Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Get it fast with In-store & curbside pickup or same day delivery.

In Time for Mother’s Day ~ ‘Mompreneurs’ Get Ready to Win $5,000 Cash

In Time for Mother’s Day ~ ‘Mompreneurs’ Get Ready to Win $5,000 Cash

In Time for Mother’s Day ~ ‘Mompreneurs’ Get Ready to Win $5,000 Cash

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎05-17-2011 10:27 AM

smallbizmom artwork.pngWith Mother’s Day fast upon us, it makes sense for us to recognize some of our entrepreneurs who do double duty as moms. If you’re a mom and a Verizon customer who owns her own business, we have a contest that recognize all your hard work.


Verizon’s ‘Hardest Working Small Biz Mom’ contest from Verizon begins April 29th and runs until May 22.  It’s simple to enter just share your story with us… how do you manage running your own business and your household?  To enter just upload a short video or submit a blog post.  This contest will be up on the Verizon Small Biz Facebook page on April 29th and we’re giving our dedicated blog readers a heads up… so you can start preparing your entry now.


The ‘Hardest Working Small Biz Mom in America’ will win $5,000 cash, 6 months of Verizon Websites powered by Intuit or Verizon WebListings, and free cleaning service for an entire year!  Just think of all the other things, projects or errands you can tackle if you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house.  The cash can go towards anything you desire, whether you put it towards your business or invest in a nice pair of shoes or handbag… It’s your call. You deserve it!  Also, the winner will get a one-year premium membership to Ladies Who Launch, a company that provides resources and connections for women entrepreneurs.


Below you’ll find details on the contest and don’t worry if you want to submit a video, but don’t quite know how; the lovely ladies at Ladies Who Launch prepared a tutorial video to show you how (Thanks, Ladies!). 


Contestants need to be a Verizon and Verizon Wireless customer and submit a brief video (not to exceed 2 minutes with a URL link to their video submission) or a blog post (maximum 325 words) to this particular blog post in the comments section below.  You will have to establish a log-in if you have never logged in before.  Once a log-in is established you can submit your blog post.


In addition to the $5,000 and free cleaning service for a year grand prize, second prize will be a free iPad and $1,000 prepaid gift card.  Third prize is a $500 prepaid gift card.


Again, those ‘mompreneurs’ planning to submit a blog post, you must submit your blog post in the comment section that is at the end of this blog post.  For ‘mompreneurs’ submitting a video, upload it to a video sharing site like Youtube or Vimeo and then share the link to your video in the entry form (alive on April 29th on the Verizon Small Biz Facebook page).


Good luck!



Update (May 27, 2011):  It's great to see the blog posts (entries to this contest) below.  Please be sure you have also completed and submitted your application at  After you submit your blog post click on the permalink and enter that URL in the application (see image below).


We can not wait to announce the winner... stay tuned!


Upload blog or video.jpg 


I am not seeing where I would post a written blog entry to this contest. Can someone advise me as to where and how to do this?

Employee Emeritus

Just post in the comments section and let us know how we can reach you!


 I am a single mom with 5 kids at home, one of which is autistic.  My children and I are on our own, since both of my parents have passed away and their father can have no contact with them.  My children are great, very understanding, do well in school and even after everything they been through they don’t complain! I am an accountant and I have an office in my home.  I serve about 400 clients in various things from taxes, accounting, payrolls, budgeting, to helping them actually run their businesses.  My days are tough; tax season is grueling, 16 to 20 hours a day for 15 weeks straight.   Three of the kids are in high school; they all go to different schools.  I transport one child at 6am to meet the bus. I come home to get the other 3 off to school and then transport my autistic son and another special needs child to their schools.   I return to house, usually throw in a load of laundry and dishes and then get to work on whatever I need to get done that day.  I’m out straight until 2:45 when I have to stop working so I can repeat the morning ritual in reverse of picking up kids.   My evenings are jumbled with sports (3 kids play), coaching (I coach softball and soccer), PTF meetings, meeting with clients, work, and household chores, helping with homework or whatever else comes up.  I recently finished my Bachelors in Criminal Justice and I am now starting a master’s program, yeah full time student too!  Juvenile justice is my passion.  My house is where all the kids in the neighborhood hangout.  They are just like part of our family and treated as such.  I’m always running, always busy.. …but my kids are worth every bit of it and their only kids so long!  Then I can relax? Well probably not…thinking about doing foster care when their grown!  


Oh yeah forgot to mention you can reach me on my verizon cell phone {edited for privacy}


     I own and operate a small “Type B” in home daycare. I started this business about 6 years ago. My day starts at 4:30am and ends when I get to close my eyes, normally around 10pm. I care for up to 6 children so parents can work or school. I have tons of daily paper work, plus monthly billing to the county, I cook health meals for daycare, plan and do crafts in all areas like science, social studies, reading. I also teach basic kindergarten entry needs, like potty training, basic writing, shoe tying, along with making sure children get outdoor and indoor large and small motor skills daily. And my school age daycare children I transport to school. I have my CDA and also found time to go to school to become a Nationally Accredited Childcare Provider. And the secretary of our union local.
    I also have 4 children of my own, 21, 19, 15, 11.  On top of running my own business, and doing the mom thing, I am preparing my 19 yr old for a transition to college life. They are the reasons I chose to do this work. I thought being in a place where they knew they could always contact me, and with my love for children, this was a good thing for me. I wake them up for their school day feed them breakfast and get them out the door on time. I try to manage everything, it is a struggle, not as easy as I thought it would be, With the normal mom things, like laundry, cleaning, homework help, timing a daily family dinner is hard when they all have their own activities they love, some how I manage!
    I have been a Verizon Customer for about 6 or so years, I use the texting a lot. It is a easy way for clients to contact me, and for my own family. I have the Droid Global! I use it for filing my billing, opening up invoices, sending emails, and just staying in touch with the important people in my life.



{edited for privacy}


As the owner of TLC Support Services, LLC a company dedicated to providing case management and living skills training to individuals who have a traumatic brain injury my days are challenging and always filled with surprises. Being connected to the pulse of the business through my Verizon blackberry allows me to run my business from anywhere. Juggling 3 children’s schedules means time management is paramount. The car is not down time…it is my office on wheels. Drive time in between meetings, I catch up on phone calls, night time I catch up on emails. During the day, I can run to school, be a chaperone or be the pickup mom for the basketball team. I would not have it any other way. Well, I have had it other ways…and I know for sure this works better for me. It is not for everyone. It was scary opening my own agency. I left the job that provided the family’s health insurance…so it was a big risk. I now teach classes in Entrepreneurship 101 at my 2nd business, The Giving Tree. The role of motherhood and the role of a successful business owner is a magical balance that requires your family to be a part of the plan. The words that come to mind are FLEXIBLE, CONFIDENT and RESILIENT. Every day, there is a phone call, email or text that comes in that derails the daily plan. I have accepted that not everything will go as planned! 8 months after this agency opened my husband had a massive heart attack and triple bypass. Thank God he is well, but it was a long road to recovery. 2 years later I had Breast Cancer and chose a double mastectomy. We are no strangers to adversity. As a family we just believe that we will be ok! It is flexibility that gets us through “day to day” but the confidence and resiliency that gets us through “year by year”! Being told I’m a great mother “especially with your work” is the best compliment of all!

We are moms of multiples (Susanne has triplets & Robyn has twins and a singleton), mompreneurs, PT employees, and loyal Verizon customers (>15 years).  Our company, Greater Than One Kids, our labor of love, is committed to making raising more than one child close in age simply greater.  After recognizing a major gap in the market for getting out and about with little ones in tow, We spent a year developing our debut product.  Hold-On Handles, the unique stroller accessory and reinvented walking rope, is the hip and fun tool for moms on the go to help keep children within arm’s reach without embarrassing harnesses or leashes.  In order to support our product launch, we both work PT and borrow when needed.  This past October, we booked a small booth, flights and a hotel in Las Vegas and launched at the biggest baby event, The ABC Show.  To our total delight, we were a hit at the show and secured major US retailers as well as international distribution.  We initiated production, started to ship orders, hired salespeople, and manage the warehouse.  The next hurdle is as much a challenge–creating consumer awareness, and boy is that expensive and difficult. 


