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How the seed of an idea took root and blossomed into a collaborative project for YOU.
Parisian entrepreneurs are offering parents 1000€ of gifts through an interactive, online Parents’ Advent Calendar.
It Began at Mona
When this free co-working space for women opened in November, I jumped at the opportunity to work with dynamic, feminine company.
What can one do in a co-working space that one cannot be done at home all alone?
CO as well as WORK!
Five minutes into walking through the front door I introduced myself to the woman sitting at my table. Well, really, she was happily sitting there first and I smilingly intruded, asking if I might join. I set an objective to meet five new people every day and discovered passionate women engaged in fascinating projects.
What enticing project could I build to share my passion for strong families that stay connected even during the tantrums AND the disobedience AND the frustrations of daily life?
A “CO” project!
A Meaningful Purpose
As a parenting coach trained in Adlerian principles, I espouse the principles of belonging to and contributing to a community with a purpose larger than oneself.
At this time of year, Christmas seemed obvious. And yet French friends have lamented the commercialized spirit.
The underlying spirit of the season is Joy. Peace. Love.
We parents raise the joy-bringer and peace-makers of tomorrow through the love they experience at home!
Voilà! Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home
Enthused by the idea, I discovered an amazing online interactive Advent Calender by Dot.vu. Check it out. Their 15 day free trial allowed me to test the idea with potential collaborators. Their service is top notch. Tom invited me for a 30 minute Google Hangout personalized guide and Pedro answered my (numerous) queries efficiently and professionally.
Enthused by the purpose and the tool, 15 entrepreneurs joined in.
It is a delight to introduce them to you. Today you meet the people.
(Every day of advent you’ll discover the gifts they each share.)
Denise Dampierre, founder of SoSooper
A bit about me: As a Harvard MBA and the mother of 4 boys in 6 years, I’ll describe the early years of parenting as the energy-management business: expend the boys’; conserve mine. Now, we focus on making empowering memories and creating a family culture where everyone thrives. My passion: to help raise the next generation of joy-filled, peace-making, and loving men and women.
Adrien Bracon, Coiffeur à Domicile
Adrien has styled my hair for decades. Trained at Jean-Marc Manniatis, the Haute Coiffure, Adrien now brings his talent “chez vous.” Phew! Instead of lugging four tots to the hairdresser and waiting out their turn, we could spend that time snuggling at home while Adrien styled the whole family. He is so talented, I give him “carte blanche” on my head.
Mothers of four children flock together, especially when we seek ways for families to THRIVE (vs. survive). Alice and I met through Positive Discipline where we both sought training to build respect-filled and cooperative homes…first “chez nous” then beyond. Alice abounds in energy. She combines physical health with socio-emotional well-being in her Gym & Talk coaching.
Béatrice Cornet Vernet and I connected through Femmepreneurs, a network of women entrepreneurs in the west of Paris. I fell in love with her Liberty fabric accessories. Béatrice and I have not yet met face-to-face (!) AND she graciously agreed to join in our adventure even during this busy time of Christmas fairs every weekend.
Chantal and I were roommates at an international Positive Discipline conference. You get to appreciate someone when you see them with tousled-hair and sleepy-eyed. The mother of FIVE children, Chantal sat on the board of the French and US Positive Discipline associations. She coaches and trains parents and teachers locally and internationally.
Elli Ioannou and I met at Mona. As another Anglophone (Elli hails from Australia) she too felt at ease with the “CO” aspect of coworking. She is established as a fashion photographer trained in analog photos. That means, she catches the moment (think kids). Elli got excited about our collaborative project; ”I choose to work with this community!”
As a member of the Facebook group Anglopreneurs, I saw a post of ravishingly dreamily decorated cakes. The post came and went. The image remained. And what a joy it has been to exchange with mother-daughter team Cheryl and Dew. They combine genteel with professional. Stir in creativity and cover with generosity. All served with a delicious smile.
