Kick-Ass Moms: Volume 3

This is our third installment of inspiring moms!  This week’s collection of kick-ass moms are writing books, starting charities and building brands all while keeping it real! Learn more about how they do it and their tips for doing it all!  Did you miss the others in the series? Check out Volume 1 and Volume 2!


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Gwen Broda, The New Mom Project

Gwen Broda, Founder, The New Mom Project 
Instagram: @newmomproject
Kids: 8, 6 and 4 years old

Why you want Gwen in your League of Moms?  She knows how to make things happen!

Gwen started The New Mom Project; a Toronto based charity that collects donations of gently used or new baby items to provide for families in need.  Gwen was inspired to start the charity after her own experience on mat-leave; as a part-time nurse and part-time student she didn’t qualify for parental leave benefits and felt the financial hardships. During her third mat-leave, she learned about the Finish Baby box program and was further inspired to apply those principles to support families in Toronto as they welcome a new baby.  Shortly after launching The New Mom Project, Gwen quickly realized that the need for this type of service was overwhelming and as a result, she didn’t return to her role as a nurse and instead focused on building the charity full-time! With Gwen’s full-time focus, The New Mom Project has helped over 1000 families with no signs of slowing down. Gwen is currently looking to add members to her volunteer board of directors with applications due June 1st.

Interested in donating?  The New Mom Project collects diapers, baby clothing, baby gear that are 10 years or less.  Check out the full list of what is needed.

Gwen’s advice to moms wanting to take a chance on starting a charity or business:
Many people ask me how did I start The New Mom Project? My answer was I just did. If you feel like you have a good idea and are passionate about a certain cause, do something. Put all the talk and ideas into meaningful actions and things will start to happen.  Also make sure to surround yourself with like-minded people because you will need so much help along the way, and take the help.  This is not a one-woman show.

Mat-leave Tips:
Find friends you like to hang out with who have babies the same age as yours and do tons of things with them. You will become friends with some of them for your whole life! Also, travel; babies who don’t move or eat real food are easy companions.


Fiona Stevenson, The Idea Suite

Fiona Stevenson, President and Founder Partner, The Idea Suite
website: The Idea Suite
Kids: 7 and 4 years old

Why you want Fiona in your League of Moms?  She has a few cocktail recipes up her sleeve!

Fiona is President and Founding Partner of The Idea Suite, a boutique agency that leads strategy, capability, innovation and research projects for leading companies in North America.  Prior to starting her own agency, Fiona spent more than a decade as a marketer at Procter & Gamble in Canada and Europe managing iconic brands like CoverGirl, Febreze and Secret. In 2017 she was recognized as one of P&G Global Alumni’s inaugural ‘40 under 40’.  Fiona’s reputation in the industry coupled with her Second City improv training has led to being a frequent keynote speaker, host, and panelist for various industry events.  Fiona is also a published author; while on mat-leave along with a friend; she would write about the trials of parenthood through a blog which was turned into a book.  Reasons Mommy Drinks introduces you to 100 stories with accompanying drink recipes (including non-alcoholic ones!) to get you through life as a new parent.

Fiona’s Mom Hacks…
1) Dress your kids in neon clothing – my kids’ fluorescent clothing is so easy to spot at playgrounds and on family outings at crowded places. And it’s a nod to the 90s fashion of my teenage years.
2) Energy is everything as a working mom!  Find the thing that gives you energy – music, exercise, your perfect version of a morning smoothie – and make it a no-miss part of every day.

Tips for balancing Parenting, Life, Entrepreneurship?
People sometimes think you have to make an overarching choice as to which priority you are putting first – your family or your career. But really it comes down to making day-to-day priority calls – asking yourself “Where will I make a more significant, positive impact (to myself or others) right now?” – e.g. going to my son’s hockey game or spending another two hours preparing for tomorrow’s presentation? It all becomes less overwhelming when you realize you don’t need to put a big stake in the ground but just make the best call in the moment every time you’re forced to make a choice.  To that end, I think the key to achieving the balance you want is becoming excellent at decision making. As a parent, entrepreneur and business leader, you are going to be faced with hundreds of decisions every day. You will be exponentially more effective if you can make decisions quickly and then commit to them – no looking back!



Amanda Riva, THP

Amanda Riva, Founder and CEO, THP
Instagram: @amandahriva
Kid: 2 year old

Why you want Amanda in your League of Moms? The girl can cook!

Amanda is the Founder and CEO of THP; a leading provider of content and social media services for marketers. While a student at McGill, Amanda founded The Hot Plate Cooking Show which was the inspiration behind The Hot Plate; an agency that offered recipe development, video, and photography for food companies.  Adapting to the needs of her clients, her services expanded to social media management and eventually The Hot Plate rebranded to THP as they evolved their offerings to more than just food companies.  THP has grown to have more than 500 active customers and employes over 80 people.  Amanda’s success has been recognized by Forbes 30U30Marketing 30U30, STARTUP50, and she was a 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner.

Tips for managing mom life and being an entrepreneur? When I home, I am home and I commit to getting out from behind the screen and connecting with my family.

Amanda’s Mom Hack… 
Two words: magic eraser

What surprised you most about becoming a mom? How easy it was to create time and space in my life for a new loved one. The moment my son was born, time seemed to shift. We didn’t do less, we just worked smarter during the day so that we could prioritize daily family time. I think it has made my husband and me stronger in both our personal and professional lives.


We’ll be sharing more inspiring, kick-ass Toronto moms throughout May!  Join our email list to get inspired!

League of Moms / 05/18/2018

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