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Henderson, Las Vegas moms who own businesses form MOB chapters

Updated July 2, 2018 - 3:01 pm

A different kind of mob is coming to the Las Vegas Valley

The MOB Nation, a Portland, Oregon-based organization for mothers who own businesses, launched chapters in Las Vegas and Henderson this month.

Founder Aria Leighty noticed what she called a lack of safe environments for mom-owned businesses after launching Art ala Carte Mobile, a traveling art experience for children’s events in the Pacific Northwest. She started The MOB Nation as a Facebook page in 2012 to connect with others juggling motherhood and a business.

“I felt like people had to put on a mask and always be perfect,” she said. “It’s not always easy for moms. Some days you need to show up to work in a messy bun, dragging a kid along.”

The Facebook group started with about 10 members. Today, The MOB Alliance — the paid level of MOB— has more than 350 members and 18 chapters in six states.

Leighty said the organization supports members and helps them overcome challenges common to business owners who are mothers.

“There’s a huge stigma against mothers in the business workforce,” she said. “We’re always asked, ‘How are you going to balance it all?’”

Abbie Fox, owner of Las Vegas-based Foxy Photography, will lead the local chapters.

Fox said she has tried other networking groups. But many lacked a sense of fellowship among members, she said, and didn’t discuss the challenges of working around a sick child, finding child care or managing a schedule packed with work-related events and children’s activities.

She joined MOB in March after a friend recommended it.

“It’s a community of women who understand what I’m going through,” Fox said.

The MOB Alliance offers casual and kid-friendly networking events, meetups, access to social media pages, a listing on the MOB app, discounts to MOB businesses and webinars. Fox said she’s learned about search engine optimization and social media tactics through the group, which have brought in more business.

“I’m all for community over competition,” she said. “If we can bring the MOB culture to Las Vegas, it would help local businesses.”

Leighty said owning a business and being a mother are two of the most challenging jobs available — MOB aims to make them easier.

“A lot is changing people’s mindset that moms can do it all and do it well,” Leighty said. MOB can “bring a lot of super-solid connections and change the mindset of the community.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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