Sue Testaguzza is the mom entrepreneur behind LifeCubby, a free online application where parents can store their children’s data, photos and video. Work on LifeCubby began in the fall of 2010 and the site officially went live in September of 2011.

The types of data that can be stored in LifeCubby include growth charts (height and weight), certificates, awards, writing samples, scans of artwork, current sizes, health history, allergies, immunizations, CHIRPS, etc. Parents can also use it to track things like chore assignments, allowance payments, educational goals, resumes, etc.

 

And, it’s great for teachers, particularly early childhood teachers. It can store students’ data, photos and videos. Teachers can also use LifeCubby for their students’ assessments (evaluations for parent-teacher conferences) for birth to age six.According to Testaguzza, balancing business with family is always tough. “I have five children of my own, and sometimes I just have to work really late, long after everyone’s gone to bed, to get it all done,” she said.

 

“I have a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, and that is a huge blessing!  I try to get as much done as I can before the kids get home from school.  My desk is never completely cleared off, nor are all my emails answered the day I get them, but I try to address everything in a timely manner.” Testaguzza encourages other aspiring mom entrepreneurs to follow their passion and not get discouraged.

 

In addition to their main website, LifeCubby can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

January 26, 2012

For Immediate Release

Market Mommy® Hosts First S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award

One Successful, Tenacious, Accomplished & Remarkable Mom to be Awarded $3500 Prize Package

Small-town, OH – Market Mommy® recognizes that it isn’t easy to balance a family and grow a business at the same time. That is why the first ever S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award has been created. One successful, tenacious, accomplished and remarkable mom business owner will be awarded the title of S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur and receive a prize package valued at more than $3,500.

Market Mommy® seeks to honor women for their continued dedication to their families and businesses. “Many moms put in hour after hour and jump hurdle after hurdle in the pursuit of success for their business,” said Dawn Berryman, Market Mommy® founder. “We feel that they should be recognized for all the sacrifices that they make in the name of entrepreneurship.”

An award winning, nationally recognized panel of judges has been assembled to select this year’s award recipient. Heather Allard, founder of The Mogul Mom, Mindee Doney, of Boogie Wipes® and Juice Box Consulting fame, and Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of The Work at Home Woman will be judging the competition.

“We are thrilled to have such an excellent group of judges,” said Berryman. “These ladies are very well versed in the world of mom entrepreneurs and will be up to the task of choosing the most deserving nominee.”

Not only will the award recipient earn the title of S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur, she will also win a prize package valued at more than $3.500. The package includes a wide variety of products and services geared toward the business woman. Prize sponsors in addition to Market Mommy® include;  Red Jeweled Media, Juice Box Consulting, Corporate Mom Dropouts, The Hanani Group, IndysChild.com, The Mogul Mom, Baby Swags, Mommy Perks, Boogie Wipes®, Arizona Moms Network,

Funky Finds, The Work at Home Woman and Choosing Love.

Nominations are open now through February 29. The short nomination form can be filled out via the Market Mommy® website. For more information, visit www.marketmommy.com or contact [email protected].

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.

Dawn Berryman, the founder of Market Mommy®, can be reached at [email protected].

 

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What are your plans for the upcoming weekend? Spending time with family, working around the house, business stuff? Sometimes, the list seems never ending. What am I talking about, the list always seems never ending.

The old adage, ‘a mother’s work is never done,’ definitely rings true, especially if you add in running a business! So, even though it’s the weekend, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to rest and relax. But, for me, it does mean more time with the kids and that’s always a good thing.

Just in case you don’t have enough on your plate and are looking for something additional to tackle this weekend, here are some great opportunities 🙂

  • Nominate yourself for our S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award! Are you successful, tenacious, accomplished and remarkable? We’d love for you to enter! We’re giving away a prize package valued at more than $3,500! Take a look!
  • Are you product based? There’s a new competition for anyone to win their way onto the shelves at Walmart. It’s called Get on the Shelf, and The Mogul Mom compared it to an American Idol for inventors.
  • The Spark & Hustle 2012 Nationwide Tour has been revealed! Take a look and see what cities are close to you. You may want to attend. These great, one-day events are devoted to enhancing your small business success!
  • Tell Congress not to censor the web! Sign Google’s petition to end piracy, not liberty. The petition will tell our lawmakers that we oppose SOPA and PIPA, legislation that will forever change the way we do business and interact online. Learn more and sign the petition here.
  • Read up on the 20 Women to Watch in 2012 posted by Mommy Perks! ‘Meet’ some great ladies and be inspired to accomplish more than ever this year!

