|A TRADE SHOW FOR MOMS, KIDS AND HOUSTON FAMILY ACTIVITIES |
by Bernadette Verzosa
It all started in Spring. Lori Carrese gave birth to her first child and sensed a need in her neighborhood. She met many new moms wanting to connect. She promptly organized a playgroup called Spring Moms and Babes.
Observing the daily exchange of questions and answers with a professional background in advertising and marketing, Carrese sensed a larger need in the Houston area. She then swiftly coordinated The Woodlands Mom Expo.
GROWTH AND NEW FEATURES
GROWTH AND NEW FEATURES
The Mom Expo was successful from the start. About 1,800 people attended the first Mom Expo in The Woodlands in 2011. In 2012, the event drew a crowd of more than 2,500. In 2013, about 3,500 attended The Woodlands Mom Expo at the Legends Sports Complex. It became so popular, Caresse created an additional event - the Houston Mom Expo at the Berry Center in Cypress.
"A new feature is our Work-At-Home Mom Forum where you can meet local mompreneurs who will share their story on starting businesses and working from home," says Carrese. "Our panel is designed to motivate moms during this process of considering becoming a mompreneur, and hopefully even find inspiration or a mentor in the process."
THE FUTURE FOR MOM EXPO AND ITS CREATOR
Carrese says she is fueled by the feedback from families. "The satisfaction is intense. Knowing you're helping moms gain valuable information that fit in to their family needs is a great feeling of accomplishment," she says. "I, too, am a mom with young children, and I know how I feel in raising my daughters when I sometimes feel lost, or that I'm doing it wrong, or shouldn't this be easier? I think moms have doubt in their abilities when they're first starting out, and what we need is to be reassured that we are not alone, and that there are solutions to our challenges, and there are growing pains in every woman's journey of motherhood."
Mom Expo's ambitious objectives reflect Carrese's determination. She cultivated the trade show's growth while going through a difficult divorce, often depending on the community of mom friends she had helped empower. She's now a single mom with two daughters: 4-year-old Gianna and 2-year old Amanda. "I would do anything for my kids, that pushes me the hardest. I'm working for security for my family. I'm a doer, I execute," says Carrese.
As further evidence of her resolve, during her year of transition, Carrese also managed to publish her first book. Famous Moms Change Diapers, Too! A collection of Quotes… was released in 2012.