Mompreneur: Musical Fun with Susan Z

February 14, 2011

Susan Z performsThere are many musicians who perform for children in Marin, but there are only a few who have a cult following among the 0–6 demographic. Susan Zelinsky—AKA Susan Z—is one of those few. You and your child may even have taken one of her classes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, or you may have seen her performing her music for grownups at venues throughout the Bay Area.

We caught up with Susan Z and asked her some questions about herself, her music, her family, and living and working in Marin. To find out more about Susan Z, visit her website at

Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background, and how did you get your musical career started?

I always knew I wanted to sing and act when I grew up. My parents were very supportive, signing me up for voice and music lessons as a child, sending me to drama camp and ACT’s Young Conservatory. I learned piano and guitar around 4th grade, choosing to

Mompreneur: Tara Brooke and Power of Birth

February 7, 2011

Tara Brooke from Power of BirthMarin mom and childbirth educator Tara Brooke took her lifelong interest in pregnancy and motherhood and developed Power of Birth, a studio offering childbirth education classes, doula services, new parent support, and more. We asked Tara to tell us about herself, her business, and her passion for helping new moms and moms-to-be.

Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background?

I was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey.  I spent most of my adult life in New York City. I began practicing as a labor and postpartum doula in New York over a decade ago. I opened a studio called Power of Birth that housed doula services and childbirth education classes. A lifestyle change brought us to Marin and now I practice as a childbirth educator and postpartum doula coaching parents during the 0–3 months age.

Mompreneur: Erika Fish and the Car Mama Blog

October 25, 2010

Ford Flex interiorIt goes without saying that most publications that review new cars aren't geared toward moms and their particular concerns. Marin mom and automotive enthusiast Erika Fish aims to help this situation with her new blog Car Mama. A car nut since childhood who was voted "Most Likely to be Editor of Car & Driver" in high school, Erika drives and reviews a wide variety of vehicles with an eye toward the things that matter most to parents, zeroing in on things like family-friendly features, car seat attachment points, and cargo space.

We asked Erika to tell us a about herself and how she started a car review blog especially for moms. Visit Car Mama at

Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background?

I'm a happily married mother of two grade-school aged children and one adorable Golden Retriever puppy. After college, I worked as a writer for a tech company and a creative marketing assistant for a textbook publisher in the Midwest. In 1996 my husband, dog and I moved to Sonoma to work for a small magazine publisher. I found a great job as the manager of technical writers at a Novato-based software company and got very good at breaking down developer's instructions so that "regular" people could understand them. It was difficult to resist the urge to pepper the instructions with jokes and sarcasm, but I channeled my inner bore and survived.

Mompreneur: Chef Tina Fredricks and Little Piggy Cupcakes

March 1, 2010

Marin mom Tina Fredericks, a culinary baker and certified pastry chef, has created a career for herself with Little Piggy Cupcakes, a business that supplies the tasty treats for birthday parties, baby showers, weddings and other events. You can purchase cupcakes, try a free sample, and meet Chef Tina at the Little Piggy Cupcakes booth at the Marin County Farmer's Market at the Civic Center in San Rafael (Sundays, 8 am to 1 pm). For more information, visit or call (415) 572-3483.

Mompreneur: Marjun Biernath and Kumquats Puppets

February 3, 2010

Marjun Biernath and Kumquats puppetsMarin mom and entrepreneur Marjun Biernath looked back to her native Germany when trying to find a business niche here in the US. She imports unique, handmade, and educational Kumquats puppets from Europe to sell to lucky families in both the Bay Area and throughout the country.

We asked Marjun to answer a few questions about herself, her family, her business, and Kumquats. You can learn more about Marjun and the complete line of Kumquats puppets by visiting

Mompreneur: Lindsay Clipner and Dahlia Portrait

December 8, 2009

Lindsay Clipner and babyMarin photographer (and mom of a 10-month-old) Lindsay Clipner recently launched Dahlia Portrait, which blends classic portraiture with an editorial voice following the mom-to-be, child, or family. Lindsay is a former photo assistant in New York City, where she worked with, among others, renowned French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier and publications including Real Simple, More, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Parents Magazine.

As part of our Marin Mompreneur series, we asked Lindsay a few questions about herself, her photography, and living and working in Marin. You can learn more about Lindsay and Dahlia Portrait by visiting

Calling Marin Etsy Moms

November 29, 2009

Etsy home pageAre you a Marin mom making and selling something extraordinary on Etsy? If so, tell us about it! We're looking for some local moms who sell their handcrafted products on Etsy for an upcoming feature on Marin Mommies. If you fit that description, please contact us and tell us about what you're doing.

We're specifically looking for Marin or Sonoma county residents who are creating items of interest to families, such as baby and children's clothing, toys, art, etc. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your work, and of course include a link to your home page on Etsy.

Mompreneur: Marin Artist Colleen Proppé

November 17, 2009

Colleen Proppe at work at the easelMarin mom and artist Colleen Proppé paints Marin County landscapes, as well as cycling scenes and commissioned portraits, all in her signature plein air style. Her work can be viewed in venues and exhibitions throughout the county, and on her website at Colleen took some time to answer some questions about her art, her inspirations, and living in Marin.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background. How did you get started in painting?

I was born near the University of Connecticut in 1968, where my father was studying for his doctorate in education, and my mother was a nurse. I started drawing and painting when I was 3 years old. My first portrait was of "The Banana Man" on Captain Kangaroo.

We had an easel outside in the summer, and my mom encouraged me with a great appreciation for my work. I imagine it kept me quiet and out of trouble!

Mompreneur: Stephanie Ziegler of Pilates Studio Tiburon

November 9, 2009

Stephanie ZieglerMarin mompreneur Stephanie Ziegler decided to ditch the corporate world and fulfill her dream of opening her own Pilates studio. The result of her efforts is Pilates Studio Tiburon, located in downtown Tiburon at 78 Main Street.

We asked Stephanie a few questions about her business, what led her to open her own studio, and living in Marin.

Please tell us a little about you and your background, and what inspired you to open your own Pilates studio?

My background has always had a focus on “helping others” with a health & fitness component. When my daughter, Skye, was born I wanted to be there with her as she grew. My career as a healthcare consultant had me traveling quite a bit. The companies I worked with spanned from eHealth start-ups to national health insurance companies to the Military Health System. I was going across the country in every direction. It was tearing me apart to be separated from Skye.

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