There, in case you were struggling with lots of time to fill this weekend, I’ve given you a couple things to keep you busy! Happy Friday!

Are you {or someone you know} a S.T.A.R. {successful, tenacious, accomplished, remarkable} Mom Entrepreneur? If so, Market Mommy wants to honor you for your continued dedication to your business and your family!

Are you a leader? Are you balancing your business and family in a creative way? We want to hear what sets you apart from the thousands of other mom entrepreneurs! Why are you determined to succeed? Have you invented a product that is helping others? What have you done to show the world that you’re confident, remarkable and steadfast? Tell us, and you’ll be entered to win an absolutely awesome prize package.

We know it’s far from easy to balance a family and grow a business at the same time. And, many of you put in hour after hour and jump hurdle after hurdle in the pursuit of success. That’s why we’ve created the first S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award. We feel you should be recognized for all the sacrifices you make in the name of entrepreneurship.

Not only will this award garner you the respect you deserve, it also comes with an unprecedented prize package! We’ll be giving away more than $3500 in prizes. Visit our Sponsor Page for a full list of prizes and their sponsors.  Once you’re nominated, you’ll be listed in our S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award photo album on Facebook. There, your supporters can endorse you with their ‘likes’ and comments!

Our fabulous panel of judges will review nominations and endorsements and chose the mom who best exemplifies success and tenacity. We want to honor a mom who is accomplished, has overcome adversity to make it and aims to balance her business and family life seamlessly. An all-around remarkable mom!

Is that you? It’s easy to nominate. Visit our Nominations Page to fill out the short form, and then e-mail one image {your logo, headshot, product image or another photograph that represents your business} to star{at}marketmommy{dot}com. Once we receive your nomination form and image, we will post your image in our Facebook album and you will officially be registered. Nominations are being accepted through February 29, 2012. For a complete list of Official Rules, click here.

Award Timeline

Nominations Open: January 16, 2012

Nominations Close: February 29, 2012

Endorsements Accepted on Facebook until: March 16, 2012

Winner Announced: On or around March 30, 2012

The moms behind Lima Bean Kids admit that with a ton of adorable, personalized items, shopping the site could be a bit overwhelming. That is why they’ve implemented a complete overhaul of their site and made it much more shopper friendly.

“Our goal with the updated website is to create a shopping experience that combines clean design with ease of use for customers,” said Susanna Deshotel.

In addition to the site update, Lima Bean Kids has also reenergized their look with a new, fresh logo. “Our new pinwheel logo also reflects our clean design style and also adds a touch of whimsy,” said Deshotel. Hence the business’s tagline, “a whimsical place for all things personalized!”

Lima Bean Kids offers tees, dresses, tableware, clipboards, wall art, storage, pillow covers, tote bags, water bottles and more, all personalized with your child’s name. And, they all feature bright, attractive graphics.

The easy-to-navigate website lists all products along the left and informational links along the top. The site’s clean design is a direct reflection of their product designs. Visit LimaBeanKids.com and see for yourself!

The business started in one mom’s basement in 2008 and since she’s had her cousin and two best friends join in on the fun. You can read more about them here. Or, find Lima Bean Kids on Facebook and Twitter.

*Sponsored post:: This blog post is part of an advertising package purchased by Lima Bean Kids.

 

Funky Finds has been dedicated to promoting independent artists, crafters and designers worldwide since 2006. They host semiannual indie art and craft shows in Fort Worth & Longview, Texas. Over 100 talented artists, crafters and designers will be selling hand-crafted items at the FREE family AND pet-friendly event!

