Mompreneurs We Love: Jessica Beer & Tonya Bergeson-Dana

Jessica Beer and Tonya Bergeson-Dana

Jessica Beer and Tonya Bergeson-Dana

Who:Jessica Beer and Tonya Bergeson-Dana

Business Name and Starting Date: The Urban Chalkboard Play Cafe, November 2014

Why did you pursue this opportunity? We worked together as research scientists in child development in an academic environment and we noticed for so long that such valuable research coming out of universities all across the country did not have a place in the everyday lives of moms, dads, and kids. We created The Urban Chalkboard as a platform for bringing the fruit of this research to a living space. The two most important objectives to us were to design a space with a coffee-house feel and purpose but ideally suited to meet the needs of parents raising young children and on the kid side, to design a space that creates affordances for learning through play for children before they go to kindergarten.

What do you love about it?  The flexibility to get excited about something that really speaks to our mission and then being able to implement it the next day! For example, we met Meghan Sissom, a teacher from Seattle who moved to Indy. She offered the most unique sensory and play-based programs for kids that couldn't be more on par with research on the benefits of sensory stimulation (visual and vestibular in this case) for learning in babies and toddlers. Now Meghan leads a Fiber Optic Play class at the Chalkboard every week and it's like nothing else you will find anywhere in the city. 

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What is your biggest challenge? Staying on top of the day to day while constantly innovating and keeping the next one, three, and five years top of mind.

What do you love about life in Indy? So many things!! There is a vibe and energy in Indy for business innovation, creating niches, entrepreneurship, and new ideas that is visible every day and it's so easily accessible to business owners and to consumers. What is very exciting is the recent push in the Indy entrepreneurship and business community to support and grow women entrepreneurs and women-led business (check out events at Hatch, IDEAvize, Launch Fishers, 1 Million Cups, The Startup Ladies, Pitchfeast and The Indiana Women's Conference for starters). Stay tuned to the Chalkboard in 2018 as we launch a new offering designed specifically for SAHM and WAHM starting and growing their own businesses while raising young kids!

Connect with Jessica and Tonya on LinkedIn. 

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CareerSuzanne Joyce5 Comments