Many parents have trouble finding the time to shower, let alone start a business.  But somehow these entrepreneurs figured it out (maybe they don’t shower?).  For these mamas (and also a couple of kid-loving sitters) the kids in their lives were the inspiration for their local business that are a boon to other parents. Flip through and learn about these rock stars who turned their mini-mes into business muses.

Black “i” Boys

A retail industry vet who worked for both Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, Patricia Williams took the plunge and started her own business when she couldn't find affordable basics (that she liked) for her boys. She searched far and wide for the edgy looks she craved; cut out necklines, curled/frayed edges, and faded material but only found costly options. From the beginning, she promised to keep her collection at a price point that all of her friends could afford: "I've been compared to Target and Zara prices, however, my clothing is all designed, cut and sewn here in Los Angeles, not overseas. Manufacturing in the US was important to me." Though Patricia spent her career in retail, she has always been and remains an artist—she sews on custom patches and adds all the snaps by hand to her rompers. If that doesn't blow your mind, this will: she has managed to produce her entire line using deadstock fabrics found in warehouses here in LA! Cool, local, affordable and sustainable; her clothes really manage to have it all!

What are some challenges of being a business owner with a young family? How old are your boys?
My boys are ages 12, 5, and 3 (with one due in February)...anything I try to do aside from raising my boys is a challenge. Parenting and being actively involved in my boys' lives is still most important to me. I work throughout the day while they are in school, and try my best to keep my evenings and weekends free for family time. I have survived by lots of coffee, watching countless hours of YouTube tutorials and asking friends for guidance and help.

What is most rewarding about being a business owner?
Along this journey, I have met so many incredibly strong, women/mom entrepreneurs who are building their business as well as raising families. Many of these women have become my mentors and my life-long friends and if it wasn't for these connections, there is no way I would be where I was today.

Online: blackiboys.com

photo: Britni Peterson

If your child were the inspiration for a new business, what would that business be?  We’d love to hear about what you think is missing from the LA parenting scene in the comments section!

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—Janelle Connor