Have you ever thought about starting your own non-profit and changing the world? The inspiring Lisa Stenzel shares her tips on how to get started.Read More
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, meaning I may have received payment and/or free product in exchange for this post. That being said, I would never give my endorsement/recommendation for something I didn't absolutely love!
Being a mom to young kids is one of the happiest, most trying, and most expensive times in our lives.
We ooze pride when our 2-year-old sings their ABCs or counts to 10 for the first time.
We heavily sigh when we sit down for the first time all day, just to hear screams and cries of "mommy!" coming from down the hall.
We cringe every time we go to Costco and spend $100+ on JUST diapers, pull-ups, and wipes.
It's a tough job, ladies... but let me just say that you are rocking it!
Despite the days with (in my case) an almost 5-year-old and 2-year-old being so long, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to stay home with my boys and work around their schedules; it is something that I will never take for granted, as I know there are millions of moms out there who yearn to stay home with their babies.
According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost of raising a child from 0 to 18 is a whopping $233,610, which does not even include the cost of a college tuition! With the cost of raising just one child nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars, it is no wonder why so many moms who want to stay home have to work, and it is also why I am so thankful to learn about and partner with companies like Kollectin!
What is Kollectin? Kollectin is an innovative fashion tech startup geared to empower women and help them flaunt their style and individuality while making money and allowing them to be their own Girl Boss.
If you have been around my corner of the web for awhile, you know that I have experimented with both selling on eBay and Amazon, which -- while potentially lucrative -- also proved to be stressful in shopping for inventory (not to mention coming up with the money to purchase your inventory), keeping track of overhead, running back and forth to the post office, and so on.
This is where the beauty of Kollectin comes in: You don't have to spend tons of money to make money (unless you decide to keep product on hand, in which case you buy the jewelry at wholesale price and sell it at retail!) OR go through the hassle of stocking your own tiny boutique, as Kollectin — with no cost, no subscription — does all the work for you!
How does Kollectin work? With their Tiny Boutique Box program, you get to pick and choose the jewelry you love, and manage everything with a couple of swipes of your phone: keep for yourself, sell, or send back and get something new. It's that simple.
Are you the girl who loves to experiment with new looks and accessories?
Kollectin is for you.
Does your tribe consider you to be the group fashionista?
Kollectin is for you.
Are you a busy stay-at-home mom, college student, or side hustler looking to make a little extra money each month?
You see where I am going with this, right?
Even if you are not in the market to make extra money (if that is even a thing), Kollectin is a fabulous platform, as they partner with numerous designers to bring you not only the hottest looks, but special pricing and deals, rewards, and style inspiration.
"Whether you are a girlfriend or an Influencer, you get to choose your favorite jewelry designs and build a virtual store to promote them."
Now for the million dollar question: Just how does one build their own tiny boutique... through an app?
When you first log in to the app, you are asked to create your own style profile, which may sound daunting (it did to me, at least), but is actually really fun, as you get to browse through numerous necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings, and decide which pieces best fit your style!
Here are a few of my picks:
Totally fab, right?!
Once you have chosen your favorites, your tiny boutique has been established, meaning you can enjoy a discount on your chosen pretties OR invite your friends to shop your collection!
(As I previously mentioned, when you make a purchase through the app, you not only receive some of the newest styles, but special deals, pricing, and rewards as well.)
When your friends purchase? You receive a generous commission! So cool, right?
Whether you are a busy mom, broke college student, fashionista, or influencer, be sure to check out Kollectin! (Psst... Christmas is coming and EVERYONE could use some pretty new earrings or a chic handbag ;)
To apply to be one of Kollectin's first influencers, simply fill out their application/survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X9D5T5G
It's been a hot minute (or 5) since we last featured an inspiring mom boss and I am THRILLED to say that we have a pretty amazing one joining us today! Not only is this aunt smart and hard working, she is extremely creative, as her business gives a popular tradition a unique twist.
Mamas (and Papas), meet Tiffany Reimer:
Tiffany, I am so excited to chat with you today! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work background?
I worked at a large bank for 5 years out of high school and although it paid well, sitting at a desk Mon-Fri 9-5 was killing me. When I was 23, I responded to an add in the newspaper looking for a flight attendant and the rest is history. I just celebrated my 20 year anniversary as a flight attendant this month. I married a pilot (so cliché) and we have been traveling the world together since 2003. We honeymooned in South Africa and met a couple from Sweden at our b&b who were also on their honeymoon. We have kept in touch and visited each other’s homes a handful of times in the last 11 years. We even spent last Christmas and New Years Skiing in Sweden with our friends.