Amanda Wigby and I learned to appreciate each other through constructive feedback. We challenged each other to overcome a discrepancy between our “Talk” (the services we provide) and our “Walk” (how we express our expertise in everyday life). Authentic, open, and visionary, Amanda helps you and me replace “I should” behavior with acting on our personal priorities.
A group of students at ISCOM are helping me with the backstage of this project. The correct my French, give feedback, do design work, stay active on social media, and cheer me on. It’s thanks to knowing they are covering my back that I dared to venture on this project. Thanks, to Anaïs Kisasondi, Camille Meunier-Sirven, Rose Rapp, Elodie Schwinn, and Laura Wieczorek.
Virginie Chabert also comes to us through Femmepreneurs. Virginie creates products that help children grow in responsibility. One of our most popular downloads on SoSooper was a chore chart for kids to want to help with chores. Ludocatix replaces my cut-and-paste routine charts with positive-parenting-inspired tools that children and parents build together.
I shared about my first day at Mona. Before settling down to work, I paused at the Maman café located on the premises to be warmly greeted by Antoine and his team. They smilingly serve coffee, tea, and especially yummy delights (both savory and sweet) to keep us coworkers energized during the day. A coworking without coffee & cooking? Just a space…
It’s the My Little Paris team that greets us so warmly at Mona. The company launched with five women teaming to sniff out trends and deals which reflect Parisian flair. They wrapped these up beautifully in boxes, and send them out to moms, dads, and tots too…on three continents! I love how My Little Paris makes it easy to remain chic when we parents have little energy and time to spare.
Our children introduced me to Elodie Macquet. Also a mother of boys, Elodie is a serial entrepreneur. She and her neighbor Isabelle opened Poke Bar in March, bringing Hawaii sunshine to Parisian tables. Their restaurant, just off place de l’Opéra, serves fresh poke bowls on the spot and to go. Our teen boys delighted on their tasty, healthy, light, AND filling meal.
Ruth and I came to know each other through my mistake. In Paris to sing gospel lyrics set to jazz music for an event I organized…she arrived a day earlier than I expected!! No room at the hotel, she came to our home and partook in our noisy, home-fare dinner. Joy! Multi-talented, Ruth is also a fine-arts photographer and compassionately cares for people affected by HIV and AIDS.
Our children’s classmates stem from an entrepreneurial vibe! It’s through our son that we met Katell Perrot just as she was launching TooFruit. We tasted her enthusiasm as she introduced us to blueberry lotions and pineapple creams especially developed for children’s skin. These organic potions deliciously cleanse and nourish kids from head to toe.
Femmepreneurs came through again to introduce Valérie Nicol…virtually. ‘Tis the season of candlelight and Valérie specially selects her candles for mood magic. When I mentioned the theme, she exclaimed, “I’ve got just the candle for the occasion. It’s even new to the catalog ????”
Another through-our-children meeting with Mary Holmes Smith. She participated in a Positive Discipline class with other parents and we stayed connected. Now I frequent her studio where she leads Pilates and yoga classes. It’s a breathe of rejuvenation to enter her serene, ginger-lemon scented atelier for stretching and strengthening.
A classmate of my husband living in Toulouse, Vincent and I meet at reunions. Photography is his hobby and as the father of four girls, he’s had practice with models. On a boat party recently, Vincent impressed me with his eye. He captured moments that many of us miss. While we focused on the obvious, Vincent sought out pearls. Thanks.
Our sons’ brought Mary Kirk Bonnet and I together. A Franco-American, Mary holds the prestigious “Sommelier-Conseil” title. She has graced our dinner parties with choice selections from favorite vineyards. Our friends still rave about the insightful, warm, and delightful time we shared during the private wine-tasting Mary led in our home. Thanks.
A big thanks to all of you who trusted in me and in this project and chose to work together. And a special thanks to those I have not yet met who jumped in this collaborative effort because they have a passion and believe in our combined purpose:
Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home
Thrill. Passion. Cooperation. @ Work !