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor at a Funky Finds event, deadlines are quickly approaching! See below for more information!

This is the perfect place to purchase unique one-of-a-kind handmade gifts that you won’t find at any big box store! Event will feature swag bags for the first 75 attendees each day to purchase a minimum of five $1.00 raffle tickets. Raffle features items donated by all participating artisans and sponsors, and all raffle proceeds benefit the local Humane Society. Pet adoptions facilitated by The Humane Society throughout the event.

Events:

4th Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling:: Fort Worth

March 10 (10am-5pm) & 11 (11am-4pm)
Will Rogers Memorial Center, Small Exhibits Building, 3409 Burnett-Tandy Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76104
VENDOR APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED ONLINE THROUGH JANUARY 8
Facebook Event Page

Funky Finds Spring Fling:: Longview
April 21 (10am-5pm) & 22 (11am-4pm)
Maude Cobb Convention / Activity Complex – Exhibit Building, 100 Grand Blvd., Longview, TX 75604
VENDOR APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED ONLINE THROUGH FEBRUARY 11
Facebook Event Page

Learn more about all of Funky Finds services that are aimed at promoting independent artists, crafters and designers worldwide, including our online marketplace, The Shops @ Funky Finds – Buy & Sell Handmade Goods! http://funkyfinds.com/services

Cindy EngstromMarket Mommy:: When and why did you found your business?

Cindy:: I founded SIRCLE Advertising (formerly Is That Odd, Inc.) in April of 2009 because I identified a new way to approach marketing in the era of online living: advertising relations. It weds traditional advertising and public relations by creating a setting for consumers and brands to engage online that is connected to real-life product experiences and brand impressions. The internet is such a powerful tool to engage with people and use data to determine how effective marketing efforts are – I had to make use of it!

The SIRCLE model allows consumers to earn virtual currency and redeem it for product samples, and then follows up with a review request and retail purchase incentive. Currently, SIRCLE is live on IsThatOdd.com, and we’re in talks with several major web properties to put our model on their site next year. Additionally, we are developing a second property of our own for early 2012. We stay busy!

Market Mommy:: How long did it take before you felt successful?

Cindy:: I think life is full of many milestones, and I can fondly remember having a smile on my face because I felt successful.  Whether it was nailing a tough econometrics exam during my MBA program or finding a way to bring a new approach to a business when you are not in a position of power.  I also get a huge kick out being able to bring together a talented team and feel very successful and honored that talented people were willing to join the SIRCLE Advertising team and work hard. With SIRCLE Advertising our/my big moment was the insight we gained from our first experiment with the sample campaigns running on IsThatOdd.com.  We’ve had a few of those moments where the numbers are so good you rub your eyes and look again. Our time-on-site and pages-per-visit are on par with big players like Facebook, and 25% of our users engage with our brand partners – to compare,  banner ads usually deliver around 2%.

Market Mommy:: How do you define success?

Cindy:: Success to me is where you are completely invigorated and inspired by what you do in a way that complements having a fulfilling personal life.  I am also a fan of Oprah’s definition of success: preparation meeting opportunity.  People think success is purely luck based.  It is not, it requires a lot of hard work and no short cuts.

Market Mommy:: How do you balance parenting with running your business?

Cindy:: It is hard!  I often joke about wanting to high five myself some mornings when I’ve exercised, made my cuties breakfast, driven them to two different schools. I cherish those morning drives and the discussions that emerge (or the songs we sing). As I head to the office, I think, “Yes! I did it!”

As far as the actual management of my day, I couldn’t do it without technology. I check in throughout the day, getting a text from our nanny when the kids are home from school, emails from the school about field trips, calls to my husband about evening plans, and emailing my team from my Blackberry and iPhone – yes I carry both, and an iPad – to keep all the plates spinning.

Market Mommy:: When did you break the six-figure threshold?

Cindy:: OH! Sorry, I’m Canadian – that is a very personal question in the Canadian culture – but it’s a good one because that barrier did mean a lot to me when I broke through it.  I had paid my dues at a few hard jobs when my “preparation meets opportunity” karma kicked in. I was leading the marketing team for a tech start up in the dot com boom and I was 29 years old; it was fun to be a part of that history.

