We may have taken a short hiatus, but we’re back with three more fantastic Triad moms to introduce to you. TMoM readers, please meet mompreneurs Ashley, Maggie and Jenni. Each of these ladies is a trailblazer in her own right. They’ve taken their talents and turned them into flourishing businesses – all while staying true to themselves and their passions. And they say their ventures have made them better mothers, better wives, better people. Enjoy their stories!
Greensboro resident Ashley Anderson (mom to Luke, 4 ½ and Michael, 15 months – and wife to David) loves to get crafty. For several years, she made and sold note cards and enclosure cards exclusively to two children’s boutiques in Washington DC. But when those stores closed, Ashley had the urge to try something new. She was also craving the challenge of a new business venture. “I was in a rut where every day felt the same, and I wasn’t feeling like just me anymore. I love being a mommy, but I also realized I needed to have something that was just for me,” she explained. After attending lots of parties where she noticed friends purchasing party décor from Etsy, she thought, “I could do that” – and so she did.
Today, Ashley runs Peanut & Piglette, an adorable Facebook page where she sells everything from party décor (cupcake toppers, banners, favors, gift tags) to calling cards and stickers to acrylic gift items (luggage tags, key chains, insulated cups and coffee tumblers), plus lots more. “I love it when someone calls me and asks, ‘Can you make this?’ and it ends up becoming a new item that I offer.” She named her business after her sons’ nicknames. Her oldest has always been her “Peanut” and her little one used to make a hilarious grunt/growl sound that reminded her of a little piggy.
Ashley is constantly seeking out ways to make new things or improve existing designs. And when she’s not in her craft room, you’ll probably find her at the Natural Science Center (she’s a regular), playing with her kids in her backyard, or helping with an event for the MS Society (in honor of her mother who has MS).
It was a no-brainer decision to feature Maggie Healy of Lewisville as a Mom on the Move after receiving this awe-inspiring nomination last July: “As a former athlete and Middle School Health teacher, Maggie has an insatiable passion for nutrition, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Maggie is the owner and operator of Winston-Salem Adventure Boot Camp for Women – a fabulous exercise program for women that was recently given Honorable Mention by Smitty’s Notes for the 2011 Best of Winston-Salem Fitness Center/Exercise. I cannot say enough positive things about Maggie’s Boot Camp – she is encouraging (there is nothing militant about Maggie or her boot camp), knowledgeable and makes working out fun (which we all know is a very difficult task). She also provides nutritional guidance that you can actually follow. For example, she recently provided a daily menu (including recipes) for our 6-week Summer Body Transformation Boot Camp – all healthy, delicious stuff that is easy to prepare and even my kids will eat. In addition to running Boot Camp, Maggie is also a Twin City Soccer Coach and provides various Fitness programs for The Summit School. Oh, and did I mention that she does all this while being pregnant – she is due with her first child in October. She is truly a Mom on the Move.”
And there’s no stopping Maggie! She and her husband, Dennis, are now proud parents to Jasten who is just five months old. Maggie’s greatest reward with her boot camp comes when women leave her class pleasantly surprised that they completed a challenge or exercise they didn’t think they could do. “This is not a ‘class’ that you are expected to ‘keep up’ or know a routine. In fact, we hate routine! Every day is different. And every day you will leave dripping in sweat with a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Do you live by rules? Then break ‘em, says Jenni. “I stopped playing by rules. Just stopped. And you know what? My relationships are better now than they’ve ever been. I am finally me and damn, it feels good,” she says.
What is this woman from Winston-Salem talking about? Her new business, The Suburban Outlaws, that is. A mother of two (Wyatt, 7, and Grady, 4), Jenni and her husband, Nate, have lived in the Triad for four years. One recent day, Jenni was shopping in downtown when she got a call from a life-long friend, Cydney, who she says is one of the most feisty and loyal friends she has. “I cried to her about my dream to do something more with my love of crafting, painting and designing. I told her I missed the days when we were outlaws.” With a depth of understanding as she sat in preschool pickup line in Huntersville, Cydney replied, “And here we’re driving Suburbans.” A long pause went by and she added, “Let’s start something. You and I. Let’s do something.”
Enter The Suburban Outlaws. Log on to the site, and you’ll be pulled in immediately. The site oozes creativity and its products (apparel, charms, flasks, belts and items for the home) are just as clever and original. “Before the first shirt was designed or the first artist was found we knew wanted The Suburban Outlaws to be a company that facilitated honest expression first and foremost. As people buy our products we hope you’ll feel inspired to be absolutely you,” adds Jenni.
At the end of this month, Jenni and her business partner are hosting a debut party in Texas, one of their biggest markets, where they will launch their spring line. New products will be featured on their site in April, and they hope to selling in boutiques nationwide too!
Awesome stories, ladies! Thanks for letting us feature you today. If you know someone who you’d like to nominate as the next Main Street Mom on the Move, email me at Katie@TriadMomsOnMain.com.