Empowerment. Inspiration. Passion. Community. As you read today’s profiles, you cannot help but connect each of these wonderful ladies to these four powerful words. They ring true for the Moms on the Move today, although for all different reasons and distinct circumstances.
I enjoyed getting to know these Triad women through their uplifting stories, and I hope you do too. It’s our pleasure for you to meet Jennifer, Karen and Libby!
Finding a role within the Noonday Collection organization was nothing less than fate for Jennifer. Last September, she attended a women’s retreat where an author talked about orphan prevention among other topics. At the time, Jennifer did not realize many orphaned children in Third World countries may have at least one living biological parent, but live in orphanages because their impoverished parent(s) cannot afford to raise or provide for a family. A few weeks later, Jennifer attended her first Noonday Collection trunk show and was introduced to this company that was created to help alleviate poverty in those very communities. Noonday partners with over 2,000 artisans in 13 developing countries. It connect artisans – and their talents of making beautiful purses, bags, scarves, jewelry and accessories – with a growing market for their goods (such as home shows here in the US), thus creating dignified, sustainable, fair-wage jobs and changing lives around the world. At that moment, Jennifer was inspired to become a Noonday ambassador.
“I still felt compelled to be involved somehow,” Jennifer said. She and her husband discussed ways she could make this business venture work if she donated her commission to local causes. After many prayers, Jennifer took the chance and hosted her first home trunk show while donating her commission to the Winston-Salem Street School. Since then, Jennifer’s shows have helped raise money for a Christian counseling center, a few elementary food backpack programs, Mission: Feet First – the End It Movement, and the ABC of NC Child Development Center.
Jennifer and her husband, Dean, have three children: William (8), Reese (5) and Griffin (3). When she’s not spending time with her family, you can find Jennifer running (only if the weather is nice!), reading, or volunteering at church and school. Jennifer encourages TMoM readers to learn more about Noonday Collection and its home trunk shows by visiting her web site: www.jenniferpowell.noondaycollection.com.
Karen McPherson is originally from London, England and moved to Summerfield with her family in August 2012. Karen is married to John and they have two sons, Jack (20) and Charles (14). The relocation was with John’s work and the family was very excited to begin this huge adventure, “although it was very daunting and incredibly difficult to say good-bye to dear family and friends. As a family we have always loved to travel, so this was too good an opportunity to miss, with so many incredible sights to see here. We have already visited many beautiful places.”
Karen was an early year’s educator in a Nottingham village school. “One of the hardest things was to leave my job; I loved every minute of every day. We were one big happy family. My passion is to nurture young children, support them grow, learn and help them be the best they can be.”
This passion for education manifested itself in the creation of morethanastory… A unique teaching tool for children aged from 4. “I knew I wanted to work for myself and tap into my creative side, fairy tales were always my favorite topic to teach, children absolutely love them and the extension possibilities are endless.”
morethanastory… is a hand-made drawstring bag, inside there are small pouches for puppets and props, a quilted bag, three wonderful books, two versions of the tale and an information book linked to the story. The bag also contains a hand-made booklet with engaging activities to enhance learning opportunities across a range of subjects, and an original story CD. “I am a bit overwhelmed about the feedback I have received about morethanastory … it is proving to be a big hit, especially when used to support children with specific learning needs; that makes me really happy.”
Libby is the owner of Dancing Dogs Yoga in Greensboro, and when asked what inspired her to open the studio, her answer was simple: Community. “I believe we have the most powerful, fun , inspiring, and connected community in Greensboro, and our studio believes in having fun together, in connecting to each other, and supporting each other.”
When Libby and her family (husband Rick, son Scott (5), and daughters Margot (3) and Jenna (1), moved to the Triad two years ago, there was no Baptiste Power Yoga, or anything similar, in Greensboro. She started teaching small group private classes in peoples’ empty dining rooms, churches, etc., and quickly discovered there was a huge demand for this physical, sweaty, powerful, and inspiring yoga practice. “Baptiste Yoga is All Levels, taught in a gently heated room (90 degrees), and we deliver a message of Empowerment and Possibility in everything that we do,” she added.
Libby has a long-term goal to create a city-wide community yoga project which gets power yoga classes into many diverse and underserved communities on a regular basis. “I am on a mission to spread Baptiste yoga well beyond the walls of our Dancing Dogs Yoga community because I know that it works to empower people to believe in themselves, get stronger physically and mentally, and create some space in their lives for possibility.”
Libby has a 10-year career in Sports Marketing, working on the U.S. Open (golf). While working for the USGA, a friend encouraged her to try Baptiste Yoga as a balance to her marathon training, despite her insistence that she did not like yoga. Yet one class later, she was hooked and wanted to share her love for yoga with others. Inspired to try it yourself? Visit Dancing Dogs Yoga in person or online for class schedules and information!