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MOMpreneur Monday: OPTIWOW

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 on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
We’re working to bring busi-moms across the state of Florida together to start a MOMpreneur Movement! Why don’t you join us?
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Meet South Florida MOMpreneur and mother of two, Ivonne Goldstein, founder of a childrens’ e-commerce store that sells eyewear for the stylish kiddo, Optiwow.com.

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Ivonne currently works with her husband as the business administrator for a very successful pediatric ophthalmology practice in Miami Children’s Hospital and she also manages their optical shop.
This shop recently expanded into an e-commerce store called Optiwow.com.  Let’s talk about Ivonne’s MOMpreneur story…

What was your motivation to open this type of retail shop?

As a mom of two children who wear eyeglasses due to vision problems, I relate well to the kids and parents who visit us or shop online. I am so passionate about helping children overcome their eye care problems and enjoy seeing their confidence bloom when they find a pair of eyeglasses that make them feel comfortable and happy. 

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How did you begin and launch your business?

In response to seeing many children enter our optical shop at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Fla. wearing ill-fitting eyewear, my husband, Dr. Roberto Warman, and I created a new concept for purchasing optical goods- our online store Optiwow.com.

We are the ONLY online optical shop dedicated exclusively to kids and teens.

Unfortunately there are very little options available for kids and teens in chain optical shops and other retail shops, so we are providing a site that is deeply needed.

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What is unique about Optiwow?

Our business is unique because we only cater to kids and teens both in the Optical Shop and Online.

There are plenty of optical shops and ecommerce sites but no one caters exclusively to infants, kids and teens with the brand selections, expertise and knowhow that we have. We have been taking care of children for over 15 years.

Why should MBMoms purchase their #bocakids’ eyewear from your retail outlets?

They will not find any other store/e-commerce site that delivers outstanding knowledgeable customer service, the largest selection of infant, kids & teens eyewear at reasonable prices, latest styles and highest quality lenses.

Optiwow Home Page Screen Shot Modern Boca Mom

What exciting things are coming up with your business?

Every day is exciting in our business! With technology moving so fast we always are in close contact with our suppliers for the latest new materials and styles – making frames lighter and more flexible, more stylish, colorful, durable and appealing for our children.

Also we are always looking on how to improve our online site with the latest technology.

We are also researching the idea of expanding to another location.

And I always ask…what do you love about living and working in South Florida?

Living is South Florida is like no other place in the world especially when you come from Latin America (editor’s note: Ivonne was born in Caracas, Venezuela), the friendliness of the people, the weather, the mix of cultures, and the food… we have it all.

To be part of a city that is growing every day and being able to grow with it is a great feeling.
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SUBSCRIBE to Modern Boca Mom here!

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Connect with Optiwow on Facebook!
Learn more about this company at: www.optiwow.com

Why Boca Raton is the Healthiest Place to Raise a Child

I’m a mom. And I live in Boca Raton. Hurray! I personally think our town has everything you need (and more) to raise an awesome kid. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. But where do we stand when it comes to health? Is Boca the healthiest place to raise a child?

I reached out to the experts at Boca VIPediatrics to find out the facts.

Here are Dr. Chad Rudnick’s TOP reasons why Boca Raton is the healthiest place to raise a child:
  1. An Abundance of Outdoors

While the rest of the country is shoveling snow and avoiding being outdoors to get out of the cold, here in Boca, we’re flip flop-clad and loving fun in the sun with our kids (wearing sunscreen, of course!).

From Sugar Sand Park, to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, to playing on the sand at some of the best beaches, there are dozens of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with your family year-round. As a Boca native, I love re-visiting these places as an adult and discovering new spots with my family.

Research has shown that spending more time outdoors and engaging in physical activity can reduce the risk for childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. It can also can boost school performance and standardized test scores. The ability to wear flip flops year-round may have no proven health benefit, but it’s certainly no cause for complaint!

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A Sunday family stroll through South County Regional Park’s “Canine Cove”
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Our daughter loves the carousel at Sugar Sand Park!
  1. The Best Pediatric Care Around

Keeping kids safe and healthy are the most important factors when deciding where to raise a family.

Here in Boca, we’re fortunate enough to have top-notch pediatric care. Boca VIPediatrics is making waves as the future of personalized, pediatric care. With our 24/7 access membership model, we love being able to bring “small town service” together with modern medicine. This allows parents to text, call, email, or even do a virtual visit for the best care when families need their pediatrician the most. I’m excited to bring back the “house call,” something that seems ‘too good to be true ‘ or ‘a thing of the past’ in a time where getting a hold of your doctor can be a real challenge.

We’re also a short ways away from some of the top specialty care and children’s hospitals in the country. Having trained at Miami Children’s Hospital, ranked as “one of the best Children’s Hospitals in the United States” by U.S. News & World Report, I am fortunate enough to know some of the best pediatric specialists in the world in South Florida.

