Moms can start and run successful businesses…..yea right!

Submitted By: Colleen Leader | Age: 30's 

colleen-polaSURE! Where do I begin? About 4 years ago when I wanted to launch a needlework search engine I needed to raise $30,000 in 30 days to make it happen. I told my story to anyone who would listen and booked an appearance on The Big Idea with Donny Deutch. I was SO excited! I thought, how great is this? Im going to be on TV, Im going to be able to pitch my idea to industry leading businessmen and women who will be able to guide me and point me in the right direction…..or so I thought.

I pitched my idea and actually had both males on the panel ask me how old my children were (at the time they were 3 and 1) and told me to forget it. I wouldn’t be able to build and sustain a business with such small children. With my husband working outside the home, I was the children’s primary caretaker. The panelist thought I would not be able to give the proper amount of time and attention to both the kids and my work and ultimately the work would suffer. Thus making investing in my company worse than and I quote, “flushing money down the toilet.”

To say I was stunned was an understatement. I couldn’t believe that they had the guts to not only say that, but on national TV no less. I left that show determined to succeed. I am proud to say 3 years later (and 2 more children ~ my son is 7 years old and my daughters are 5, 3 and 5 months) I was able to create such a successful business that I was approached by a national organization interested in purchasing my company.

The deal was finalized December 2010 and 5 months later I am happy to say I’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug again and have started a new venture with my girlfriend, Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes, an AMAZING fine art photographer. We have started a shoe portrait company…and believe me we are already getting the same looks and the same “this is never going to fly” comments….no worries, I know they just can’t see our vision, our passion and our drive. I feel sad for those who don’t go after their dreams…..I never wanted to live a life of what if……I will continue to push the envelope and go after everything life has to offer….even if I am just a girl (:

Find me at:


Sign up to receive inspiration and special offers on Girls Can't WHAT? gifts. It's Free!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

1 Comment

  1. gretchen on May 29, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Isn’t it great when you get a brilliant idea? It always blows my mind when people think that having kids makes you incapable of doing anything else with your life.

    Kudos to you for proving them wrong and best of luck with your shoe photo venture. Looks very cool!

Leave a Comment

Have you ever been told you can't because you're a girl?

This is one of many reader entries designed to encourage and inspire other women to rise to the challenge and follow their dreams. Have you ever been told you can't because you're a girl? Share your story!