Motherhood offers an abundance of joy while humbling the soul. Endless love, patience, dedication, and commitment define the word “Mother.”
While some are afforded the opportunity to care for their children on a full-time basis, others share in the financial responsibility of raising a family or are passion-driven to balance both family and a career. How can financial commitments, motherhood and ambition find a common ground?
For four local mothers, the answer was simple: Entrepreneurship.
K.D. Molner, Lindsey Schuh, Marta Mouriski and Lindsey Albrecht of Napa are dedicated mothers who have stepped beyond the traditional ideals of motherhood and launched careers on their own terms.
“I started my business because I started a family,” said K.D. Molner of Duggan Designs. “I’m a self taught graphic designer. I knew I would not want to work full-time because I wanted to be with my kids.”
Specializing in print design and digital graphics, Molner started Duggan Designs with the intent of staying home with her children while helping her husband financially support their growing family.
“I had my Mommy business plan and I was staying home,” said Molner while describing a conversation with her husband. “I wrote down our budget and showed him how I would do it.”
With the support of her husband, K.D. launched her business and now designs business cards, brochures, invitations and collateral materials and is passionate about non-profit opportunities.
“We had three kids in three and a half years. It’s been a huge blessing. The value is being home and available to our children and my husband,” said Molner.
Thomas Edison once said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” For Lindsey Schuh, creating a business model that would allow her to explore her interest in photography while dedicating herself to her family provided balance.
“My three sons are the light of my life and my constant inspiration for exploring and enjoying the world around me,” said Schuh of Triple Lux Photography.
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With a concentration in fine art portraiture, Schuh found her passion for photography in the midst of motherhood. As a mother to three sons, Schuh honed her craft while balancing family life.
“I’ve always felt that my three sons deserve the best version of me possible, which for me meant finding a creative outlet in photography,” said Schuh. “Turning that joy beyond a creative outlet into a full-service business became necessary when serving others through my work became a passion and not moving forward would be equivalent to giving up on my dreams—another message I didn’t want to communicate to my boys.”
The decision to start a business can be inspired from youth or can emerge from everyday life as it unfolds. For Marta Mouriski, the creation of GiggleBlast Children’s Parties came to fruition based on her love of entertaining and creating unforgettable moments with her own children.
Inspired by her own mother, Mouriski set out to provide families with memories that would last a lifetime. “This started out as a labor of love. You do it for your children and then you have an event,” said Mouriski. “My goal was to try to find something that would not take away from my time spent with the children.”
A mother of two, Marta has created a family-friendly business that allows her to focus on her clients while inspiring her children.
“I like working with all of the families and my kids get excited to participate and help create,” she continued. “My children get to see me in another light.”
The role of a mother is a balancing act. Whether you create your own business, work outside of the home, or stay home, a mother’s love is eternal. For Lindsey Albrecht, Albrecht Designs gave her the opportunity to fuel her passion for aesthetics while devoting herself to her family.
“I was very lucky to stay at home with my oldest son for the first year after he was born. Before having kids, I was a buyer for several large home furnishings retailers in the Bay Area and spent many years commuting out of Napa for work. That isn’t the ideal situation with small kids and I knew I wanted to work part-time, so that’s when I decided to lay the ground work to start my own interior design firm,” said Albrecht.
A mother of two sons, Albrecht’s interior artistry provides a healthy outlet. Focusing on detail through contemporary and classic design, Lindsey’s commitment to beauty is shown through her work both inside and outside of the home.
“I love my boys and there isn’t a more important job in the world to me. But I also know that I’m a better mom and wife when I take a little time out for me and that includes working outside the home where I’m able to get my creative juices flowing,” said Albrecht. “It doesn’t feel like work. I never get the Sunday blues anymore. Instead I get excited about the week ahead and all of the opportunity to grow my business and to help someone make their home more beautiful.
Tumblr founder David Karp once said, “An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” For these four Napa mother-entrepreneurs, passion, familial devotion and drive turned their dreams into a reality.
“I have always been challenged by what Milton Berle said: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ Nothing in the past has fulfilled me creatively as photography and no one is doing quite what I’m doing or how I’m doing it,” said Schuh. “Owning my own business means I make the rules and I design my own doors.”