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Success Stories

By Holly Reisem Hanna

Do you need a dose of inspiration? Check out these amazing women’s entrepreneurial success stories on how they got started working from home and pursuing their dreams of self-employment; it will give you the motivation and strength that you need to get started!

If you would like to be featured, as one of our work-at-home, entrepreneurial success stories, please submit your application here for consideration.

Mompreneurs® Trailblazers Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe

Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, founders of the work-from-home community, coined and trademarked the catchy word Mompreneurs back in the 90s, when writing their first book, Mompreneurs®: A Mother’s Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success. “We were sitting in a coffee shop bookstore, jotting down variations of the words “mom” and “entrepreneur” on a napkin,” remembers Parlapiano. When they hit upon the word “Mompreneurs,” they knew it was the perfect description for work-at-home mothers balancing entrepreneurial and family responsibilities under one roof. They used it as the title for their book series, and quickly trademarked it as the name of their work-at-home consulting firm.

Over the last decade, they have watched their brand, and the mompreneurs workforce, grow beyond their wildest dreams. After building a following with their Mompreneurs® message boards and columns on, and subsequently appearing on Oprah, the duo founded their own website. Today, is the go-to site for entrepreneurial moms worldwide, and Cobe and Parlapiano are often quoted by the media as leading experts on moms running businesses.

Like many mom entrepreneurs, Parlapiano and Cobe saw a void in the marketplace, and tapped their own parenting and businesswoman skills to fill it. “When our children were younger, there were no work-at-home books on the market written from a mom’s perspective,” says Cobe. “So we decided to write one ourselves.” They knew there was a need for the information. “We’d be in the playground or moms’ groups, and when other mothers found out that we worked at home, they’d want to know how they could do it too,” remembers Parlapiano.

Though technology now makes it easier than ever to run a home business, moms still share common challenges, the authors say. Isolation, limited childcare, and the tendency to work 24/7, are the biggest pitfalls, and Cobe and Parlapiano regularly dispense advice on these topics. But mompreneurship also offers perks you don’t get in a traditional office. “When you’re a work-at-home mom, you can leave your desk in the middle of the day to see your preschooler’s Halloween parade,” says Cobe. Plus, moms are constantly setting an entrepreneurial example for their kids. As Parlapiano says, “When you work from home, every day is Take Your Child to Work Day.”

For more information on Ellen & Patricia please visit:

Jennifer Dugan – Dugan’s Travel

Jennifer Dugan is owner of Dugan’s Travels LLC based in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She is a Certified Travel Associate and author of several e-books. At age 22, Jennifer started Dugan’s Travels in 1997 after her first child was born. Instead of going back full time to her position as a corporate travel agent, she started her own home-based travel agency. Two years later, she began to help others work from home as home-based travel agents with Dugan’s Travels. Dugan’s Travels currently has over 700 home-based travel agents working from their homes across the United States and Canada. Dugan’s Travels is a member of ARC, IATAN, CLIA, OSSN, NACTA, and Jennifer is a member of the Travel Institute as well as a member of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Travel Agent advisory board.

For more information on Dugan’s Travels please visit

Sarah Edwards – Author of Working from Home and Secrets of Self Employment

Sarah Edwards, along with her husband is co-author of “Working from Home”, “Secrets of Self Employment”, and “Finding Your Perfect Work” along with 14 other lifestyle and career change books. Sarah started working from home in 1974 as a Psychotherapist after leaving her full time position as Social Services Specialist for The Head Start Program.

Sarah learned about working from home in the early 70s, when she met with an outside consultant for The Head Start Program; during this meeting she discovered that her colleague’s office was based in the home, and immediately she thought to herself, “This is for me”! During this time it was nearly unheard of to work from home, but encountered with rarely seeing her husband and her young son during daylight hours, Sarah implemented a plan to become a work at home mom and wife!

After completing her master’s degree, Sarah quit her full time job as a Social Services Specialist and opened a Private Psychotherapy Practice in her home. Seeing how much Sarah enjoyed working from home, her husband Paul decided to follow in her foot steps. Paul quit his full time job as President and CEO of an Environmental Research Firm and started a Consultancy Firm that was based from their home.

During this time Sarah and Paul were questioned by numerous people on how, they too could work from home, so they decided to write a book about it. Before writing “Working at Home”, Sarah and her husband had no experience with writing or publishing a book. But with a strong perseverance and the help of a good editor they were able to successfully publish their book, which is now in it’s 5th edition, with over half a million copies in print.

Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in English, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work, and a PhD in Ecopsychology. She currently lives in California in the mountains of LosPadresNational Forest with her husband Paul. Sarah continues her private practice as a sustainable career and eco-nomic well being  counselor; she is also the Director of The Middle Class Advocacy Institute and provides continuing education to helping professionals working with others seeking  independent careers that will sustain them in our changing economy.

For more information on Sarah Edwards, please visit, Elm Street Economy

Melanie Vowles Jerdon – Graphic Designer

For artist Melanie Vowles Jerdon, many years of success in the graphic design and marketing field preceded her decision to “work from home”. With the birth of her son Tyler in 2007, came a heartfelt commitment to be there for her child, experiencing daily quality time with him and working at a job she loves. With her former company continuing to contract for her talents on a variety of projects, along with referrals and personal marketing efforts, Melanie now has in her home, the perfect balance between work and family.

Melanie’s company Sugar Dipped Designs is aptly titled, as her creative products have a whimsical, lighthearted feel. She serves corporate America clientele with logo design, promotional layouts and web-work, however she also welcomes projects that allow her illustration and painting talents to come into play. Melanie’s work includes, but is not limited to: illustration, painting, promotional & business collateral, marketing materials, menu design and layouts, corporate identity and branding, logo design, web-design, photography and holiday fun!

Having spent most of her life in California (graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and Studio Arts), shortly before her son’s birth, the family relocated to Austin, Texas. Melanie has a wonderful husband, a thriving toddler, three amazing step-daughters and a life she feels is blessed and one she is grateful to be living.

For more information on Melanie Vowles Jerdon, please visit







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