It was longtime Raising Arizona Kids contributor Brittney Walker who came up with the idea of running a weekly feature on our website about local mothers who are running businesses.
Hard to believe we’ve already profiled 100 of them in our Monday RAK Mompreneur feature.
Brittney wrote the section for awhile, until she took a break to focus on family, community and church responsibilities. (We’re happy to say she’s got the writing bug again and has several assignments in the works.)
We gave the assignment to Brooke Mortensen, who interned with us right after she graduated from college in the spring of 2010 and continues to write for us as a freelancer.
Between the two of them, Brittney and Brooke have covered a wide range of mom-owned businesses. They’ve profiled photographers, jewelry makers, cooks/caterers/bakers and candy makers. They’ve interviewed moms who make fitness fun, moms who help other moms stay organized, moms with a knack for fashion — or finding deals, or dispensing advice — and even a “multi-mompreneur” who runs several businesses concurrently.
Certainly these moms are not lacking in energy, creativity or drive. They are a diverse bunch from all kinds of backgrounds. Each has a unique and interesting story of the journey that brought her to this place in life. But there are two things that unite them all: passion for what they do and the desire to live life on their own terms so they can keep family as their first and most important priority.
As one of the Valley’s veteran mompreneurs (we started Raising Arizona Kids 22 years ago in my then-2-year-old’s nursery), I have great respect for those priorities and a deep and empathetic appreciation for how terribly challenging it can be to live up to them.
There is nothing harder than being a mom. And there are few things harder than running a business. When you’re trying to do both, your highs are very high and your lows are frighteningly low. On your worst days, you are ruled by questions and doubt. You wonder why you keep at it. On your best days, you feel enormous pride and a deep sense of fulfillment.
And when you’ve been at it as long as I have, you start to gain a sense of the bigger picture. It’s not just about building a business. It’s about building a community — a family of people who care about something just as deeply as you do and sometimes even more. People who have developed their own threads of friendship and meaning within a context of shared purpose that wouldn’t even exist if someone hadn’t thought, “I wonder if I could…?”