When ambitious women put their careers on hold to take on the challenge of stay-at-home parenting, some find that, well, diapers and baby books just don't cut it. So, armed with computer smarts, motherly know-how, and a few precious hours of quiet during naptime, some Denver mothers have channeled (what's left of) their creative energy into starting their own businesses. In honor of Mother's Day, we've listed a few notables below.
1. Art Magnetism By Because You See...
Cassie Moskowitz, director of client relations for a law firm and mother of three, developed educational toys in 2004 after studying art history in Italy. Each image, such as Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles, is a famous work of art containing removable magnetic elements, so your children can re-create the art or invent their own masterpieces. Available at Meininger's, 499 Broadway, and online at www.becauseyousee.com. $20 each; $50 for three.
2. Sparkle tees
Vikki Goldberg teamed up with best friend Barbara Askenazi to design dazzling T-shirts. The two hold business meetings during their daily morning runs. A portion of the proceeds from each tee goes to the Colorado affiliate of major charities such as Habitat for Humanity; Goldberg says it helps teach her kids the importance of giving back. Available online at www.sparkletees.biz. $34.
3. Knitone: Bags For People Who Stitch
After former appellate lawyer Barbara Askenazi decided to stay at home to raise her first baby, she took up knitting again. When she had a hard time finding stylish knitting bags to keep all her supplies together, she made one of her own—complete with a coordinated accessories bag—then marketed it. Available online at www.knitone.com. $68.
4. MA! Motherhood With Attitude
Denver-based writer Janalee Card Chmel and graphic designer/illustrator Tiffany Hauber of Colorado Springs have created a line of sassy greeting cards and notepads that show how unpredictable and messy motherhood can be. Available at Love Your Earth Boutique, 4110 Tennyson St., and Real Baby, 3616 W. 32nd Ave. www.motherhoodwithattitude.com. $3.25/card; $18/box set of 10.
5. Tillie Designs
A former advertising and marketing executive, Tracy Shapiro took a sewing class on a whim and soon found herself walking in her grandmother Tillie's footsteps, designing clothes, stationery, home decor, and accessories (tote shown here). Available online at www.tilliedesigns.com. $42-$58.