This Mother’s Day we’re celebrating some local mamas around the Bay who are offering up inspiring insights into the delicate balance of work/family life and sharing with us what it takes to run a business (on top of it all). It’s important to note, these companies were launched with the help of little muses—nothing like a child to bring out one’s entrepreneurial side. From seasoned to soon-to-launch, read on for some sweet success stories on businesses you’ll want to bookmark for future visits.

All Play (Some Work, Too): The Rec Room

Annie Frey was pregnant with her 3rd son when she dreamed up the idea of The Rec Room. She knew there were plenty of places for kids to hang, but what about their parents? “I wanted to offer a fun play space where parents could relax with a cup of coffee listening to good music and have a play date, get some social time without chasing their kids around a playground, or pull out their laptop to get some work done,” says Frey of the community space in Berkeley. Parents can come to the Rec Room for free to sit on a comfy couch with good coffee and a changing table, along with the chance to meet other new families. Frey hopes families with more kiddos can relax, knowing that their kids of all ages are having fun, and enjoy the day out themselves as well.

What's the biggest challenge of starting your own business with a young family?
Life with 3 young boys is all about riding the lightning! I think that prepared me for the challenges of starting a business. Instead of trying to find the mythical work/family life balance I just leaned into the chaos. The scales are constantly tipping and owning a business is no 9-5 job, just like motherhood! But if motherhood taught me anything it’s that I can think on my feet, problem solve, and multi-task like a boss!

How about the biggest reward?
I’m so inspired by the parents I meet at The Rec Room every day. They are superheroes! The emotional satisfaction of bringing a space to the community to support families of all kinds is overwhelming. It's a great space for families to come together and make new memories celebrating birthdays and baby showers. I love seeing little ones taking their first steps, and watching parents enjoy a fun place to relax or taking their kids to play while they catch up on some work. I love my job and am so lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband, family, and friends to remind me that what I do is all about family!


Know a local company inspired after the birth of a child? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Sommer Naffz

All images courtesy of the companies unless noted.