H&G: Home is Where the Heart is

 

Written by Radina Gigova in the January 2011 Issue

Caitlin Kelley’s MommaCounts is an Oklahoma grown company that offers more than just simple deals and discounts – it is her life’s dream come true. Recently, the 25 year old took a leap of faith, leaving her position at a local non-profit to become a home-based entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Edmond, Kelley graduated from Edmond North High School. She is a proud mom and very involved with helping others – a combination which served as the inspiration for her new online business venture,
www.MommaCounts.com.

Kelley was working as community relations coordinator at Infant Crisis Services when she got the idea to start MommaCounts, combining the things she loves the most: giving back to the community, shopping, and being a mom. “We are such a niche, we are so different than any other ones, I saw an opportunity there, and I just went after it,” said Kelley.

She launched her website on Cyber Monday in November 2010 with over 140 online coupons sold her very first day. “I thought it was a great way to combine shopping local, but also shopping online,” said Kelley. “I was really thankful and excited about the response that people showed.”

MommaCounts offers deals of the day for local businesses where moms and their families like to shop, eat, workout and relax. But Kelley prides herself on being more than just another Groupon, or Daily Deal website – MommaCounts has heart. A percentage of each coupon sold is donated to her featured non-profit of the month. Each agency mission is featured on her website to help raise awareness.

The non-profits are always local, and their missions are geared toward helping children, promoting education, or eliminating hunger – all things that are important to moms, according to Kelley. “It’s great to give a non-profit money, but really, there’s nothing like raising awareness,” she said.

After leaving her job to launch MommaCounts, Kelley started working from home. She said being able to spend more time with her family is a blessing. Her husband, who is a firefighter for the city of Moore, has been extremely supportive and understanding. “That’s a huge help,” she said. “There isn’t literally a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the privilege to be able to work from home and to spend more time with my family.”

Working from home is certainly different than working at an office. “When you work from home, you become a master of multitasking,” she said, adding that when she’s working, she tries to concentrate 100 percent on work, but when she is with her family, they get her full attention.

Sometimes, Kelley admits she tries to incorporate the best of both worlds, for example engaging her 5-year-old son in work-like activities. “If I’m at my computer, he is at his little desk near me, maybe drawing a picture, or doing something just like we work together,” she said.

Kelley is getting used to her new routine, but still misses her former colleagues. “I miss being able to share excitements, disappointments, or anything with a group of people who deeply care for a cause,” she said. However, when her business expands, Kelley hopes to hire staff and build her own team.

While she misses her co-workers, working from home does have another added benefit —you can decorate your office any way you like, she says. Kelley’s office incorporates a very creative atmosphere with a lot of colors. “It’s inspirational, with pictures everywhere, lots of colorful files, with a very eclectic feel,” said Kelley. Her husband built the desk from an old door that has Plexiglas over it and cinder blocks holding it up. “It looks awesome,” she said.

When you have your own company, the to-do list almost never ends. But Kelley wants to encourage everyone who has a good idea, an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to start their own business, to follow their dream.

“I would say anybody can do it. I don’t care who you are, what type of personality you are, basically if you want to do this, the only thing that’s stopping you is that you think that you can’t,” said Kelley.

For more information on the local businesses or non-profits Kelley features, visit her website at www.mommacounts.com.

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