Ask any mother and they will tell you that being a mom is a full time job, except there isn’t an off button. There are no days or hours off. With that being said, we’re amazed at how some moms are able to manage their careers and motherhood. In honor of Mother’s Day we’re highlighting 20 moms who run their own businesses here in Chicago. We see you mamas! Keep up the great work!

  1. Aniya Foster of The Well Chi –  “I am a Fitness Instructor and High School PE Teacher. My husband and I are opening our very own fitness studio in just a few short weeks. Everything I do starts with God. Last year I got pregnant, engaged, had a surprise wedding, moved twice, maintained a full-time job, taught twice a week at the gym, trained 18 clients and had my first child! I’ve been blessed with the most supportive husband and an amazing group of friends that help us daily. I can’t thank the Lord enough for my village! 
    Colossians 2:7 “Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness…” This scripture is exactly how I balance life, it all starts with HIM!”
  2. Tai McNeely of His & Her Money – “I run a company with my husband called, His and Her Money. We are Financial Educators that are on a mission to get couples on the same page financially and to experience the joys of financial freedom. The word balance as a mom and an entrepreneur is almost non-existent in my world. I manage my role as a mother & entrepreneur and I’m always striving to get better. I usually start my day off spending quality time with God and while praying I ask the Lord to guide and instruct my entire day. Without prayer as my lifeline, I would not be able to manage any of this. I take the time out and ask God to show me how to be a great mom for my children and how to be the best entrepreneur I can be.”
  3. Keewa Nurullah of Kido Chicago – “Being a mompreneur is truly a balance. I am home with the newborn (We have a toddler and teen as well) most of the day, which means that I am usually nursing her in one arm and answering emails with the other. She is still new, so I wouldn’t call my life ‘balanced’ right now, but I do try to: sing every day, laugh often, give and receive hugs, and work out when I’m able. My work is fortunately an extension of my creativity, so whenever I’m working I feel more balanced. You can find kido at The Silver Room, Women and Children First Bookstore, and 57th Street Books.”
  4. Tiheasha Beasely of November Media Publishing – “We help first time and aspiring author’s create industry standard books. I try really hard to balance it perfectly, but if I was honest, I have failed several times. However, I listen closely to my son, and when he needs his mommy, I am there!”
  5. Jenny of Mama Fresh – “I am building a community for women to take a Fresh approach to Motherhood. Mama Fresh creates original programming where diversity is celebrated. I am an advocate for Mamas and a resource to empower families to explore their community. Luckily I am in the business of advocating and supporting Mamas. I get to be about that business 24/7. I get to be my true self at all times. That is important for me because that keeps me in alignment. Logistically, I am like a lot of Mamas out there, I am operating a business during nap time and after bedtime. Every partner I work with knows there is a possibility that my son may attend meetings and be singing in the background during a conference call. This is who I am, a mama running a business with a baby on my hip.”
  6. Tamika Price of Standout Style Boutique – “There is no such thing as “balance” when you are a mom and/or entrepreneur. I find that utilizing my phone calendar and open communication with my kids/husband keeps things running pretty smoothly. Having a family calendar allows me to stay on track and prioritize. I make it a top priority to take care of myself because when I’m my best self, my kids and business both benefit from that.” 
  7. Kenya Mercer of Kenya Party Photo Booth & Swish Dreams – “I am a mom first. That is the one factor  that will never change. Being a mom while having my hand in a bunch of different things is my lifestyle. You have to find yours and what works for and your household. If there is passion behind your work and unconditional love as a mom they can co exist. I think of my kids as a compliment to entrepreneurship. I have supportive people in my corner.  I know i can’t do it all and I’m blessed with amazing family thats supportive but gives me reality checks…thats very important. I try not to be over consumed by work or my children because then that leads to stress and stress leads to discouragement and discourgment leads to giving up. Pray a lot.”
  8. Love McPherson of Love Infinity, Inc. – “Our mission is to help individuals become more self aware, locate and heal from emotional wounds, and teach them how to love better. One of the keys to balance is to be intentional and plan ahead. Ever since my children were little, my husband, Tony, and I have been both employees and entrepreneurs working throughout the week, but we always carved out time every weekend to make sure our children knew they are a priority in our lives. We made every Saturday“Family Day” and Sunday our “Date Day.” On Family Day we silenced all work and focused on family time which would included taking them on fun activities, dining, and exploring downtown Chicago. Now that the kids are older, my husband and I date on Saturdays and have switched our Family Day to Sundays after church. Since the strength me and my husband’s relationship directly affects the strength of our family, we have never let that slip. Our family dynamic has also shifted, therefore we’ve had to shift the way in which we connect too. We continue to find new innovative ways to keep our family unit strong and reach each individual where they are.”
  9. Aziza Butler of We School Academy – “In order to balance being a mom and an entrepreneur, I allow my business to revolve around my home and family by including and involving everyone. My children are the first  partakers of the work that I do, so even in their young ages, they are inspired to joyfully help in making it successful.”
  10. Aaja Corrine of Aaja Corrine the Brand – “I am a Brand Strategist and Speaker, specializing in helping leaders and experts to maximize their impact through personal brand development. I balance being a mom and an entrepreneur by being fluid. I’m not so sure that there is such a thing as work/life balance, but rather being sensitive to the needs and priorities of your current season and adjusting accordingly. A great support system that’s prepared to step in with no questions asked helps a lot too!”
  11. Yvette Moyo of South Shore Current & Real Men Cook – Find out how Yvette manages motherhood and entrepreneurship in our exclusive interview below.
  12. Tanya Perry of The Babies Crib – “Being a momprenuer is a balancing act indeed. Of course my family always came first so I would find myself putting my dreams on hold or starting then stopping. I had to give myself permission to not loose who I am in the process of motherhood. My kids are older now so the balancing act is a little different, however still challenging because you are still a Mother and a wife and both of those roles are in high demand! So now I’m working my business like a 9-5 so I can still be productive in other areas. I have incorporated my family in the business so we can accomplish the dreams together.”
  13. Michele Hoskins of Michele’s Foods – “My business is Michele Foods. We manufacture a line of Syrups that can be found in the top retailers across the country as well as on Amazon. I have been an entrepreneur for over 30 years and a mom longer than that. I balance that work with my daughters being a part of the business.”
  14. Ariel White of Boss Mom Life & Sweet Blooms Cupcakes – “I run Sweet Blooms Cupcakes, an online bakery. After having my daughter Layla 2 years ago, I wanted to make sure that I continued to be an amazing business owner while also being a phenomenal mom and could not find a support system to do that, so I founded  Boss Mom Life: a community for moms to help them find their purpose, create a plan in business, and generate profit. I do not believe in that word balance when it comes to running a business and raising babies. I don’t think balance is truly realistic because sometimes your children are going to need you more and in other seasons your business will need you more. I believe it’s all about prioritizing things in your life according what needs to be done. Once we as moms let go of the idea that our lives have to be balanced we automatically take the pressure and stress off of ourselves.” 
  15. Keli Smith of KAIKE – “I own KAIKE (pronounced ‘cake’), a fun, plant-based beauty and skincare brand. We believe in natural, vegan, and preservative-free products that encourage a celebration of our natural beauty. I find it rare for motherhood and entrepreneurship to be equally balanced.  At our house, it’s more like prioritization and sacrifice. Sometimes priorities are re-adjusted based on the pressing needs, but somehow things get done even if mommy doesn’t get a full night’s sleep.  What I don’t sacrifice, however, is time spent with the kids. To have more time with them is the biggest reason for being an entrepreneur, and they take precedence over (almost) anything.”
  16. Kristin Pierce of Harold’s Chicken – Daughter of Harold Pierce (founder of Harold’s Chicken) find out our exclusive video about how Dianne is keeping her father’s legacy alive.
  17. Tarin White of Launch & Grow Biz – “My family comes first above all of my entrepreneurial efforts. If I’m not succeeding at home with my husband and children, then I’m not a success at all; that includes in business as well.” 
  18. Mia Osai of Cindy Faye – Cindy Faye is the name of my business. Currently we offer unique fashion, vintage, and handmade jewelry for the modern-vintage /hispter-chic at heart. Plus size clothing will be coming soon! My son is only 2.5 months old (10 weeks and a day to be exact). So up until his 8 week mark it was a real struggle to balance. Overall, I will say that I am 100% grateful for nap/sleep time. I make jewelry in the middle of the night during his 4-5 hr sleep stretch and I maintain social media during day naps. My son has his days, though. So on days that the only thing that breaks the fighting of sleep is Mommy’s shoulder or his smile and laughter is better than life… I choose him. My business is always there and communication makes everything alright.
  19. Kim of CurlMix – Balance, Ha. I don’t hold myself to that standard. My son has two parents who work from home and care for him all day. As long as one of us is available to care for him, I consider him A-OKAY. I have to work on that guilty feeling but deep down, I know I do more good for my baby by pursuing my dreams. I’m leading by example. I don’t think about balance, I think about being present. Truly immersing myself in my time with him when I’m there and throwing myself into my work when I’m grinding. 

