Connecting Work-at-home Moms

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 18, 2006
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Melissa Layden works at home while children Molly and James play
Melissa Layden works at home while children Molly and
James play

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) 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 business, where customers may stuff their own animals. A third mom has, 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.

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or log onto,

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