Meet Our Local Mompreneurs

By Giggle Magazine

Photos by Indigo & Co Photography | Makeup by Kara Winslow

Being a mom is a full-time job all on its own, but that has not stopped five local moms from pursuing their career goals and opening their own businesses. Whether run from their home or out of an office, learn how being a mompreneur has influenced each of these women and their families.


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Brooke Newell: Boutique Owner

Brooke Newell has two job titles: owner of Addison MacKenzie Boutique and mommy of Logan (6) and Steven (2).

What inspired you to start Addison Mackenzie? How long ago did you start?

Personally, I am a wife and mom to two fabulous kids. I discovered how busy life can be and was finding it extremely tough to treat myself to the “me time” that I enjoyed. It is difficult enough to carve out time to grab a coffee, let alone browse local shops and boutiques! Realizing I couldn’t be the only one and having an entrepreneurial spirit I was eager to see flourish, I started Addison MacKenzie, an online boutique, in 2015 to bring the latest in fashion from your online cart right to your closet. Through our website and fun FB VIP Shopping Group you have personal styling at your fingertips.

What is your favorite part of owning your own online boutique?

I enjoy hearing from customers. It brightens my day when women let me know how awesome they felt when wearing a certain outfit. I often receive messages saying how a customer felt confident and beautiful on a date, on a vacation, or even at a work event, and it makes me smile. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful inside and out. I also enjoy the fact that the online aspect allows women to spend more time with their families. Life is so busy, everyone wants more hours in the day. Being able to shop from the comfort of your home, car, or wherever one might be makes shopping more pleasurable.

How does having a family influence your business?

I started this company after having our second son. I wanted to be able to be more present with my children and be able to stay home with them when needed. Being able to work from home allows me to always be at their events, go to playdates, participate in bible studies, etc. I want to be able to provide the best for my children, so they inspire me on a daily basis. My husband is my rock and encourager whenever I am struggling with the responsibilities of being a mompreneur.

How do you balance your work life with your home life?

That is a question to which I still do not have the answer. I often stay up way too late accomplishing work tasks as well as my regular tasks of being a wife and mom. I have learned to prioritize things that need to be completed right away, which has helped tremendously. The balance is a constant struggle, and I am not sure that will ever go away. I always remind myself that everything will be OK as long as God is first, then my family and then work.

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

Every Friday night, we try to order pizza and watch a movie together as a family. We often alternate between a movie or board game. This is a tradition my husband and I hope to always continue with our kids. Camping out at home is more fun than you might think!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Addison MacKenzie holds a place very close to my heart. Several years ago, I was pregnant with my second child. We already had a precious boy and our instinct told us our new bundle of joy would be a girl. We immediately fell in love with the name Addison MacKenzie as we anticipated her arrival. After the initial excitement of finding out we were expecting, 10 weeks later the negative tests started coming in and the ultrasounds were not good. Shortly after that, I miscarried our little baby. It was a very traumatic time for our family. We will never know until we get to heaven if our sweet baby was going to be a girl or boy, but the baby will never be forgotten. I hoped that naming my boutique Addison MacKenzie preserves the legacy, at least in some small way.



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Lisa Renshaw: Founder and Creative Director of Blu Dove Designs

As the managing partner, creative director and developer of her own business, Blu Dove Designs, life can certainly get busy for Lisa Renshaw. But this entrepreneur always makes time for her two children, Caitlyn (5) and Isaac (2) as well as her husband, Andy.

When did you open Blu Dove Designs? Why?

I opened Blu Dove Designs in April 2004 with the purpose of providing small businesses with a personalized one-stop place to get all of their advertising needs met — logo, business cards, brochures, ads, website, etc. Having entered the field at a time when websites were becoming more necessary, the demand for them was greater than other services I was offering. As a result, the website portion of the business grew. Today (with my business partner, Natalie) website design and development along with online marketing is the focus of our business while continuing to offer other services as an add-on.

What is your favorite part of your work day?

My favorite parts of my workdays are meeting with clients to discuss a project or an idea and launching a website project.

How do you balance your work life with your home life?

Work life and home life are not mutually exclusive — it is all life. So for me it is more work-life integration. It means taking time to live so my work is inspired and working to give myself an opportunity to cultivate my creativity while giving myself a break to be a better mom.

I work three 12- to 13-hour days each week and spend the other four days with my family. I get two of those days with my son and the others with the whole family. While it may not be ideal, this has worked for us. We keep a written family calendar where everyone can see along with our iPhone calendars. I do my best to make sure that there are fun activities, “dates” with my children and downtime with my husband. We have great weeks and ones that fall apart completely. It is the whole that counts. The honest truth is that the laundry does not always get done and sometimes things gets sacrificed to keep what is important — time with family —at the forefront. It is worth it to take off for the special days at my daughter’s school and taking her to activities. It is worth it to spend two days at home with my son by ourselves. Those are moments I will never get back.

