Connecting Work-at-home Moms
Melissa Layden works at home while children Molly and
When Pearl City resident Melissa Layden connected on the Internet with other work-at-home moms across the country, she noticed that there was only one other person from Hawaii.
“I’m always looking to find people in Hawaii,” she says. “Being at home, I don’t have a connection with other women who are doing the same thing.”
So a year ago, Layden started her own online group for work-at-home moms (WAHM) www.hawaiiWAHMS.com. The Maryknoll graduate encourages others who work at home to connect with them by applying for membership.
The online group is a place where people can talk about issues such as getting work done while the children are trying to get your attention. Other issues such as how do you run a business from home are discussed. There are about 20 members now.
What do moms who work at home do? One mom has a Creative Memories business, where she does home parties for scrapbooking. Another mom has a MyCritterClubHouse.com business, where customers may stuff their own animals. A third mom has KidsKornerHawaii.com, where she sells unique home furnishings, personalized handcrafted books, cards and developmental toys.
The group is mainly online, and it is not a social gathering.
However, there has been some talk about having a vendors fair for the holidays, and getting together to network once a month.
One challenge Layden notes of working at home is that people don’t necessarily take her seriously sometimes.
“People think I paint my toe-nails and just go shopping,” she adds. “They assume that I’m not trying. I really am serious about my business and it is still important to me.”
Layden herself is an independent consultant for two products. She has Heritage Maker, which is a hardbound book of special memories that can be published and given as a gift for family members. The entire product is done online from uploading photos, designing pages and using templates to make a special souvenir for loved ones. Layden created one for her husband Will, who is her college sweetheart, from their children Anna, 7; Molly ,4, and James, 1. The children wrote about what they love about their dad. While dad is away on a trip, he can cherish the children, and show off to his friends. The book publishes in 10 days and is shipped to you.
“Everyone has a story to share whether it is about a wedding, baby’s birth, or your childhood,” explained Layden.
The second product line is called Once Upon A Family. One of the main items is the Dear Sweet Letterbox that includes 21 booklets. Clients can write 21 letters to someone they love and give it as a gift. For example, you can write a letter to your child each year on their birthday, and give it to them when they graduate college or high school. Or a grandparent can write letters to their grandchildren. Once Upon A Family also has a Live, Love, Laugh club where six members can get together to socialize, create a souvenir for their families, and bring home a project. For instance, in December the project is about perseverance and New Year’s Resolutions. A kit has conversation starters about perseverance. While members are gathered they can make a holiday tradition book and family album. The take-home project has five New Year’s Resolution frames and cards you personalize and display at home to help you persevere throughout the year.
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