Local businesses give new meaning to the stay-at-home, working mom

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With Mother’s Day approaching, it’s important to celebrate all that women do for their children and families, whether working in the home, outside the home, or for many, a lot of both. A recent FlexJobs survey reveals that 65 percent of stay-at-home moms both need and want to work, with most putting in far more than the traditional forty-hour work week, as they balance both a family and a business.

Jasmine Marie Smith – Melaleuca

Jasmine Marie Smith explains that she finds little moments before her children wake up, during naps, and after their bedtime to promote her online affiliation with Melaleuca. With over 400 products, Melaleuca touts itself as the largest online wellness shopping club. Smith explains, “Melaleuca offers more natural, safer products for my family, pets, and the environment.” Smith shares the brand’s “Renew” lotion has saved her family’s dry, itchy skin: “I’ll never buy another lotion. I’m hooked.” Products, such as laundry detergent, are highly concentrated, and the company provides incentives to defray costs of shipping, which are delivered via UPS directly to customer’s doorsteps. To learn more go to buildingdreamsdesigningfutures.com.


Hunter Hill, with Creed and Cannyn, sells Beautycounter, a company dedicated to healthy skincare ingredients and advocacy.
Hunter Hill, with Creed and Cannyn, sells Beautycounter, a company dedicated to healthy skincare ingredients and advocacy.

Hunter Hill – Beautycounter
Finding a balance between work and the shifting needs of small children is something Hunter Hill knows well. “It’s a juggling act,” Hill explains.

“Raising kids at home while running a business is hard.” For many moms, working outside the home often means time away from their children just to afford the cost of daycare. For Hill, selling Beautycounter products affords her the ability to bring in extra income while also raising her two children. Beautycounter has eliminated over 1500 harmful or questionable ingredients from their formulations (by contrast, the US government has only banned 30).

“I feel better about applying things that are safer for my family, because our skin absorbs sixty percent of what we put on it,” Hill explains. Hill is available for consultations and at-home events; she recommends the Cleansing Balm, Overnight resurfacing peel, No. 1 Brightening skin oil, and more. To learn more, shop at beautycounter.com/HunterHill.


Tonya Bagley – UberEats
Internet shopping has helped ease the burden of some errands for many parents, and Tonya Bagley wants to deliver, as well, through her UberEats delivery service. Bagley is working through the UberEats App, which local restaurants can be sign up with, so that Kremmling residents can order pizza or burgers, for example, and have their dinner delivered to them. “Imagine having a Chinese food delivery. It’s like we’re living in civilization,” Bagley teases. Bagley is happy to provide a service that offers many the opportunity to stay off roads while enjoying the array of dining options available within the community. To maintain balance between work and her three children, Bagley puts a daily schedule on a white board in her home. “The kids can see the schedule and know that they come first,” Bagley shares.


Andrea Brown operates Slopeside Counseling from her home spend more time with her children, Jesselyn and Cody.
Andrea Brown operates Slopeside Counseling from her home spend more time with her children, Jesselyn and Cody.

Andrea Bown – Slopeslide Counseling
Yet, every parent knows no matter how much one plans, the unexpected arises, particularly for Andrea Brown, who operates Slopeside Counseling, with offices located in Frisco as well as out of her home. “The motivating factor to moving from the corporate world to private practice was my kids,” Brown explains. Brown uses televideo appointments to treat patients seeking help for mental health and substance abuse issues. Working from home enables Brown to attend school functions, tend to her children if they fall ill or need help with extracurricular activities. Still, many of Brown’s patients work in law enforcement, military and emergency fields, so a crisis could pop up, in which Brown is quick to respond. “I don’t have clients who keep regular hours,” Brown explains, “So I’m not always able to promise I can attend every one of my kid’s events. When your child asks for something, you’d move the world to do it, but if clients are frail, they also need to be supported.” Brown advises that time management is critically important, but that involves learning to value what’s truly important on any given day. Equally, Brown reminds moms to make time for self-care, which may very well include a free thirty-minute consultation, available by calling 970-406-2620 or slopesidecounseling.net.


