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Ladies Who Launch

These moms mean business



Pam Rouleau

The Wilton Moms Club may sound like a typical stay-at-home moms group, but closer examination reveals it to be as much a small business incubator as a social organization. In the past year, the club has spawned no less than four “mom-preneurs”.

According to previous WMC board member Jeena Choi, most of the moms have past lives in the corporate world. “They are a bright, driven bunch,” she explained, “so when the kids go off to school, their entrepreneurial side comes out.” Choi, a former public relations executive, launched Babycat’s Q. Tea in May 2010, just three weeks before her second daughter, Lucia, was born. She had been sitting on the idea for hand-blended, naturally caffeine- and preservative-free herbal teas for two years. After receiving a diagnosis of gestational diabetes during her second pregnancy, she eliminated caffeine and sugar from her diet. She started drinking an herbal tea blend her husband, a co-owner of a premium tea company, created for her. At the same time, she was dealing with her preschooler, a finicky eater and drinker. She attributes these events, combined with a third trimester energy surge, and hormones for bringing her idea to fruition.

While Lucia can take credit for the company’s launch, her older sister validated Choi’s idea that there was a market for teas adults and kids could share. “Isabella loved fairy tales. I would read a page, then she would take a bite of her meal,” laughed Choi. “She noticed the stories always included tea parties, so she wanted to try some of ‘mommy’s’ herbal tea. She liked it, as did her friends who came over for tea parties.” Choi’s first blend was “Ruby Slippers”. Since then, she has created three additional blends, and is working on more. “Parents, as role models, can think of these teas as alternatives to sugary drinks for their kids,” she said.

Choi and her sister-in-law, an illustrator, designed packaging with a Beatrice Potter-like background. She built a website, Babycat's Q. Tea, and holds tasting events and contacts publications to promote her teas. “Word of mouth helps too,” she added. Now, while Isabella is at pre-school and Lucia naps, Choi hand-fills tea satchels, puts the home-printed labels on the packages, and mails out orders.

Like Choi, concern for children’s health was the catalyst for another club member, Beth Lambert. She put her experience in the healthcare industry and as an educator to work by founding the non-profit organization, “Parents Ending America’s Childhood Epidemic” (PEACE) in 2009. She also authored a book, A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children, published in September 2010.

Lambert, the mother of two girls, ages five and three, and a nine-month-old boy, has spent hours researching her children’s chronic health problems, which include food allergies, a sensory disorder and inflammatory bowel disease. When she discovered the causes, she made it her mission to share her learning with other parents. “That is why I wrote the book and started PEACE. An unprecedented number of children in this country suffer from chronic conditions, but there is little information out there about these conditions,” said Lambert.

PEACE sponsors a web-based project called Epidemic Answers that provides information and resources for parents who want to learn about and help their children recover from everything from autism to eczema. The organization is also building a library of educational materials, developing an online provider directory of physicians and other healthcare professionals with expertise helping children with these conditions, and planning parent and physician outreach events.

For Mikaru “Miki” Shichi Lasher, children’s psychological health issues led her to launch her private practice, Beacon Psychological Services, this past summer. After five years of staying home with her now five- and seven-year old children, starting a practice was a natural progression from her professional experience. Her work had involved conducting neuropsychological evaluations with children and evaluations for developmental issues like autism and ADHD, and an internship in pediatric psychology. She earned her doctorate just three weeks before her first child was born.

“I do evaluations of children of all ages, but I specialize in assessing very young children, particularly for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD),” she said. “Assessment of ASD can be done as young as 18 months, but often children are not diagnosed until much later because professionals are either not aware of the early symptoms or the referral process can take a long time.”

Lasher did her postdoctoral training several years ago, conducting ASD evaluations for the Early Intervention program in Westchester County. She was impressed with the resources available there for children diagnosed with ASD. She then investigated what services were available in Fairfield County. What she discovered was an opportunity. “It is difficult to find a psychologist in this area who evaluates children at a very young age,” she said. “I decided to fill this gap. When children receive early services, they can develop the fundamental skills needed for later learning. This can have a huge impact on their social and communication skills.”