Why is travel so important to you and your husband, and what doors has it opened for you both personally and in terms of business?
People like to ask us where our favorite place is to travel. Every place is special for its own reasons; just some places are just more challenging than others. Our most recent trip was to Israel and Jordan. Floating in the Dead Sea was incredible and walking into the West Bank to see Bethlehem was a definite highlight. We love Germany at Christmas time and Cambodia for its unspoiled culture. Sydney Australia is a wonderful city to explore and a great place to catch a free opera in the park. We were invited to a wedding in Punjab India and our hosts made us feel like family. We find that people in other countries are hard workers trying to provide for and love their families just as we are here at home. Most people want to “do good”. Often during our travels we will pack an extra suitcase full of saved hotel soaps and shampoos and kids clothes and small toys or medical supplies. I will research an orphanage in whatever country we are traveling to and will deliver the suitcase to them. The kids welcome us and often sing us songs or give us a tour. We always feel like we get more than we give.
What exactly is Passport 4 Change and how did you come up with the idea for it?
Passport 4 Change is a fun and educational tooth fairy kit that takes your child’s imagination on an adventure around the world. The kit includes 20 real foreign coins, a colorful laminated world map, an optional personalized tooth fairy pillow and a passport book where your child stores their coins. Once your child has collected all their coins, they can remove the coin pages and insert their passport to begin their own adventures.
I took my 5 year old niece to the airport for a show and tell day. We were sitting in the flight deck when I asked her where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world. She said, “Target!” Im an effort to make her world bigger, I created an educational tooth fairy kit with 20 different foreign currencies to which I attached a note from the tooth fairy about her visit to each country. I created a colorful world map, and a personalized tooth fairy pillow. I gave the kit to my sister and my niece called me a few weeks later and excitedly said, “Aunt Tiffany, the tooth fairy was just in England having tea with the Queen and she left me British Pounds!” My niece is learning about geography, math, foreign currency, time-zones and is now interested in different cultures and traditions.
If you don't mind sharing, just how does one open up a business like Passport 4 Change? Can you walk us through how you turned your idea into a unique business?
In a world where walls are going up, I think it is so important to share our differences learn from one another. My favorite quote is, “It’s difficult not to like someone once you know their story.” These real foreign coins brought by the tooth fairy are a piece of magic from another world that stimulates the imagination and sparks curiosity. After seeing the effect it had on my niece, I knew that I needed to start a business selling these kits to other families.
Please walk us through a day in your shoes as an entrepreneur.
Remember I said that I don’t do well with sitting at a desk so this is a perfect business for me. I get to travel and collect my coins. I have a lot of down time at airports and hotels where I sit with my computer and work on the technical things. Luckily, once I had the kits set up, it’s pretty easy to ship out when orders come in from my website.
How do you go about marketing your business and what tips can you give others?
Marketing has been a challenge because this idea is a new concept so people aren’t searching for me yet. I depend on word of mouth and a little social media, which I really need to hire someone to manage. I have realized recently that I just can’t do everything. Well, I can, just not all at once. ; ) My social medial when through an identity crisis. Do my followers want to follow me and my travels/adventures or do I need to only post about the business? My tip is to outsource when necessary. Know when to ask for help.
Finally, what is the best thing to have happened to you because of Passport 4 Change?
So many great things have happened because of Passport 4 Change! I’ve met some incredible people along my journey! I’ve gotten pushed waaaay out of my comfort zone and grown as a result. I’ve learned so much and had so many doors open because I was out in the world being curious. I plan to donate a portion of my sales to study abroad programs to encourage young people to travel and be exposed to a different culture. One day I plan to start my own non-profit that offers scholarships. But, the BEST is when I get a message from a parent about how much their child is loving the adventure and how much they are learning about our world. One parent told me that during the Olympics, her daughter said that she wanted to watch China and Italy because that’s where the tooth fairy had been. Or, "Thank you for the brilliant idea and twist on the Tooth-fairy. Not only is it educational, it's fun. My son is excited to mark the map with his foreign money!" Or, "My daughter felt so special that the Tooth Fairy came all the way from England to give her a coin!” Or, “My daughter says kids at her school are getting money from the tooth fairy but I like mine better because my tooth fairy travels.” These are the things that keep me pushing forward.
