Magazine article Working Mother

How She Does It

Magazine article Working Mother

How She Does It

Article excerpt

Red-carpet events used to be all about who wore what. But now the morning-after buzz is often about what was in the celebrity gift bags-and no one is more aware of this than Amanda Poses. "We've even done gift bags for a celebrity dog party-Diddy's and Beyoncé's dogs were there," says the 29-year-old mom of 22-monthold Charlie and owner of fill-r-up, a customized gift-basket service.

Now Amanda is hard at work on another challenging project: Easter. "It's so candy-centric." She wouldn't want a basket of junk food for Charlie, so she hunts for toys and treats that won't give kids a sugar buzz-a mom move that turns out to be good for business. "Sales are up now that my baskets are more mom-friendly."

In fact, Amanda started using her maternal instincts to make business decisions even before she became a mother herself.

Although Amanda loved her previous job as a fashionindustry event planner, she knew the long hours wouldn't do if she wanted a family. "There were days I worked around the clock and didn't sleep." So when she married Russell Poses, her "best friend and rock," in 2002, she left andbrainstormed about starting her own business. Then she could call the shots and create her own schedule. After kicking around a zillion ideas with Russ, an equities trader, she finally thought, gift baskets. As an event planner, she knew the goodie-bag industry was exploding and that she had a talent for it. "When Russ said, 'That's a great idea,' I thought, Oh, no, now I have to find the guts to do this."

In November 2002, Amanda started working out of the second bedroom in their New York City apartment. By the time she was pregnant 11 months later, she had just signed the lease on a new storefront. "I knew a display space where people could pick and choose items would make us special," she says. It would give her company the liftoff it needed-before she gave birth and took time off. "I wanted to be able to have my baby and not worry." So she called in her sister to help run things and hired and trained a store manager, who has since hired three other part-timers. Her planning paid off: She took two months to be home with Charlie, and the business thrived.

Before returning to fill-r-up, Amanda spent days interviewing potential caregivers. …

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