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By 8:00 am on Monday morning, Felicity Chapman had gone for a run, handled two dozen messages and reviewed the financial statements for her business, all as she refereed breakfast with her two young daughters, Kaia and Siria. Such is typical in the life of a “mompreneur”, as the growing species of mom-entrepreneur hybrids have been dubbed. And while Chapman has seemingly mastered the art of meshing full time parenting with an equally full-time career, she’s ready to lend a jam-free hand to those that find themselves singing lullabies on conference calls and reading case studies as bedtime stories. Her latest venture, Cubes&Crayons, offers flexible professional office space alongside a high-quality child development center. Cubes&Crayons takes co-working to the next level by allowing moms to be close to their kiddos, while still having the work space and quiet time needed by serious career gals.

The number one issue repeatedly brought up by those who leave their career to take care of young children is the lack of flexibility in the current work environment. Parents can’t commit to 40+ hours a week in an office away from their kids, but the idea of working from home in pajamas surrounded by cereal spills and laundry avalanches doesn’t lend itself to true professionalism, so they feel stuck. According to a study by the California Child Care Resources and Referral Network “college educated women can expect to forfeit about a million dollars over their working life after having children.” Chapman thinks there should be choice for these women. “Flexibility is the thing that really makes being a mom and working most doable,” said Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn.org and coauthor of The Motherhood Manifesto. Enter Cubes&Crayons.

“As a mom working out of my home, I found myself lacking both the professional community to work in and flexible childcare,” Chapman says. And so, armed with a gut feeling, months of research, and two mini-me “helpers” of her own, Chapman launched Cubes&Crayons, a space for kids and parents to develop side-by-side. Parents take advantage of the office space, networking opportunities, and conference facilities, not to mention an excuse to get dressed in the morning. Meanwhile their children learn and play down the hall in the top-notch child development center. Clients include parents working on a contract basis, budding entrepreneurs, aspiring students and, of course, those who just need a break.

Logo from Cubes & Crayons

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Originally posted by Angela Shupe on March 16, 2009 in Ideas.


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