Local mompreneurs share their secrets about juggling family, owning a business

Colette Glover-Hannah took a giant step three years ago when she started an online store called “Hannah’s Shoebox.”

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When Colette Glover-Hannah’s daughter was just a little girl, she already faced a big challenge.

“My daughter’s shoe size matched her age from the time she was 6 years old to 11 years-old,” she said.

So, Colette walked away from traditional shoe stores. “Most people know as the size gets larger they get more mature.”

She took a giant step three years ago and started an online store of her own. Hannah’s Shoebox offers age appropriate shoes in larger sizes.

It’s been a Godsend for parent Tracy Falkowitz. “My daughter is 11 years-old and although she doesn’t wear a particularly large size that I couldn’t find in the store, going to the store was always problematic,” Falkowitz said.

For Colette, being a business owner means more than inventory and bottom lines, it means juggling work and family. As a mompreneur, Colette has two sons, a daughter, and a husband to look out for.

Sometimes, family issues can impact work, like when the kids are sick. “If my daughter has a fever the night before I have to go to, let’s say, meetings the entire day,” she said.

“I now have to make a true assessment of how sick are you? Can I take you somewhere can I drop you off? Can I still make these meetings tomorrow? Because as an entrepreneur as a mompreneur, time really is money.”

In 2012, 5.6 percent of revenue generated in Florida was generated by women-owned businesses.

Although not all are mom-owned, it’s still a big impact, an $85.5 billion impact.

RELATED: 8 things to do before starting your own business

Colette hasn’t regretted one day of the choice she made. “I love what I do, I love it. I have such passion for it. But at the same time, it’s a struggle; it is because you work for yourself.”

Tia Young loves her work, too. She is another example of mom’s making it in the business world. The “2017 Mompreneur of the Year” owns Tia Young Image and Etiquette.

She started her business in the wake of 9-11.

“I was on leave from United Airlines as a flight attendant, 9-11 happened in 2001 and my daughter was born two months later,” she said.

Like Colette, the past 15 years have been about balance for this mom of three. “It’s not going be easy, it’s going to be a little more challenging.”

Tia encourages other moms who may be thinking of making the leap to mompreneur to strike a balance. “You have to make sure family doesn’t feel left out, because you’re doing too much for your business. It’s that balance.”

And more women have been striking that balance. Back in 2007, there were 7.8 million women-owned businesses. According to a 2012 Census Bureau survey, there were some 9.8 million women-owned businesses nationwide. That’s an increase of 26.8 percent.

Here in Florida, there were 808,000 women-owned businesses. There were 227,000 of them five years earlier. That’s an increase of 39 percent.

Colette is included in these numbers. “At the end of the day, my primary role on this earth is to be somebody’s mom. That’s what I do first.”

She also strikes the balance between mompreneurship and home, a footprint of success she hopes her kids can follow.

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