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?
Ellen 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.