Julie Sweeney has found success with ItWorks! Sharing her products and success with clients throughout the country

Julie Sweeney – ItWorks!
Self-care is often difficult for moms who often put themselves last. Julie Sweeney offers ItWorks! For anyone who might be interested in trying products that include a cleanse, powdered greens, shakes and coffee. “I’ve seen great results,” Sweeney says. “Within a month, I dropped three pants sizes.” Having found a product that works for her, Sweeney is passionate about introducing ItWorks! to others. Sweeney finds little moments throughout the day and on weekends to promote products that she explains, “Have helped people lose a significant amount of weight and even help with smoking cessation.” As the breadwinner of her family, ItWorks! helps Sweeney to provide extra income for her family while making positive changes within herself. She can be found on her Facebook page.


Karla Suer with Usborne Books
Another mom who’s found a way to earn extra income while providing for her family, Karla Suer works as a consultant for Usborne Books, which offer book for children up to age 13. Suer uses Facebook to host online, as well as in-person, parties to showcase over 1800 titles. “We’re a better quality product, with board and chapter books,” Suer explains. By selling books to others, Suer earns extra income for her family, as well as extra books for her kids. Suer suggests finding her on social media, as well as upcoming baby expos and farmers markets.


Alex Geist pursues her medical passion while raising her daughters, Emma and Lillieanne.
Alex Geist pursues her medical passion while raising her daughters, Emma and Lillieanne.

Alex Geist – LifeVantage
Working on a passion project while raising children can pass down work ethic to children. Alex Geist had always wanted to work in the medical field, so when she saw an opportunity to help people while remaining home to raise her daughters with LifeVantage, she happily signed up. Geist is particularly a fan of LifeVantage’s vitamin Protandim, which has been studied, according to Geist, by Colorado University as well as Colorado State University to show a significant reduction in oxidative stress. “People have seen such a good response,” Geist shares. “It’s even been shown to help with seizures and ADHD.” LifeVantage also offers an energy drink that doesn’t contain caffeine, as well as many other health and wellness products. Geist is available on Facebook.


Amber Thurow balances motherhood with her photography business.
Amber Thurow balances motherhood with her photography business.

Amber Thurow – professional photographer Amber Thurow Photography
More and more women are finding opportunities to help their families financially, and, for many, having their own business gives them a sense of personal ownership. For Amber Thurow, working as a part-time professional photographer has enabled her to take a creative break from the stress of raising five kids and return to them, much as she does when editing photos, with fresh eyes. “I get away, get filled up from working on my passion, and return to my kids fully charged,” Thurow explains. Thurow prefers outdoor photography and specializes in family, maternity, and newborn sessions. Currently, Thurow is also offering mini sessions, as well. When asked how she balances everything, Thurow laughs and says, “I’ve learned to be okay with whatever season I’m in. I remind myself that this is how it’s going to be, and there will be a break.” Thurow is approaching her busy season, so be sure to book early on her Facebook page or contact her at [email protected]


Sarah Brevard has won multiple national awards for her wedding cakes with her business, The Cake Maker.
Sarah Brevard has won multiple national awards for her wedding cakes with her business, The Cake Maker.

Sarah Brevard – the Cake Maker
Sarah Brevard’s family fully supported her creative outlet turned business. As The Cake Maker, Brevard left her job in the postal service to bake from home while raising a family. “I started baking because I had my daughter and wanted to be able to raise her,” Brevard says. Brevard has won the 2010, 2018 and 2019 The Knot’s Best of Wedding cakes, as well as winning the Wedding Wire’s Couple’s Choice awards for 2018 and 2019. Brevard says each cake is a little different, and she’s currently enjoying a new flavor, champagne cake with strawberry butter cream. “You replace all the liquid in the cake with champagne,” she grins. Find her on Facebook or at TheCakeMaker.us.


Heather Grave's Eiffel Tower cake was a feat of engineering. The cake stood over 53 inches tall with a base made from rice crispy treats.
Heather Grave’s Eiffel Tower cake was a feat of engineering. The cake stood over 53 inches tall with a base made from rice crispy treats.

