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.

Quinnie & B

Maire Byrne, owner of Thyme Café & Market (and Local Kitchen and Wine Bar), needed some extra space for her sprawling catering business. She jumped at the opportunity to lease the storefront next door but only needed the back area. Initially, she couldn't decide what she wanted to do with the retail space in the front. It wasn't long before she envisioned a toy store, so her two young daughters would have a place to play. She named the store after them, Quinn and Bridget. Though the girls would argue that the toys are obviously the best part (duh!), Maire has managed to infuse her passion for party planning into the shop: "Thyme does a lot of catering and it has been great looping in the toy store for kids parties. We love to make party favors that parents can just come in and grab. We carry balloons, festive plates and paper goods to make a party fun and special. I like seeing the party from start to finish. It is fun to be a part of the party from the food to the décor."

What are some challenges of being a young family and owning not one but three businesses?
I love being a mom, and I love working. I try to balance everything and most of the time things feel pretty smooth. There are times, especially the holidays, that are tough. I work a lot of hours and a lot of weekends during the holidays. That being said when I am home I try to be very present with my kids.

What has been the biggest reward so far?
I think self-confidence. I love what I do, and I’m not sure that I ever thought that I could do it in my 20’s. I started with my catering company and grew it into Thyme Café & Market. I took many years to feel confident enough to go for a second concept. There are still things that happen every year that are huge struggles, but I feel with maturity and self-confidence I can get through anything.

1632 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica

photo: Hallman Ray</em

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!

—Janelle Connor