We have both learned how to juggle so not to compromise job #1 (Mom)–we still bake for birthdays; are class moms; and run the kids to art, Daisies, baseball, basketball, and Tae Kwon Do or gymnastics.  Susanne even makes home cooked meals most nights.  We work our PT jobs by day, squeezing in calls and emails for the business, run our household and then hit our books, website, emails, and call our distributors and factory overseas by night.  And thank goodness for 24 hours grocery stores, supportive husbands, laptops, and PDAs!!!  We not only double duty–we triple duty–and we would not have it any other way.  When consumers and bloggers share their love for our product, we know we are onto something.


I am a mother of three small children (6, 4, and 2). After my daughter was born I was faced with the decision on returning from maternity leave to the corporate world or venturing out on my own.  I chose to venture out on my own and Virtual Admin Concepts was created.  My company provides administrative support to small business owners and entrepreneurs virtually. Since my clients only pay for services as they need them they reduce the overhead of carrying an employee. 


Having my own business has allowed me to have the flexibility I need to be an active part of my children's lives. A flexibility that would not have been available to me in the corporate world. It enables me to take my oldest child to and from school and share in his excitement each day as he learns something new in Kindergarten. I've been able to watch my middle child grow from a toddler into a gentle little boy and to watch my daughter learn her first words and take her first steps. I've been able to create a bond with my children that would be nearly impossible to do if they spent their days away from me in child care while I worked in an office.


My days are full - they are filled with client calls and projects, marketing my business, cooking, laundry, diapers and being the referee for numerous childhood disagreements. My day frequently begins at 6:00am and I usually do not find sleep until midnight. The quietest part of my day is in the evening when the children are asleep and I am able to work uninterrupted for hours at a time. Even with this crazy schedule my company won an award in 2010 for Entrepreneurial Excellence for Service to Entrepreneurs from the Business Ledger.


Creativity is important in juggling your own business and your family.  But I think flexibility is key - sometimes you just have to shut off the computer and grab the finger paints.




Hello my name is Del the owner of Mix Em Up Mixologist Bartender Service. I am currently attending school at Kettering university for a small business class. And I just graduated from baker from there business class from exceeding enterprise.  When I first decide to open a business it was because of the trials of income and financial factors. I've had my business for five years but at first things were smooth I was sub contracted with catering companies. So needless to say my jobs were lined up. I received very bad news in 2008 that the owner was to sell and leave state. So I was all alone.

At this time I also found out I had a small portion of cancer so I shut shop down and said until next time.....

Well here I am in 2011 healthy and ready to rock I had to start all over again. I said to myself "just breath"

So now IM in the process of Learning,Networking,Marketing and so forth. My children are 5 and 7 boy and girl. I have my hands full I divorced and taking care of my children. One father in picture one not at all. Im Just now getting my per say face out there. I feel like the toy stretch arm strong. Being pulled every where. My kids said to me the other day "why are you always reading that book" this is the book from the small business class. Going to school full time running a business and two kids. How was I ever going to do it? Well I have a nanny Nikki the kids love her I love her. Me the teachers the nanny have developed a support group. I never used to know the importance of family until now. The fact that I squeeze them every day because I want them to know this is only for a little while. Until I get established things will be a little easier. Love my little tikes and that's why I have family day every week. We do whatever makes them smile.

So that's my story and signing out. 



Del, you are a strong, and inteligent woman, and Mother to boot, there is nothing you can not accomplish.




Just this past week three of my friends said to me that they have no idea how I do it all. My drive for "doing it all" is different than most women. Every day I live with the motto, "Life is short." I do not have the luxury of saying, "Maybe I will do that when the kids are all in high school or everyone is out of the house." Five years ago, at the age of 37, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though I am celebrating five years cancer free, I am always aware that could change at any moment and I should live my life fully right now. I survived the mastectomy, the chemo, the hair loss, even a broken leg, and the whole time taking care of my two little boys. During this time I decided that my new body was going to deserve a fabulous new swimsuit! I decided the only way to guarantee this, was to create my own line of swimsuits for fabulously real women. Since that time, four years ago, I have started the company, joined the Tory Burch foundation for mentoring female entrepreneurs, created prototypes, and started manufacturing, created my own website and facebook page. My sons are now 15 and 11 and I can't forget baby Jackson, who is now 18 months old (He is the surprise baby after chemo!). I also continue to work at Princeton University, planning events for the Graduate School. And I just launched a fundraising campaign for the Breast Cancer Resource Center. They provide free services for women with breast cancer. I am doing this by selling t-shirts on my website. Organization, drive, and a super supportive husband help make it all possible! Currently I use my Verizon email address to correspond with customers on my home computer. I would love to be able to tie in my cell phone, ipad, and computer to streamline services from my website.


My name is Angela. Mother of two, wife, and owner of Gigi's Glitzy Boutique. I have always been a crafty person, but never had time to express it. I worked an unrewarding job that took up all my time and left me missing my children more than ever. In order to be home with them, I came up with the idea of putting my creativity to use and start selling accessories for little girls. I loved making items for my daughter, and knew that any mother would too if they can take the guilt of expensive out of it. To be able to afford to stay home with the kids and still make a living, I work every night from bedtime at 7 until 3am some mornings and then get up with them by 6am. I spend more time on the computer than I ever imagined I could getting invoices paid, taking orders, and researching new designs. Sometimes, the deamand between a baby and toddler and my customers can be quite overwhelming, but my strong desire to succeed and still be able to have my own schedule to be with my children keep me going.

I started selling tutu's and bow to friends and family and have branched out to a full boutique line, stocking items at 13 stores statewide and now we're offering boys items as well. My business consists of just myself and the help from my husband at nights when he's home, but I'm proud of what we've accomplished by providing a loving, dedicated home for our children and building enough customer base to be able to open our own family run store next month. Running my own business is a daily test to my strength and courage but nothing is more rewarding than showing my children that as a woman, I can provide and succeed; Showing them that they can too!


Dear friends,

What ever achievements we may accomplish in life, do not compare to the greatest achievement of all, raising a happy and healthy family. Being a mom is a 24/7 job. There is no, 'leaving your work at the office'. When you become a mother your entire world changes, you think, drive, and express yourself to the world differently. While it softens your heart, it makes you stronger as well.

My name is Liz Corah. I am the owner/operator of Studio-310 in Rockville, Maryland. I am a single mother of three beautiful children ages 8, 6, and 2. I have been on my own since I was 15 years old, and have built a life and a solid foundation for my three amazing children. Below is a link to my story of over coming obstacles to live my dreams and show my children, if you say "I can", "you will".


Hot Momma's Project Case Study (Liz Corah)


Washington Post Article



As a mom of two teenagers (16 and 18) and a nine year old, a small business owner for the past twenty six years, a home maker of the most traditional type, and a wife, I consider hard  work is the only way to succeed in all three.  It is very hard  to keep the juggles from not dropping.  All my three kids were raised in my office.  First as toddlers and pre-schoolers they played and slept in a small private space within my office, and later after school they would do their homework until it would  time to close and go home to continue my work as a mother and housewife.  Most my clients see my kids now and remember them as they were babies running around and holding on my legs as I was taking care of their business.  Some would say not very professional,  but I got the work done and kept the customers happy, and... remained customers.   I am lucky also for having wonderful kids who support and understand their working mother.  For that, I tried very hard not to miss a school event and I even served a few years in the PTA of their school.  I hope all the hard work is a lesson learned for my kids not to fear hard work when they come across it in the future.



