It is time to feature some of the amazing moms in our community once again! Today you can learn about an everyday mom who has developed products that are now sold in Pottery Barn stores all over the country. You will read about a mom who is currently in Beijing reporting for Fox 8 News. And finally you will learn about a mom who has started a business simply doing what she loves & gives to others at the same time.
We hope you enjoy reading about these women! If you know a local mother who would be a great fit for our Main Street Moms on the Move series, email us with her name!
Valerie grew up outside Paris, France and later lived in New York and Chicago, before moving to the Triad eight years ago with her husband and children. In 2005, she founded Zoë b Organic, which today sells and manufactures BPA-free, eco-friendly products for babies and kids.
Last summer, Valerie launched the world’s first biodegradable beach toys, made from corn. They look, feel, and hold up exactly like ordinary plastic, but her Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys will completely biodegrade in 2-3 years if washed out to sea. (Compare that with ordinary plastic, which takes 500+ years just to break down.) Yes, finally toys that clean up after themselves.
Valerie is a mom on a mission: “As a mother of three young children, it sickens me to see the number of stray shovels and orphaned, plastic beach buckets washed up on the shore. Why not take the technology that’s now available to us and make smarter beach toys that are healthier for our kids and our planet?” Her toys were featured on The Today Show last summer and can now be found at Pottery Barn Kids all over the country.
And she’s moving beyond the beach: Just last October, Valerie launched Fantastic Anti-Plastic Dishes for kids, the world’s first dishwasher-safe, biodegradable dishes—also made from corn. They’re now available at amazon.com and her company’s website, zoeborganic.com.
But Valerie’s not content simply to invent smarter, safer products. This May, she and 12 others will spend three weeks aboard a research vessel sailing from the Marshall Islands (past Hawaii) to Tokyo. Their goal? To witness firsthand and document the plastic pollution in “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, as well as track debris from Japan’s tsunami last year. Stay tuned for a blog on the 24th about Valerie’s trip!
When Nicole Ferguson boarded a plane to Beijing in April, she did it with the same support and encouragement her husband Tolly constantly provides. It’s the only way she does her job each day.
Nicole, a morning news reporter at Fox 8, and Tolly, a creative director for the local media production company, Viewfinders Media, are parents of a beautiful one year old girl named Kendall. Nicole pulls early morning shifts, arriving to work at 3 am each day. Tolly sets his schedule and has become an expert at fixing Kendall’s hair and picking out outfits for daycare.
The Winston-Salem State and Syracuse University graduate recently traveled to China as a fellow with the D.C.-based International Center for Journalists. Nicole is reporting on North Carolina’s growing furniture and agriculture export relationship with the country.
In 2010, shortly after her wedding, the 28-year-old busy mom did what’s virtually unheard of in the news business. “I took a break. I quit my job, rested, enjoyed my pregnancy, and spent 6 months with my baby before getting back in the business. A lot of people doubted I could get back into such a competitive business, but I made the best decision for my family, and I was blessed to land at Fox 8 again when I was ready to return to work.”
At Fox 8, Nicole also features children across the state who are in need of adoptive homes through a series called Forever Family. She and Tolly collaborate each year to produce a story about the Winston-Salem March of Dimes Ambassador Family of the Year and she is a member of WSSU’s Board of Visitors. In April, Nicole is performing as a celebrity dancer on Forsyth Dancing With the Stars to support Communities In Schools.
With all of this going on, Nicole still has more work to do … “Kendall definitely needs a little brother or sister!”
Kate started crocheting after graduating from Wake Forest in 1997 as something to do in her free time, and it became a passion, as well as stress relief. She made baby booties, blankets, doilies, scarves and more as gifts for family and friends. She loved seeing the finished product, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and making others smile with her gifts.
Kate worked in the corporate world for several years, but when her daughter was born she couldn’t imagine being anything but Mom to her, and her son 4 years later. Kate says, “Being their mother is incredible, amazing, and challenging. Like many mothers, I started feeling a need to do something for me. This is where the idea to sell my crocheted items began.”
Last year, she opened an Etsy shop, Simply SophistiKated. Networking on Facebook with a fanpage, Kate discovered a whole world of amazing crocheters. So far she has focused on hairclips, but is now starting to work on hats, purses, and even writing patterns. Her kids are great cheerleaders and love being the models.
Kate would like to see my work benefit others. One of her best friends has a son with autism, and she is working hard to start 3 Irish Jewels Farm in NC for supported living of adults with autism and after-school programs for autistic children. Kate pledged half of the sales from her shamrocks, puzzle clips and headbands for the farm. She hopes to help raise awareness to a growing need for assistance to adults with autism. She also plans to donate preemie caps to the NICU, a need close to her heart as her daughter was in the NICU for 6 days after being born 6 weeks early. She wants her children to help her with this endeavor and learn the importance of giving to others in need.