Lauren Kent, mother of three young boys, was sitting in a park in Chicago’s south-side Beverly neighborhood with her fellow neighbor and mommy friend Shanya Gray in June of 2013 when they came up with a brilliant idea.
As they sat chatting with several other moms, they began talking about how nice it would be if they had a common place online to plan play-dates for their children and seek motherhood advice from each other. In this tight-knit community, networks are strong and moms are always exploring new ways to collaborate and network. So it only made sense that a virtual community was exactly what they needed to all come together!
Lauren Co-founds Moms of Beverly
As an experienced blogger and fashion writer for Diaries of a Wanna Be Rich Kid, Lauren immediately felt inspired and full of new ideas about what a virtual community could mean for a special neighborhood like Beverly. As her mind raced with the possibilities, Lauren went home and got to work. It was then that the Chicago Moms of Beverly Facebook group was created!
Moms Of Beverly: The “closed” Facebook group is a social platform that allows moms from the neighborhood to connect and collaborate on anything from local kid activities to finding new mom friends to hang out with. Launching with only a few local moms, the group quickly became popular and now serves almost 4,000 members!
As one of the Founders, administrators and group leaders, Lauren plays an important role. She wears several hats as she helps moms connect both on and offline. In the group, she posts interesting content for engagement and keeps the space safe by ensuring everyone follows the forum rules. She loves to directly engage members by answering questions on a variety of mom-related topics and connects those in the group that can help each other.
Group Outings and Events: To nurture “real life” relationships, Lauren and the administrators plan monthly meet-ups with members and their children. The group even has “Moms Night Out” events at local eateries and venues to celebrate and pour into each other. They are known to plan fabulous potlucks at local business, parks, or even someone’s home when “hanging out” on the town.
Website: Recently, Lauren launched her own blogging website entitled Moms of Beverly, which is an extension of the original Facebook group. Here she writes about topics moms enjoy, offers anecdotal advice, and shares neighborhood happenings.
Giving Back: Every Christmas, Moms of Beverly partners with an organization to donate gifts to families under their program entitled “Operation Joy.” This past holiday season, they were able to reach 24 families in need! The group also donates a portion of their event proceeds to local schools.
Lauren does not take Moms of Beverly for granted and is very grateful for having stepped into such an important role as a mother herself:
“Motherhood is definitely a driving force for all that I do. My children make me want to be better and do better in life. Moms of Beverly wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for them.”
Facebook Likes Chicago’s Moms Of Beverly Group!
In September of 2016, a Facebook staff member contacted Lauren and expressed interest in Mom’s of Beverly. The introduction resulted in an invitation for the group administrators to attend Facebook’s first ever “Communities” event in Chicago. Lauren, along with fellow administrators Shanya Gray and Tina Peterson, met and networked with other Facebook group leaders making positive impacts in their respective virtual communities.
In January 2017, Shanya and Tina also had the opportunity to attend Facebook’s “Friends Day” in Menlo Park, California (Lauren could not attend because she just had her third son). But the following June Lauren was among the attendees of the Facebook Communities Summit and met the legendary Mark Zuckerberg, as well as other power group administrators! Most recently, she also had the opportunity to speak on a panel about parenting through social media in New York in December 2017.
Tales of a “Supermom”
In addition to managing several successful online ventures, Lauren spends the majority of her time with her family. The act of juggling seems easy when there is a plan and everything goes accordingly. However, this is not always the case! Lauren faces a challenge when she has no plan and limited patience, which is sometimes the reality for a busy mom juggling 500 things at once.
Like many moms, Lauren often feels pressured to get everything done right away, and feels like a failure if things don’t go perfectly. However, she strives to not be so hard on herself, while patiently planning ahead to be successful as a mother and as a woman.
Fun fact: Lauren loves growing as an individual and stepping out on faith to accept new (and sometimes scary) challenges.
She describes one of her most challenging, yet enjoyable career moments:
“Hands down it would have to be when I was asked to speak in New York. I had never spoken publicly before and it was such an honor to do so. And it felt so natural!”
Fashion and Motherhood
When Lauren became a mom, it was always her goal to never lose herself and to always be true to her own identity.
So….who is she, exactly?
Lauren loves to read and write. Writing brings her joy, and she enjoys storytelling. She can create a whole new world through words! But Lauren is not just brains, she also loves to express herself through fashion.
“I’ve always loved clothing and I wasn’t going to let that change now that I had a new title. I make sure to carve out a few extra minutes in the morning to really pull myself together and put on makeup, do my hair, and have on a nice, but comfortable, outfit.”
That extra time she takes makes all the difference in the world and leaves her feeling amazing! She carries that attitude beyond her appearance and into self-care. The things she enjoyed doing before she became a mom, she makes sure to still enjoy after she became a mom. She goes on those dinner dates, takes that vacation with girlfriends, and gets a regular mani. It’s the little things!
Aside from raising a beautiful family, Lauren plans to delve deeper into blogging, create a business, and continue to grow Moms of Beverly into an even larger movement.
Lauren loves to speak to groups and audiences about a plethora of topics. Her favorites include:
- Moms of multiples
- Moms to boys
- Stay at home advice/tips/hacks
- The power of self-identity and staying true to one’s self
If you would like to reach out to Lauren or have her speak at an event, you may reach her on her Facebook page, or by emailing her at email@example.com.