Let’s talk balance…


Owning two businesses while raising three kids (four if you count my husband) can be a delicate balancing act. Most days, I can maintain some semblance of routine in the tug-of-war known as “my responsibilities”. Other days, that elusive equilibrium gets lost somewhere between proud attempts and epic failures.  Figuring out the right mix of commitment to being a good wife and mother and running a successful business (or two) is definitely the most challenging part of being a “mompreneur”.


I currently balance my work time between my café, which I have owned for six years, and a consignment boutique that I opened last summer.  Although I like to think I have a schedule for attending to both shops, in reality, I am controlled by the demands of unexpected caterings, sick employees, or vendor meetings (which my Verizon phone keeps me updated on!). My most important role, however, is as CEO to my household and family.


I am so fortunate that as a business owner, I have the flexibility to change gears immediately to be there for my kids when needed. Having my family involved in the businesses also helps. Ever seen a teenage boy attempt to put together a mannequin? I have…! In addition to helping me balance work and career, my family’s connection to the businesses has also provided me with the rewarding opportunity to show them the value of hard work. I truly believe that my children are better people, and our family closer, for experiencing the merit of investing time in something together.


Sometimes, after an exhausting day, we’ll all sit down for a game of Life. I’ll often daydream about someone tapping me on the shoulder and telling me I could just skip everything and move forward to Millionaire Estates. Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet. Until then I plan to just enjoy the journey and share it with those I love the most!



As a mother of two pre-teens, ages 10 and 12, two spoiled Boxers, and the owner of two companies, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.  In 2002, I realized that I wanted to provide an example to both of my children, but especially my daughter, on what women could accomplish with the opportunities available to them in this country.  I returned to college, first earning a Bachelors degree in Computer Science, and then an MBA with a Healthcare emphasis.  In 2005 I formed a Home Health Agency, growing it from a small start-up operating out of a spare bedroom in my home, to the multi-million dollar corporation it is today.  Last year I formed a mobile imaging company, as a complementary entity.  Forming and growing these business not only allowed me to involve my children, teaching them the value of a strong work ethic, basic business and math foundations, and interpersonal skills, it also allowed them to learn the value of service to others, empathy, and an ability to evaluate another's needs.  The ability to model these essential life skills to my children, and see them, in turn, model them in their own lives, to their friends, has made all the long hours, doubt, sacrifice, and fear somehow worth it.  As an entrepreneur, and especially as a female entrepreneur, no amount of success - whether it is recognized in revenue, recognition, or consumer appreciation - can ever completely eradicate that constant edge of anxiety or fear that someday it will no longer be possible to continue to keep all the plates spinning.  It is essential to remember that long hours, telephone calls on the weekends, dinners eaten off of paper plates, and nodding off over spreadsheets in the evenings instead of throwing in a load of laundry or concocting elaborate  meals for your children to take to school the next day does not equate failure.  Instead, I take pride in the example I have become for my children.  They, too, have learned that taking the time to touch someone else's life, to set goals and achieve them, and to perservere through obstacles is more important than perfectly pressed shirts and dinner eaten on china plates.  I would not change my life for anything, sacrifices and all - well ... except maybe for an extra 30 minutes of sleep! 🙂

I can be reached at


As I try to begin to explain to you what my day consists of as a full time mom and a small business owner, I think to myself, what don't I do?? At the age of 23, I became a stay at home mom to a wonderful child.  Soon after, his brother came into our lives.  I now have 2 very active boys, ages 3 1/2 and 2 1/2.  As if I wasn't crazy enough for having babies back to back, I recently gave birth to triplet girls this past September!!  No, they were not mine.  I was a surrogate for the most amazing couple!  It was definitely a wild journey (which can be found here, but it gave me the most incredible appreciation for life and pushed me to reach goals and fulfill dreams I always pushed aside. 


Opening up my own bakery has always been a dream of mine and I never really saw that coming true.  However, after being a surrogate, I knew nothing was impossible and I decided to attempt it.  My husband and I started CaliCakery not too long ago ( Although we are running this small business from home, I know it will take just a little more work and dedication before we actually open up our very own bake shop.  In order to start and maintain the costs of our small business, I had to get a job.  I know there was no way I could be away from my motherly duties as well as be out of the kitchen for any period of time, so I was fortunate enough to become a nanny for a very difficult baby 😃 


So, my day begins extremely early.  If I am not fortunate enough to have my 2 little human alarm clocks wake me up at 5:30 am, I usually wake up by 6 am to begin baking before the baby arrives at my home.  After baking, feeding my boys breakfast, sending my husband off to work, taking my oldest to preschool while taking my youngest and the baby to mommy-and-me class, picking up my oldest son, driving home to make lunch, fighting with naps for 2 hours, baking in between the fights, sending the baby on her way home, going grocery shopping for the nights cupcake orders, making a fresh healthy dinner, baking some more, bathing the boys, putting them to bed, baking again, and finally finishing a full days work without a minute for myself, I finally get into bed around 12:30am!!  And then, it starts again the very next day. Even though my days are hectic and very stressful, I wouldn't change any of it because I LOVE what I do.



I will be very honest: I am actually Superwoman. 


I am an artist. I run two companies: “MKC Photography” and “Kicks By MKC.” I plan my meal menus months in advance. I am a mother of two. I scrub the kitchen floor in heels and pearls. My dog is impeccably behaved and never escapes to dig holes in our neighbor’s garden. I iron the bath towels. I never bribe my four-year-old with candy when I have an important conference call during which he needs to be silent. Martha Stewart is jealous of my cupcake frosting skills. I would never fix a scuff on my high heels with my seven-year-old’s crayon. I always get eight hours of sleep and awake refreshed and cheerful.


Some of you seem a bit dubious as you read my list of fantastic attributes. It’s as though you suspect I might be that crazy woman who lives on your street that you see racing her children to the bus stop with a robe over her suit because she has a meeting in thirty minutes and doesn’t want to be covered in dog hair or peanut butter when she arrives. This same woman has also been known to, on occasion, lie in the middle of your street to photograph something that caught her eye. The one who will, on a sunny morning, refuse to answer her business line for just one hour while she chases bubbles down the driveway and makes wishes on dandelion seeds with her four-year-old before heading back in to her studio. That’s definitely NOT me. At all. Ever. (I would just like to take a moment and apologize for all those new dandelions now growing in your yard...)


My thanks to Verizon, for letting me share my fabulously organized, perfectly balanced life as an entrepreneur, mother, and all-around Superwoman with everyone. 


Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes



First and foremost I am a mom of 4 children (14, 12, 2 and 1).  I faced the challenge that so many moms face of leaving my kids with a sitter before and after school or staying at home.  I decided to stay home but quickly found that I needed to be able to express myself and we could use the income.  


I divinely stumbled upon an opportunity to create beauty in other people's homes by making window treatments and bedding for a designer that I met.  The rest is history still in the making.  I have grown so much in confidence by being able to have my own business and I love it.  


I manage with a lot of grace and organization.  It helps to have lists and calendars and a wonderful husband.  


I wouldn't be who I am today without having owned my own business.  Juggling career and home is a challenge but well worth it!


Shelly Wise

Wise Designs


I am the Hardest Working SmallBiz Mom because I am a woman who wears many hats some of which include, wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend, business owner, and boss. I cherish each of these roles and fully embrace them as facets of who I am, a woman of integrity and tremendous character. I am neither arrogant nor wanting in confidence. I live my life fully and with major passion and make I no apologies for these choices.

