South Florida Moms Create Their Own Opportunities

The Miami Herald:

Moms, some recently downsized, are finding niches in all kinds of unique areas. I met Joan Alini, a laid-off school teacher who sells aprons packaged in pie boxes. Crazy? You may think so, but she’s found her target audience in schoolteacher friends — and she’s making money. I also met Mary Pat Pankoke, a mom who has joined with her mom. They formed two businesses, one that conducts coupon classes and the other a website for used children’s items.

Of course, balancing a business and family isn’t the cakewalk many mom entrepreneurs envisioned. If there is a message the audience walked away with Tuesday it’s that the reality of managing a business comes with both the benefit of flexible schedule and a dose of harsh reality.

Misha Kurlya-Gomez, founder of the popular Misha’s Cupcakes, is a Miami success story. She started her business from her home kitchen after giving birth, when her husband nudged her to get a job. She told moms her company now sells more than 20,000 cupcakes and 50 cakes a week through its retail store and wholesale business.

But Kurlya-Gomez’s path to profitability came packaged with experiences such as her dragging daughter on customer calls, sparring with her spouse over whether to stick with the business, opening and closing mall kiosks, and learning some pretty ugly lessons about employee ethics.

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

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