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Mom entrepreneurs unite!

We feature unique finds that are invented, created, and sold by talented entrepreneurs  from all walks of life. Men, women, grandparents and even children (remember Pumponator?) have been the brains and talent behind our Grommets. We also meet a lot of really talented and smart people during our discovery process -- Ellen Parlapiano and Pate Cobe are two that we would put in that "talented and smart" category. Ellen and Pat work with women who are both mothers and entrepreneurs (which hit close to home for many of us!). In fact, it was in their entrepreneur network that I first met fellow Daily Grommet"ier" Katherine Klinger. Who knew that years later we would become colleagues here at Daily Grommet?

Mompreneur InterviewEllen and Pat  have been studying the mompreneur trend for over 15 years. In fact, they coined, popularized, and trademarked the phrase, back in the 90's after writing their book, Mompreneurs®: A Mother’s Practical Step-to-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success. After building their brand on iVillage.com, Pat and Ellen founded their own website, MompreneursOnline.com, where they counsel mom entrepreneurs and provide a safe and nurturing community for them to network in. MompreneursOnline.com also offers how-to articles, face-to-face networking groups,  and blogs by mom entrepreneurs in various fields. When I asked Ellen what most impressed her about mom entrepreneurs she shared,

“Women entrepreneurs are especially supportive of one another,” says Parlapiano. “They share their knowledge and experience, and brainstorm innovative ideas. Rather than being competitive, they partner up to help each other achieve their business visions.”

In the years they’ve been following mompreneur trends, Ellen and Pat say that mom entrepreneurs have become more confident and comfortable taking risks. A decade ago, moms were more likely to start businesses that continued what they had done in the professional work world. For example, someone who worked at a PR agency would simply start her own firm.  But “now we see many more inventors than in the past,” notes Parlapiano. “Today, moms aren’t afraid to tap their talents and passions and head off in new directions.” A music teacher might decide to make chocolates. A lawyer might invent a child safety product.  “And they can come to online entrepreneurial communities like ours for hand-holding every step of the way, ” Parlapiano says.

We are thankful for people like Pat and Ellen who encourage, nurture, and help those out there who have an "idea" as they see their product, service, or passion come to fruition. We need more people supporting the entrepreneurial spirit out there -- after all, we need those Grommet ideas!

To network with other mom entrepreneurs, you can check out the message board community at MompreneursOnline.com

Want to share a Grommet idea or want to browse recent submissions? Be sure to visit our Citizen's Gallery.


  • Imie Says:

    Pat and Ellen, you two are amazing! Always an inspiration to us all.

    Keep it up and hope to hear more:)

  • Chelle - Dapper Snappers Kids Belts Says:

    Pat and Ellen were there for me when I launched my kids belts business 2 1/2 years ago. They opened up a whole world for me that I had no idea existed. I still remember the first conference call I attended when they told me about Twitter and how important it is to build a web presence, not just have a website. I definitely credit them for helping me get started!
    If you are a mom with a business, or even just a business idea, then you need to go to MompreneursOnline.com and get the support and encouragement you will need from this wonderful group of women.

  • Diana Ennen Says:

    Great posting! And love your comments on Pat and Ellen. They help so many mompreneurs on a regular basis and always are eager to offer advice or give that motivational support a mompreneur needs when things just aren't going right. I just love how supportive they have always been.

    Of course, I like many know them best from their books. In my eariier days in business it was priceless with helping me get started.

    Thanks! Diana

  • Leslie Haywood aka @grillcharmer Says:

    You hit the nail on the head Tori! Pat and Ellen and the www.mompreneursonline.com community is where I got my start. I would not be where I am, or be who I am in the business world with out them. Thanks to Pat and Ellen I have found life long customers, vendors, support, friends and mentors. THANK YOU Tori for writing such a beautiful post and THANK YOU Pat and Ellen for EVERYTHING!

  • Topiary Lady Says:

    Yay Pat and Ellen! These two women and their expertise, generosity and wisdom have helped encourage my business ever since I found them online 9 years ago at iVillage. I have been one of those people who needed some hand-holding from a supportive group of creative professional women! Being an artist, I always felt like could go to the MompreneurOnline community for business advice and get reliable, sound information. I found my talented web designer at MompreneursOnline (Jill @ 2dogsdesign) as well and couldn't be happier with the results. Keep up the great work Ladies! I am one of your biggest fans! : )


  • Dom Celentano Says:

    “now we see many more inventors than in the past,” resonated with me. In the spring our company worked with Entrepreneurs Expose to mange their "Retail Pitch Room". This was the first time they added a consumer retail products segment to the expose. Whole Foods, Lord and Taylor and a group out of Philadelphia who represents brands to be featured on QVC were ready to hear pitches. No one knew what the outcome would be.

    Well, 40 plus women entrepreneurs later told me product based businesses by women will be the upcoming trend. So you hit the nail on the head with your comments.

    All the best!

  • Ros Guerrero Says:

    Always a delight to read about Pat & Ellen. I had the awesome opportunity to meet them both here in Arizona and I can tell you they are just the most approachable & warmest women you'll meet. Thank you for sharing about their inspiring story.

  • Sarah Says:

    Pat & Ellen were so instrumental in sharing great resources when I first thought of my product. It's been a while but I am now going to be bringing my product to market! Woohoo!

    The women I met in their mompreneursonline.com forum are all still friends today - 3 years later (ack, it's been three years?!)

    Great article Tori!

  • Pat Cobe Says:

    You're the best Tori....and so are all the mompreneurs we've met in our wonderfully supportive community. We love giving entrepreneurial encouragement to moms who have great ideas and want to find a way to work that will balance their personal and professional lives. You did an awesome job of capturing what MompreneursOnline.com is all about, Tori! Many thanks.

  • Tori Says:

    My pleasure Pat! And thank you everyone for leaving such thoughtful comments!

  • Cher Klosner Lane Says:

    Tori. you rock!!! Thank goodness for El and Pat - we have been soooooo blessed to meet such wonderful women and forever friends though Mompreneursonline.com!!!

  • Beth Butler Says:

    It's been a pleasure knowing Pat and Ellen over the years and more importantly, learning with them via their online community of Mompreneurs! I learned so much from the many wonderful women who are part of the MompreneursOnline.com community, and I know how much they have contributed to my success.

    Lifelong friendships, lifelong knowledge and lifelong support ... three things I treasure about the community these two women have created.

    Thank you Tori for sharing this story and background on Pat and Ellen.

  • Janene Says:

    Fabulous job, Tori. Mompreneurs has always been a fantastic place to find resources and support. Congrats Pat and Ellen.

  • Diana @ Slow Cooker Mate Says:

    Great job Tori!
    Pat and Ellen are incredible. MompreneursOnline.com is the best social network around. Everyone is very helpful and supportive.

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