All posts by Modern Boca Mom

MOMpreneur Monday: Modern Boca Mom…1 Year Later

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.

MBM_MomprenuerMondays_500

Today’s featured MOMpreneur is…well…me!

It’s official: ModernBocaMom.com has been in business for ONE year (as of March 18, 2015) and I thought I’d introduce myself to Modern Boca Mom’s newest readers and provide a little update to those who have followed “MBM” since the beginning.

Modern Boca Mom Blogger-versary Featured


Tell us a little bit about yourself…and of course, why you decided to become a MOMpreneur.

Well first off, it’s a little weird that I’m answering questions for myself from myself, but here’s the truth: I’ve always wanted to run my own business. 

ProfessionalOnStage
Yep, that’s me competing at the Students in Free Enterprise National Competition my senior year at Flagler College. By the way…we won. 🙂

I initially thought that would happen by me taking over an existing company in NYC. In fact, I worked towards that very goal up until March of 2014. But, the best laid plans don’t always work out. Sad, but true. I learned the hard way that you can’t always depend on others for your own success.

Vogue
Typical day in my old life as a publicist…I miss that dress.

So, when life gives you lemons…you take on a new project. I had the seed of an idea growing in my head since we moved from NYC back to Boca when I was struggling to find educational activities to do with 5 month old #dailybabyavery. Luckily, I found Musikgarten for Babies via the Boca Raton Children’s Museum, but the museum’s website was terrible. And at the time, that was the only local place for kids I knew about.

Where was that “go to” site for moms like me to find out what “cool and city-oriented” things were going on for families in Boca Raton and beyond? There was no site, so I decided to create it myself.

How did your business get started? Did you have many challenges along the way?

Well, I had no start up capital which I would see as a pretty big challenge, so I asked a friend who is very web savvy to develop a site template for MBM.

#modernbocadad is handy with Photoshop, so he created my first set of graphics after I described the palm tree/pacifier concept to him. From there, I put my PR and social media skills to work and started attending local mommy activities and writing, writing…and writing some more to start filling the blog with local content and grow a mommy following on Facebook.

2014-04-04 14.27.35-2

In retrospect, I think the smartest thing I did when starting MBM was to treat it like a business. Trust me, I didn’t generate even small revenues for several months, but treating the blog like a business allowed me to make smart decisions from the onset.

Challenges, yes. I still think online advertising and social media promotion are new concepts to many businesses in South Florida, which makes selling paid promotion on a local blog sometimes tricky. MBM is also very time consuming; feeding the blog with new content 4-5 days per week, learning how to do it properly along with SEO, learning Quickbooks, developing event concepts, attending events, networking with other bloggers and business owners and raising a toddler. I’m sure many moms can relate (at least to that last part).

2014-03-26 11.48.47-2

I brought on paid contributors to lighten the load pretty early on they were amazing in helping to create so many different and smart voices on the site. I also lean on other, more experienced bloggers to teach me tips and tricks and share business leads. I’m always willing to collaborate and think it’s key in this industry. I’m an active member of FemCity as a result.

2015-01-30 13.55.20

What is truly unique about Modern Boca Mom?

Modern Boca Mom is the only localized lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy that focuses solely on commerce, business, MOMpreneurs, events and amenities available to Boca Raton and surrounding area families.

IMG_9976 WM

I am also frequently hired to host, emcee and develop custom MBM events for businesses in the area, bringing in a targeted audience of local moms and kids to that retailer, school or business. I love the events side of MBM. It’s not something I was really expecting to be doing, but I really enjoy interacting with my readers and their beautiful children!

My one folly: remembering everyone’s name. Don’t take it personally- that’s where my “mom brain” really kicks in! Drives me nuts.

2015-03-07 14.51.49
My latest event stint hosting the Thalia for Macy’s fashion show launch
What exciting things are coming up with Modern Boca Mom?

Well, busy doesn’t even begin to describe what I am lately…but I love it!

After the New Year, I completely overhauled my graphics and site layout…both on desktop and mobile. I’m excited that the re-brand went pretty seamlessly.

MBM_Cityscape_Banner_2

I will be attending TEDxBocaRaton as a Social Media Influencer on Thursday, March 26, 2015. It’s my first year being involved with TEDx and I expect it to be a one-of-a-kind event.

TEDxBoca Raton 2015 Social Media Influencer Modern Boca Mom

I’m looking forward to my annual pilgrimage to Boca Bacchanal because it is so darn fun and delicious and benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society, which is an organization that I am a fan of. There are a lot of new things coming up this year and it’s also being held at a new venue, the Boca Raton Airport, so I am excited.

Earlier that same day, I will be emceeing the Promise Garden Luncheon & Spring Fashion Show benefiting the Alzheimer’s Boca Walk.

Oh yes, and I have been hired (woot!) as a regular contributing blogger at BocaMag.com and will be writing two “Boca Mom Talk” articles per month for the foreseeable future…hopefully they keep on liking what they see! I hear they might be including me in the next print issue as well…stay tuned.