I am the mother of 6 and 4 year old daughters.  The 6 year old is in the first grade and the 4 year old is in pre K.  I am a very active parent.  I have only missed one field trip and have never missed a potluck or a performance.  I am always in the front row with my video camera or my digital.  I teach Sunday school once per month so that I can be a part of that process.  I play soccer, tag, and attend tea parties. I pride myself in fact that I have dinner with my children at least 5 days per week.  Sunday dinner is a big part of our lives.  I cook every day, review homework and read stories at least once per day to both or one of the girls, usually the 4 year old as the 6 year old is quick to remind me that she can read her own story.

I am an American story, the daughter of immigrants and an immigrant myself. I own a law practice in Maryland and am an employer. I litigate child in need of assistance cases which deal with children that have been abused or neglected or whose parents can no longer provide care for them.  I also litigate adult guardianship cases.  I represent clients in real-estate transactions and immigration matters.  I love the work that I do.  I also litigate adult guardianship cases.  On average, I have 173 open cases that are in active litigation I work approximately 10 – 12 hours per day.  Some days the work is done via my Blackberry on a school bus on the way to the pumpkin patch or late at night after I whisper the last I love you and tuck the blanket just a little tighter but it gets done.

My life is full of adventure, laughter and love. Some days it is exhausting but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I nurture my entrepreneurial spirit and embrace all of my dreams, challenges, missteps, out and out catastrophe creating choices and all of my wonderful miraculous (for lack of a better word)and amazing experiences. Every day in my life is an adventure and I can't wait to see what I am going to choose next!!



Follow my blog at


The Hardest Working SmallBiz Mom

Dianne Stewart Hamlin




Being the Hardest Working Small Business Mom in America is the most rewarding and challenging job on the planet.   How do I juggle running my own successful consulting business, Measurement Resources, teaching classes at Franklin University and raising two wonderful preschool-aged sons (5 and 2) with one on the way?  The answer is simple -- my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry.


 It is my personal assistant that manages client appointments, playdates, swim lessons, directions, and contacts.  It allows me to communicate with clients via email or phone, wherever work or family takes me.  Often you will find me dictating my next speaking engagement notes into my BlackBerry between preschool drop-off and appointments.   


Measurement Resources strengthens communities, one organization at a time through performance management and evaluation solutions.  The last thing I want is to watch my clients thrive at the expense of my children.   Thank you Verizon, because of your services I am able to live out my dreams of building a happy, healthy, and thriving family while owning my own business helping non-profit and government clients have an even greater impact on our communities.  My clients and family thank you too!


Sheri Chaney Jones


I have two children, Emily, 15 and Nathan, 13, who are total opposites and challenging when they combine their talents to get away with things, but are generally wonderful kids. They live half-time with me and their father; both homes have live-in grandmothers for whom we all provide care. I extensively renovate the homes that we live in to save money, while still providing a nice home. Keeping schedules straight within the family is a job of its own. When I started my family, I was a full-time undergraduate student plus had a small used bookstore, which was commended by Congressman Boucher and the National Secretary of HUD for surviving the ‘dot-com bust.’ Upon graduating, I quickly became the VP of an international clothing manufacturing firm, but was away from my children too much. I left that position and did architectural renovation on historical homes, while getting a master’s degree in Technology Education. I taught locally for four years, starting a new STEM (engineering) program in an underprivileged Appalachian school, while beginning a PhD. I’ve won many awards for creating a new way to teach all types of students, in all subjects, with limited resources. I have been elected the state president of my teaching division. I have self-funded a consulting business to do mostly volunteer work on a limited budget, (I owe more on my student loans than my mortgage.)  I have keynoted at VA Tech, Texas A&M and my work has been adopted by South Korea as the new way to teach national K-12 science starting next year. In my career, I ‘adopt’ children; the 1600 at my H.S. will always feel like ‘mine,’ as will the ones from summer camps, conferences and others those that I influence. Verizon has been great for me during 16 years traveling around the Americas and now for my kids, and in the near future to Asia to help me make the world a better place.


I’m no super mom.  I’m not trying to be rich or famous, just comfortable.  I’m a divorced mom of 2 girls, aged 4 and 8.  For some reason I feel like I always need to be doing something, but then I complain that I never get to take a break.  What does this busy mother of 2 do?  Well for starters I am a licensed attorney.  I run my own law firm, known as the Hamlett Law Group, where I represent kids with Learning Disabilities or Emotional Disorders.  I do this mostly pro-bono.  I love doing it, so it’s not about money… it’s about my passion to help children to succeed.  However, pro-bono and passion don’t pay the mortgage.  Therefore, I do contract attorney work as well, ranging from 40 to 90 hours per week.  In an effort to help my community, in 2010, I ran for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.  Well, I won, so I hold that title, and have an area in Washington, DC in which I am the voice to the DC Council for the next two years (while serving as Vice Chair of the Commission).  This position is also unpaid.  Last but certainly not least, I have undergone and passed 3 of 4 inspections to become a licensed home daycare provider.  Beautiful Day is set to open by the end of June.  I utilize two blackberry phones, as well as a Google Voice number, and 4 email accounts to be accessible to constituents, clients, Judges, and my children’s teachers at all times.  I’m not so busy that the teachers and faculty don’t know me.  I’ve volunteered in the classroom, donated supplies, and come mid-day with class snacks.  I am truly hard-working, but it is worth it to see my kids happy.  Oh, and yes I still find time and energy to workout 3-5 days/wk, run races, and date!!





Fast-paced and exciting...that is the story of my life. As a mother, caregiver, and business owner - as well as a full-time employee at a thriving architectural business in my home town, I seldom find time to stop...or even to slow down. But, that is how I like it. After all, I am doing what makes me happy and following my dream. The mothering goes without saying and the caretaking is a labor of love.


I began my home-based business, Sunchaser Fine Art and Photography, in 2007. Sunchaser is my true passion. My dream is to be able to generate enough interest in my artwork to see it blossom into a full-time career. I started the venture, building on over 20 years of experience in photography and graphic arts and fueled it with a love of the world around me. My goal is to show my vision to others, through my camera lens and through the opportunities that new technology provides to enhance and market my photography.


I have discovered that exposure is vital to success in the art world. I started slowly by posting my artwork on online photo and art communities and at the same time looking for opportunities to display my work locally in area galleries, I have found an audience and growing recognition. Several of my pieces have recently been chosen for juried art competitions and awards. Recently, I was invited to join a local group of artists that gives me more exposure in the community.


My company website and Facebook page was launched this year in order to make it easier for potential customers to locate my work. My Verizon phone assures that I don’t miss any calls during my busy days and I hope to upgrade it in the near future to include both Internet and email capabilities.


I love what I do with my business with a passion. I dreamed it...I launched it...and now I am going to live it.


Jeanne Apelseth




This is sung to the tune of "9 to 5"




I stumble out of bed

And check on the baby

Make it to work on time, I don't know maybe

Scramble for some clothes and yawn stretch tryin to come to life


Junp in the car

We're off to Grandma's

I'm back on the road traffic's not moving

Waiting at the gate just the start of my day on to my 8 to 5 


Working 8 to 5

I got to make a livin' (to fund my business)

Mentally, barely gettin' by

A bunch of takin' and no givin'

Bout to lose my mind

And I don't need their credit (just a paycheck)

This job is enough to drive you

Crazy if you let it (I've heard it's happened to a few people)


Back to Grandma's to pick up the baby

Will I get any sewing done tonight?

I don't know, maybe

Lots to do, orders to fill, marketing tasks

Twitter, Facebook, I'm running out of gas

Need to tidy up the house

Honey, PLEASE keep an eye on the kid

Crap, dinner's burning, messed up stitches look what I did!


Back on the machine, working away

Looks like I'll have a pretty good day (after all)

Working on my dream, can't let it shatter

I'm just a step away from the golden ladder

I've got a dream NO ONE will ever take away. 


