Laura Zambarano calls motherhood the most important job she’s ever had.
“Whenever you do something you love and enjoy, it always works out in the end,” she says.
Even when her first-grader and kindergartner aren’t underfoot– they’re nearby in photos. But when the Jericho native decided to leave a career as a Spanish teacher to raise kids, she worried she’d miss daily interactions with adults.
“I need to stay mentally challenged. I would say that’s a difficulty about being a stay-at-home mom,” she explains. “They’re in school six or seven hours a day. I needed something to do so here we are.”
She wanted balance– and found that balance– in her own business: Laura Z Designs. Actually, the business found her… again, thanks to those kids.
“I started because I needed a practical bag to carry my kids’ things in. My brother bought me a beautiful designer bag and it fell apart. I was mad,” says Zambarano.
The mom took a passion for sewing she learned from her mother and set out to create a better bag. Other accessories, too. With funky fabrics, bright colors and a single goal: “I don’t want to create something that’s not useful.”
And just two years after launching this sideline to keep her busy– she is. Laura Z has a growing list of wholesale accounts and direct web sales. She sold 350 accessories in 2006 and 850 last year. With sales more than doubling, this business-minded mom is looking to expand her operation.