As a child, Charisma Curry saw the struggles her own mother faced while trying to balance her work schedule with her parental responsibilities as a single mother. So, when Charisma became a mom herself, she was already aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
Still, this understanding didn’t make the actual experience of balancing work, childcare and schooling—for herself and her children—any easier. She knew there had to be a better way to give busy parents some relief in these situations.
“Even in the most perfect situation, I’m still struggling to balance things for my kids and keep everyone organized,” said Charisma. “As a parent, sometimes we just need some help.”
Making A Change
A little self-reflection time while on maternity leave was all it took for Charisma to realize how unhappy she was with her current career trajectory. In school to become a nurse, she ultimately realized she was only there to please those who had urged her to choose a career that paid well.
She realized she was on the wrong path.
“One day a light bulb came on and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to do something I’m passionate about.’ I realized I was always helping my friends and family, but wanted to figure out a way I could help people on a larger scale,” said Charisma.
So, she began thinking of ways she could help parents make money while they had their children, or even while helping other parents. That’s when she found the idea for her own business.
Beginning An Entrepreneurial Journey
Inspired to pursue a career she was truly passionate about, Charisma began creating the basic structure for her business, Parents in Motion. The idea was to create a community that fills the transportation gap for busy by connecting them to carpooling networks comprised of other local parents with similar needs.
Seeking help to get this idea off the ground, Charisma reached out to JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland team for business advice.
“Core City really became my support system,” she said. “I can call in and ask for help with operations, surveys—anything I’ve needed, they’ve been there. It’s an ongoing relationship, there is continuous support, no matter what, even after hours.”
Launching Her Own Venture
On December 16, Charisma held her first Parents in Motion open house, which provided parents an opportunity to go through the vetting process to join the community. There was a finger printing machine, vehicle inspections and activities for children. The goal of the open house was to begin building a transportation database that would continue until the program’s formal launch in 2018. At that point, parents will simply be able to go on the internet and seek a ride for their child from a trusted parent who is a member of the Parents in Motion community.
“We’re starting small with a rider exchange program. I want to start with the database first to generate movement and traction,” said Charisma. “Then I’d like to see this become a source of income for these parents.”
How Core City: Cleveland Has Helped
Charisma credits the Core City: Cleveland program with being immensely helpful in helping her establish connections in the entrepreneurial community and build a solid foundation for her business. They have also been a source of encouragement when she needs it most.
“Entrepreneurship is an emotional roller coaster,” she said. “One day you’re up and one day you’re down, but having JumpStart as my safety net; I can reach out to them when I’m down, and they encourage me. That’s why you have to have something deeper than money that you’re working toward, because it’s not always a perfect journey, but it’s rewarding—especially if you’re doing something for a good cause.”
To learn more about how free one-on-one business advising sessions form the Core City: Cleveland program can help you move forward in your own entrepreneurial journey, click here.