Portland is home to a very rainy season, extremely green flora and down-to-earth women who are rockin’ the business world on all fronts. We’re giving major props to moms who are kicking booty and taking names, whether it be in all-man’s-land of technical innovation, the world of words, film, party planning and much more. Join us in throwing up the confetti in honor of these mamas who are pushing the envelope, bringing their brainstorms to life in one hand and raising families in the other.
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Author and Founder of Parent Hacks
This longtime writer became a hack once her son was born. What’s a hack you ask? Sort of an expert, which, in becoming a parent, we moms become almost by accident. Her award-winning site, Parent Hacks, shares “forehead-smackingly smart” parenting tips. She is also the co-author of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less with Christine Koh, to be published by Bibliomotion in March, 2013. She believes in big ideas and that being silly is totally okay. Asha lives in Portland with her husband and two kids.
Lifestyle Expert and The Shebang! Creator
This chica has got her ducks in a row! She’s the Organized Lifestyle Expert for AM Northwest, Portland’s one and only morning show, and the creator of The Shebang! [the smart woman’s pocket guide to doing it all], an idea brought to light by her seeing clients overwhelmed and her serious attempts at beating the pile of laundry in her own home. She’s a self described social media nerd and all around too much coffee drinkin’ sassy mama. Krista recently went to battle with breast cancer and won, having, as she states “put on her big girl panties.”
Founder, Urban Bliss
This Power Mom means business and by business meaning her own, Urban Bliss, a communications strategy and graphic design firm based in Portland. She is also an original mompreneur supporter, having founded over one of the earliest mom entrepreneur networks in the Pacific NW, The Power MOB (Mom-Owned Businesses), a go-to source for local mom-owned businesses. She started the new year off with a bang and launched 365 Days of Social Media a 12 part series of ebooks in January 2013. Living is creative life out loud is one of her mantras and she could quite possibly be one of the Beastie Boys biggest fans.
Try being a single parent, working full time in the realm of production with no family support and see how challenging every day can be. Well Karen was doing all of the above when she founded WeVillage, an interactive but super-certified Drop In daycare for busy parents and playful kiddies. Her hope was to create a nurturing community and by working with other local businesses, she’s managed to bring her visions to reality. Find Karen behind the scenes at either WeVillage locations, one in The Pearl and the other in Orenco, she’ll give you the lowdown and a big welcome.
Irene Taylor Brodsky
Writer, Director, Producer
This story-telling mama has many of her own. She is the writer, director and producer of the award-winning documentary, Hear and Now, a shout-out to the love and determination of her parents, both born deaf. Recent film, Saving Pelican 895, follows the story of one lucky bird trying to survive the BP oil spill. Irene cut her chops in the darkrooms of still photography before moving into the realm of movie making and after her husband was offered a job in Portland, they left the concrete jungle of New York for the west coast. She loves hiking in the Oregon woods near her fantastically restored Victorian-era home.
Owner, Living Room Realtors
Looking to purchase a home, sell a home, get advice on greening up the home or installing renewable energy sources? You’re gonna want to go see Jenelle. With a first love of textiles and architecture, she’s taken her firm, Living Room Realtors to the next level of cool when dealing with property. Major props include being a recipient of Portland Business Journal’s 2012 Forty under 40 awards. When she’s not plugging away at work, find her swimming, skiing, and creating the perfect playlist.
Author and Founder of Juicebox Consulting
One of the original The Boogie Moms®, Mindee spent years in marketing before her brainchild, those handy-dandy boogie wipes for little runny noses, hit the market. Mindee left the company after the sale in 2010 and started her own consulting firm, Juicebox Consulting. Her book, Get your Own Juicebox – Confident Moms raising Capable Kids, hit the shelves in May, 2012. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her husband, John, and three children, Aidan, Avree, and Austin.
Founder, Milagros Boutique
This mama of two opened Milagros Boutique in the Concordia hood of Portland in 2004. Wanting to create a shop where she herself would like to be, Jennifer stocks the items with every eco-friendly product a family could need . From breastfeeding supplies to cloth diapers and baby carriers, you can look and find the very thing to help your mama journey get much smoother. Milagros, meaning miracle in Spanish, serves the community not only through their product selections, but also by providing a community events center that draws parents and children for classes and playdates. Coolest aspect of the boutique? There is a play area equipped with toys, books, and a rocking chair. Jennifer lives with Tony, son Gael and daughter Mila in Portland.
This mama from down under was on her own search for an alternative to disposable or cloth diapers when she discovered an itty, bitty company making a flushable, disposable diaper. She knew she probably wasn’t the only mom looking for a green, eco-friendly diaper and gDiapers was born! Kimberley and her husband Jason brought the concept and the start up company to the United States from Australia and it’s been catching the eyes of other green mamas and covering the bums of little babies ever since. She loves adventure and chatting it up is one of her best attributes, which most definitely comes in handy when being a mompreneur! Kim, Jason and their two boys now live in Portland.
Owner, One Divine Party
Describing herself as a dreamer and in love with details of all things pretty, One Divine Party owner Amy Child is your go-to gal for all things fabulous. Her company will make any event that much sweeter, with the finest details from triple chocolate cake bites to delightful table arrangements. Although her specialty is in dessert tables Amy will bring her unique vision to other events as well. Before starting One Divine Party Amy was a freelancer for makeup guru Bobbi Brown. She loves fashion and loves her two fantastic, boys, Jalen and Jonah.
