Finding a new career or starting a business can be daunting for anyone, but it’s particularly challenging for moms who’ve either taken time off to raise a family or only have so many hours in a day to work.
It is for this very reason that friends and business partners Laura Gerson and Galite Shafer started MomFair, “a digital destination where you can find information and resources for a career,” according to Gerson.
The idea sprung from the success of their first website MomAngeles, which offers stories, blogs and mommy-friendly businesses in the L.A. area. They discovered that seeking career advice was a common theme that kept arising among the moms they encountered and, thus, saw a need. According to their website:
“For Moms its particularly difficult because, even when you have a helpful and supportive spouse, or a great support team (sitters, friends and family), the fact remains that Moms still need some amount of flexibility in their schedule to be available to their families.”
Once established online, the next logical step for the dynamic duo was to create MomFair LIVE, an annual one-day event at which women can interact one-on-one with mentors and career coaches, explore work options and meet successful entrepreneurs. “We fall into different tracks,” Gerson said of their target demographic. “As a woman, your interests could be dusting off a resume and getting back to work; launching or growing your own business or you may want to work from home … [MomFair LIVE offers] ways to keep your foot in the door and stay relevant while you stay home with your kids, so returning to work isn’t so difficult.”
Keynote speakers at this year’s event–held at UCLA on Jan. 31–included brand influencer Jess Weiner and work-life balance expert Samantha Ettus. Panel-lead topics ranged from how to create a digital footprint to how to network to how to put your passion to work. Ultimately, Gerson and Shafer plan to take MomFair LIVE on the road and will be in Atlanta this fall.
Several Conejo Valley-based moms made the rainy trek to the Westwood Village campus on Sunday, including Agoura Hills Mom blogger, Kim Tracy Prince. “I came for the stories you get when you meet new people,” Prince said. “Laura Gerson always puts on a good event, so I knew there would be quality people here.”
Jennifer Miyagishima of Real Mom of SFV attended to see inspirational speakers. “They have great workshops, and I wanted to build relationships and network,” she said.
MomFair, the website, will soon be posting a directory and resources for job hunters. Stay tuned.
See highlights from the conference below in our photo gallery: