I’ve been hearing this new term, “jobby,” getting thrown around a bit lately. A cross between hobby and job, it makes reference to businesses started by women with children. As in, “My wife was so bored when the kids started school full time, she got herself a jobby.” On the Condescension Scale, I’d give it about a nine, maybe a nine point five.
But if it’s preceded by the word cute, or little, or cute, little, then it’s a ten for sure. I get the general gist of it; a smart, driven woman quits her job to stay home with her kids when they’re little. By the time they’re six or seven she’s ready to work again, but going back to a full time job as a lawyer or an investment banker or a television writer or an advertising executive isn’t really an option, both because she’s been out of the market for so many years, and because she still wants to be around to pick the kids up from school or to help them with their homework. Sure, some women might be lucky enough to find flexible, part-time gigs in their former fields, but most won’t. So for a lot of women, starting a business seems to be the best possible solution. I mean, if you can’t find a boss who’s going to let you leave in the middle of the day to go on a field trip, then why not become your own boss? And if you’re going to be your own boss, you might as well start a business you’re passionate about.
But when a woman takes her passion, whether it’s designing jewelry or making baby blankets or helping people create scrapbooks, and turns it into a business, why is it that people are so quick to dismiss it as something less than a business? I have a sneaking suspicion that if a man started a business selling baseball cards or designing sneakers, nobody would call it a jobby. They would call him an entrepreneur, and they would probably pat him on the back and tell him how brave he is for doing something he loves.
So, as a salute to some of the many, many smart, savvy women I know who are working their butts off running amazing businesses and raising amazing kids, I’m listing a few of my favorites here. And the best part is, they’ve all agreed to give my readers a special discount, so everybody wins.
1. Krickette. My friend Leah, entertainment lawyer extraordinaire and mother of two, has spent the last two years traveling back and forth from LA to India to find fabrics and inspiration for her gorgeous new clothing and accessories line, Krickette. Brightly colored dresses, flowy caftans, and fabulous, printed beach totes will make you feel like you’re on vacation even when you’re going to the market. Go to www.krickette.com and type in the code “Launch” during the month of July for a 20% discount.
2. AZIAM. My friend Heather, a super chic, recently transplanted mom of three from New York, has partnered with renowned yogini Alanna Zabel to start a line of yoga wear called AZIAM. My favorites are the Wife Lover tanks (named as an alternative to the Wife Beater, with 10% of sales going to the Joyful Heart Foundation), but the Goddess in Progress line for girls is pretty adorable, too. Go to www.aziam.com and use the code MODERN for 15% off all purchases.
3. Jouer Cosmetics. Founded by the always fabulous, totally gorgeous Christina Zilber, a mother of two who somehow has the ability to add extra hours to every day, Jouer has quickly become the only makeup I use. Sold at Henri Bendel in New York, Skins 6/2 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and online at www.jouercosmetics.com, their Luminizing Moisture Tint is the one thing I would take if I were stranded on a desert island. And I’m not kidding. Enter chicbeauty in the promo code box for 20% savings until September 1, 2011, plus free, every day shipping.
4. Mom Life with Jen and Barb. I appeared on this really great web show when I was promoting my book, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball, and I became fast friends with hosts/producers Jen and Barb, two moms who literally turned their lives as mothers into a whole new career. Each week they cover topics ranging from how to deal with picky eaters to how to be a work-at-home mom and everything in between. And if you’re feeling inspired by all of this talk about starting your own business, they have a new book coming out in January called The Mothers of Reinvention, about moms who have started new careers and reinvented themselves after having kids (my story is in there, too!).
For now, you can catch them at www.jenandbarbmomlife.com.
So go ahead: shop, watch, read and enjoy. If you’re thinking of starting your own business, good for you. And if you already have one, even better. Just please, don’t call it a jobby.