In the same boat

With a lot of my friends

Waiting for the day my ship will come in

The tide's gonna turn

And it's all gonna roll my way.


Working 5 to 9,

I think I'm losing my mind

Got so much to do

And gotta find my baby's binky too

Put the baby to bed (it's already 10:30)

Pink Koala Design running through my head

Bout to lose my mind

And I don't get any credit (from the husband)

It's enough to drive you

Crazy if you let it




Katrina Griffis

Pink Koala Design





When I was younger dreaming about becoming a mother, entrepreneur was never a part of that romantic, maternal reverie nor was doing it—parenting, alone. Over a decade ago, like most single-parents, I became a leader—the CEO of my home.  Honestly, in the beginning, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing; I was like a “start-up” gone wrong, with no return for my investors, a.k.a., my kids.  But, I kept re-starting, because there is nothing that motivates a person more than being responsible for another human being(s).  Has it been hard?  You bet; but I love to work—hard, seven days a week.


Working everyday as a Mom who desperately wants to succeed has: given me courage; provided more strength—when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore hits; tutored me with managerial skills—that Drucker would be proud of; and an entrepreneurial mind-set for everything I do.


And because of it, in 2010, I opened my own company.  Am I going to be the next Steve Jobs or Oprah to my field? No, I’m not and I’m fine with that. I’m just a one-woman real estate brokerage in Manhattan, who always has her “investors” in the forefront of her mind—24/7!


PS. Verizon Fios has provided entertainment, time and time again, for my company “investor meetings,” which take place everyday of the week—we love our On Demand!


We are long-time Verizon customers. One of the main reasons we stay with you is because of your great customer service (they really came to the rescue when my teen daughter ate up thousands of over-the-limit minutes when she first got her phone)! I am a mom to 3 and I am also a professional blogger. I've worked harder so far in 2011 than I ever have in my life, and not-so-ironically, I really have leaned on my Verizon phone to get everything done:


I run a blog network at, which is 5 blogs full of kids activities. I create and manage almost all of the content myself. On top of that, I just finished wrapping up writing my first book, Mom Blogging for Dummies. Even though I work from home, writing a book takes a higher than average level of focus. So I spent the last 4 months frequently at my local Starbucks, writing on my laptop, and using the WiFi hot spot on my Palm Pre to connect securely to the internet.


My life gets crazy all over again in July when I will be traveling in the summer and fall promoting my book - I can't tell you how important it is to have that WiFi hot spot in my phone with me everywhere I go. It means I don't have to pay outrageous airport & hotel WiFi fees, and I can connect nearly *anywhere* I want to go. As a professional blogger, getting online anywhere is an absolute must. And most importantly – my kids can reach me 100% of the time.


So, you ask how do we manage running a business and a household? Working from home makes that a little easier for me, and my phone makes it even easier to be on the go and connected to my work. The other way I manage it all? I don’t do a lot of house cleaning!



Can't we as mothers and business owners do it all? It does seem that I am one of those who believes that I can. Managing my Virtual Assistant business and being a mom typically goes "fine" until I get too many personal things to take care of. 


Back in 2008 when the real estate collapse began I decided it was time for me to make the jump from a solid paycheck into the unknown world of solo-preneur. The first year was hard, much harder than I expected but I knew if I could make it "in this economy" then I would be fine. 


Not only am I am small business owner and mother but I am also a landlord at a property I purchased at the height of the market (and have since been unable to dump). Year one in business resulted in gross income of less than 1/3 of what I was making with the "steady paycheck" which means that every cent of available credit card limits, etc. have long since been maxed out in an attempt to "stay afloat". 


Almost a year to the date of going solo my son was diagnosed with liver disease which has resulted in many missed days from school. Healthy meals are paramount to managing his disease and that is one of the areas that stress me out most....I've never been the Betty Crocker type and if I had $5,000 I'd either use it to pay down existing credit card debt OR hire a dietician to work with me to help me become a better "cook". 


Am I the hardest working mom? My son would certainly say so and I know that the many long, 15 hour days I spend at the computer certainly makes it seem so. 




My name is Tora, and I am a mompreneur.  First and foremost, my #1 job is my family!  I am a mother of four (24, 21, 14, and 7).  They keep me very busy!  Our day begin with a nutritional breakfast, packing lunches, school supply check, face and hair check, and off to school.  Dinner (preppred before work) time is family time.  We discuss our day, and what is on our mind.  After dinner, we began homework, reading sessions, guitar and drum lessons. 

            My #2 job is owning and operating a pre-owned car dealership, and I recently launched a title agency.  As a small business owner, my duties include sales person, finance manager, title clerk, planner,  marketer, networking, and much more.  My business is open six days a week; however, my work does not end on Saturday.  My younger children help at the office evenings and Saturdays.  Their duties include: making copies, faxing, shredding, and washing and vacuuming cars.  My effort is to develop business and leadership skills, responsibility, and accountability.  Sunday is our family day.

            I realize the importance of giving back to the community.  I host parenting classes and youth workshops for various government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  In the month of May, a nonprofit organization host a fundraising event at my dealership.  My business fuels my blood; however, the community has my heart. 

            Lastly, but not least.  I am finishing up my graduate degree in Leadership in Teaching at College of Notre Dame.  My goal is to develop a nonprofit organization to promote childhood literacy and parent involvement.

            This is my third year in business.  As an overseer of every aspect of the business while juggling home responsibilities is a challenge.  How do I do it?  First, Verizon's technology (email, internet, cell, and 3G) allows me to coordinate and juggle my hats.  Second, prayer!  My relationship with God motivates my spirit to continue my effort as a momprenuer!


I am a wife of a wonderful husband and a mother of two beautiful girls.  What’s my job?  Well, I shoot people for a living...with a camera that is!  I own my own photography business and have my studio/office set up in my home.  My husband helps me behind the scenes with the business affairs (on top of his full time job), and I do all the rest. 

I have learned some valuable lessons in owning my own business.  First of all, I realized there were more responsibilities and demands than anticipated, especially as my business has grown.  Secondly, I can’t do all and be all to everyone.   I have to learn to say “no!”  Thirdly, and most importantly, my family comes first! 

I wear many hats in this business and get overwhelmed at times but try not to let it run me but me run it.  I want to enjoy what I do not dread what I do.  Keeping a developed relationship with clients I serve is also very important.

This brings me to my second lesson learned.   A couple of summers ago I realized my breaking point.  I was over booking and trying to fit all my clients in but neglecting my family and battling with health issues because of it.  It was not until I read one simple line from a paper I found in my oldest daughter’s folder stating, “My Mommy is a photographer and she sits in front of a computer all day.”  Wow! 

With that said, I can’t sit here today and tell you I am just slammed full with photography all day and trying to juggle family.  Don’t get me wrong. I do have a lot on my plate, and yes, it is very demanding at times, but I’ve learned FAMILY COMES FIRST!!  I could choose photography first, but I don’t.  I refuse to miss out on the fleeting moments spent with my girls and husband!


I think every entrepreneur making a go of it and every mom doing her best for her kids is a superhero. I worry about the idea of 1 mom being Most Hardworking, but I have a young business and 2 kids to put through college so here goes!


I have 2 daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a career coaching business,, that is 4 years running. I raise my kids to know possibility -- that you can be a good parent AND pursue your personal dreams. I run my business to grow double digits but still include a rich family life.


It takes long hours (entering this contest early in the morning, for example). But I also choose my projects so that most can do double-duty. My older daughter loves dance so we go to shows together – we get culture and bonding. My younger daughter loves violin so I accompany on piano – her practice and our bonding. In my business, my client issues become topics for my radio show, my live workshops are recorded to become e-commerce, my blogs led to one book in 2010 and a second one this summer. I try to squeeze as much as possible from every family or business activity.


