Celebrating Motherhood in Business: An Introduction

Being a mom can be a full-time job, so when you own and run a business as a mother, it is like having two, sometimes three jobs depending on the day. Juggling school schedules, business meetings, soccer practice, employee needs, and homework deadlines can be near impossible- and yet there are so many women that have a laundry list much longer than this one that make it work every single day. How do they do it? Well, we decided to find out by going straight to the source. This four week series starting September 4 will explore just a few of the challenges of being a mom and a business owner, with real, honest answers from real women. 

Our fearless leader, Kelly Dolata is both a mom and a business owner, and we felt it was time to highlight some of the most kick-a** moms in business that we are lucky enough to work with! So without further ado, let us introduce you to some of our favorite mom-trepreneurs. 

Kelly Mcleskey-Dolata, A Savvy Event

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As owner and creative director of A Savvy Event, Kelly has taken the wine country wedding world by storm over the last ten years. (ICYMI- check out our look back over her ten years in business here.) Her training and background in hotel weddings and events at the Fairmont and Ritz Carlton were the foundation which Kelly built her own company on. Her impeccable eye for design comes from her professional training as an interior designer, as well as over a decades worth of experience in the  wine country wedding industry. Having executed over 600 weddings in her career, no one can help you down the aisle quite like Kelly can. Kelly finds motivation in always keeping her crew and company on the forefront of trends in the industry. It was this passion to collaborate that led her to co-found Oh So Inspired, a a business-focused retreat for topnotch event professionals that is meant to inspire creativity and growth in business. 

When she is not working on one of her weddings or passion projects, Kelly is a mother to two girls- Taylor, age 5, and Kate, age 7. 

Cara Underwood, Underwood Letterpress


Cara Underwood wasn't always a letterpress genius, having started her career in public policy before founding Underwood Letterpress. However she became obsessed with the vocation after learning to letterpress while studying bookmaking, and has never turned back. She began as a boutique letterpress business focusing solely on custom works, and has since evolved her brand to include stationary, greeting cards, gifting items, and so much more. Take a look at some of Cara's work and a full interview with her about her passion for design here on the ASL Blog. Cara was initially drawn in by the combination of creativity and industriousness in Letterpress design, and her passion for her work continues to shine in everything she designs. 

When Cara is not elbow-deep in letterpress ink, she is a mom to Cal, age 3, and Eve, 3 months. 

Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

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Leila Lewis, the founder and CEO of Be Inspired PR is a true California girl. She graduated from Santa Clara University, and opened her LA based PR company after compiling years of lifestyle and wedding industry experience in publishing, editorial, and marketing positions. She now has ten years of business under her belt at Be Inspired PR, as a full-service public relations agency dedicated to the wedding and special event industry. Leila's passion for her clients keeps her focused and results-driven in her work. Her extensive knowledge of the industry and attention to detail make her an ideal partner for taking your business or brand to the next level. 

When Leila isn't working on building her clients' brands, she is a mom of three children- a 4 and a half year old, 2 and a half year old, and a one year old! Plus one fur baby, a golden retriever named Marlo.

Jeni Maus, Found Vintage Rentals

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Jeni Maus has always been a collector. Starting with her own home (check out this tour of her impeccably styled house on Green Wedding Shoes here.), Jeni began to discover and collect pieces that give her space a distinctive character and warmth. When she started Found Vintage Rentals in 2010, Jeni brought that same passion for discovery to the wedding and events space at large. Her distinctive style can be seen and felt in every piece of their carefully curated rental collection, which has the innate ability to make any event space feel comfortable, accessible, and joyfully lived-in. Each piece- whether a true vintage or a re-imagined design- is  chosen because of its history and charm. Jeni's eye for unique and cohesive pieces can be seen in the entirety of her collection, and her pieces stand out at events with their signature "Found" look. 

When Jeni is not searching for beautiful vintage pieces, she is a mom to Bailey, 16, and Caysen 14. 

Whitney Stoner, Whitney Fusion Events


Whitney Stoner, owner and creative director of Whitney Fusion Events is that cool chick in the corporate events industry that everyone wants to be friends with- seriously. She got her start planning events with the likes of Bay Area football legends Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana (I told you she's cool), and has only gone up from there! She launched her own business in 2003 and has been thriving in the Bay Area and internationally ever since. Don't let her laid-back, stylish vibe fool you- Whitney is a master negotiator and logistical expert when it comes to event planning. Her perseverance and fabulous taste come together to create innovative and boundary-pushing events across the globe. 

When she isn't hanging out with football stars or producing touchdown-dance worthy events, Whitney is mom to two boys- Hank, age 5, and Cash, age 6. 

Next week on the blog- Celebrating Motherhood in Business Part 1: How do you balance your mom-life and your work-life?

We can't wait to see what these 5 powerful women have to say about balancing time, energy, and everything else in between! Stay tuned...

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