MAking self employment work for you

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

9:30am – 2:30pm

Centre for Social Innovation – Spadina

Toronto, Canada

modern moms deliver real talks

This weekday event will explore what it takes to work as a consultant, freelancer or launch your own business and have a life outside of work. Through open and honest conversations, our panel of self-employed modern moms will share their personal stories and advice to help you take the first step towards working for yourself. ​ Who is this for? This event is for moms (but open to anyone) interested in exploring self-employment as a way to find flexible, meaningful work.


How To Land Your First (or Tenth!) Client

Business cards? Check! Website? Check! Clients... In this talk Allison will walk through the different ways to attract your first or tenth client in a way that works for you! You will learn ways to get clients NOT just on social media, focus on where to find ideal clients and take part in a fun group challenge.

Your Success, Your Resilience Plan

Mandi will engage participants on the steps needed to cultivate the skills to succeed in the face of ambiguity, uncertainty and achievement. Join us for a fun and engaging session where you will use thinking and problem solving preferences to create a resilience plan for success.

Truth, Tips and Tools To Start Your Own Business

Lisa shares her journey from Stay at home Mom to Start-up Mentor, what she’s learned along the way, what keeps her motivated, how she avoids burnout and the 5 biggest mistakes almost every woman makes when starting out. Join us for the inside scoop from this Mom of two on what it takes to start, run and grow your own business.

#OwningIt as a Freelancer, Consultant, Coach & Entrepreneur

Find out if self employment is for you in this honest discussion with four moms who are making it work. Discover what their day-to-day looks like, as well as what they love (and don’t always love) about being their own boss. Each of our panelists will share their personal story and the valuable lessons they’ve learned along the way. Come away with new ideas and a fresh perspective on what working for yourself could look like.


9:30 – 9:50:

9:50 – 10:00:

10:00 – 10:50:
PANEL: #OwningIt As A Freelancer, Consultant + Entrepreneur

10:50 – 11:25:
Truth, Tips and Tools To Start Your Own Business (Lisa McGrath, CAVEA Studio)

11:25 – 12:15:

12:15 – 1:05:
LUNCH * Pizza lunch provided by Panago

1:05 – 1:45:
Your Success, Your Resilience Plan (Mandi J. Buckner, Mandi J. Buckner Consulting)

1:45 – 2:20:
How To Land Your First (or Tenth!) Client (Allison Venditti, Careerlove)

2:20 – 2:30:


  • Inspiring speakers
  • Break-out sessions
  • Opportunities for personal reflections + connection
  • Resources and tools to help you take the first step
  • Join the MotherWorks community: a supportive, judgement free group of working moms looking to connect, learn and grow with one another


  • Opportunity to connect with other moms starting their own business
  • Access to our speakers and panelists in interactive breakout sessions
  • Chance to ask all your questions about branding, websites, small business ownership and more
  • Coffee, tea and snacks
  • Pizza Lunch provided by Panago
  • Door Prizes and Swag Bags


With over 15 years experience in Human Resources and corporate coaching Allison Venditti launched her career coaching business Careerlove in January 2017. She works with moms and women to help build businesses that work for them and create meaningful careers.

An expert in Return to Work and Mental Health – Mandi J Buckner has worked on key projects with Bell, CMHA, Great West Life and more. She is a sought after consultant (Mandi J Buckner Consulting) and speaker as well as the mother to two adult children. 

Lisa McGrath puts her years of sales, marketing, and management experience to use, helping entrepreneurs build strong brands and sustainable businesses. A mother of two children, Lisa started CAVEA Studio when her youngest child entered Junior Kindergarten. Since inception, Lisa and her team have been instrumental in launching multiple successful businesses and have created innovative brand, marketing and design work for several companies across various industries. Lisa’s direct approach, practical advice, breadth of knowledge, professionalism and personable nature make her a sought after business and brand coach.

Angela Grant Buechner is a Registered Nurse, Lactation Consultant and Doula and owns Nutmeg Consulting. She has worked at Mt Sinai in the NICU since graduating in 2000 as a bedside nurse and then as a Lactation Consultant. She started her private practice ‘tentatively’ about nine years ago doing home visits and Doula support, and then went ‘all-in’ four years ago. Since then, she has grown her team to include 18 amazing professionals who support new families all over the GTA. Angela has three children ages 14, 11 and 5. 

Jenna Kalinsky is an editor of fiction, nonfiction, academic, and business writing, an instructor, and a writer. Her work has appeared in mainstream and literary magazines, including in the LA Times best-selling The Modern Jewish Girls’ Guide to Guilt (Penguin), winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Originally from Los Angeles, Jenna has lived in New York, Germany, and now makes her home in Toronto with her husband and two children aged 7 and 9. After receiving her MFA from Columbia University and teaching creative and academic writing for nearly 20 years at Teachers College in N.Y., University of Toronto Scarborough, Humber College, and Western University, where she redesigned the Continuing Studies Creative Writing program, she created One Lit Place: a Full-Service Writers’ Center to give all writers the opportunity to learn, receive support, and achieve their writing goals.

Pauline Osena is a mother of 3 young children, and the owner and co-founder of Hype Food Co., a new allergy-aware restaurant and bakery in Leslieville, Toronto. Pauline chose to leave her career as a business analyst and loyalty marketer when she learned that her first born child had severe food allergies. She decided to build HypeFoodie.com, a website dedicated to allergy-friendly recipes and resources. Her food allergy advocacy and hope for more inclusive food options eventually inspired this self-taught gluten-free plant-based baker to open Hype Food Co.

Jenn Green is a super-mom and super-trainer for new moms who want to get their pre-baby fitness back in a realistic, healthful way. She combines fierce fitness with nutrition know-how to help baby mamas heal from childbirth and start getting strong again. You can find her running her signature online programs (while telling hilarious stories) over at Baby Mama Fitness.


1 Day. 7 Speakers. 60 Modern Moms.


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Frequently Asked Questions

We scheduled this event with the school day in mind and will not be providing childcare. You’re welcome to bring your baby – the space is stroller accessible (via a ramp through the main entrance and elevator via side/laneway entrance). There are a couple of couches, change tables in the washroom and a microwave in the kitchen for your convenience. If you have any questions or concerns please email us.

Panago will be providing a pizza lunch with vegetarian options. There will also be coffee and tea throughout the day as well as baked goods in the morning. If you prefer to bring your own lunch, there is a full kitchen and microwave. There are also many nearby restaurants, although there will be informal chats with speakers during lunch so be sure to bring a lunch if you don’t want to miss out.

Parking is limited, so we encourage people to take the TTC. The nearest streetcar stop is Sullivan Street (on Spadina).

Whatever you’re comfortable in! As the organizer, I plan to wear jeans and a nice top.

A notebook and pen if you’d like to take notes.

9:30am – doors and registration. The first talk will begin at 9:50am sharp.


1 Day. 7 Speakers. 60 Modern Moms.