It’s never perfect. I have a business conference and will miss my daughters’ end-of-year dance recitals. I am sad because I love to watch their shows, but I don’t beat myself up about it because I know that my business supports them. Early in the business, I took a 9-5 consulting project because I thought the volatility of running my business was harming my kids. I was unhappy so I went back to the 24/7 hustle and uncertainty for ME. A few months later, my older daughter said, “You seem much happier now” and was happy for me. My teenage daughter had complimented me after I reaffirmed my business! That was a business and parenting win.


I'm typing this with a newborn asleep on my lap, as I'm being called downstairs by a toddler declaring, “Ma, shoe off!” (I haven't ascertained whether her shoe has fallen off, or she wants it taken off.)

When I interviewed Julie Lenzer Kirk, author of The ParentPreneur Edge, for a work-at-home-parent publication, she mentioned, “You can't build a business during naptime.” Then we agreed it depends on the business.


Allcot Media, my full-service editorial firm, is now in its tenth year. I write for magazines and the Web and also provide marketing services, press releases and ad copy. I'm accustomed to completing articles in 15 minute spurts before someone needs something: milk, juice, a book, a binky. Sometimes I type one-handed while cradling my son in the other.


I steal writing moments during naps and when my daughter is coloring, hosting a tea party or sitting captivated by "Nihao, Kai-lan." I use my Blackberry to stay in touch with clients during play dates and activities. But I couldn't run my business that way all the time. I get dedicated writing time in the evening when my husband watches Ashley, age 2, and Alex, our infant.

I have a virtual assistant for accounting and an intern to help with administrative tasks. I also subcontract work to other talented mom-writers in my pursuit to generate passive income and share opportunities with others. Before this year and baby number two, I did it all myself.


Housework? Um, yeah. That cleaning service sounds perfect!

As Verizon's Hardest Working Small Biz Mom, I can further my mission to serve as an inspiration and model to other writers and solo-preneurs. It takes vision, time management skills and family support, but it's worth the reward. If I can do it, you can, too!


Ours is a multi-generational, far-flung, blended family, my husband and I in central NY; next door to the aunt that I take care of; a step-son who works in NYC; an occupational therapist daughter in Denver; and a grad student in Palo Alto (home during breaks!)  I'm also the owner/director of fledgling ONEdersave Products LLC. Our imported product cleans aquariums, ponds and other water features using beneficial bacteria. With nothing in English, I had to write everything from packages to brochures to website. My husband who is a graphic designer took care of the design and we run the business together. I am also director of the non-profit AEC-I Decide working in central NY to reduce high-risk behaviors in young people through character and life skills programs. I occasionally help with programs at my church (most recently a benefit for Japan, where we raised nearly $3,000). Being a Toastmaster and soon to be VP of Membership helps me improve my speaking and people skills. My freelance job with a Japanese company in Manhattan, has morphed into occasional interpreter/virtual assistant work since the move to our rural home (with once in a while translating jobs in the city). It was my job to have the Verizon bundle at their office installed when they moved to another location last year. The office now has 3 Verizon business lines, wireless service and the internet! Communication is key to making my life easier and doable. Our own business is mostly online and much of it is automated. The people I work with at AEC are scattered and meetings are often telephone conference calls. My virtual assistant job is of course "virtual". Most important is keeping my family connected, which means lots of phone calls, e-mails and trips. This means that organization and scheduling are also top priority for me and working at home is a huge plus, no commute and lots of hubby help!


8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. That’s my work week!  3 years ago I built my own veterinary hospital.  I’ve spent the entire time either pregnant or with an infant in tow.  My two-year-old daughter’s first word was “woof.”  She says “Barnside” quite clearly now.  Once she can say, “Barnside Veterinary Hospital, How may I help you?” I’m promoting her to receptionist!


My children accompany me to work, which is joyful and challenging.  My daughter wants to hug even the most aggressive Rottweiler, insists upon analyzing every X-ray, then “dictates” her own case summaries on my tape recorder.  Clients hear my infant son cooing in his play-pen in the treatment area and inquire, “Is that a cat meowing?”


12-hr days of exams, bloodwork, x-rays, anesthesia, surgery, dentistry and emergencies; gerbils, Great Danes, parakeets and pot-bellied pigs! Then there’s inventory management, equipment repair, office supplies, budgeting, payroll, advertising, employee management, continuing education, staff training, client relations and the rest of myriad tasks, large and small, that fall upon my shoulders. Clients are no longer surprised to see me doing landscaping or repairing a leaky faucet. Broken leg, broken gutter pipe, broken doll- I can fix them all!


“Lunch hour” is spent on daily trips for everything from copy paper to hamster bedding.  This is “Mommy & Me” time: for 60 minutes it’s just me and my kids- in the car, in the shopping cart: singing songs, counting, playing games, discussing concepts and the day’s events.


And my house? There are always compromises, and this is it.  It’s not a health hazard, but the dust bunnies have mutated into capybaras and the grass is as tall as the plains of the Serengeti. If it’s a choice on where to plant flowers, the hospital wins. Reading a book with my daughter vs vacuuming? My daughter- every time! My most prideful moment is watching her “read” books to her baby brother (books about animals, of course!)



Meredith Weltner-Sharin VMD


  When I was in college, my nickname was 'couch', because I slept on a pull-out couch bed. How appropriate, because today, I am running a successful small business from my couch. Yes, I have a home office, where I meet with clients, but lets face it, a one year old doesn't do well around printers and wires.


Now, being a mom is a full time job, so when you start your own small business, you are pretty much bordering on insane. I started New Market Media Web & Graphic Design after I had my first child, and I am still here, 8 years and 4 kids later.


I do all of the typical mom stuff from homework and carpooling, to cleaning and cooking, I also do some pretty crazy things like designing favor tags to match a birthday party theme or teaching my 6 year old Photoshop and recently I started couponing (not quite successful yet).


Why am I "Verizon's Hardest Working Small Biz Mom" because (this is the part where I suck up) I truly use Verizon for all of the work that I do. In addition to my Droid, I have a laptop, a desktop, a wireless blue ray player, and an ipod, all running off my internet. I use all of these simultaneously to run my business - desktop as my main computer, laptop to work on the couch, ipod and Netflix on blue ray (keeping my kids quiet right now as I write this).


What else? I teach part time, I have clients that range from mompreneurs to a large hospital and I give my services pro-bono to several non-profits, I am the ultimate multi-tasker and I never say 'no' to a friend.

Why do I want to win? Well, the keys are falling off the laptop as I type and I really would love to win the cleaning service for my husband who just wants matching socks.

Sarah Kyriazis


I appreciate Verizon’s recognition of small biz moms. The story of my business began the day I became a mother. When my 12 week “leave” from work was done after my son was born I literally could not walk out of our house to return to work. That day I became a Small Biz Mom.


My business started as a Virtual Assistance practice. My business philosophy is: see a need, fill a need. Providing administrative support to small business owners has provided me with a platform to help others move their businesses forward.


Over the years I’ve broadened my business scope. I currently help fellow moms, unemployed people, retired people, military families and more learn about this flexible, sustainable and mobile (thanks Verizon mifi!) business model.


I also help business owners get started with delegating and finding an assistant. I’ve seen a need for business owners to create more time in their business so they can create more opportunity and revenue for themselves and others. Helping business owners take this step not only helps them but also helps virtual assistants find new potential clients.


Growing the business and managing my household is a balancing act that I relish the opportunity to have. Balancing is a challenge, but I have found that my business and relationships only grow when I see the gift in everything that comes my way – challenges or otherwise. My business allows me the flex to “be there” for my family and having my family constantly renews my commitment to having the business in the first place. Being a Small Biz Mom is a gift and I set out every day to help others experience this too.


I’ve enjoyed creating this post to reflect on my roles as a business owner and a mom. If selected as Verizon’s Hardest Working Small Biz Mom, I’ll use the resources to cast an even wider net and help more people in bigger and deeper ways.