Boca Mom Talk Best Mommy Concierge Services 3.5.15

What do you love about living and working in South Florida?

I am a Boca Raton native and although I enjoyed my pre-Mommy/post-college years in New York, I always knew in my heart I’d be back…at the very least, part time.

My family is here and now I have a wonderful set of old and new friends to hang out with. And we are SO LUCKY to have the things we do for our children here. I truly had no idea.

And, I’m just glad I could convince my Maine husband to become a South Floridian! #dailybabyavery seems to have adapted no problem though…

IMG_1422

Here is an update on MBMom’s “progress” by the numbers thanks to loyal readers like YOU:

THANK YOU!!!


SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

MBM_Posterboard

Modern Boca Mom’s 1st ‘Blogger-Versary’ Party at California Closets: Event Album

Sponsored

It’s true: Modern Boca Mom is officially 1 year old. We’re a toddler now (who can drink champagne)!

IMG_9882

And what’s a 1st birthday without a big party? California Closets Boca Raton sponsored MBMom’s 1st “Blogger-versary” Party on Wednesday, March 18th in their luxury showroom in Royal Palm Place.

IMG_0155

IMG_0156

IMG_9889

Thank you Lori from California Closets for being our presenting sponsor!

The champagne flowed and desserts were devoured, lovingly and creatively prepared by Brandy’s Bites. 

IMG_0161

IMG_9888

2015-03-18 18.59.37

We truly wanted to thank everyone who has supported the blog in our first year and were thrilled to have so many amazing South Florida businesses and friends in attendance. Cheers!

2015-03-18 20.23.11-1

Michelle Olson-Rogers, April Erhard (www.aprilgolightly.com) and Diana Rush of Musikgarten by the Beach

2015-03-18 21.26.39

Lily Ojea & Erin Branham of Apt. 2 Events

2015-03-19 10.18.37

With Samantha Bense of aquaBelly Fitness

2015-03-19 15.15.17

#modernbocadad, #MBMom, Diana & Shawn Rush

IMG_0167

With Shani Marcos of Shani’s Boutique

IMG_0192

With the Mullen Family: Erin, Courtney, Connie & Jim from Organic Movements

IMG_0203

With Erin Simpson-Krar of the Boca Raton Children’s Museum & Kristine Keshishian of Embracing Education

IMG_0210

With Rose Heard

IMG_0212

With Melissa Wilson of Autotrader.com

IMG_0219

With MBMom contributors, Erika Villolobos (Essentially Erika), Casey Stone Philbrick (Hunting for Rubies), Margaret Schaffer (ReStyle Home Staging) and Kellie Michelsen

IMG_0176

Erin Branham, Tracy & Wayne Augustin (2 Forks & a Cork) and Greg Miseyko

IMG_0181

Stephen & Lauren Ricks of Tilson PR

IMG_9896

Dr. Chad & Ashley Rudnick of Boca VIPediatrics

IMG_9902

Brittany Millner and Emily Seward of the Waterstone Boca Raton

IMG_9904

With Susan Welsh of the Farmer’s Table/Wyndham Boca Raton, Amber Clark & Meagan Killinger of KCC Sitter Source

IMG_9905

With Heather McMechan of localmomscoop

IMG_9941

Shani Marcos & MaSyh Crudup of 24/7 Concierge Services

IMG_0190

With Courtney & Connie Mullen of Organic Movements

IMG_9730

With Matt Cimaglia of Cimaglia Productions

IMG_0183

IMG_0187

IMG_9935

IMG_9939

IMG_9930

IMG_9925

IMG_9921

IMG_9940

Raffles!

Thank you to all of our supporting raffle sponsors! Cheers to Year 2!

Modern Boca Mom 1st Blogger-versary Party Invite FINAL

So Your Kid is Learning to Swim… Safety Tips from Baby Otter Swim School

Spring is in full swing in South Florida (and NYC as evidenced by my trip last week– you’re welcome for the sunshine Manhattan!), so what better time for a refresher course for us MBMoms on swim safety?

Thanks to the experts at Baby Otter Swim School for guest blogging today on this important topic! Let’s get to it…

MBM Swim Safety Tips Featured WM


Knowing important swim safety tips, often referred to as  “layers of protection,” can be the key to saving someone from drowning. We speak with parents all day long who ask questions about their pools. Being a traveling swim school has so many benefits because we are frequently at families’ homes to see what possible dangers could be avoided.

babyotterinfographic

Creating awareness around the layers of protection needed to prevent a drowning seems appropriate for this time of year, so we are dedicating this post to helping parents and home owners, who have a pool, understand some simple yet important safety measures they can take.

