Local moms chart new career in couture

3:16 PM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
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(WXIA) --- On Sunday, mothers will be honored with cards, flowers and perhaps a little well-deserved rest and relaxation. However, a mother's work is never done, and that's especially the case for moms with a business focused on -- moms.

Two metro-Atlanta ladies are behind a growing business that's centered around celebrating motherhood. 

Vicki Stern-Brown, a mother of two teenagers, is one of them. In a printing facility in Norcross, she's going over the final ink selection for her latest design. It's one of 75 t-shirts that have been  through her Atlanta-based apparel line.

Jill Wirka, a mother of three young children, is Vicki's business partner.

"She's the more creative one and I deal with the sales piece," Wirka explains. 

"I love the paperwork and the percentages."

Together, they're creating colorful clothing for moms. 

The idea was born out of Vicki's frustration. A former attorney, Vicki, stayed at home with her kids but the term "stay-at-home mom" irked her.

"There is no working mom versus stay-at-home mom," Stern-Brown said. "There is just a professional mom."

And thus, the brand Promom Couture was born.

"It's a lifestyle brand that suits any mother. It's a way of celebrating motherhood," Stern-Brown explained.

Their t-shirts have popped up in magazines such as Pregnancy, Parents and Life & Style.

But the biggest boon for the business came when Cindy Crawford mentioned the company during an appearance on Opraha few years ago.

"I was watching Oprah Winfrey and saw Cindy Crawford showing her Rock and Roll Mom shirt and saying it was one of her favorites," Wirka said.

While she's a business partner now, first, Jill was a customer. She found out about the lifestyle line while watching Oprah.

Nine years after launching, more than 70,000 t-shirts have sold.

"I always like to tell people dream the biggest you can imagine. It's kind of like what we tell kids," Stern-Brown said. 

Dreaming big for Vicki goes beyond expanding the lifestyle line which already includes jewelry and keychains, the childrens' line proKIDS and even the dream of going global. 

Vicki's number one desire is connected to her inspiration for starting Promom Couture.

"My ultimate goal in all of this would be if that word 'promom' could replace 'stay-at-home mom' and 'working mom'. I would love to rid the vernacular of those terms," Stern-Brown explained.

The adult t-shirts are sold online and in boutiques. And in mid-May, you can purchase special children's shirts at Learning Express stores and also support a non-profit organization.

For every children's t-shirt purchased at a Learning Express store, Promom Couture will donate one baby t-shirt to Room to Grow through the 't4t' program. The Boston-based non-profit benefits babies born into poverty.

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