 I thrive in chaos. Yes, its true! Why else would I own and operate a small business and also be a mom and carry a full time job?



A little more about me:  I am a mom to my amazing soon to be 4 and 7 year old daughters, to my mom (yes I said my mom) and to my beautiful niece. I said my mom, because she had an unexpected brain bleed occur 10 years ago and I became her mom. What I realized is that I am truly blessed to know not only the mom I grew up with, but the post stroke mom as well. The Lord gave me two moms this way! I am also a mom to my niece because we lost my only sister (her mom) to pneumonia just three years ago. While my sister deserves every ounce of credit in raising my niece, I now feel like a mom to her, not by obligation or title, but because I love her as much as I love my own amazing girls.  


Business Owner

As a small business owner: I opened the doors of our small business during a recession, Summer of 2010. Crazy or calculated? I think calculated. Our business was recently featured as business of the week in our town paper. We also made the front page for a charity event we did to help girls who could not afford a dress for prom. Our business was founded to fill a need in our community and to teach our girls from a  young age that you can do anything you want to do and that you control your own destiny.  Our girls ride their bikes through the shop, when nobody is there, and then discuss what a logo is a few minutes later.  I work for the small business before the sun comes up, in the evenings and on weekends. Some daily tasks include:  ordering inventory, checking phone mail and e-mail, running marketing campaigns, accounting, etc.  During the day I work my full time at my salaried day job in healthcare, doing presentations, scheduling luncheons and educating physicians and their staff.


At home between extra curricular activities, I am the domestic engineer who is taking carry of all the details on the home front and managing 3 accounts. We all know what all of those details inlcude, so I will not bore you with the details.


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate.  


Life is a journey not a destination.   I have watched first hand on how fragile life is.   Two years ago my sister, a mother and friend, died suddenly —in the prime of her life.  That was a wake-up call to reexamine my life. 


My name is Julie Struble.  I am a mother of a 3 year old.  I am a busy business owner of a virtual assisting business.  It has always been important to me to be a stay-at-home mother and I have never put my child in day care.  Truly, this is two full time jobs.


After the major event of the loss of my sister, I examined my crazy, hectic lifestyle.  I was going non-stop, even on weekends, to meet customer deadlines, growing my business, training my consultants, child rearing time, domestic duties, assisting with sick relatives, volunteering, MOPS group and the list goes on.  I resolved to live in a manner that I could appreciate the moments of each day.  Not living stressed out by my to-do list.


 Some great organizational techniques helped facilitate some normalcy.  Such as, I prepare a week’s worth of dinners on Saturday afternoon so I don’t have to cook during the week.   I schedule meetings with consultants or customers using on-line conferencing to save time driving and getting ready.  When away from my home office computer, I use my Verizon smartphone to respond to urgent business requests.


In addition to living and working in a smarter, more efficient way, I have developed a new attitude.  Every day is a gift.  Life is precious.  It is important to stay in the moment and make every day the best it can be.  Knowing I am so blessed to be with my daughter during these precious years, I am teaching other women how to be a virtual assistant so they too can stay at home while earning a decent income.  Isn’t giving back more fulfilling then getting?


Hello! My name is Cristina Gutierrez, I have been a single mother to 5 children for a long time now. My children’s ages are 7, 11, 11, 12, and 17. I have been blessed to hold a full-time position as business sales rep for 13 yrs now. Just recently additional stres has been added due to relocation of my 9-5 office, I now work 1 hour away from home; Commuting 2 hours a day is no fun! In 2007 (with lots of hard work and dedication) I earned my bachelor’s degree in information technology. I am currently pursuing my dream of working in the photography field by working towards a master's degree in fine arts. I also work part time photographing families and their events (my true passion). The little spare time I have is dedicated to teaching my children the ins and outs of life as well as teaching them the basics and dynamics of photography. With work, school, children, chores, homework and photo editing my usual day begins at 5:45 am and runs straight through midnight, most days I feel like a walking zombie. It’s been exceptionally hard for me and my children this past year being that my 17 year old daughter is graduating. I can only think of one word to describe senior year EXPENSIVE! With no help financially I have found my side job (photography) to be very important to my family’s existence. Being in my 1st year of the photography program at Cypress College I have earned 3 very distinguished awards: The Rookie of the Year Award, Placed 2nd for best photograph out of 100, and was given a $300 scholarship to help with my photo necessities. Having been awarded such prizes was exceptional due to the fact that I am 36 years old and have never received such recognition. I feel the “Mompreneurs” award you are handing out will benefit my family and personal business greatly! We can pay of some credit card bills and purchase some new photo equipment to further enhance my personal business. I find it wonderful that Verizon is holding such recognition for their customers! You can contact me by email or by phone 562-706-3811. Thank you!!!


Verizon, can you clean me now?  


As CEO of Mint Green Marketing, I do marketing for companies around the world, many are women owned. Working from a home office when not with clients, I have a small core staff and variable subcontractors. Clients range in size and shape, industry and intent from all over the world – from image consultants to executive coaches, wine educators to corporate responsibility departments, retail stores to high tech manufacturers. Mostly I work with small businesses and startups, plus some pro bono non-profit work for charities helping women.

My new book “Ms. Informed- Wake up Wisdom of Women” ( gives women more confidence using humor and data to prove the rest of the world is nuts, too.  My other books are , “No Time Marketing – Small Business-Sized Steps in 30 Minutes or Less” (,” Software Product Management Essentials”, and a children’s book, “When Whizzly Wanders” which I read to my son’s 2nd class yesterday!

I keynote at conferences/associations every month such as Enterprising Women, Celebrating Small Business, Downtown Women’s Clubs, Family Business Centers, et al. Occasionally I guest lecture at colleges when I can handle feeling old...  

I’ve written for BusinessWeek, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Software Magazine, and I am frequently interviewed on TV, radio, online and in print media. I blog and use social media to stay in touch. @alyssadver

Two years ago, I shared the spotlight with Ladies Who Launch’s Victoria Colligan when BusinessWeek identified 8 female entrepreneurs to watch. I was also an Amex OPEN’s featured entrepreneur.

My sons are ages 8 and 12, and my husband is a 5th grade teacher having changed careers at 40.  Despite the ongoing tuition bills, it’s a great pleasure knowing what a significant contribution he makes every day to kids. To manage my stress and love of food, I am seriously addicted to BodyCombat, BodyPump and competitive Badminton.


Caffeine keeps me wired. Verizon keeps me connected. (and clean?!)



As a new (unemployed) mom in the recession of 2009, I launched what I expected to be online kid's clothing swap club. The interest from local parents to swap in person pushed me to open a retail location. In a year, I've built a business on little more than word-of-mouth referrals. I do get discouraged after a long day at work when I come home to a sink full of dishes or hampers of dirty laundry. No matter how hard I work in my business, it doesn't cancel out any mom/wife responsibilities. I "manage" because my customers tell me what a blessing my business is to them. That helps.


I laugh as I write this. I'm supposed to answer "how do you manage running your own business and your household?" If I'm honest and brief, I'd answer "Not very well." I just celebrated my first anniversary of my children's boutique, so maybe I'm being a little hard on myself? As I type, my 3 yr old daughter, Corinne, is yelling "Mommy!" because I'm not participating in her impromptu Knock-Knock joke. Saturdays are bring-your-kid-to-work-days at Gumdrop Swap Kids Boutique. It's part of the reason I started my own business almost two years ago. Setting my own hours, not having to lie about when I have to take time off for my child, finally being appreciated for all my hard work, were all the "freedoms" I thought I'd enjoy as an entrepreneur. There is a lot of fulfillment in working for yourself. But I now realize: I work more hours than I ever did in corporate America, it's going to be a while before I pay myself, and I took employer-paid benefits for granted. Self-employment is NOT for the weak! You have to push forward every day with blind faith and determination. My Verizon Droid Pro helps me answer calls, emails and update my schedule on the go and for that I am thankful!


