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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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March 2017

The Norwalk Historical Society is hosting a Family FUNday in celebration of Women's History Month. Local storyteller, Dr. Darla Shaw, will weave historical tales about Alice Paul, a courageous...

Cost: $3 per person, maximum $15 per family

Where:
Norwalk Historical Society Museum
125 East Ave.
Entrance and Parking at Norwalk City Hall Parking
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish
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Cost: $10 per child/Adults and children under 2 years old are free

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Westport Arts Center
51 Riverside Avenue
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Telephone: 203-292-1518
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Sponsor: SilverSource
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Cost: Free

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Cost: Free

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11 North Water Street
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Through Our Eyes V A 5th Annual New Canaan High School Exhibition at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. On view from March 10th to April 1st 2017.  Opening reception is on March 10th, 5...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Art that represents music, tones paired with visions of grandeur, will be on exhibit at the Maritime Garage Gallery this spring. The exhibit, entitled “Chromatic,” features art that...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
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View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

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Cost: $10 per New Pond Farm member, $15 per non-member

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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On Wednesday March 29 from 7 – 8 p.m. join guest speaker, Traci Torres, from 
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Cost: 
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
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Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

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Cost: fre

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Art that represents music, tones paired with visions of grandeur, will be on exhibit at the Maritime Garage Gallery this spring. The exhibit, entitled “Chromatic,” features art that...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
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2009 Summer Street
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Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
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Cost: Free

Where:
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681 South Ave
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Website »

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Cost: 75

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Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Society
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Donna Dearth
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Cost: $50

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Sponsor: Pacific House
Telephone: 917-563-2435
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Cost: Free

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Grace Farms
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
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Art that represents music, tones paired with visions of grandeur, will be on exhibit at the Maritime Garage Gallery this spring. The exhibit, entitled “Chromatic,” features art that...

Cost: Free

Where:
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11 North Water Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “An Inverception,” a site-specific installation created by roster artist Jaq Belcher.   This is the first time the gallery will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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271 Westchester Avenue
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Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Pound Ridge Library
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “An Inverception,” a site-specific installation created by roster artist Jaq Belcher.   This is the first time the gallery will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Join talented artist and New Pond Farm member, Chanel Dupare, as she shares this traditional Ukrainian craft. Using a wax-resist dyeing method you will learn this delicate meditative art of Pysanky...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm Member, $20 per non-member

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Saturday April 1, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 
  Join talented artist and NPF member, Chanel Dupare, as she shares this traditional Ukrainian craft. Using a wax resist
dyeing method you will learn...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm Member child, $20 per non-member child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Through Our Eyes V A 5th Annual New Canaan High School Exhibition at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. On view from March 10th to April 1st 2017.  Opening reception is on March 10th, 5...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, April 1 Annual Spring Benefit - An Evening to Support Wilton Library -- 7pm to 11pm at Silver Spring Country Club, Ridgefield. Wilton Library will hold its annual spring fundraiser at...

Cost: $200 per ticket

Where:
Silver Spring Country Club
439 Silver Spring Rd, Ridgefield, CT 06877
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 120-376-23950
Website »

More information

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