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  1. A City That Values Its Future

The Boca Raton City Council, led by Mayor Susan Haynie, is truly a team of leaders who cares about keeping Boca a nationwide front-runner to raise a family.

Through the city’s support of education and afterschool activities, children have the opportunity to play and learn in safe environments provided by the city. Parents can also take advantage of the city’s fire department, which frequently hosts family safety events.

Boca also houses a number of nonprofits that boost education, literacy, and safety. These include The KidSafe Foundation, PJ Library, and Young Entrepreneur’s Academy through the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.

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The Boca VIPediatrics Ribbon Cutting with The Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce and City Councilman, Robert S. Weinroth
  1. Culture for the Kiddos

Bringing up a well-rounded child aids in increasing the emotional, social, and scholastic performance potential.

Here in Boca, we’re fortunate enough to have amazing theatres, museums, gardens, art festivals, and other cultural venues where children can be exposed to a vast variety of arts and culture. On any given weekend, there are a slew of family-friendly options around town to immerse your children in, and help grow their minds.

Whether it’s a class at the Boca Children’s Museum, a leisurely stroll through Morikami Gardens, or the Annual Festival of the Arts at Mizner Park, the more you can expose your children to the arts, the more enriched they can become!

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A daddy/daughter dance at a class at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum
  1. Enviable Education Options

Boca Raton, the healthiest place to raise a child, boasts an excellent public school system, many of which are A-rated, as well as 16 private schools! The right education for your children is available here, no matter which option you choose.

We are also fortunate enough to have two fantastic universities (FAU and Lynn) within our city, which provide higher learning opportunities. Additionally, FAU offers dual enrollment opportunities for high school students to earn college credit. This unique opportunity gives Boca’s students a competitive edge when applying to colleges and universities.

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What are local parents not taking advantage of enough in our area (in your opinion) to help keep our kids healthy?

In my practice, we talk a lot about proactive healthcare and schedule wellness visits for all ages whether in office, over the phone, or virtually to help maintain a healthy lifestyle for our patients.

In a typical high-volume practice, you bring your kids to the doctor when they’re sick, get the treatment plan you need, and you don’t spend the time really developing an overall wellness plan with your doctor. It’s important to talk about sleep habits, eating habits, performance in school, emotional well-being, and even behavior with your doctor to avoid the risk of health problems down the road. 

How is Boca, the healthiest place to raise a child, becoming a leader in the future of healthcare?

The use of telemedicine is a new age phenomenon, even in adult medicine. We’re actually one of the first pediatric offices in the country to offer the access and convenience of using video and photo capabilities to treat children literally on-the-spot.

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Boca VIPediatrics is proud to announce a few NEW unique telehealth offerings exclusively for our VIPs:
  1. Special software that uses a cell phone which takes a photo to evaluate nearsightedness or farsightedness, as well as screen for a rare, but serious cause of childhood blindness.
  2. Coming in at second place only to the common cold, the ear infection is responsible for 20 million visits to the pediatrician every year. We rolled out an iPhone attachment that actually allows a parent to safely record their child’s inner ear for assessment of a possible ear infection. The images are sent securely to me for review and treatment can be provided immediately, any time of the day or night.

Boca Raton is healthiest place to raise a child

Want to hear about more of our special technologies and what is coming down the pipeline?

Come for a complimentary “meet the doc” visit to discuss how we are combining old-fashioned service with modern (and future) medicine in Boca Raton, the healthiest place to raise a child: www.BocaVIPediatrics.com or call 561-923-9635.


Sponsored: This healthiest place to raise a child blog post was sponsored by Boca VIPediatrics. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. 

So You Adopted a Dog in Boca…What’s Next?

From contributor Modern Boca Mom of Multiples…

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Today we got a dog in Boca Raton.

Yes, you read correctly…. We got a puppy. Most people look at me like I am crazy when I show him off the same way I flip through pictures of my kids, and I have decided that crazy I may just be. Becoming a mommy to a fur-baby is much like adding a human offspring to the mix, so much so that I wanted to share it with you!

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Welcome to the madness, Ghost!

Dog Parks are the new alternative to the playground. Who is more rambunctious today, the kids or the dog in Boca Raton?

Dog parks are a great place to meet other pet owners who share the same goals that you do: avoiding fleas and other communicable doggy illnesses while getting the pups socialized and expending as much energy as humanly, or caninely, possible.

Our little pup is only 15 weeks old and not vaccinated enough to actually experience much of what the county park system has to offer, but here are the parks in Palm Beach County, including the rules: HERE.

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Ghost loves his “siblings'” car seats for car trips.

We have driven by Canine Cove, out in West Boca, and it looks nice for both dogs and their human supervisors, offering benches and some shade for all!

They have 2 large dog play areas, and one small dog play area which is a nice amenity. It also has an adjacent toddler-friendly playground which makes for the perfect weekend stop when you have an extra set of hands to occupy all of the “kids”.

