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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Business Mamas network on a mom's schedule

At a recent meeting are on the top left Brittany Moore, Jennifer Savarese with Origami Owl, Jenni McKay with Perceptivity Studio, Dr. Laura Meyer with Partners and Pediatrics, Natasha Gwatney with Mary Kay Cosmetics, Lindsay Dicus-Harrison, Realty Executives, Bottom row, Melissa Goodnow with Barefoot Birth, Gladis Rubio with The Fourth Trimester, Jennifer Sullivan, Baby Bootcamp, and Greta Green with Green Pearl Photography.
Over the past few weeks I have talked to more and more moms who have reinforced what I have always believed: being home with my kids while they are young is important, but with today’s economy it’s hard to be a stay at home mom, most moms have to work.
The problem is it’s tough to find a job that works around children. Most jobs are not the kind that allow for you to take off when your child is sick, or go on a class field trip or go to other school events during the day. It’s difficult for moms who work full-time for a company to get off during the day. Most full-time jobs are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Because some mom’s don’t want to be constrained to a set schedule, I have noticed a lot of them are starting their own companies or working for businesses where you can be your own boss like Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Origami Owl and Mary Kay Cosmetics. This way they can work from home or work when their husband gets home from his job.
I recently ran into a bunch of moms at a referral networking group called Business Mama’s Referral Group Pinellas County. I had heard about the group from my sister-in-law and then heard about it again through a co-worker. I wanted to find out what this group was all about. I thought I could maybe get some leads from being a part of this group. For me small businesses like this would be great for the marketing, public relations and social media that I do for small businesses.
Since my co-worker couldn’t attend, she asked me to fill in for her. You see with this group you can’t miss more than two meetings a year without someone substituting in your place at the meeting.
I think the idea to have moms gather and talk about their businesses and refer clients to each other is a wonderful idea . The Business Mama’s was started by realtor Lindsay Discus-Harrison, a mom with a young child who wanted to create leads for her business, but couldn’t get to the other referral groups and organizations because they didn’t fit her schedule or her needs. She decided to create her own group with a few other business moms about a little over a year ago and now they have about 28 members and are growing.
 They have a group in the Largo/Seminole area that meets once a month on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Panera Bread in Bardmoor. The group is expanding and forming another group in the northern part of the county that will meet the second Thursday of the month.

It was fun listening to the moms give a 30-second elevator pitch about their company and giving one about the company I work for. The group does this to give each person time to introduce their business, so fellow members can get to know each company a little better. They feel that everyone in the group is a sales person for each member in the group.  
Part of the rules and regulations of the group include that they can’t have more than one person of the same business in the group. The members also have to make one referral a month to another Business Mama member or bring a potential new member to the monthly meeting. It seems to be working for these women. Some of the other businesses include moms who work as a photographer, pediatrician, hair dresser, professional organizer and fitness instructor.
I also noticed they have business play dates. A lot of the moms in this group have young kids, so this is a way for them to socialize and network at the same time. What a great way for moms to join forces and help each other so they can work and be able to be with their kids.
For more information about the Business Mamas Referral Group call Lindsay Discus-Harrison at 727-656-1584 or email them at

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