  20. Yvonne Ivy-Stephens of Penthouse Sweets – “Balancing life and work can sometimes be very hard especially since I have three little princess to manage. What I find to be the most effective is to have a schedule. Making sure that I can physically see what’s going on allows me to have a good handle on what everyone needs or has to do. It also gives me the ability to adjust with all of the last minute changes that motherhood and being an entrepreneur gives me every single day.”

Happy Mother’s Day from Black Owned Chicago!

 

Leave a Reply

  1. Yvette Moyo

    This is awesome! I thank you so much for including me as one of the mom preneuers. That part of my life was so exciting, juggling everything there was to juggle all for the good of the children and the family, living the bonus life. This is real talk fir all the blended families that I call Bonus Families. Enjoy every minute of mothering, and remember to be a bonus to everyone; the children the ex-wives the mothers of the children you are helping to raise Be that bonus. Teach your children what it means for them to be the bonus in the relationship because they absolutely are Gods gift to our relationships. If they view themselves and are treated like a special addition to family (as a bonus) the family complications will likely be reduced tremendously – Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. Cynthia Emery

    Love it, Happy Mother’s Day to you all😍

  3. Andrea Raila

    What I find so refreshing and remarkable about these industrious mom business owners is their spiritual and personal faith. What an inspiration each of them are with challenges that for some of us would seem too daunting . I’ve never seen a story with such a silver common thread woven through it like this before. Thank you CEO MOMs for sharing your perspectives It made my Mother’s Day! From a Mom of 3 and business owner/partner I wish you could all come together in a forum so other moms could meet you and have an on going support dialogue !! I opened http://www.TaxesTooHigh.com