How does having a family influence your business?

I plan client meetings around the family events making family first. If there is a special event like a conference for work that takes me away for the weekend then I make sure to schedule some extra family time on the front or back end of that conference. I do my best to check in on everyone to be sure needs are met. I also make sure I am aware of time needed for myself too.

How do you wind down from a busy day of work?

Haha, I sleep. Story time with the kids, movies, reading and going through photos also help.

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

I LOVE story time with the kids. That time is this little golden nugget of my day because afterward I get snuggles and some of the best conversations with my daughter. I miss it on the days I work. I also love getting out to a fun activity around town or even doing something at home – whether it is an art festival, church, horse activity, park, birthday party – it is just fun to hang out together.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I have to credit both my husband and my business partner for their help in making this mompreneurship work. It is a huge challenge to run a business and keep on top of everything with the family, and their patience and support is a big reason for our success. Having my own business provides me the freedom to be there for my kids while doing what I love — using my creativity to help others succeed!



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Jennifer Kirkhart Curcio: Family Law Attorney/Mediator/Collaborative Family Law practitioner

After having Sienna (13) and Angelo (10), Jennifer Kirkhart Curcio knew she had to make a change in her work schedule. She did not want to give up law, so she decided to open The Law Office of Jennifer Kirkhart Curcio. After almost nine years, it has proven to be the right choice for both her career and her family.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

My father was in law school when I was a senior in high school. I ended up attending school with him for a week as a school project. I loved the various fact patterns and the ability to help fix problems! That, and other people acted like I couldn’t do it because I was a girl, and I am stubborn.

When did you open your law office? Why?

In July 2009 (Angelo was almost 2). I had worked for another firm in town for nine years and had shifted to part time when I had Sienna. But, when I became a mom to two kids, it became apparent that I needed more control over my schedule and how I framed my overall practice.

What is your favorite part of your work day?

When I feel like I have made a difference in a divorcing family’s life by averting unnecessary conflict and helping the focus stay on the future and well-being of the parties and their children.

How do you balance your work life with your home life?

I divide the two. When I am at work, I work hard. When I am at home, I mom hard! Early on, I would try to take calls when I was “mom-ing” or have babies at the office. It quickly became apparent when I did that I was neither the best lawyer I could be nor the best mom I could be. So, most of the time, I divide and conquer.

How does having a family influence your business?

I am focused and effective when I am working so that I have the ability to take the time needed for family. I am involved in the school’s PTO and like to volunteer when the kids have events at school. So, I make sure that I manage my calendar to be available for those events. Having a family also makes me empathetic to my client’s issues as they devise parenting plans for their children.

How do you wind down from a busy day of work?

By taking kids to extracurricular activities of course! Just kidding … by cooking and having a good glass of wine.

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

Spending time with our good friends and cooking great meals. My daughter has become a very accomplished dessert chef! We also love the water and take any opportunity we have to get on it! I grew up on a sailboat, so Gainesville is a little landlocked for me.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just that moms should not be afraid to get out there and start their own businesses. The flexibility and self determination is such a bonus for family. It is stressful at times, but worth it!



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Kristin Privette: Owner and Photographer at Footstone Photography

Between her three boys, Win (9), Brasher (6) and August (1), and owning a business with her husband, Paul, things can certainly get hectic for Kristin Privette. But by focusing on just one thing at a time, she has become a successful mompreneur!

What inspired you to become a photographer and designer?

I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in education and then taught for four years. While I loved every minute of it, I accepted when I was offered a job to work for a national book printing company. Over the next few years I was trained in graphic design, printing and sales. Little did I know that almost everything I was learning was preparing me for the next stage of my life. My boss at the printing company even referred Paul for his first full time photography position. I can sincerely say Footstone would not be what it is today without the knowledge and relationships we gained during this part of our lives.

When did you open Footstone Photography? Why?

Paul worked for a local photographer for about six years, where he learned about studio lighting, posing, composition and so much more. The owner of the company came to Paul and asked him if he, along with myself, would be interested in moving to either Orlando or Tallahassee and opening up a second studio for them. We were flattered. It was at that moment we realized that we had talents and experience that could combine to do something amazing. One year later we opened Footstone Photography. We are now in our 10th year of business and words cannot explain how grateful we are to be able to do what we do.

What is your favorite part of your work day?

The fun part about our business is that every day is different. Somedays I am designing books for clients, others I am chasing little ones during a family session. When I think about what my favorite part of this job is, I would say it is that Paul and I are able to share in what are often the best moments of people’s lives.

