After having kids, Marin mom and mompreneur Leslie Dempsey went on a fitness journey that led her to become the owner and operator of GYMGUYZ Marin County, a mobile personal training business that brings the gym to you. Leslie answered a few questions for us about her, her business, and her family.
Please tell us a little about yourself, what’s your background?
My name is Leslie Dempsey and I am the owner and operator of GYMGUYZ Marin County. While it has always been a priority for me to be in shape and exercise, I am new to the fitness industry. My background is in psychology. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and I received my master’s in counseling psychology with a double emphasis in marriage and family therapy and school counseling from St. Mary’s College of California.
Petite Marin is a new local mom-run business that creates children's apparel with a unique twist—they upcycle dad's old clothing to create new eco-friendly childrenswear, keeping old clothes out of the landfill and creating a precious keepsake, too. Send Petite Marin a cherished dress shirt and they will turn it into a child's romper or dress and matching cap or bonnet for sizes 6 months to 2T. All garments are handcrafted here in a California. This November they'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign and taking pre-orders for their unique sustainable children's fashions.
Marin Mommies asked Petite Marin founders Melina and Rachel a few questions about the business and their products and what they love about living in Marin. Learn more about Petite Marin at www.petitemarin.com.
Q: Please tell us about you and your background
A: I lived in Mill Valley as a child and attended Old Mill Elementary. I thought it was such a great place to raise a family and always wanted to return with my own children. I moved back shortly before my older daughter started kindergarten and met Rachel when our daughters were in the same class. They became close friends and so did we! Rachel moved here several years ago from the East Coast with her children and husband, an avid biker, who was thrilled to live within biking distance of his job in SF.
If you've been around southern Marin during soccer season, there's a good chance you've seen the Hot Diggity hot dog cart. If not, you should seek it out and give it a try!
Hot Diggity was created by Mill Valley mom Joan Miller in 2010 as an alternative to not-so-healthy fast food dining options, and sells nitrate-free sausages from Niman Ranch and Aidells with a variety of condiments, most of them organic. Hot Diggety also offers healthy drinks like organic juices, teas, and sodas.
The menu includes an uncured Niman Ranch Kids' Dog ($4), chicken and apple sausage ($5), and the signature Dig It Dog ($6), a nitrate-free pork sausage on a sesame seed roll with sauerkraut and dill pickle spears. The Kids' Dog is available as part of a daily special Kids' Meal ($5.50), which also includes organic carrots and an Honest Kids organic juice pouch.
If you've enjoyed any of the numerous song-filled offerings from Bay Area Children's Theatre, then you might very well already be familiar with the work of Marin mom Julia Norton, who serves as musical director for many of their productions, including the current Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. She's also a composer, singer, award-winning recording artist, and teacher.
Marin Mommies caught up with Julia and asked her a few questions about her career, music, and what she and her family love about living in Marin. Learn more about her at www.julianorton.com.
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background, and how did you get your musical career started?
A: According to my mum, I have been singing since before I could talk. I remember writing my first song with my best friend Lynne when we were 5 or maybe 6. It wasn't much to speak of lyrically and had lots of "la la las" in it, but we thought that if we wore matching pink cardigans, we might fool the public. Aged 8, I joined the village church choir with my mum. It was a 14th-century church and had gargoyles and gravestones carved in old English lettering. There I fell in love with early music, close harmonies and the dark and twisty lyrics that went with them.
Got manners? Marin mompreneur Angie Allison helps local kids answer a resounding "yes" to that question through etiquette classes through her business the Protocol Academy. We asked Angie to answer a few questions about herself and her unique business.
A: I’m a certified trainer in etiquette and communication essentials for young children through young adults, and a member of the Society for Certified Etiquette Trainers. My bachelor’s degree is in journalism. I worked in advertising, corporate communications, design, art representation and sales for many years. My husband and I are blessed with two wonderful, energetic and creative children, and a spunky puppy. I grew up in the Midwest and lived in the South, as well as the East Coast. Marin County has been my home for over 10 years.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Liz Scherotter.
A couple years ago, I was invited to a Stella & Dot trunk show. What is a Stella & Dot trunk show, you might ask? It’s a gathering where women hang out together and a Stella & Dot stylist is on hand to help the guests. Basically, it’s playing dress up with a personal stylist! No long presentation, no heavy sales pitch… just fun and fashion in a casual relaxed environment. What I immediately discovered was a great line of jewelry that is beautiful and affordable (half the line is under $50.)
Here is a look at some mommy faves from Stella & Dot.
Versatile Necklaces (Spice up your date night!)
Quite a few Stella & Dot pieces can be worn in multiple ways. These necklaces can be worn to suit your mood. In challenging economic times, why not get a piece that can be worn multiple ways, like many necklaces in one!
Tempest Necklace (just featured in the October 2012 issue of InStyle Magazine; pictured above)
The ultimate statement piece, blending diverse elements of steel chain, brass cupchain, distressed black acrylic stones, silk ribbon, and an intricate brass closure detailed with pave glass stones.
Child photographer Nancy Alcott didn't start out taking pictures of children, but discovered that is was her true love after giving birth to her daughter. Now, she's an award winning photographer recording memories for families throughout Marin and the Bay Area. We asked Nancy a few questions about her and her work. Learn more about her and see more of her photos at www.nancyalcott.com.
Please tell us about you and your background.
I am a mother of two amazing children, Amstel, 4 and Zealand, 2, and we live in Mill Valley. I am originally from Michigan, but have made California my home for nearly eight years now.
How did you get started with photography?
I fell into photography quite by accident nearly four years ago, beginning as a travel photographer. Upon giving birth to my daughter, I realized my true love was photographing babies and children, and my calling was found.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin Mom and writer Gabrielle Cullen.
Here’s a cheer for the moms who have found a way to balance family, fun and self fulfillment! One of Marin’s most musical moms, Susan Zelinsky, has the luck, and the talent, to be doing just that, and so on the cusp the 99th annual Mountain Play, (she has the starring role of Marian Paroo in The Music Man,) Marin Mommies sat down with Susan in hopes of revealing the secrets to her success.
How long have you been in musical theater?
I’ve been involved in acting, music and song since high school. I continued on in college and have been fortunate to have music and theater play a key role in my life ever since.
As a mother, what do you enjoy most about Mountain Play?
Being able to perform in a wonderful production such as Mountain Play has given me the best of both worlds. I am able to be involved in my children’s lives, work around crazy family schedules and still have a wonderful outlet for my craft.
One of our wonderful readers told me about the new Cafe du Cirque, a child-friendly coffee house in downtown San Rafael that opened last week, so I had to go check it out. Cafe du Cirque was opened by Marin mom Kerstin Fleischer and her husband Tom Coleman, and features food made from fresh local organic ingredients, locally roasted coffee, and a play area for little ones near the back of the cafe. Relax with a cup of coffee or tea and a salad or sandwich while your kids play safely.
Kerstin is the mom of a three-year-old, and added the play room to the cafe because she was more than aware of the need to have a space like this in Marin. The cafe itself is clean and modern and occupies a long narrow space with lots of natural light.
My children both enjoyed Cafe du Cirque's kids' hot chocolate and fresh muffins, and my daughter liked the play area. Designed for younger children, the small carpeted play area includes toys like a play kitchen, a kids' table and chairs, a chalkboard, and a soft crawling area for babies. You can sip your coffee or eat lunch or breakfast and watch the kids while they play under the play room's festive red-and-white-striped awning.