We’re teaming up with Blue Shield of California to celebrate local San Diego moms who have inspired us to seek healthy, balanced lives.  This week, meet Debbie Solomon, Founder of Kid and Gym Ventures.

Having visited hundreds of play places all over the country, Debbie recognized the need to develop a highly creative and active playspace that supports both the physical and emotional needs of a child.  So she built exactly that—an engaging environment for both parent and child right here in San Diego.

Red Tricycle: You’re part of a group of moms that are on a serious mission.  What’s yours?
Debbie Solomon:  To provide a way to engage children and their families in a high quality, healthy environment that’s focused on the whole child (physical, social and emotional well-being).  We want to create a third space for families…a home away from home!

RT:  What was it that inspired you to start Kid and Gym Ventures in the first place?
DS:  I love working with children and helping them blossom.  While I have had the privilege to work with kids whom have many advantages, I’m more moved by children who come to us as shy, cautious or timid.  They are the ones that we can make the biggest impact on by giving them the confidence to achieve anything they set their mind to.

RT:  How do your kids play into your day-to-day business philosophies?
DS:  It’s our job—through our businesses—to make a difference to families and children that are less fortunate than our own.  So we take every opportunity to involve our own children in this part of our work so that they may grow up to appreciate what they have and gain a better understanding of how they may help others.

RT:  So you’re helping both your kids and your community!
DS:   Kid and Gym Ventures (and KV Cares, a division of Kid Ventures) is our vehicle to create awareness and bring enjoyment to children who need it the most.  And while we sometimes get caught up in the stress of running a business, spending an hour with a child in need through our community outreach program gives us greater perspective and a higher purpose in life!

RT:  There’s a lot of meaning in what you do, but there’s some comic relief in there too, right?
DS:  Yes!  Actually yesterday, my 4 year old daughter grabbed one of my business cards and gave it to my 3 year old son saying to him, “Here are your business cards…now get to work.”  She’s a smart cookie.

Be Like Debbie!  Blue Shield of California’s Wellness Challenge:
Balancing parenthood with life is enormously challenging – not just for Debbie, but for all moms there.  To make healthy living part of your daily routine, develop a strong family plan.  Says Debbie, “Create a family plan that includes scheduled activities, family meal times and quality time together. Keep the plan in a central part of your house so that you can see it every day. Once you get into the habit, it becomes easier to stick to it.”

Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.