WESTPORT, Conn. -- Medha Thomas is a mom, a philanthropist and the founder of the popular website CT-Moms Online. As of Sunday, she can add one more job to her resume – originator of the Mom E-Fair, a one day event to be held at the Knights of Columbus in Stamford.
The “E” in E-Fair stands for e-commerce, but Thomas has put a spin on the event by focusing on female entrepreneurs – more specifically, mompreneurs – local moms who have started their own businesses. The event will showcase more than two dozen women-owned businesses with ventures as varied as jewelry and accessories designers, skin care, and necessities for babies and kids.
Thomas, who resides in Westport with her family, understands the challenges that women face when embarking upon entrepreneurial ventures. She began CT-Moms Online seven years ago as a resource for Connecticut women to come together and share information in the website’s community forums. There, women share parenting tips and provide advice and support. From an initial subscriber list of eight, Thomas says her subscribers now top 8,000.
In addition to providing support and connections for women, Thomas uses the site as a platform for charity – she has raised thousands of dollars for 117 local and national charities, including; The Tiny Miracles Foundation, #Give4KidsNow through the United Way, and the International MOMS Club.
A lifelong volunteer and philanthropist, Thomas has led numerous social organizations and charitable efforts since holding her first board position at a domestic violence shelter in Philadelphia.
Each year the amount raised by CT-Moms Online varies based on programming and donations decided by the CT-Moms Online membership, Thomas said. “Our donation values are over $50,000 annually. Our membership decides on a local organization for each event, drive or program we do based on the event," she said. "At the end of each fiscal year, any and all surplus money gets a lump-sum check from us based on our current forum membership votes. We do not ask charities to go through any lengthy grant application or process as I realize how stretched both staff and funding at non-profits can be.”
The Mom E-Fair is a natural next step in her goal of supporting women, Thomas said. “CT-Moms has been supporting local moms for almost eight years now through all kinds of life transitions from childbirth to divorce, moving houses to moving jobs. It is only natural that our next step is to create a tangible way for us to support our moms taking that next step to create the life they envision through entrepreneurship,” she said.
The Mom E-Fair is free and open to the public, but Thomas encourages pre-registration. The Knights of Columbus is at 507 Shippan Ave., Stamford. For details and registration information visit http://www.ctmomsonline.com/momefair2013/
Ann Quasarano is a Westport-based freelance writer and the author Fairfieldista.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.