Can you tell us a bit about the Mom’s Kisses story?
I created Mom’s Kisses to give parents a safe alternative to ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories for pain relief and to reduce swelling in all members of the family and to heal bruises – something every kid gets. My daughter had kidney trouble when she was a toddler & to this day can’t take OTC anti-inflammatories. Prior to her illness I didn’t know how toxic these chemicals are to our bodies & once I did know, I had to make changes. I didn’t want ANY of my family members using them unless it was urgent. I am still amazed at how readily doctors are willing to have children take ibuprofen & acetaminophen when it is not necessary, especially considering the incredibly long list of potential side-effects and contraindication these medications have.
Mom’s Kisses is not a “drug” like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and has no drug interactions, no side-effects and the only contraindication is if someone is allergic to daisies or lavender. In my opinion we should go to the natural alternative first when we can, and save the use of pharmaceuticals for when the pain is overwhelming the child or in cases of fever or necessity. I created Mom’s Kisses to be a fun product to attract parents and children, to give a fun, stylish option without preaching to them my philosophies. If we can make some parents aware – this will have a marked positive impact on the health of many children.
What are some exciting new developments for Mom’s Kisses?
I think the most exciting new development is that Mom’s Kisses was asked to be in the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Gift Bags and the Talent Lounge. This was an amazing experience for Mom’s Kisses – we met hundreds of celebrities, from Lou Ferrigno, to Alex Trebeck, Jen Lilley (of GH & Days), Bethenny Frankel, Kelly Monaco (Sam on Days), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman Y&R), Thom Barry (Cold Case) and so many many more! Our product has already been in 2 national soap opera magazine articles because of it and I get to have twitter conversations with many of the wonderful celebs who are loving our products!
What (or who) inspires you when it comes to juggling a busy company and career with motherhood?
Honestly, my children are what inspires me. I love being a mom and I have always been an entrepreneur. Showing my children you can live your passion and showing them the creation of something that makes a difference in this world is what keeps me going when the going gets tough. Most of us have to work. Being able to work with them around, letting them see the creation of an idea, then a product and finally a company, having them involved in aspect of production, getting their impressions and opinions on labels, smells, marketing ideas – this all makes them more engaged on days I have to work and they feel valued and part of something bigger than their lives at school.
I find running my own business can be lonely – if you are typically the personality who is the one to reach out, once you are running a business, you simply don’t have the time anymore to be the organizer. People don’t always make the same effort you would to connect and at times it can be hard when you need to get out of the office. It is really hard balancing being a good parent, wife, having the business be successful and actually having some quality friendships. There are days when it seems impossible that’s the biggest disappointment for me.
Favorite mom or baby product?
Mom product – a certain brand of red wine – LOL – no really I couldn’t live without keyless entry cars! Seriously, never having to find my keys in my big handbag has saved me so many times.
Baby product – it was this amazing diaper change pad that we still use 14 years later! It is waterproof on one side and absorbent tarten fabric on the other side and is about 2 ½ feet by 2 ½ feet. I bought one for every one of my friends and for each of my kids – they are still on beds in case of night mistakes.
The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom I’d impart to moms are:
#1 Do your best each day, but remember your best is a floating scale, different from moment to moment.
#2 You will make mistakes – don’t get wrapped up in guilt, simply use your mistakes to learn new methods of parenting, discipline, or whatever you need to do better the next time. Own up to your mistakes so the kids learn to own up to theirs.
Please fill in the blanks:
When they are older, I want my kids to most remember me as …
A never ending source of unconditional love who was always there to educate and show them something new.
When parents find out what I do, they often say: “………”
“Wow! I didn’t know that! You created the product? You make it!?” And they want to know more.
In my free time, I love to …
Spend time at the beach with my kids, garden, entertain friends in my home.
I’m dreaming of …
Taking my kids to Europe to teach them about history and culture and to learn that there is so much more to the world than our little community – perspective like that is so helpful when the little problems we face in our lives seem insurmountable. Knowing there is a whole world out there waiting for us with so much to see and do makes it easier to manage bullies, a bad test score or the crushing sadness of young love.
With love and care,
We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to …….yes, you’ve got it – help mama.
This week, we are sharing a company called Simply Fun Families founded by Karen Peterson…
Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?
I am a happily married mother of 3 living in a small town north of Toronto, Ontario. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years and cannot imagine a more wonderful way to spend my life.
This spring, my husband casually commented that I should consider developing various product offerings for families on the run who would like to fit some fun into their busy, everyday lives. He thought that perhaps some of the fun things that we do in our family, which have now become much loved traditions, might appeal to other parents searching to boost the fun factor in their own homes. That was the seed that germinated in my mind through the spring and summer.
