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Lemons to lemonade feature #5: Marlynn Jayme Schotland

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today, we meet Marlynn Jayme Schotland who owns Mamapreneurs, Inc., Urban Bliss Design+PR, and Mama Lit. Marlynn, who is mom to two kids, ages four and one, has a history of starting successful companies. Urban Bliss, LLC, a design studio, started in 2005; Mamapreneurs, Inc., a resource and support organization whose mission is to help the modern mamapreneur build a better business while also raising a family, launched on Mother’s Day of 2006; and Mama Lit, literature for moms, reviewed by moms, was formed this year. Here is her story...

How has this economy affected you, your business and your family?
With Mamapreneurs, I’ve been spending more time doing business consultations lately. Mamas want to know if it’s wise to be putting more money, time and resources into a new business or product right now, or whether they should hold off on growth. I’ve also changed our meeting topics to focus more on personal and business financial strategies for the end of this year.

With Urban Bliss, I am not doing any advertising this holiday season, which is traditionally the only time I pay for ads during the year. I have been lucky to have great repeat clients; word-of-mouth buzz to sustain that biz, and good PR results.

Personally, it’s been a good exercise for me and my family to re-evaluate our finances, take a good hard look at where we are spending money, and learn how we can make reasonable cuts. I think this has helped us through this tough economic time, but also in general, it has helped us rethink the way in which we live.

How are you making lemonade from lemons?
I’ve always tried to be creative with my work schedule, and now that we only have a nanny one day a week, I am even more creative. During the time I am most productive, I work, and during the time I feel I am least productive with work, I put all of my energy into my kids. I’ve also created a kids play area in my new office space so that when my kids are there with me, they can still learn and have fun.

Also, I outsource whenever possible in order to spend more time with my family, and this also helps me focus on the most important parts of my business. I have a bookkeeper, an accountant, a fabulous business lawyer, and part-time nanny. I switched from hand-coding the Mamapreneurs, Inc. site to using the Wild Apricot system, which is a great easy-to-use tool for organizations and any business that has memberships.

Any encouraging words you would like to offer mom entrepreneurs?
Go with your gut, stick to your core beliefs, find others who support you and your goals, and you will succeed. If someone would have told me four years ago that soon I would be running three businesses, raising two young kids, and writing for several blogs at the same time, I would have called them crazy! Yet I can do it all because I have a great support system and I don’t make excuses for my family life. Family is #1 and everyone I work with knows that. If you are reading this, then I assume your family is of utmost importance to you too, and you’re trying to figure out how to balance it all. If you are passionate about your work and you build it around your family’s needs and goals, then you can make any situation work. When there is a will, there is, indeed, ALWAYS a way!

For more information, visit, and Marlynn also has several blogs she writes for, which can be found on her sites. To reach Marlynn, email her at or, or follow her on Twitter.