In her effort to spread the word about early intervention and her practice, Lasher is networking with other professionals in psychology/mental health services, pediatrics, and child development. She is also starting a group focusing on child development and parenting issues within the Wilton Moms Club.

Club member Denise Worst’s experience in sales and product development for an accessory company motivated her to sign on as a Stella & Dot Stylist in March 2010. “I sell celebrity coveted, affordable jewelry at in-home trunk shows,” she explained. “As a stay-at-home mom with twin girls, I had begun to want something more. I was not ready to jump back into a full-time or regular part-time job. I needed flexibility so I could be here for my family. I attended an informational meeting and instantly fell in love with the jewelry. From that point on, I knew this was it for me.”

She invested $199 in business supplies and several pieces of jewelry to start her sample collection. As she sells jewelry, she receives credits to expand her inventory. “Stella & Dot provides all the tools necessary to help me succeed in my business.”

Whether creating a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, forming a nonprofit information-sharing organization for children’s chronic illnesses, starting a private practice focusing on children’s psychological assessments, or converting a passion for accessories into selling jewelry from home, these moms mean business.

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December 2016

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Tuesday, Dec. 6 Breaking Code – A One-Hour Entertaining Lesson in Coding, 1 – 6:30 p.m.  Wilton Library is joining Computer Science Education Week, a national movement to promote...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

You don't have to live with back pain! Learn about treatment options from ONS pain and rehabilitation experts, Christopher Sahler, MD and Alicia Hirscht, DPT, SCS, CSCS. The program...

Cost: Free

Where:
Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Greenwich Hospital
Telephone: 203-863-4444
Contact Name: Brigitte Lundgren-Foscante
Website »

More information

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Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Clear Vision Productions Presents the Social Shopping Event of the Year ~ The “Fun Girls Night Out” @ Lord & Taylor. Wednesday, December 7, 6-9pm.  Ladies will enjoy NYC Style...

Cost: $40.00

Where:
Lord & Taylor
110 High Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: Lord &Taylor
Telephone: 203-745-4946
Contact Name: Charlene Chiaro
Website »

More information

The GUERRILLA GIRLS are anonymous feminist activists who expose inequity in the art world.  After shaking up institutions from Shanghai to London, these activists are taking on the...

Cost: $50 - $95

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT
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Kick off the season with a Holiday Market on Thursday, December 8th between 10am-5pm. There will be unique items including jewelry, clothing, plants, food and much more. This holiday...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
New Canaan Nature Center
144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Thursday, Dec. 8 Author Talk: Jeff Benedict - QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, 7 – 8:30 p.m.  Just in time for holiday buying, Jeff Benedict comes to Wilton Library to discuss his new...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

It’s designed to celebrate all things Harry Potter and we’re hoping for lots of costumes, dancing and music. There will be activity/coloring stations, crafts, photo ops. The store will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble Westport
1076 Post Road East
Westport, CT
View map »


Telephone: (203) 221-9192
Contact Name: Tricia Tierney
Website »

More information

MTC MainStage's Moss Hart Award-winning production "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," adapted for the stage by Joe Landry. The holiday classic brought to life as a live...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 stop by the Norwalk Historical Society Museum between10:00am and 6:00pm for some Holiday cheer! Enjoy warm apple cider and holiday cookies as you make your way around...

Cost: Free

Where:
Norwalk Historical Society Museum
141 East Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Food and cookbooks are part of every holiday! Bring the family to enjoy this exhibition of rare books on display in Cooking Down the Ages. As part of the ongoing series of changing exhibitions...

Cost: free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

MTC MainStage's Moss Hart Award-winning production "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," adapted for the stage by Joe Landry. The holiday classic brought to life as a live...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the...

Cost: Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-m

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017 Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale  Wilton Library's holiday Book Sale in the gallery is a seasonal delight where bargains can be found - featuring...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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