Market Mommy:: What business strategies contributed to your success?

Cindy:: I work hard; really, really hard.  I’ve always believed I could outwork the competition because I can sit at my desk for hours on end and I am so driven to make sure I do my part for the team.I have built a successful career in figuring out the intersections where technology makes a person’s life more fun, or just plain better.  I am an observation fanatic; I like to watch and listen to people and be a fly on the wall.  As I’ve matured, I’ve become better at listening to feedback, which is something I am very proud of myself for achieving.  Some of the days I have the most fun are going from meeting to meeting with super smart people and hearing their thoughts on the latest leg of our strategy.My network is also key, I am humbled by the amazing network of business friends that I have!  I really encourage people to get out there and talk to each other.

Market Mommy:: What specific marketing efforts really paid off for you?

Cindy:: It is a lesson that I try to pass along: focus.  Now, that might sound easy at first, but what focus really means is that you must let things go.  It can be painful to alienate anyone or anything outside of the focal point.  One of its best applications is with launching a new product or company, you have to focus on sending the right messages for your situation.  It is tempting to jam in messages about all the great facets of what we are doing, but we can’t because the net effect will be zero share of mind.  A great example is from when I was running a small retail company in the Midwest and we were up against Coach and Gap.  A market positioning disaster for a new store, so  I decided we would focus on selling leather jackets, our highest margin products.  The quality of our product was out of this world and we developed a selling strategy to send people back to the Coach store to do a quality comparison – it worked!  We kicked the snot out of our locally situated competitors. I remembered one day walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago and seeing people wearing our jackets.  THAT was a moment.

Market Mommy:: What advice do you have for moms who are just starting out on their entrepreneur adventure?

Cindy:: My sister Tracy, who is an amazing Mom to three sons,  said to me once “there is no such thing as a part-time job.”  It takes as much time to get everyone to school, manage the household, and make everyone’s lives function whether you’re working 3 days a week or 5.   That stuck with me and so my first piece of advice is that even if you start part-time, it will feel full-time.

So, be realistic about your professional and personal schedules.  Be fiercely organized. Not one minute of my day is left unscheduled, including fun time, which is super important. Identify your resources: child care, meals, project help, budget and the almighty emergency stash of chocolates.  You will have deliverables when your partner/spouse is on a business trip, you have a flat tire, and one of your children is home sick with a cold so having help at hand to conquer moments of crisis is key. Most importantly, never give up on your dream.  Yes, you’ll be tired and yes at times you’ll think you’re a horrible Mom but your dreams are important. You are an important role model to your children that dreams matter, and are showing them an example of how to enjoy your professional life and your family.  Every once in while you get a comment that brings tears to your eyes, “Mom, you sure do a good job.  I want to be like you when I grow up.” It is pure magic.

I know that it has been almost two weeks since I’ve made an appearance and updated the blog. I appreciate your understanding while I took some much needed time off to spend with my family during the holidays. I trust that you and yours also had a wonderful holiday season.

It’s no surprise that we’re cooking up a ton of great new ideas for 2012 here at Market Mommy. We would LOVE it if you were a part of our plans. In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing details about the first ever Market Mommy S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award. You won’t want to miss those details!

We have other things in store as well. We’ve already created a new Classified Ad page where you can list your Help Wanted or Business Opportunity ads for just $5. Sign up here. And, we still have spaces left in our Mega Advertising package! Make Market Mommy part of your New Year’s resolution to advertise better! You can have a presence on our site all year long for 50% off! Click here for details!

Are you ready to tackle 2012? Do you have a plan in place and goals set to achieve? Only you have the power to make this year better than the last. As I organize and implement my new ideas, please let me know how Market Mommy can help you. We are here to offer advice, help and services when it comes to ANY aspect of marketing! Have a question? Just ask, chances are we can help you answer it!

And, just in case you haven’t viewed it yet, our Holiday Gift Guide is live until the end of January!