One post on Facebook and over the course of three weeks, more than 90 Rye mothers joined Enterprising Rye Moms, nicknamed “the EM’s,”…
By Georgetta L. Morque
One post on Facebook and over the course of three weeks, more than 90 Rye mothers joined Enterprising Rye Moms, nicknamed “the EM’s,” a new business incubator for Rye women who left careers to raise children and are building businesses of their own. Members share experiences, expertise, contacts, and encouragement.
There are monthly meetings and weekly workshops and members communicate with each other via a closed Facebook group. There is no fee to join. An expo is in the planning stages, which will enable members to showcase their businesses to the community. RyeTV will be broadcasting a series about the women.
The founder and organizer is Valerie Groglio, a mother of two grown children who has started several businesses. The concept, she says, is to take women who could do anything they want, but choose to stay local, and balance that with raising children. She found that other groups didn’t cover the issues of juggling a family and running a business. Starting and organizing Enterprising Rye Moms is Groglio’s form of community service. “Every year, I want to take on some project to give back.” She has lived in Rye for 30 years and her husband’s family has been in the community for five generations.
Many might know Groglio as a piano teacher in Rye. She still teaches piano and has done so for a decade. With degrees in finance and accounting, she once worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where she got a taste for small business through a client. “I was always fascinated by small business.”
When her daughter was young, Groglio made hair bows. Candy Nichols, the former children’s clothing store in Rye, was so impressed that the store placed an order for 500 bows. Other stores did the same. An article about Groglio’s work in the Wall Street Journal prompted sales requests from all over the world. A warehouse and an accessories store followed.
Groglio is excited about the group and has plenty of advice for mom entrepreneurs, especially taking small steps and not growing too fast.
Members come from a wide range of professions. Some have existing businesses, others are looking for new paths and some are starting from scratch. Of the young mothers, Groglio says: “They are who I was back then.”
Eileen Choron, who has three grown daughters, recently retired from teaching in the city and is now working on ideas for her next step. “This group offers a fantastic opportunity,” said Choron. “I’ve met some fabulous women and I’m learning a lot about being an entrepreneur.”
Workshop topics, presented by members, have included setting up a business, writing a business plan, and eating to feel more productive.
“It’s not a networking group,” says Groglio. “Everyone is giving and taking at the same time.” She adds that she’d like to see many of these women in a different place. “A lot of women have had ideas for a long time.”
For more information, visit EMS10580.org.