(Reposted from “Allen mother of triplets switches careers to fill need, open time for kids” in StarLocalMedia with permission. Header Photo Credit: Fredshots Photography).
Allen resident Laura Alotaibi has her hands full. Alongside husband Samir, Laura spends her days chasing 7-year-old triplets Adam, Sami and Zeina (and Spike the bearded dragon) and still finds time to run her online party marketplace, Venues N More. The site features birthday party packages, venue spaces, party entertainment, catering and other party planning resources for busy parents.
What made you want to start a business like this?
I started Venues N More out of my personal frustration when planning, booking and hosting parties. I was formerly a teacher for 10 years, so I never had excessive time to call try and find venues, call, inquire about the different options, availability, etc. I simply found myself wondering why I was spending so much time, energy, and just being frustrated when trying to book what was suppose to something exciting a special, which was my kid’s birthday party.
Although I wanted to solve the problem I faced of booking venues, I also wanted to create more family time in personal life. Since my profession as a teacher was time consuming, I would generally get home around 5:30 or 6 p.m. most weekdays. I knew I needed to change this and make a profession/career change that would allow me to spend more time with my family and be a better profession and personal balance. Starting my own business and being a mompreneur (mom plus entrepreneur) not only allows me the opportunity to spend more time with my triplets but also allows me to volunteer weekly at their school.
Do you ever miss teaching?
Going from a teacher of 10 years and switching my career to Founder of Venues N More is empowering! That being said, I do miss teaching. I miss the connections with the students and their families. It’s a good thing I still live in the Lovejoy community where I taught, so I still get to see former students and families.
One of my favorite things to do as a teacher was read to my students. Anytime I’m really missing that, my kids are all ears. They love when I read to them!
Was it intimidating going into business for yourself?
Starting a business and being an entrepreneur has always been a dream of mine. I started my first business when I was only 9 years old, Red Roses. Since then, I have come to realize my dream. I don’t find going into business for myself as intimidating, I see it as a personal challenge. Every day is something new!
When starting my new business, I knew I had to get involved with the local Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce. Attending my first meeting was out of my comfort zone, but I quickly made friends in the chamber and they have been an excellent resource for me! I highly recommend joining your local area chamber of commerce and getting involved.
What made you decide to include a food drive along with the Nov. 20 ribbon cutting?
If I’m ever in the position to give back to the community, I will. I’ve never had this opportunity on a larger scale to give back, so I’m excited to make a difference with my new business.
Donations to ACO will be accepted at Bar Louie in Allen from 4-6 p.m. Let’s come together as a community and restock the food pantry.
Do you hope to work more with nonprofits like ACO going forward?
I hope to continue working with nonprofits such as ACO and Samaritan Inn going forward. I love being able to give back to my community.
What’s your favorite Allen hangout?
My favorite Allen hangouts are: Mio Nonno and Gloria’s. We love the fresh italian food at Mio Nonno’s, and our kids love it too! We also bring out kids to Gloria’s on Friday “Date Night.” They love the unlimited chips and running around in the splash pad right next to the restaurant.
As a working mom, how do you balance your career and time with your family?
Finding a work and life balance as a mompreneur can be difficult. I’ve tried to allocate time for both and prioritize the right time to dedicate time for each. For example, when the kids come home after school at 3:30 my focus is completely on them. When they are at school, I then focus on Venues N More. Having a team also helps me with this, so we can always be available to support our venues, bookings, and those looking to book parties on our marketplace.
What’s one thing people may not know about being parents of triplets?
Being a parent of triplets can be overwhelming at times. One of the best-kept secrets is that there are moms of multiples clubs to help you through each stage of life! I joined Plano Area Moms of Multiples when I found out (at 5 months) that I was having triplets. I was in shock and completely overwhelmed. Within days of joining, I had a team of moms who had been there and done that. They were, and still are, a tremendous help!
What do you do to “get away”?
My favorite thing to do to unwind is to meet up with friends. Catching up with friends is medicine for the soul. If I’m too busy, a phone call is good too.