3 Indy Mompreneurs We Love
1.) Mama Said Tees, Colleen Berkowitz & Colleen Stine, Started 7/22/14
Why did you pursue this opportunity? The idea for Mama Said Tees came to us when both of our oldest kids were about a year old and we were buying clothes from small shops for our babies. We wanted to design apparel encouraging kids to be who they are. We wanted something empowering, something about acceptance. We thought long and hard about where kids learn about being kind and being true to themselves and it starts at home; thus, the name Mama Said Tees. If our children were going to walk around spreading a message, we believed that it should be one that people could read and use as a reminder to smile, be kind and love one another! We were brand new moms and this was the hope for our own children, why not share it with the rest of the world! Little did we know that our passion in the beginning would turn into an unstoppable mission to make a difference in the world we live in.
What do you love about it? The feedback is so rewarding! Every email, story or person we meet that tells us how we've impacted them makes everything worth it! To think we had a small part in making someone's day better, made them feel a part of an accepting group or made them comfortable & confident with themselves is a beautiful thing! We TRULY believe that we can make a difference in this world through our work, that’s why we do this. We are 2 work-at-home moms with 7 kids between us and it’s hard to keep up with everything and give 100% to our work, our kids, our husbands but we do it because we want to make a difference. We LOVE more than anything seeing someone in our shirts, or a stranger asking one of us where our shirts are from because they love the message across the chest. We have already seen such a change in just the 3 short years that we’ve been a business that we know the possibilities are endless. We also have so much more to give and to offer so be on the lookout!
What is your biggest challenge? Our biggest challenge is our distance! CB lives in Chicago while CS is in Indy! The distance requires us to be in constant contact, which is good because we love each other, but it is tough when we want to get together and work on a project or catch up on a big shipping day! We would also say balancing everything is a challenge, but it’s one we are willing to take head on. We as moms have to support each other and believe me we have a lot of support that helps us make our mission possible. But the day-to-day is challenging, but what mom isn’t challenged every single day? We commend all moms…stay-at-home moms, full-time working moms, work-at-home moms because we all have challenges in front of us, but as long as we’re being the best versions of ourselves then we’re being the best we can be for our kids.
What do you love about life in Indy? CS loves everything about Indy! She has more state pride than most people in their foam finger! She loves the community & people she has grown up with and continues to meet! CB, though she does not live here, also loves coming to visit! She calls it Pleasantville! Everyone is so welcoming & friendly'. Indy has a small town feel, but in a big city with big events and so much to do. The family life is like no other and everyone welcomes you with open arms. We have lived in other places and we think the way people in Indy welcome you no matter who you are or where you’re from or what you do for a living…it doesn’t matter, everyone is welcome! A huge camaraderie exists and it’s so wonderful to be a part of.
2.) Vino Mobile Bar, Jenn Kampmeier, Started 5/28/2016
Why did you pursue this opportunity? I love a great challenge and starting VMO has been a fun challenge. I created the very first wine truck in the USA. I like to drink wine and quite frankly so do many of my friends. It is my coping mechanism for parenting. I create businesses that are unique and outside of the box.
What do you love about it? Everything... you have seen the commercials with kids running after the ice cream truck... well parents run after my wine truck to get their wine... not literally but almost. We sell an experience! Walking up to a wine truck and having a glass of wine is an experience. This is not something that you will do everyday but you will remember the experience of it. We call our wine truck 'Vinny' and he is loved by all.
What is your biggest challenge? For a while I was the only staff and the structure was not working. We have a son who is very active in baseball and I found myself juggling wine events with baseball games. There were a few occasions when I would go from being at a wine event to driving the wine truck to the baseball game so I could watch him. You do what you have to do to make it work. To keep my sanity I have hired three amazing 'Vino Gals' who handle the majority of the events for me now. This allows me to focus on the operational side and grow the business.
What do you love about life in Indy? Everything.. our city offers so many amazing activities year round.
3.) The Hot Room Indianapolis, Hye Jin Kalgaonkar, Started November 2013
Why did you pursue this opportunity? I saw a huge opportunity and need for a state of the art hot yoga studio in Indianapolis. I had traveled the world teaching and practicing yoga and knew what I wanted in a yoga studio. When I could not find one in Indy, I thought, well I need to build it myself.
What do you love about it? I absolutely love being a part of a community where you see life transformations happening everyday. I have a fantastic team of teachers and staff who love what they do and inspire others to do the same. Who doesn't love being surrounded by inspiring, powerful, motivating friends who lift you up everyday? I also love that my girls have so much fun helping out at the studio and have developed their own yoga/meditation practice.
What is your biggest challenge? Finding the right people who fit into your culture and live your core values.
What do you love about life in Indy? I grew up in Seattle and never thought I would be calling Indy home. Indy is such a great place for entrepreneurs to learn and grow their businesses. There is a great community of local entrepreneurs who want to see you succeed. It has everything that a big city offers, but with a small midwest feel. It’s a perfect place to raise a family!