How do you balance your work life with your home life?

This past year I had our third son, and it was perhaps one of the hardest years of my life. I was juggling three boys and a business that was a lot more demanding than when we had had our first two children. August did not sleep much at all for many months, and I almost buckled under the pressure. This may sound silly, but a book came into my life during this time that has forever changed the way I think about balancing work and life. I learned that this thing we call “work-life balance” is a myth. It is a mean game we play trying to win at both all the time — and we can’t. Now, can we be good moms and maintain good careers? Absolutely. But what we cannot do is maintain balance at all times. The cover of this book is bright yellow with the title, “The One Thing,” in big black letters. It sat on my nightstand as I bounced an infant during the wee hours of the night and reminded me that at this time in my life, my “one thing” was taking care of August. Now, I ask myself what my “one thing” is every day. I recently attended a five-day long national photography convention. That was my one thing, and you know what? My boys were OK. If anything, they had a blast with their grandparents while I was gone. I desperately want women to feel strong, capable and equipped. Because we are. But what we are NOT is always balanced.

How do you wind down from a busy day of work?

My favorite way to wind down from work is to cook. Sounds funny, I know, but I love it. I turn on music in the kitchen and enjoy having to think only about what I am cooking. With my Italian music playing and Paul outside with the boys, I am in heaven. What is not heaven is cleaning up after! But I cherish these nights at home.

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

Not only is Paul an artist, he is a musician. His six siblings and his parent are also musicians. The entire family gets together once or twice a week, and music is always a part of it. Then, in our home, Paul will pull out his guitar and our older two boys jam with their daddy. The baby dances and runs around us in circles. It is my favorite thing in the world to do.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

We do not take for granted that we have been able to do what we love for 10 years. This community has supported us, loved us and welcomed us into their lives and we are so thankful.



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Lisa Fetrow: Realtor

Lisa Fetrow, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish, Realtors, also has her own personal business, Realtor Mom Lisa Fetrow. When she is not helping people buy and sell homes or teaching at Gainesville Health and Fitness, she is at home with her husband of 12 years, Jason, taking care of her two spunky little ones, Jackson (10) and Mckinley (7).

When did you become a real estate agent and what inspired you?

I was originally licensed in 2010 in Georgia. I am a former high school U.S. history and economics teacher, but when we left California for Georgia, I decided to stay home with our son Jackson — something I later realized I do not do well! We were flipping homes and my mother-in-law was an agent, so I decided to get my real estate license to be more engaged in the process. In 2013 we moved to Gainesville for my husband’s job and once again I found myself at home with the kiddos. I decided to give residential real estate a try and hung my license with Coldwell Banker in 2014. I absolutely love helping people through the process of buying or selling a home. It is a very stressful experience and I feel I can help ease that stress by being there for my customers every step of the way, similar to how it felt when I was teaching. Buying and selling is such an important moment for my customers and because of that it is important to me.

When did you start teaching classes at Gainesville Health and Fitness? What do you like best about it?

Fitness has been a passion of mine my entire life. I played collegiate water polo for the University of California, Davis, and after college my competitive nature, need for being on a team and love for intensity lead me to find group fitness. I began teaching fitness classes in 2003 and haven’t stopped. Four states and countless gyms and outdoor bootcamps later, I am still at it. When I came to Gainesville I immediately saw that GHFC was the place for me. I teach five classes a week there! I say it is my “keep my sanity” job. There is no better way to reduce stress than working with a team through a good, hard workout!

What is your favorite part of your work day?

The best part of my work day is that I never know what is coming! The fast pace of this industry is so much fun. I feel that much of my success in this business is driven by being able to handle the unexpected.

How do you balance your work life with your home life?

In real estate you have to really work to find the balance. Certain times of year I am better at this, while during busier seasons, like spring, it is a bit harder. The main thing I try to do is be at the events that matter, and when I am there be in the moment. I also feel scheduling time with my husband and each kid separately is important to all of our relationships.

How does having a family influence your business?

My family is so supportive of me and I want to show them that anything is achievable if you work hard! I love that both of our kids are growing up knowing that women can be leaders in business. They appreciate my hustle and I know that it will influence them in their lives. 

How do you wind down from a busy day of work?

It depends on the day. During the week I love cooking our Chef Ami meals with my husband (time saver alert!) and talking about the day. Some nights we attend our kids’ sporting events. Those are so fun to watch and get your mind off of work!  Other days, a nice glass of wine and some mindless TV or an evening with friends and laughter is what I need. I just say do something that makes you happy  — all things are better when we smile!

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

My husband and kids make me laugh. They are all so full of life and so funny! I just love to spend time with them. And if that time is on a beach, it is even better!