus to a meeting.  It adds value that wasn’t there before – both to the attendees looking for feedback, and to the host whose time is valuable. 

While my new Coffees are not going to break the bank when it comes to income, I’m thrilled to finally put a value on my time, energy and brainpower.  I’m more thrilled that others value it, too.  The funniest part?  I don’t even drink coffee.

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.  A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then a baby jewelry company before her current venture. Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, and WGN TV.   In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.

Melissa is the mom behind Sweet Baby Cakes n More, a business she launched in 2008. Her business offers gifts for baby, mommy and daddy. “We specialize in diaper cakes, but offer mommy and daddy-to-be gifts also,” she said.

A single mom of a three-year-old daughter, Melissa admits that it’s not always easy to balance family and business. She also works full-time. “It’s a struggle to balance all three,” she said. “My daughter is my priority, I have to work to pay the bills, and my small business is my passion and creative outlet.”

To other mom entrepreneurs, she said to stay focused and driven. “Constantly strive to better your business.” She also added that it’s important to do a lot of research both online and through word of mouth. “It is unbelievable what I find on a daily basis to give me new ideas,” she said.

For the rest of 2011, Sweet Baby Cakes is offering Market Mommy readers 10% off of all orders. Simply enter “marketmommy” in the discount code field when checking out. In addition to the main Sweet Baby Cakes n More website, they can also be found on their blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Kid’s Personalized Music was one of our fantastic sponsors during our 2nd Birthday Extravaganza in June. Just recently, Victoria sent me a personalized children’s CD to review. I chose the ‘You’re a Winner’ CD for my son who has just entered kindergarten.

I thought this CD would be appropriate because it encourages character building and the importance of respect for others. The song list includes “You’re a Winner” and “You’ve Got Friends” which I thought were good titles, especially for a young child trying to build confidence in kindergarten.

When I received the CD, I wasn’t disappointed. It was personalized with my son’s name on the front and says his name nearly 80 times throughout the CD. I was also allowed to personalize the front of the CD with a personal message from his Daddy and I. This will be a special keepsake for my son to treasure.

The CD sounds great and the songs are fun and engaging. When he got the CD, my son played it immediately and he’s played it probably 25 times in the last week. He and his sister are singing along and dancing to the music.

I would definitely recommend Kid’s Personalized Music. They have a ton of CD titles to choose from, including a new Disney collection. In addition to their website, they can also be found on Facebook.



* I received a free CD in exchange for this honest product review.

Healther LopezBy reading this post, you are already taking a step towards growing your business (no matter what stage you are at). Chances are you are reading this post because you either subscribe to Dawn’s newsletter, saw it on FB or Twitter, found it on Google, or a friend recommended it, and you are looking for ways to help you navigate social media and how to use it for your business. Well, finding this post, means you are already learning how to do it and you are invested in learning more, so that’s why YOU deserve the congratulations. Not everyone gets this far. In fact, some business owners avoid it altogether. While social media was not intended to be commercial, the reality is that commerce drives it, and the future of capitalism is in social commerce.
 
Okay, so where do you go from here? Well, I am going to be honest. I can not answer all of your social media questions in a single blogpost, but I can tell you that your drive for knowledge is the first important step in becoming a social media savvy mommy. I am an expert blogger on here, so you will find new posts every month to help you navigate social media, branding, marketing, and pr.
 
My Tip for Today: BE A SPONGE
 
Read everything you can get your hands on. Invest your time and absorb what you are reading. Attend conferences and networking events. Be willing to invest money in learning from others who specialize in social media. Of course you can get a lot of info for free, but the best info is valuable enough to pay for. Social Media is everchanging, so make sure you stay informed on an ongoing basis. Not only will you learn how to use social media for your business, you will be able to share your knowledge with others as well. People in your online groups appreciate when you share your knowledge & in my experience, they will remember you when it comes time to choose which person they are buying from. Sometimes social media does not lead to an immediate sale, but basic marketing principles show that repeat exposure to your brand will help create an imprint in your potential customers’ minds. When a need for your product/ service arises either for theirselves or others, their brain will pull you up if you have left a strong impression. The stronger the imprint, the more they remember about you. Don’t be surprised if you are contacted months or even a year after initially making a connection with someone. Their brain pulled you up when they needed you. That is the power of social media. 
 
Heather Lopez is a 30 something, Christian, married mom to two toddlers. Heather empowers moms to create their own financial freedom through business or blogging, so that they may enjoy their time with their children, family, friends, husbands/ partners, and themselves. Heather specializes in social media, marketing, branding, pr, and promotional events. You can find her at http://www.heatherlopezenterprises.com.  

Boogie Wipes is currently searching for a ‘snot average kid to feature on their new 90 count canister package. Is your kid between two and ten years old? Has he or she done something amazing that the world needs to know about? Or maybe something that has positively impacted your family or community? Then you need to enter this contest.

Visit the contest page and write your child’s story in 100 words or less. You can also upload a video of them telling their own story, as well as a picture of your child. The contest runs through December. Details for entry and all of the official rules can be found here. Good luck!

How cute are these two? When I started promoting my 2nd Birthday Extravaganza back in June, BabyKakesink was quick to offer a sponsorship. Catherine sent me this adorable ‘big sister’ shirt and a ‘little brother’ onesie. I was immediately impressed when I received them.

These garments are not only adorable, but also very high quality. The material is thick and durable and has stood up very well to washing. The embroidered patches aren’t going anywhere. They are well adhered and look great!

Overall, I was very impressed with the pieces that I received. I love the concept of ‘big sister’ and ‘little brother’ shirts. My daughter is so excited to be a big sister and would wear her big sister shirt every day if I let her. I’ve seen plenty of these types of shirts, but the ones I received from Babykakesink are definitely the highest quality.

Win it!

BabKakesink is generously giving one of our readers a t-shirt! To enter, simply comment here with your favorite design after you browse her shop. The giveaway will officially end on Friday, Sept. 23 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Monday, Sept. 26.

After you comment here with your favorite BabyKakesink design, you can earn extra entries! {Please leave a separate comment for each, including contact information!}

1.       Like Babykakesink on Facebook

2.       Follow Babykakesink on Twitter

3.       Like Market Mommy on Facebook

4.       Follow Market Mommy on Twitter

5.       Sign up for the Market Mommy rss feed

6.       Sign up for the Market Mommy free e-newsletter

7.       Tweet about the giveaway & tag both @MarketMommy and @BabyKakesink {daily entries permitted}

Here’s a sample tweet for your convenience!

There’s a great #giveaway going on @MarketMommy! Win a super cute t-shirt from @babykakesink for commenting here: http://tinyurl.com/67mg7rm

Good luck!

*I received these two shirts for free in exchange for this honest product review.

Nicki Donley is the mom author of “Cool Conduct: 100 Ways To Make A Positive Impression.” She published the book in October of last year as a family reference book that helps children feel confident in social situations.

“Cool Conduct” encourages role playing, creative thinking and opportunities for children learn to be responsible participants in school, at home and in their communities. According to Donley, “Cool Conduct” will help children understand what is expected of them and be confident, considerate and active participants in society and is ideal for ages kindergarten to fourth grade.

Donley is the mother of seven-year-old triplet girls, so she said she tries to be really attentive and present to her family. “Usually, I work on business related items late at night,” she said.

To other aspiring mom entrepreneurs, she encourages research. “Many times I have had what I felt was an amazing idea and start to get excited, only to find out it has been manufactured already.”

“Cool Conduct retails at $12.95 at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. However, Market Mommy readers can get a signed copy for just $10 when they e-mail the coupon code Cool10 directly to Donley.