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Canine Cove

The City of Boca Raton offers Mizner Bark and Bark Beach, both of which you must purchase a permit for. City residents get a discount for both, with Mizner Bark having a free permit, but you MUST have a permit for both.

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Mizner Bark

For dog parks in the Tri-County area, visit HERE. Broward County’s park rules state that well-behaved, leashed pets are permitted in most parks and also provides information on spaying and neutering your pups: HERE.

The “park patrol mission” is only one facet to our new pet owner’s manual that we are trying to construct each day. Major decisions such as the food to feed, how or who to use to train said furry companion and which groomer to use challenges us daily.

The most important question to answer is how to find, a reliable, trustworthy, veterinarian with hours to suit our/your needs best. Pet insurance plans are also becoming the norm which really makes our pets less of a financial worry and more a member of our family, just like a kid!

It warms my heart to see our little guy cuddling up to his human siblings and actually think he is a human baby as well. Now if we could only get the nibbling under control…

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Our attempt at a family Christmas picture.

Where is your favorite place to take your dog in Boca Raton to play? Your pup’s favorite grooming location? Comment below!

MOMpreneur Monday: Dino-Might Kids Preschool

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 on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
We’re working to bring busi-moms across the state of Florida together to start a MOMpreneur Movement! Why don’t you join us?
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Welcome back MBMoms! After a nice little 10-day holiday from blogging, I’m back with our first featured mommy business maven of 2015.
Meet South Florida MOMpreneur, Marlene Lavernia, founder of Dino-Might Kids Preschool in Boca Raton.

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I still can’t believe I need to figure out a “preschool situation” (as I’m calling it) for #dailybabyavery starting this fall.
How did the time fly by so quickly? She’s still in diapers!
I’m learning a lot in the process of my search and have written about what every MBMom should consider before choosing a preschool, but I was pretty floored when I heard about a local Mompreneur who decided to launch her own. Check out Marlene’s MOMpreneur story…

A preschool! Tell us about your background and your motivation to open this type of business.

I come from a very loving and close Cuban family.  My family moved to Boca when I was 11 and I have lived here ever since. I have 2 beautiful children slightly older than preschool age (25 and 28 years old). 🙂

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I can’t remember when I haven’t worked. Since the age of 12, I worked by helping in the family business while going to school. I majored in Child Psychology and knew I eventually wanted to do something with children.

When my son was ready for preschool, I visited every school in Boca. I could not believe what I encountered in some. Kids being able to do whatever they wanted, disruptive classrooms, unsanitary areas, no supervision, unsafe play areas.  I left with the feeling that I could provide a better environment if I had my own.

This is what prompted me to start researching what I would need to open a preschool.

How did you get started? Was the process tough?

Being in Real Estate/Construction at the time, I began doing my homework. I came across a great space in a shopping plaza, but it was not zoned for a preschool. I would have to obtain a variance to change the zoning.

I met with opposition from neighboring communities and after addressing their concerns and presenting the PBC Zoning Board with why there was a need for a preschool in this location, we were approved.

This process took almost one year to come to fruition. Then Dino-Might Kids Preschool was open for students!

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What makes Dino-Might different from other preschools?

I have been hands-on since I opened in 1992. I have worked in every class, done everything I would expect my teachers to do. We provide as much individual attention to each child as possible.  I expect that each child be cared for as if he/she were my own.

All my teachers know all of our children and parents and are greeted every day.  Some of our teachers have been with us up to 10 years.

We offer structure and discipline with lots of hugs and kisses.

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Why should MBMoms send their #bocakids to Dino-Might Kids Preschool?

If they are looking for a preschool that is in business because they strive to achieve the best for each child in their care as well as provide a magnificent learning program, we are that school.

I feel we go above and beyond the role of “teacher”.

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What exciting things are coming up with your business?

Each year we have a Fire Department presentation with the Palm Beach Fire Department. The children get to talk to real firemen, try on a real fire suit and even take a tour of the Fire and Paramedic trucks.

In February, for Dental Health Month, a dentist is coming to pay us a visit and talk to the kids about how to make cleaning our teeth fun!

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

When my family and I first moved here from a very small town in Illinois, Boca was also a VERY small town. It has been nice to see it grow, but still have the hometown feel that I love.

It has been my home since 1971 and I have raised both of my children here. All my family is here also. It was great enjoying outdoor playtime like swimming and water slides, playing basketball in the front yard, climbing trees, walking the dogs and going to art festivals with my kids.

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Dino-Might Kids Preschool is located at Boca del mar area in The Shoppes of Village Pointe.
5982 SW 18th Street
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hours Of Operation:
Monday – Friday
7:30am to 6:00pm
Tour Hours:
8:00am to 5:00pm
Phone
Phone: (561) 338-1732

Connect with Dino-Might Kids Preschool on Facebook!
Learn more about this company at: www.dino-mightkidsboca.com

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