  • Always have a phone handy. I don’t mean a cell phone, but a cordless phone that is outside, charged and can be used to call 911 in case of an emergency. Drownings occur in our county almost on a weekly, if not daily basis. Here in South Florida, we are surrounded by water, and making sure your child is being properly supervised with a quick method of communication can help stop a lot of these tragedies.
  • Remove toys from the pool when you are finished swimming. Most will ask why? Toys in a pool act like a magnet for kids. They see the toys and then decide to walk right into the pool. It’s a very simple task to do at the end of your swimming session – remove anything appealing that is in the water.
  • Keep the water level in your pool as high as possible year round. The reason is, if your child falls into the pool and the water is very low due to a leak or evaporation from the heat, they will not be able to reach the ledge. We see so many pools with low water levels and once we explain this to parents, they can’t believe how much sense it makes.

Mason's first swimming lessons 3-22-2012 (3) (2)

Thanks Modern Boca Mom for having us guest blog today! We hope that this simple information helps your readers.  We plan to dedicate our blog posts to education which we all know can save lives.


Inforgrafic travel FB

Please feel free to contact Baby Otter Swim School with any questions at 954-704-0080 or visit their website www.babyotter.org.


MOMpreneur Monday: Just Ask Boo

MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
MBM_MomprenuerMondays_500

Meet South Florida MOMpreneur, Province “Boo” Zamek, founder of popular e-newsletter, Just Ask BOO.

 Just Ask BOO SM WM


Tell us a little bit about yourself (and your BOO nickname!)…and of course, why you decided to become a MOMpreneur.

I have been called “Boo” since I was a baby. My mother started calling me “Boo” during a game of Peek-a-Boo when I replied, “Peek-a-Mommy.”

I launched JustAskBoo {JAB} in Miami in early 2008 because I recognized a need for an e-newsletter that served as a high-end community message board.

However, while my primary objective was to serve my community, there was also great benefit to me personally. Like so many new mothers, I longed for flexibility and more control over my schedule.

When I started JAB, I resigned from my job at a local public relations agency where I served for seven years as vice president.

BooHeadshotOutlook

At the time I did not know that owning my own business would prove to be far more demanding than working for someone else. But, I have never regretted the move.

Since launch, JAB has become an important community resource for about 25,000 readers across Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

How did your business get started? Did you have many challenges along the way?

I launched JAB when a friend who was new to Miami asked me to help her find a nanny. I sent an email to a group of friends asking for recommendations. Word spread quickly and I received an overwhelming response that included not only nanny recommendations, but also inquiries from others who were also seeking recommendations. I began circulating an email each evening with a list of the day’s requests.

Suddenly South Florida locals everywhere were directing their friends to “just ask Boo” when they needed a local recommendation.

Momentum grew quickly and just a few months after the first email was sent, I decided to incorporate the business. By this time, JAB already had 1,000 subscribers! I assembled a team of smart, savvy women to help run the business. We raised some angel investor capital, and off we went.

We began referring to the business as JAB for short, and to the subscribers as JABBERS. We stopped sending emails and instead began sending JAB in the form of an e-newsletter, in order to feature images and more options for subscribers. Over time, JAB remained ‘the place’ to go for reliable, trusted local recommendations, but also evolved into a very special place where JABBERS turned not only for referrals, but also for help with their most personal and profound issues. Today, our all-female team serves tens of thousands of JABBERS throughout South Florida.

Along the way we have encountered a series of triumphs and challenges just as any start-up business does. We have had to continually evolve, at times changing our entire business model, in order to maintain our position as a necessary and important local resource in this very quickly changing industry. There is certainly never a dull moment!

JAB-HORIZ_LOGO-TM

What is truly unique about JAB? It’s certainly no Mamarama

JAB is the only local trusted resource of its kind. Our newsletter is where readers go to find things they can’t find easily anywhere else.

It is where they go when they need referrals and recommendations that they can trust.

JAB is a fun, easy read and is a credible source of information, serving the busiest demographic there is- moms! It is also free and easy to use.

Why should MBMom readers also subscribe to Just ask BOO?

Our primary goal at JAB is to save time and trouble for very busy readers. You don’t even have to go to us – we come to you, in your email inbox. It’s all right here with an easy click.

Zamek Family Nov 2014 2

What do you love about living and working in South Florida?

In December 2014, we published a Special Edition newsletter titled “Why We Love Miami”. In it, I submitted the following quote:

“The energy. The weather. The people. The fine arts and performing arts. The views. The colors. The cafecitos. The foliage. The fashion. The architecture. The museums. The flat terrain. The mix of cultures and nationalities represented. The sparkle. The philanthropy. The sports. The events. The mom and pop businesses that give this large city a small town feel. The fast cars. The humidity. The water. The boats. The rainbows. The teeny-weeny bikinis. The stilettos. The curves and waves. The music. The wild parrots overhead. The iguanas in the trees. The manatees and the dolphins. The fact that Miami is my home. “

Miami is a small town within a large city and the ideal location for a business like ours to be headquartered.

  JAB-CIRCLE_LOGO_DARKBLUE-TM


Learn more about Just Ask BOO, click here: www.justaskboo.com

Follow on Facebook HERE and Instagram HERE.


SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

MBM_Posterboard