Mothers and families from across the Valley flocked to the Phoenix Convention Center last weekend to shop at the Mom Made Market, returning to Arizona for the second year in a row.
Over 125 vendors were present at the event, selling everything from clothes and jewelry to handmade home décor and organic foods. But the Mom Made Market isn’t just another farmer’s market—almost all the shops present were owned or operated by Valley mothers.
Kimberly Cross is the founder of Mom Made Market and a mother of two children. She got the idea for her business when looking for cute, handmade baby clothes for her first child, citing a desire to get mom-run businesses together in one place. With a husband in the Marine Corps and a third kid on the way, she’s spent the last year and a half trying to host more Mom Made Markets in more states.
“Moms in business is what I’m trying to support,” Cross said. “I thought, ‘why aren’t these shops brought together for an in-person shopping experience?’”
Valley mom Rochelle Reed has been running her business Found Treasures and Artful Creations for about three years. This was her second Mom Made Market. She comes from a family of Wisconsin beekeepers and makes a variety of soaps, balms and other natural products using mostly local ingredients. She also grows her own botanicals and even pasteurizes the goat milk she uses in certain products herself.
Reed said the Mom Made Market is a good place for small business owners like her to sell their products.
“I like the atmosphere and the mothers helping mothers with small businesses,” Reed said.
Reed used to work in sports medicine, but now she stays at home to take care of her son, who has autism. She said she found that certain scents will trigger certain reactions, which is why so much of her business focuses on natural oils and organic ingredients.
“It’s hard to get out into the market because there is competition,” she said. “The challenge is doing it yourself. I’m start-to-finish on my own—I don’t have help.”
While the Mom Made Market hosted plenty of small businesses such as Reed’s, other larger businesses were also present, like local startup Mini Fresh. The company, which is owned and operated by local mom Majo Mansour, makes organic baby foods, family snacks and lactation products out of its kitchen in Phoenix. It delivers all of its products directly to customers twice a week, within 5 hours of being prepared.
Mini Fresh employee Sophia Bouey said that she loved getting to interact with people at the Mom Made Market. As a mom, she says she always tries to feed her kids a healthy, balanced diet. “For me to talk to other moms or dads about it, it’s genuine, because I believe it,” she said.
Cross said it’s vendors like these that make the Mom Made Market a success.
“We’ve grown a lot, and the reception has been great,” she said. “I think moms love to come shop here and support other moms in business versus just going to Nordstrom’s and buying their kids clothes.”
Cross hopes that the Mom Made Market will be present in all 50 states. She said she wants moms to know that it is possible to be a business owner and a mother at the same time.
“You just have to realize that if you’re passionate about something, you’ve just got to make time for that passion—even when you’re a mom,” she said.
Contact the reporter at Nicholas.Serpa@asu.edu.