Mother of Invention
Kimberly Bonadio’s quest to celebrate Moms everywhere
By Denise Favro Schwartz
For anyone who is a Mom, or knows one, Kimberly Bonadio’s message is innately understood: “Moms Rock.” Oh, yes, we do.
So, why bother to write an article about it? After all, every Mom-familiar reader intuitively gets that Moms are everything that the cool monosyllable “rock” implies. Moms are...
well, you know: Strong. Smart. Creative. Loving. Kind. Enduring. Fun. Cool. And, sometimes, very hot.
And they are self-sacrificing. Demanding. Non-stop worriers. Oh, and mean, my son reminded when he was 10, and embarrassing (12). Unreasonable. Unable to UNDERSTAND.
Undervalued. Taken for granted.
OK -- let’s talk about this Moms Rock thing. Moms know -- they just know -- that they rock. We sometimes just need to shout it out to the universe to make sure that the value of the Mom-job is acknowledged. After all, if Moms don’t remind the world that the requirements that go into being a Mom are prerequisites for the ultimate managerial position, then who will?
And on a far more somber note, when we witness the devalued lives of women in many places around the world, are we not compelled to voice our outrage? Should we be silent as women are denied rights, treated as commodities, genitally mutilated, raped, and sold?
If, because of our individual circumstances, we can do nothing but notice the dehumanizing treatment of mothers in so many places, and cry and pray and perhaps talk about it when we can, then the talking is at least something. So, we must say out loud that women who bear and raise children and sacrifice so that their daughters and sons may grow and thrive are of value.
Tees and legacies
Bonadio, who lives in Waltham, found that she needed to shout out the message that mothers are more than “just Moms” too. It happened as she waited for her children at the bus stop one afternoon. She was reading an article in Oprah magazine. “For the world to value motherhood, women everywhere should stand up and declare that it must be so,” the article read. When Bonadio read that women who choose full-time motherhood are often labeled “Just a Mom,” she balked.
“I don’t think so,” she said to herself.
So, she thought about what it really meant to be a mother. “I wrote down all the things I do as a mother. Then I came up with the fact that this phrase, ‘Moms Rock’, summarizes all of that,” she said. Then she had an idea.
“I need to put ‘Moms Rock’ on tee shirts,” she decided. She sketched a tee that sported the phrase, proclaiming that mothers are so much more than “just moms.” Her concept evolved into a business -- a clothing line for women, children and infants -- and what Bonadio calls the “Moms Rock movement.”
“It’s so much more than the clothes,” she said. “It’s a reminder of the value of being a Mom.”
Bonadio thought about all of the things that mothers are for their children, and made another list. This one was a series of job titles: Single greatest influence in my child’s life, chef, nurse, psychologist, chauffeur, life’s tour guide, encourager of dreams. The list shows up on the back of a tee.
“The list summarizes ‘Moms Rock.’ It’s strong and lighthearted at the same time,” she explains.
The mother of two thought long and hard about the deeper meaning of the phrase upon which her company was built. She wrote a Manifesto, the first line of which is: Moms Rock is about celebrating the journey of being a Mom. The last paragraph inquires:
Ask yourself...What fond memories will get shared with your Grandchildren What stories are you leaving behind Values you’re teaching Ultimately...
What will your legacy be?
“The manifesto sparks emotion,” she says. “I wrote it from the depths of the ups and downs I had along the way.”
The manifesto wound up on the back of another one of the tees in her line.
As she was writing and planning, Bonadio said she became inspired.
“As I was pulling my creative thoughts together, it came to me that what I was doing was part of my legacy,” she said. “I’m aware and mindful of the examples that I’m setting by my actions. That’s not heard very much anymore. Through the process of creating Moms Rock came the profound thought: ‘What legacy will I leave with my children?’ It has changed the way I see myself as a Mom. It’s a significant part of my legacy. The biggest part for me with Moms Rock is setting an example for my children that I had a dream and a vision I pursued. That’s Moms Rock.”
It is no surprise that the message on one of the most popular Moms Rock shirts reads,
“What will your legacy be?”
Moms rock on
Boutiques in eastern Massachusetts carry Moms Rock clothing. As her business expands (Bonadio said her company realized $25,000 in sales her first year) Bonadio plans to roll out a concept that combines her deep feelings about “legacy” with the excitement generated by the clothing and the enjoyment Moms have when they spend time with other Moms. She calls these events “Moms Rock gatherings.”
“They will be experiential. It’s not just to show the clothing line, but for Moms to have the support of other Moms. What’s been most valuable for me is to talk to those who have walked the path before me. Moms will meet and exchange ideas. My interest here is to encourage Moms to think about what their legacy will be.”
Bonadio hopes her legacy will include national attention about her message regarding the value of mothering. Because she was inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, Bonadio believes that someday, “Oprah’s producers will call. If anyone gets what Moms Rock is about, (Oprah) will.” Now that’s an attitude that rocks.
To find out more about Moms Rock
clothing, and Bonadio’s business, visit
the Web site www.momsrockshop.com.