Heather Graves – The”C” Word
Another mom passing down the tradition of effort and excellence to the next generation, Heather Graves recently began her cake baking business, The “C” word, almost by accident. Graves was recovering from back surgery and watching the television show “Nailed It!” As a joke, Graves attempted one of the cakes she saw on the show, and while the first attempt “Tasted like sand,” the aesthetic outcome, was, well, she nailed it. Now, Graves is running a successful cake baking company that specializes in novelty cakes.

As Graves puts it, “If you’re looking for a traditional sheet cake, I can’t match City Market prices, but if you want a dancing hippo cake, I can do it.” Graves generously donated an Eiffel Tower cake to West Grand High school’s prom celebration. The cake stood over 53 inches tall and took 4 days to make. In addition to finding a new way to express her creativity, Graves appreciates that her children and grandchildren can see her trying new things. “It’s a great experience for them. They see me and realize that they can try one or two or five new things,” Graves shares. Graves is on Facebook with her own page for The “C” Word bakery.


Jenessa Watermann – Silver, Gold & Precious Metal Dealer

Yet another mom turning a family tradition into a family business, Jenessa Watermann is Kremmling’s liquid silver, gold, and precious metal dealer. Currently selling bullion and coins, Watermann got her start when her father asked her to help him trade coins to keep his mind active, having broken his back. Watermann attended a coin show, made quite an impression with her dad’s Morgan silver dollar, and she hasn’t looked back. “I’ve been in the industry from the first day on,” Watermann shares. “There’s not a whole lot of women in the industry, and part of my role is to get women and even children more involved.”

Watermann has passed the passion down to her own kids and kids in the Kremmling community. She donated special Easter coins for the Chamber Easter egg hunt.

She plans on opening a store by the end of the month and advises anyone who’s interested to come and see her. “I check for key dates, condition, and grade. There are a lot of factors,” Watermann explains. What remains the most important factor for Watermann is her family: “You have to cherish every day you get with your kids, because you only get so many.” Take a look at Watermann’s collection at the upcoming Denver Coin Expo, May 9th-11 at the National Western Complex, visit her Facebook page or contact her at [email protected]

Dorina Sas runs DotDotSmile from her home with her two children, Oli and Abby.
Dorina Sas runs DotDotSmile from her home with her two children, Oli and Abby.

Dorina Sas – DotDotSmile
Remaining professionally active while raising a family is also important to Dorina Sas, who runs DotDotSmile out of her home. DotDotSmile offers “Twirly,” comfortable dresses for young girls. Sas has an updated collection featuring rompers and jumpsuits. But more than earning extra income for her family, Sas shares, “It’s awesome to go into my little room, and have me time and relax. It’s the only place that isn’t covered in kid’s stuff.” Contact Sas on her Facebook page. “Or they can just text me at 970-281-9675,” Sas assures.


Colleen Murphy teaches music lessons to adults, children and families from her mobile business Thinning Veil Artworks
Colleen Murphy teaches music lessons to adults, children and families from her mobile business Thinning Veil Artworks

Colleen Murphy – Thinning Veil Artworks
Most of all, parents have to be brave. Colleen Murphy sets that example for her children, shedding a traditional teaching job that kept her fighting rush-hour traffic after long working hours to start her own business, Thinning Veil Artworks. “I was too exhausted for my own kids,” Murphy shares. Murphy has created a mobile experience to share her many talents, which include mom-and-tot music lessons, private music lessons, canvas and cocktail classes, writer’s workshop retreats, yoga and wellness practice and more. Murphy has conducted classes at churches, private homes, and the Sunny Side Up studio. That’s when she’s not performing with her band, Bottlerocket Hurricane. “My kids have stepped
up to the plate. They’ve said my job isn’t normal, but that they can tell I’m happy.” Murphy also offers programs in self-actualizations and anyone can go to her site ThinningVeilArtworks. com to download her books. Holding a nontraditional job might be financially risky but it’s brought Murphy and
her family huge personal returns.

Supporting local moms as they run small businesses while raising the next generation benefits the entire community. Heather Graves says, “I support any mom, dad, all parents that are raising kids and keeping a business going while putting dinner on the table. I’m proud of people who take a risk.” Before grabbing the mass-produced bottle of vitamins or lotion or sheet cake, consider keeping assets amongst ourselves; it benefits all.

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