Owning a business is an all-consuming endeavor but people start ‘em all the time. It’s easy to think — from the outside, of course — that running a business is easy or for the single folks with no kids.

So to debunk that, here is an insider’s view of some of Charlotte’s bad-ass business owners who happen to also be parents.

5 lessons from behind the scenes:

(1) “Find ways to bring your children into the creation process. Ask their opinion about your logo and insights. You’ll be surprised how much they have to contribute.”

– Kim Irene Barker, owner of Root to Crown Productions. A former Charlotte-based musician from LA, Kim chose to change up her path (or, rather, the Universe chose it for her), channeling her energy through reiki, yoga and healing retreats to help others live their best lives.

Kim Irene Barker

(2) “Child care has been the greatest challenge and finding balance between being a great mom and awesome business owner. I overcame the balance issue by taking the time to listen to my daughter’s concerns. I reduced the Emporium’s operational hours to make sure I was getting more quality time with her.”

– Christina Welsch, owner of Butteroni’s Emporium. Christina opened her emporium and Fairy Forest a little over a year ago in Optimist Park’s Area 15, just outside of NoDa. Her soon-to-be expanding space has lots of local art, clothing and wares, and hosts parties. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into her daughter, who lends great energy to an already great space.

Welsch’s daughter at the shop

(3) “Time is always  a factor, especially with a new business.  Sometimes even when you are home you aren’t ‘present’ and that can feel worse that being gone. Also, the pressure to succeed is ON!  I just have to remember that I get to define what ‘good mom’ means rather than having it defined for me.  Releasing guilt and moving forward is a regular ritual for me.”

Meliea Black, owner of Intention Seekers, speaks a bit to the challenges of running a business while having kids. A recent single mom, Meliea focuses on creating for herself the life she wants and encourages her subscribers to do the same. Intention Seekers, aimed toward women, offers wellness coaching, belief coaching and energy work.

                                                            Meliea Black

(4) “Being a parent is really challenging and sometimes you just need to hang out with your community while your kids are happy too. We knew that if we opened a brewery, it would be a place where our kids and other folks with kids would feel welcome.”

– Sarah and Jason Alexander, owners of Free Range Brewing. For a few years now, the Alexanders have been prolific in providing a family-friendly space for beer, art and yoga enthusiasts and have done it all with their two boys by their sides. And for them, having kids wasn’t a deterrent from their dreams: it was equal parts inspiring and frightening.

The Alexander boys reading in the brewery

(5) “Create boundaries and make sure family time gets on the calendar. Make sure that what you are doing will also improve the life of someone else somehow in the process.”

– Scott and Taryn Hofert of ColsenKeane Leather and The 8ths. If you are looking for a truly bad-ass duo, then look no further than the Hoferts. Taryn’s current list of specialities includes freelance writing and music production as well as essential-oil slingin’, while Scott hand-makes high-end leather wares. They do this all while having two boys and heavily investing into their community. Finding something you both love to do is something Taryn swears by and their family embodies quality time like nobody’s business.

Hofert Family and the Boho Bullet

Photos: Kim Barker, www.marksanto.com, Taryn Hofert, Meliea Black, Sarah Alexander


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