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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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October 2017

Sunday, October 15th Calf Pasture Beach Calf Pasture Beach Road Norwalk, CT 06851 Check-in: 3:00 pm Walk Begins: 4:00 pm Route Length: 3 miles The Lupus Foundation of America's...

Cost: Free but registration is appreciated. $100 incentive level for t-shirt

Where:
Calf Pasture Beach
Calf Pasture Beach Road
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Website »

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Music on the Hill opens its fall concert season with the Festival Chorus performing "The Power of Song" with artistic directors David H. Connell and Ellen Dickinson. An uplifting...

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; students, free.

Where:
Unitarian Church in Westport
10 Lyons Plains Road
Westport, CT  06880
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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
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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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Click here to attend the 3rd Annual SilverSource Autumn Breakfast when investors and innovators will explore how exciting advances in technology will improve our lives. Now more than ever,...

Cost: starting at $75

Where:
Crowne Plaza Stamford Hotel
2701 Summer St.
Stamford, CT  06905
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Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-273-2218
Contact Name: Laura Roberts
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Jump start the art school application process! Present your portfolio to admissions representatives from leading colleges and universities at The Aldrich. Whether you are ready to apply, or are...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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 »

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Tuesday, Oct. 17   Author Talk: Denise Kiernan - The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Author Denise Kiernan visits...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Tuesday, Oct. 17   Author Talk: Denise Kiernan - The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Author Denise Kiernan visits...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
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On Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm,  Fairfield County Wedding Concierge will hold their first networking event for the Fairfield County bridal vendor community at Bespoke...

Cost: $10 in advance and $15 at the door

Where:
Bespoke Designs
5A Sconset Square
Westport, CT  06880
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Sponsor: Fairfield County Wedding Concierge
Telephone: 203-864-5084
Contact Name: Gayle Szuchman

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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Join all of your favorite Star personalities for Star 99.9 and Western Connecticut Health Network Pinktober's Bosom Ball Friday, October 20 at The Westport...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Westport Inn
1595 Post Road East
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Star 99.9
Contact Name: Steve Soyland
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

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

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Saturday, Oct. 21   Innovation Day, 1 – 5 p.m. Discover, Dabble, Do-It-Yourself at Wilton Library’s annual Innovation Day! Join us for a festival of making, creating and demonstrating....

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

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