Is anyone else itching for their 4-year-old's teeth to begin falling out so they can order a Passport 4 Change?! To order your own -- or to learn more about the company -- please visit the Passport 4 Change website, Facebook, and Instagram.
After taking last week off to regroup a bit, I am happy to say that we are back with a BANG!
Mamas: Today's Boss Mom is amazing, as she is not only sharing her entrepreneurial experience, but sharing a job/class opportunity with our audience! While I could try to put in my own words just how smart and business savvy this mompreneur is, I will let her tell you in her own words:
Lauren Golden loves helping mamas free themselves from the 9-5 grind. She launched The Free Mama Movement to show working moms that they don’t have to choose between family and financial stability.
Hundreds of families today are happier and more fulfilled thanks to Lauren and her online programs. Whether you’re a single mom, a military mom, or a mom in a two-parent family who doesn’t want to sacrifice your time with your babies in order to provide for them, Lauren wants you to know that you don’t have to.
Today, as the fearless leader of The Free Mama Movement and a thriving community of over 2700 women, Lauren is passionate about showing other moms how to start and run a successful freelancing business from home. In her upcoming book, she shares her own story — along with plenty of practical advice for anyone looking to leave the 9-5 behind and make a real living from home.
In addition to her self-paced program, Lauren also works one-on-one with motivated mamas who want to get their businesses up and running fast. Her talks on freelancing, building a business, and making over your mindset, and other relevant topics resonate with women around the world.
Lauren also runs The Free Mama Matchmaker Service, where she connects graduates of her elite online program with entrepreneurs who need their specialized skills.
Without further ado, here is Lauren!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what your life looked like before having your sweet babies.
My name is Lauren Golden and I am a wife, mama, marketing nerd and iced coffee enthusiast (half sweetened with soy milk). I am also the founder of The Free Mama Movement where I help mamas work from home on their own terms and live a totally awesome, guilt-free life.
So how the heck did I get here?
My husband and I moved back to Kansas City, my hometown, right before we got married (that month living with my parents as newlyweds was fabulous, let me tell you) and soon settled into decent paying jobs that neither of us loved.
I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever and someone who glamorized “being busy”. I was involved in my job, always juggled a few side gigs, and volunteered in my community. I gained a ton of experience and met a lot of people in a short span of time, but I was beyond stressed out. In fact, it wasn’t until I slowed down and swapped jobs that we were even able to get pregnant.
My definition of “busy” quickly changed during those first few days with a newborn...
Fast forward to after you had your kids and realized the corporate world just wasn’t cutting it anymore: what was your “aha moment” in terms of working from home?
My husband actually had the realization first. He turned 30, lost a grandparent and had a daughter all within a few months and it spurred a bit of a quarter-life-crisis. Poor guy.
He went on to quit his job and we took out a massive loan for him to buy out the previous owner of a business. This was our first taste of entrepreneurship and the learning curve was mighty steep for two Political Science majors.
Suddenly I became the breadwinner, benefits holder and household leader while pregnant with our second child. Pretty soon after he was born, I remember telling my husband I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t spend 3 hours a day in the car shuttling my babies to coo and poo at someone else’s house. I couldn’t work in a place where I felt undercompensated and underappreciated. So I took my skills and applied them towards freelancing and made a plan to leave my job within the year.
Except sometimes God, the universe, higher power or whatever you believe has other plans.
We got pregnant again. After the shock wore off, I came up with a new plan that would allow me to quietly exit stage right after completing my maternity leave…
And then I had a miscarriage.
It sounds a little woo-woo, but in that devastating moment, I heard a voice in my head that said, “what’s your plan now?” I quit my job 1 week later and have never looked back.
You hit a few bumps in the road on your quest to work from home... can you tell us a little about them and how you overcame each one?
The truth is, I enjoyed the work I was doing everyday at my 9-5, and I loved my co-workers, but after my son was born I became incredibly resentful of my massive commutes, my employer and honestly - my husband who was off pursuing his dreams while I held down the fort as the “stable” one.
By this point I felt desperate to stay home, but I also still loved working and producing. I dabbled in network marketing and thought for sure if anyone could pull off a free car it was me, but the team model of MLMs was a huge turn off for me and so I capped at a few hundred dollars in profit.