Founder, Fancy That
This power mom knows how to party! Or at least, get your party started in the right way. With her super cool line of party announcements, party decorating packages like the princess collection or the cowboy collection, cool cupcake toppers and more, there isn’t much missing from Fancy That. Lisa founded the company after spending years helping friends with party invites. Lucky for us moms on the go, we can look like a hostess with the mostest, just by selecting a few items from her first one-stop shop, which opened in 2012. Mom to Jack and Samantha, Lisa and her family live in Portland.
This mama proves to the rest of us gals we can do just about anything! Her #1 New York Times best-selling novel, WILD recounts her amazing 1100 mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Washington state. She is the author of not only WILD but also, TORCH and TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS which is a collection of her time spent as the author of the Dear Sugar online advice column on TheRumpus. Her memoirs caught the eye of media giant and super-power Oprah Winfrey, and was the first book selected for Oprah’s 2.0 Book Club. Super-fab Hollywood star and mom of three, Reese Witherspoon, optioned the book before it hit the bookstands and plans on playing the title role on the big screen. Cheryl can be found writing and living life in Portland with her husband and two kids.
Catch her if you can!! This Queens, New York born and Duluth, Minnesota raised long-distance running athletic star tied up her running shoes and moved to Portland to run with Nike’s Oregon Project, following a super impressive NCAA career at the University of Colorado. She was a competitor at both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Olympics in 2012. Kara is a proud mama to Colt and wife to fellow distance runner Adam.
Founder & CEO, Zapproved
This mom means business and we mean serious computer business. Monica is the founder and CEO of Zapproved, which offers software for companies needing a hand with all the crazy compliance and regulations increasing on a yearly basis. Monica is one smart cookie, with an M.B.A. from University of Portland and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. As a mama in a man’s world of tech, Monica has raised the bar for women to rock the start-up business model. She was awarded major props from the Portland Business Journal in 2010 for women in business.
HIV/AIDS Advocate + Designer
Talk about empowerment, who would embody the title better than this mama? After contracting the HIV virus in 1991 at the age of 18, Jennifer opted for survival, and yes, she is thriving. Using her experience as a young girl and one night which changed her life, she’s been helping spread the word for over 22 years. She is the co-director of film Blood Lines, a portrait of HIV positive youths and sits on the Board of Directors for the Cascade AIDS Project. If this wasn’t enough, she uses her keen eye as a designer and, with her husband, Christopher Bleiler, has contributed to the branding and interior design of favorite spots to chow down, including clarklewis, Nostrana, Ken’s Artisan Pizza & Bakery, and much more. Jennifer, Christopher and their daughter, who was born HIV free, live in Portland.
How does one go from living in China as a translator to being a successful folk singer-songwriter? Just ask mama Laura, who, during her years in China, wrote lyric after lyric. Her albums include Troubled by the Fire, Carbon Glacier, Year of Meteors, Saltbreakers and July Flame, all of which were produced by her hubby, Tucker Martine. Her first project for the kiddo’s, Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs For Children, won a Parent’s Choice award in 2012 and she is the one and only voice on the soundtrack of upcoming film, Hello I Must be Going. Laura and Tucker have one son, Tennessee, and are expecting baby #2 in April of this year.
Global Leader for Sustainability & Eco-Friendly Living
From Radio One and Five at BBC to being the super-green mama in charge Nike’s sustainability unit, Hannah Jones means eco business. Her actions have grabbed the spotlight, and the World Economic Forum recently named her a Young Global Leader. From finding a way to reuse materials in athletic shoes to requiring a level of responsibility in the Nike factories around the world, Hannah is working hard to make sure the largest maker of athletic gear is treating mother earth with proper respect. Coolest contribution to the fight? The game-changing sneaker, the FlyKnit Racer, made from knit threading rather than several layers of fabric, which eliminates the amount of waste created.
Biking Mama Extraordinaire
Six kids, one bike, no car?? This is not a normal equation but for Emily Finch, it’s the one that works for her. Looking for a way to raise her spirits, she found the bakfiets cargo bike, got rid of her 9 person Suburban and pedaled her way into the sunset. Yes it can be hard, yes, one of the six kiddos strapped on might be throwing a tantrum, but for this power-house mama, it’s all worth the feeling of joy she gets when pumping the pedals down the streets of Portland. When you see Emily and the fam out on the street, give her a shout-out because this mama is simply doing things differently for the joy it brings.
Anchor at KATU
Turn the TV on to KATU and you’ll find this Power Mom reading the latest and greatest news. From the hot temps of Palm Desert to the balmy rains of Portland, she’s has a super-successful career a day anchor, then night anchor and now back to day anchor. After bringing the headlines to fellow Portlandians, she donates her time and attention to several causes, including Women for Children and the I Have a Dream Foundation. Her husband, Judd Girard, is the creator of ParentingToday.tv. They have two boys and when she isn’t at the station, she can be found snow or water skiing, at her kiddo’s school activities and playing at the beach.
Stacey Lynn Fisher
Once upon a time Stacey’s mother was told by a psychic her daughter would make money with her voice. Well you can imagine the shock to be told by a voice coach a musical career wasn’t gonna happen. Growing up and ever on the lookout for her destiny, Stacey first discovered the magic of radio as a college student. Now, for the last 16 years, she’s been coming in on the radio waves all over the Portland area, and her sassy side earned her the nickname, Sassy Lynn. Currently her voice can be heard on KBFF-PORTLAND(95.5), she is the host of Kindergarten Logic, which started when her first kid was beginning school and counts being a mom and wife to her four fellas, scrapbooking and making enchiladas as “stuff she’s good at.”
There are hundreds of power moms out there. In fact, we bet you’re one of them! Who else would you add to our list and why?