Now it seems that all my life experiences, and especially my passion for being a mother, have become intertwined in this very new and very exciting phase of life when I am starting my own business, Simply Fun Families. Over the past few weeks I have launched my first product offering, 25 Days of Christmas. It is a holiday themed activity kit for the whole family filled with all kinds of easy breezy fun.
How do you feel your helping moms (and dads!) most?
Simply Fun Families has grown out of my desire to create simple ways to carve out time with my own children while they are still young … time that we can enjoy each other in spite of the busy schedules that parents these days try so hard to juggle. Over the years, I have spent countless hours searching for fun family activities over the internet and in various books.
My dream for Simply Fun Families is to inspire parents who are also trying so desperately to savour the years with their young children. I hope to offer products filled with simple ideas and activities that can be fit into our everyday lives. The key is that families can personalize these ideas and activities to suit their schedules and interests with ease, rather than spending excessive time searching for ideas themselves.
What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?
Certainly one of my biggest inspirations is Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Her memoir had a profound effect on how I see these fleeting years when my children are old enough to enjoy new experiences and family activities but still young enough to need my time, support, and guidance on a daily basis. I want to enjoy the ordinary days as we go through them, adding a bit of fun and carving out time to spend together as a family. My favourite quote from Katrina is prominently displayed in my home and it reminds me to pay attention to all that we have been blessed with …. “It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now — the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”
Another wonderful inspiration through my parenting years has been Nathalie Prezeau, author of Toronto Fun Places. When my children were younger, I would plan theme weeks and then use her amazing book to select a “family day outing” that would match the theme. It certainly takes effort to research, plan and deliver a day full of fun at a new place that the family has never been … but oh the memories that we made! My children still recall many of the adventures we had at places that I would not have otherwise known about… places right in our own backyard! I am so grateful for this amazing book which is now so accessible as a website resource for parents.
I love sharing the works of these inspiring women with friends, new parents, and just about anyone who has young children because Katrina and Nathalie have inspired me to live joyfully and mindfully in what is certainly the busiest time of my life.
What are some exciting new developments for your business?
Simply Fun Families is all about making memories with our children and sharing ideas for having fun along the way. Our first product offering is called 25 Days of Christmas. It is a boxed set that I hope will inspire parents to make time for family fun through the busy month of December as Christmas approaches. I have delivered this fun program for several years with my own family, and they LOVE it!! Over the years, I have worked on tailoring activities to suit our busiest days, and to make the most of our available weekend days for bigger adventures. The kit offers tips on how to deliver the daily activities with ease in spite of the busy pace we all find ourselves in during the holiday season. In my home, we have actually turned finding each day’s activity card into a daily mini treasure hunt! It is fantastic fun that literally requires only a few minutes each day to deliver.
Each 25 Days of Christmas kit includes:
• 35 cards containing simple, festive activities to choose from
• 5 blank cards to personalize for your own family traditions
• Dated envelopes for December 1st to 25th to keep you organized
• Suggestions for organizing and delivering a month of holiday fun for your family!
The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?
My best advice is to surround yourself with people who care about you, inspire you, and have the experience and knowledge to support you in making your dream a reality. We all have our own areas of expertise, but we cannot be experts in everything. For me, seeking out the people who could fill in the pieces of the puzzle that were not my specialty has turned out to be not only educational, but also inspiring! I am so blessed to have found people to work with who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge, connections, and experience with me. It has made this path so much easier than it would have otherwise been.
Also, many of my closest friends have jumped in with offers to help me get started, sharing their personal passions and gifts. A day building my 25 Days of Christmas kits is such a delight when I am doing it with a friend or two. Their encouragement and support really fills me up, and it helps me keep the home and family juggling act going!
Some more information about Karen:
My favorite part about Simply Fun Families is…that sharing my story has given me so many opportunities to reflect on how grateful I am for my life with my young family. As I look back, I realize that we have been building such wonderful family traditions all along, and I am so happy to share them and connect with other parents who have so much to share in return, particularly the incredible entrepreneurial women that I have met.
When parents find out what I do, they often say: “That sounds like so much fun! Tell me more about it.” …. and I do!!
In my free time, I love to… play cards and board games with family and friends, take time out for lunch or dinner with girlfriends, and read inspiring books. When I can find a bit more time in our busy schedule, I try very hard to rent a cottage for a quick family escape from all the busyness of our everyday lives.
The last book I read was… Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I was gripped from beginning to end.
I’m dreaming of… owning a cottage of our own, a retirement filled with travel adventures with my sweet hubby, and lots of grandchildren someday in the distant future.
With love and care,
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