Frustrated and feeling like a bit of a failure, I turned to freelancing as a social media manager, a skill I was comfortable with from work I was doing for my employer. I started a blog around the same time that would document my journey from working mom to work at home mom called The Free Mama. I had HUGE plans to monetize the blog, except I didn’t have any idea how! Luckily, the freelancing business took off...
How did you finally begin making stable money and how long did it take from the time you quit your corporate job?
When I realized that freelancing offered the chance to do things I was already good at and knew how to do, at prices and for clients I chose, I was all in. I definitely “looked before I lept” and had started supplementing nearly $2,000/month of my income freelancing before I quit my job.
I learned a lot of lessons the hard way - like the importance of contracts, charging what you’re worth, and crystal clear communication around expectations and timelines - but for the most part it was smooth sailing.
Until I had to start over again.
Yup, I actually built up my freelancing business from scratch twice, because we unexpectedly moved and the small local businesses I was serving in Kansas City could no longer get the support they needed now that I was in Katy, TX. That is when I became a 100% online-based business and made the strategic decision to only partner with online entrepreneurs.
In that first year, even with the move, I actually made almost $25,000 MORE than I did in my previous full-time job working about half of the hours. That’s when I realized I was really onto something and that if I could do it, other mamas could do it, too.
What is The Free Mama Movement and how does it help other parents who want to work from home?
The Free Mama Movement is a thriving community of over 3,000 women who don’t want to sacrifice time with their babies in order to provide for them.
I’ve taught hundreds of mamas how to build a freelancing business from home as a virtual administrative consultant doing admin, organizational and marketing type tasks for online businesses so that they don’t have to choose between family and financial stability.
You offer informative courses and training for moms interested in working from home... what can your virtual attendees expect to learn from you?
In addition to my self-paced 12 Week Program, I also work one-on-one with motivated mamas who want to get their businesses up and running fast.
All of my students can expect to walk away with the strategic and practical training, technical support and mindset coaching to run a successful freelancing business from their home, while taking care of their family and household.
Now that you work and teach from home, what does a “typical” (if such a thing exists) day in your shoes look like?
I’m a creature of habit and so are my kiddos! A typical day starts with my husband making our family breakfast before heading to work. He is gone a lot these days, so this is the one time of day he can really help me out and it is amazing. Plus, he is a much better cook!
Our older kiddos get themselves ready for school and have a few chores (they unload the dishwasher and take out recycling), while I get the youngest and myself ready and fed.
My oldest is in real-deal school now, while my younger two attend preschool 4 days a week for 4 hours a day. That is my sacred, uninterrupted work time. In order to show up as the mama I want to be while my children are home, I have to maximize this time as productively and efficiently as possible.
I use time blocking to manage my calendar and a technique called The Daily Five to make sure I’m always getting the most out of my work day. This is the time of day when I would schedule virtual meetings or interviews, coach my clients and create content.
After I pick up my youngest, we usually eat. Actually, we eat all the time - ha! We are very active and love to be outside, which in Houston either means a park in the winter or the pool in the summer.
We are getting to the activity age with our kids - so gymnastics and swimming fill many of our afternoons - followed by dinner, baths (okay, so I probably only bath them about 3-4 times a week) and bedtime.
Most nights I hop back on my computer for a few hours to take care of some administrative tasks and get myself prepared for the following day’s agenda.
I’m not a huge television-watcher anymore, but The Bachelorette is a non-negotiable in my life. Don’t judge.
Can you share your favorite work-from-home memory with us? (Ex: Feedback from a student, something funny that the kids did when you were on a call, etc.)
The first time I really remember thinking to myself - wow, I’m actually doing this - I was at Wonderscope, a Children’s Museum in Kansas City. It was a Wednesday morning. I had never gotten to take my kiddos anywhere during the work week before, and there I was in a near empty museum laughing and playing with my kids without the Saturday morning lines. I’ll admit, I checked my phone a few times to make sure I didn’t have any client emergencies or to field some social media comments, but I felt so proud in that moment of the risks I had taken in order to show up as the mom - and business owner - I wanted to be.
Isn't she incredible?! If you are ready to join the Free Mama Movement, check out thefreemamamovement.com. To follow Lauren -- or get in touch -- be sure to visit the Free Mama Facebook page and group, and the Free Mama Instagram.