July 2016 Digital Reno Tahoe Tonight

Page 44

FEATURE

W

omen not only hold up more than half the sky, women-owned businesses are a major component of our national economy. In statistics cited in 2015 by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 9.1 million firms are owned by women, generating 1.4 trillion dollars in sales and employing 7.9 million people. [1]

Now, take into account the dizzying array of mom and pop businesses that populate U.S. cities large and small, and those numbers skyrocket. (Notice how the word “mom” comes first in that scenario btw?) More than ever, working mothers are trading their day jobs for the boss's hard hat – striking out with their skills sets and dreams in tow and not just surviving, but thriving in business! In a new continuing series inspired by one of our clients, Reno Tattoo Removal co-owner Melanie Gregory, we take a look at how four local women (most of whom you already know) who are balancing motherhood, marriage and business, while finding time to be fabulous in their own right. We think you'll be inspired by their guts, candor and drive, and informed by the unique challenges and vulnerabilities that “Momtrepreneurs” face and overcome daily. Meet our Momtrepreneurs! • Melanie Gregory – Co-owner Reno Tattoo Removal

• Aaryn Walker – Owner – Red Chair • Kim Mazy – Director – MunchkinLand PreSchool

• Terri Hull – Owner – Sippees Oliver X: What are the biggest challenges you face as owners/entrepreneurs with kids? 44 Reno Tahoe Tonight

Melanie: Finding the time, energy, creativity to be both a mom and a business owner. You put everything you have into being both things— well, at least trying – and sometimes one or the other suffers. Sometimes you suffer, but the reward outweighs the bad. You get to show your kids that you can make dreams become realities with hard work; you can help them feel a part of your business, and, with practice and a few cries here and there, you can find time to still make sense of who you are. Aaryn: Before having a child my biggest concern desiring to have a family was not being able to raise my child. My mom was a stay at home artist for many years. Part of my decision to be a self-employed entrepreneur was to afford myself the opportunity to take my child to work and make decisions that would allow me to be able to raise my child without day care services. Two weeks after having my daughter 5 1/2 years ago, we returned to my shop to conduct business. Having her grow up in the shop was an easy choice. After asking a friend who grew up in her father's ski shop about her experience growing up in a familyowned and operated business, she expressed a great love and respect for her experience, as well as the ability to learn a trade and have an understanding for how her family earned a living. My daughter has become as much a part of my business as myself. Instead of being a challenge, it has been pleasure. I have learned as she gets older, and she realizes that there actually are other options for her after school. If she was left to make her own decisions, [she] would opt to spend less time than more at the shop. Kim: I would say the part that is the hardest is also sometimes the easiest, and that is the flexibility. Most of the time, my school runs like clockwork and I really don’t have to be there constantly. However, there are times when say for example, I am short-staffed, which means a “Tag! You’re It!” for me. Because of the nature of my business, it is necessary to maintain certain ratios of children to teachers to be in compliance. It’s not like selling widgets. I deal with tiny humans with lots of needs every day and they really don’t care if Miss Suzie Q called in sick. Times like these, I hop into the classroom to teach. And I must admit, I love it…