Gabrielle F.


I’m Ashleigh Sottile; CEO and Founder of The Product Network. The Product Network is a website and TV show that allows inventors to market their test market their product BEFORE investing their life savings! I was a former producer at  I HSN for 7 years, then they restructured and I was laid off. I had been freelancing for them for a few years, but since the layoff I realized that my family was more important than a corporate job. I was also show host for another shopping channel. Then it hit me... I thought to myself, Why not make my own shopping channel? I love TV, I love helping people, so I have been developing my website and TV show since; but it was only June of this 2010 that I realized another reason WHY I was doing the website and TV show... My second son was born 2 months early. He developed bacteria meningitis and a staph infection. He was in the NICU for a month. He has been hospitalized 5 times in the past 6 months. Our first national show I edited on my laptop from All Children's Hospital.  We are uncertain of what the future holds for him; but HE is why I started my own business. That little guy’s drive and fight for his life has made me realize my purpose... to give back to those who helped him. The Product Network hopes to be such a success for inventors that we will pick a charity every month to donate to. Some shows we are already planning are for All Children's Hospital, cerebral palsy and meningitis awareness. The website is You can watch an episode from the link on the front page. Needless to say it has been a very challenging year, starting my own business and taking care of a 3 year old and a special needs baby. Some days I don't know how I manage the household... However, I have never been more satisfied and content in my life than I am now; I know my purpose… that’s a great feeling!!


As a 46 year old mom of 5, ages 2, 5, 9, 21, and 23 and a" Mompreneur," I value my time. Time is money, and I would love a chance in winning this prize. Here is a bit about my life: I came to this country from Brazil at age 19, I barely spoke English. I grew up a as performer. I got married, and had my first two children . I attended college for the first time at age 26 while trying to raise them, and while working 3 part time jobs in the evenings. Eventually I got divorced,  and lost both of my parents. There were so many struggles financially and emotionally, and  it seemed then that my dream of owning my own company some day was shattered. But I never lost my faith in God. Now let's fast forward to NOW: I've remarried since 2000 and I had 3 more children. I now own The Baby Flamingo Co. and my company won the 2010 Huggies® MomInspired™  Grant Program, as well as just nominated one of the top 200 Startup Nation Leading Moms in Business contest in 2011, as well as a feature in a new marketing book called “Power Moms“. Why am I so busy? Life is great!  I’m a wife, and a mom of 5, and that‘s by far my biggest accomplishment, and  I have tons of laundry to do,  other chores, ballet and piano lessons for the children, I run 5 miles a day, I teach 9 music classes a week in 2  pre-schools in my community , I volunteer my services as a music teacher at my children’s school. I also sing in a local Rock Band and a Jazz Ensemble . All of that while trying to run my business from home.  It can be done. It’s been crucial to do one thing every day for my business. Thanks in advance Verizon , for this amazing opportunity!


Although sweating, our two-year old shriekingly refuses to remove his bike helmet, while our four-year old, in T-Rex mode, attempts to chew my leg…all as I field a call from a reporter.  It’s just another day in our hectic, but loving, household.


My husband and I are entrepreneurs. We own and manage The Urban Grape, an eleven-month old, successful boutique wine store outside of Boston. My husband sells the wine. I sell the store itself, handling the marketing, PR, events and social media. My office is the kitchen counter, the playground, the carpool lane, or anywhere I happen to be with my two active boys.


As a stay-at-home working mom, I work during naps, while waiting for the water to boil, and after the kids go to sleep. They’ve adjusted to my too-often departures at dinnertime to attend events at the store. Miraculously, I’ve learned to physically transform myself from playground mom to business owner in under two minutes.


In the battle against fatigue, I’ve been known to momentarily nod off  while turning the pages of a book, only to feel refreshed by the end of the story.  My four-year knows when I’m overtired, and will slyly suggest we climb into bed and talk about our day. That’s code for, “You can fall asleep right here, Mommy, and I won’t tell.”


I’ve learned that no one notices if I pack a cream cheese sandwich on stale bread for lunch. I’ve accepted that I may miss a speck of dirt behind their ears. I’ve convinced myself that applesauce in a to-go cup is fresh fruit. My busy mom’s survival technique is self-forgiveness.


What matters is that my children feel my great tenderness and love for them on a daily basis.


And when your two-year old plays at the feet of a visiting winemaker, or your four-year old enthusiastically says “Welcome to The Urban Gwape!” as customers enter the store, you know you’ve found yourself on life’s chosen path.


5AM: Good morning! I’m Tania Grant, founder and CEO of Pure Play Kids (, the web’s home for creative toys.  Here’s a day in my life: 
The hours before my kids (ages 2 and 4) wake is my most productive time.  Our new Cyclops Towels – designed in-house (literally) and stitched in America - arrived yesterday, and I spend morning launching them via a newsletter and Facebook, hoping for a few nibbles. 
7 AM: Gotta go! I hear happy singing from my kids upstairs – a great sign. They come downstairs, ready for hugs, playing and breakfast.
9:10AM: The kids are 10 minutes late for school.  Sorry, teachers!  I check my Verizon Blackberry and see the product launch newsletter was well-received; orders are coming in! Yah!
10AM: At our warehouse, I ensure today’s shipments look great and ship promptly.  I write notes on each; the personal touch is one way I distinguish Pure Play Kids from the competition.  Returning to preschool, I call a vendor – hands-free, of course!
12PM: My kids update me on school on the way home.  I make business calls alone so I can give my full attention to my kids. My 4 year old released butterflies.  My 2-year old’s shirt told the whole story – painting!
3PM: We grab bikes and trikes.  After a rainy week, the puddles are massive, and my kids find the deepest!  They have an incredible time, as do I.  Afternoons like this are why I’m a mompreneur!
6PM: My hubbie has dinner ready, which is great! The kids eat, tub, read and go to bed.  I do accounting for two hours and head to bed, ready for more 5AM fun tomorrow.


“If you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the new day brings.” ~~Susan Polis

Bring on the new day!


In 2005, with the help of my 2 daughters, I launched Miss O & Friends - a lifestyle and socialization brand for girls who have outgrown Barbie, yet aren’t ready for Britney (ultimately to help build self esteem without saying it).
Everything we do is cool, age appropriate and based on what our tween girls want - all anchored in our website, . No marketing budget, Miss O still consistently ranks in the top 10 “Girls Only” websites worldwide due to our authenticity and strong word of mouth

My story is straight- forward, work at my day job as Creative Director for John Frieda Hair Care till 7pm; come home, make dinner, then work on Miss O every night till 1 or 2 am (plus weekends). Since I created the website including all the Miss O girls, anything visual happens only because of me –no budget for help. I did the day job AND Miss O job until the summer of 2009 when I lost my day job because the office was relocated to Cincinnati.  (With one daughter in 9th grade, couldn’t uproot at such a critical time.)  Since June 2009, I continue to work full time on Miss O, almost around the clock, with no compensation, have re-mortgaged our home twice, and spent virtually all our savings to support the success of this brand, because we truly believe in our mission of helping young girls prepare for their life ahead and feel good about themselves.

In addition to handling the responsibilities of having a teenager and a recent college grad, which was a financial stretch (but we did it!), I correspond and manage tween girl interns (which keeps the site authentic) on a daily basis. So it’s like having tween daughters all over again!

It's just another way to build self-esteem in girls – which is why I will never give up & perhaps reason enough for Verizon to provide this grant.

Browse Categories
About Verizon Business Markets
Get news from Verizon about Business Markets services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon Business Markets group and other experts to help keep your business growing.


Contact the editor: