By Katie Moosbrugger
Here at TMoM, we love to feature local moms who are doing great things in our community, as well working hard to create and build their own businesses. Today’s Moms on the Move features three women who are doing both of these things. Meet Christine, Carlen and Aimee!
We are thrilled to feature someone who plays an integral role with our Baby Business division! Meet Christine, a local mom, who has owned and operated Moonlight Designs, Inc. for the past 10 years. A graphic designer by trade, Christine has grown her business by helping other local businesses. Today, she and her team create everything from corporate identities (logos), to magazines, catalogues, brochures, banners, stationery, newsletters, menus, fliers…and Baby Business cards, to name a few!
“I always have my clients’ best interest in mind,” she says. “I look out for them, and guide them as best I can. I do get personally involved with projects – how else are you going to promote and create for this business unless you do get involved and believe in what you are marketing? I give businesses the tools to grow. Granted, I’m in business to earn a living, and provide work for others – but my first thought when I meet with a client is….’How can I help their business grow?’ I’m as thrifty with my clients’ money as I am with my own. As a small business owner myself….. I get it.”
Christine has always dreamed of owning her own business, so when the opportunity arose, she jumped on it. Prior to Moonlight Designs, Christine worked at small printing companies while raising her son, Cory (who is now grown), and then with a high-end design firm in Albany, NY.
When Christine is not busy in her studio, you can find her dabbling in photography, biking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, or helping animal organizations – as well as spending time with friends and her family (and grandson), enjoying a good meal, glass of wine, or a movie!
This month, we’re also excited to feature two Triad moms who are helping children realize their full potential. Two winters ago, these ladies started 1-2-1 Mentoring , a Greensboro-based agency (soon to be non-profit) that carefully selects, screens, and trains mentors with school-aged children. 121 Mentoring serves the needs of all children, including those who need academic support, or nutritional counseling and active fitness focuses sessions, or those who just need compassion and empathy training or an adult’s undivided attention.
Carlen grew up in California, surrounded by 112 family members: great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – all within a 3-hour radius of her home. “I miss that, and I wanted that multi-generational family experience for my boys. However, moving back to CA would not solve that void, because society has changed, and our family is spread out all over the US now. So I thought, why not build our own?”
At the same time, Carlen’s husband, Rand, was tragically ill in the last few years of his life and unavailable to her sons, Max (now 14) and Jack (now 10). “I knew I had to intentionally place positive male role models in their lives to fill that void, and to help them build their resilience during this difficult time. By building these relationships, they were able to get through the most horrific and challenging time of their lives, when Rand died. Mentoring helped them to see and value their own self worth, and know that they can and should trust others. It has taught them to be brave and not be afraid to try something new!”
Carlen has an undergraduate degree in marketing (with a minor in psychology) from California State University, and an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. However, she says her experience raising her sons (both of whom have learning disabilities) has best prepared her for the entrepreneurial venture with 1-2-1. “I have always had to advocate for them and obtain the resources they need to be successful in life.”
Carlen has also learned that raising a child (and running a business) requires a village, and she’s not afraid to ask for help. “We have many advisors, from psychologists, counselors, business, legal counsel, that we consult with constantly for issues that we are not experts in. So if we don’t know the answer, we will find the professional that does!”
Aimee says being a mom is, by far, her biggest asset to 1-2-1. She and her husband, Vincent, have three children: Charlie (15), Jacqueline (13) and Will (10). However each child that comes to her agency becomes one of her own. “I immediately start to think, ‘What do they need?’ and ‘Who can provide that?’ Every single child at our agency is matched with someone I would trust to mentor my own kids,” she says.
A biology graduate from Emory University, Aimee went on to teach (before having children) and discovered that child development is her passion. “Every child has different needs, and I love figuring out what those needs are and how a mentor can support that child in the best way.”
A big focus at 1-2-1 Mentoring is volunteering, and Aimee is an advocate of community outreach. “We know that a huge part of building up a child’s resilience is letting them help others. We realize families are super busy and so we integrate volunteering opportunities for mentors, kids and families consistently throughout the year,” she adds.
Another large focus at 1-2-1 is finding quality mentors, naturally. According to Aimee, research shows that all children need at least three non-parent adults in their lives to reach their full potential. Therefore, 1-2-1 finds mentors through a variety of avenues: local colleges, schools and word of mouth. All mentors are subjected to intense screening, monitoring, and continued support.
“We have mentors from all walks of life. All different religions, races, educational backgrounds and professions are represented and come together to form a really unique and beautiful community with the mission of supporting our youth. It’s like nothing I have ever seen before.”
To find a mentor for your child, simply call 1-2-1 or click HERE!