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Darien Woman Helps Moms Venture Out

Holly Hurd is, in her own words, a “serial entrepreneur.” She's the kind of woman who keeps a stack of well-read motivational books on her bedside table. “I even started writing a motivational book to keep myself motivated,” she says. Holly has worked for a hedge fund, deigned coffee table  and is now a busy real estate agent in Darien. She's also the brains behind a new business, VentureMom.com.

VentureMom is an online networking site that connects women who have started their own businesses. The site provides a directory, tips, a newsletter and a blog aimed to help women turn their dreams into a business. And Holly spotlights her “moms” by telling their stories so that other women will be inspired to pursue their own dreams.

“I cover women who have created something unique on their own,” she says. A recent story features Sheryl Myrhe , who fell in love with tea on a trip to Europe. She did her research, wrote a business plan and now runs an online business selling specialty teas. Then there is the mom who began after-school art classes so that she could take her own kids to work with her. And the two friends who set up a website where people could get rid of surplus belongings responsibly.

“Women often tell me they want to do something but they don’t know what,” says Holly. “I tell them to come up with six things they can do in six days.” Her encouragement gets women thinking creatively. If someone likes to cook, they could think about offering to cook meals for other moms who don’t enjoy or have the time to make home-cooked meals, Holly says. Or start a dog-walking business.

Holly herself is a good example of a mom who has reinvented herself. A Darien mom with three busy teenagers, Holly she began selling real estate with Kelly Associates 11 years ago. “I love houses,” she says. What she especially likes is “seeing the diamond in the rough.” “I’m a frustrated interior designer!” she adds. Holly always recommends that sellers “dovecote” their houses before putting them up for sale. “Paint, change the light fixtures, update the millwork and stage your home.”

Do you have an idea for a business but aren’t sure how to get going? Let me know here.

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