February 25, 2024

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Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 |
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 |
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 |
Being a mother isn’t easy. Being a mother and a full-time business owner seems almost impossible.
However, Viviana Pereira never has been one to let the impossible stop her. 
The Horizon West resident has taken what others have told her is impractical and used it to fuel her passion for empowering other mother business owners through her Facebook group, Faces of a Mompreneur.

Join the group: Click here
The group brings together mother entrepreneurs in the community to provide support, inspiration, connections and empowerment — while also inspiring those thinking about jumping into the entrepreneurial world.
“One of the most fulfilling moments is when a fellow mompreneur comes up to me and thanks me for helping grow their business,” Pereira said. “But it wasn’t just me. It was our community of women coming together and supporting each other on a professional and personal level, and it was them having the strength to believe in themselves.”
EARLY ENTREPRENEUR
Pereira has had an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as she can remember. 
“It’s just in my bones,” she said. “I remember even as a young girl in Venezuela, my mom would send my sister and I with candies to the school to sell. I loved it.”
Pereira and her husband, Jonathan Delgado, have attempted to start several small businesses, including a small cafe, a marketing company and a photography business. 
Although the couple has experienced failure, the experiences taught Pereira lifelong lessons — and the importance of taking risks. 
“I want to have a legacy,” she said. “I want something to have our name on it.”
Pereira became a mom in 2020 to a baby boy named Liam — “the best thing that ever happened to us,” she said.
When Liam was born, Delgado stayed at home while Pereira returned to work. Then, after the pandemic hit, she was sent home to work remotely. 
In 2021, while Pereira was working full-time as an enterprise account manager for a cybersecurity company, the couple decided to take another shot at starting their own business. They struck gold unexpectedly with the creation of RealSquare Media, a photography and videography business for professionals such as Realtors, developers and builders. 
“I very quickly became overwhelmed by being a new mom, a new entrepreneur, keeping up with the house and everything in-between — to the point where I was going crazy,” Pereira shared. “So basically, one day crying on the floor to a messy house and still cooking dinner, I had a breakdown. That very moment, I told myself I was not the only one, and I was determined to do something to let other mamas in my same situation know that they are not alone.” 
As part of that mission, Pereira decided to start her own photography project for 52 weeks. She searched for a different mompreneur to meet every week, conducted a short interview and took her headshot.
“I get to share their story from an angle that usually people don’t see — the juggle between motherhood and business,” Pereira said. “People always see the successful side of the story, and they may even ask themselves, ‘How is she doing it all?’ Well, that is the side of the story I get to share.”
Although she started the project as a hobby, along the way, one of the mompreneurs she interviewed suggested she start a Facebook group to nurture a growing community in need.  
“This project has changed my life,” Pereira said. “I have met incredible women that I know I can count on to lift me up or support me if needed.”
FACES OF A MOMPRENEUR
The exclusive group currently has a little more than 200 members — each one being a mother and a business owner. 
So far, Pereira has spotlighted 25 mompreneurs from the local community, including Sheena Niecestro, from Inflate 2 Create; Lesline Pittman, from Leslinedoeswellness LLC; Rachel Harris, from Handcrafted Counseling and Consulting; Janisha Patel, from Hamlin Modern Dentistry; Claudia Rupeiks, from Ellas District; and Kelly Starkey, from FIT4MOM.
Jessica Villegas, owner of Hi-Lite Coaching and Consulting, said she saw Pereira post asking for moms who had their own business for a free photoshoot last early winter. 
As a business owner and mother of three girls, she said the group supplies a safe space for women to come together and meet other amazing women while highlighting both their individual work and promoting the group.
“These women support me, and I will support them — I know they always have my back,” Villegas said. “We want to succeed, and we want to see each other succeed, and there isn’t that competition among us — even though some of us have similar lines of work.” 
Villegas fantasized about getting out of the corporate world and opening her own business where she could have flexible hours and more time to spend with her family. 
Although the task is easier said than done, Villegas said her decision to become an entrepreneur is something she wouldn’t change for the world. 
“I might not be able to be there for my children for every moment like I wanted to, but they get to watch me build something,” she said. “I think if there was going to be any big win that would be the biggest one. I have three daughters, so they can all watch, see and understand that you can be a woman, you can be who you want, you can bring your passion to the table, you can monetize it and you can find people who will support you to do that.”
Manuela Goez, owner of 360Emotions event business, also is a member.
“(This) is what every mompreneur needs right now — a group, a community where they can feel related to, that they feel like they can talk to,” Goez said. “The group is honestly more like a family. The combination of being a mom and having a business has been life-changing. It hasn’t been easy, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.”
Goez currently is working with Pereira to help plan the Mompreneur Summit 2023 in March to celebrate the culmination of the project. 
The summit will be framed like a conference complete with entertainment, food, keynote speakers and fun activities. 
“This event will be about a tribe of moms who own and run their businesses,” Pereira said. “The summit will focus on topics that are mom-entrepreneur-related, bringing moms who do business together to enrich, support, network and grow.” 
In addition to the upcoming summit, the group hosts a monthly meet-up at various locations.
“I am very happy here and grateful, because this is an amazing community,” Pereira said. “We have been able to achieve many things here. If you do things well and you give to people, it will come back to you.”
Pereira said her ultimate goal is to have a platform to reach more moms and host more frequent events. 
“So why do Faces of a Mompreneur deserve to be known?” Pereira said. “Because of every mom entrepreneur out there thinking this is a lonely journey, having mom guilt, not having the support they need. Because of every mama local business owner wanting to meet likeminded women living the motherhood and business juggle. I am convinced this is my mission and would love more mamas finding us and providing empowerment and resources to our mompreneur community.”
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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past…
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