With Mother’s Day coming up, we’re celebrating several mother-daughter and mother-son local businesses here in Frederick County. Here are a few stories of how these family businesses came to be, and how these familial relationships help their businesses to thrive.
Valerie and Alison Dailey - Dippin’ Delish
Valerie and Alison Dailey are the mother-daughter duo behind Dippin’ Delish, a Frederick-based local business creating delicious, crowd-pleasing dips.
Valerie and her daughter Alison had always wanted to start a food-based business. Initially, they considered opening up a food truck but wanted to do something smaller scale with fewer start-up costs. A long-time nurse, Valerie also wanted to keep her full-time work and benefits.
They decided to focus on creating a food product that everyone would love: their family recipe dips. Dippin’ Delish was born with flavors such as Bangin' Cheddar Bacon Beer, Crowd-Pleasin’ Crab Dip, Peppery Pickle, and Tangy Tomato. They worked with a local artist to develop logos and designs and started reaching out to gourmet food shops, wineries, and breweries, where their product has been well-received.
Together, they bring complementary strengths and a close mother-daughter bond that supports their business to thrive. Alison, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Business, brings her marketing expertise and helped them to set up their Shopify website, grow their online presence, and strategically grow the business.
Valerie shares: “I’d never have done this on my own without Alison’s help and support because I couldn’t have. It’s labor-intensive work, and I would never have been able to do all the marketing. I feel like it’s brought us closer, and it’s a goal I’d had that she helped me achieve.”
Meanwhile, Valerie brings her expertise in the product and family recipes, which is a necessity when creating 300 dips in a day in a commercial kitchen. Alison says: “My mom is the expert on the product and all of the proportions in the recipes. Without her, I would have never had a product to sell to begin with.”
While the work to create the dips is labor-intensive and time-consuming, they keep it light-hearted, playing music and enjoying working with each other in the kitchen. Their visions for the future include getting a co-packer and getting into bigger main stores like Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.
Alison’s Tribute to Her Mom Valerie:
“My mom is one of my biggest inspirations, in life and in business. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and has always encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit when others may have doubted me. We make a great team, and without her constant support and guidance, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today! I love you, mom️! Happy Mother’s Day!”
Learn more and order your dips at: https://dippindelish.com/
Erik, Sean, and Shabri Moore - Moore Wealth
Moore Wealth, an independent financial planning and wealth management firm, was started as a second career for Shabri Moore, who had previously been a molecular biologist by training. She spent 15 years in the biotech industry, working for the National Cancer Institute in Frederick before she decided to change careers and get into financial planning in 1996.
At the time, her sons got to witness Shabri starting her business from scratch. Shabri, who is originally from India, set the example for them with her work ethic and her business success.
Erik and Sean did not originally plan to end up working at Moore Wealth. Erik went to the University of Pittsburgh, graduating with a degree in Physics. In his last year of university, all he knew was he didn’t want to work in Physics. After getting an internship at a smaller financial firm in downtown Pittsburgh with little satisfaction, he then joined Shabri at Moore Wealth. That was 4 ½ years ago, and he’s been working at Moore Wealth ever since.
Sean went to the University of Maryland, getting an undergraduate degree in finance and economics. Similar to Erik, during Sean’s senior year, he decided to pursue a career outside his major. He joined the Army for 6 years, working in Special Forces, until he left to be closer to his wife and later, their families in Frederick. This led to Sean joining Moore Wealth near the end of 2017.
Their unpredictable paths led them to all be working together at Moore Wealth, and they each bring their diverse backgrounds and experience to the table.
Through working together, their respect for one another has deepened, as they each see the work ethic each person brings. Shabri shares, “There was growth in our relationship from viewing them as my kids to seeing them as educated young men who are business partners. They bring their knowledge, education, and thoughtfulness that I couldn’t bring only by myself.”
One of the benefits of Moore Wealth being a family-operated business is that it adds a personal component to their work in finance. Just as their clients get to know the Moore family, they want to know their clients on a personal level and what matters to them.
Erik’s Tribute to His Mom Shabri:
“I have a great amount of respect for her. She is the American dream. She’s from India, immigrated here, started a business, and is now successful -- and did this as a female immigrant. She’s lived the things she’s taught us about, and this has shaped a lot of who I am as a person and where I’ve gone in my career path.”
Sean’s Tribute to His Mom Shabri:
“It’s a really interesting thing to be in a place where something that is really hard for people to do is just normal for our mom. That’s our baseline expectation -- that she is exceptional and she will always be great at whatever she does.”
Learn more about Moore Wealth here: https://www.moorewealthinc.com/
Athelda and Kailah Ensley - Collages LLC
Kailah Ensley has been a writer ever since she was homeschooled by her mother, Athelda Ensley. Kailah started out writing poetry, short stories, and novels. Kailah never shared her work publicly until she decided she was ready to publish her first book through her mother’s company, Collages LLC.
For 10+ years, Athelda Ensley was a freelance writer working with clients all around the world before starting Collages. After meeting people in different business settings who wanted to write or had partially written books, Athelda began supporting authors with completing their books and marketing and publishing their books in a non-traditional way.
When it came to working together, they both appreciated one another’s professionalism, commitment, and expertise.
When Kailah first decided to work with her mom on publishing her book, it was the first time she shared her creative work with someone. She knew her mom would give her truthful, honest feedback, which is why she felt Athelda was the best person to work with on publishing her book. Kaliah shares: “The ability to publish with someone I could trust seemed like the perfect solution. If I was going to publish, it was going to be with her.”
Athelda shares, “We had to find new roles with each other, similar to when she was in home school. I had to be critical at some point and encouraging in others… It was a fun process because we stepped away from mother-daughter into the client-publisher relationship.”
Collages has provided a platform for Kailah, who has published two books so far with Collages. Working with Kailah expanded how Athelda engages with writers, including her Train of Thought Blog, an avenue she created for writers to get comfortable sharing their writing with the world. Kailah has participated in the blog and invited peers in her age group to participate as well.
Kailah is one of Athelda’s greatest cheerleaders, sharing that, “I’m a little biased, but she treated my work so well. She gave me great feedback as a publisher and a reader. I can’t sing her praises enough to other people who want to go through this process.”
Kailah’s Tribute to Her Mom Athelda:
“My mother has always been the inspiration behind my work. She taught me how to hold a pen and then to write, and then sent me off and let me do my thing. She has always been so supportive. I don’t think I’d be a writer without her. If I have questions about my grammar, writing, punctuation, anything, I know I can go to her for advice and inspiration. Or I just ask myself, ‘What would Athelda do?’ She’s the best writer I know.”
Learn more about Collages at https://www.collagesllc.com/
Marcia and Maria DeVore - Momma Lumpia
Last December, Marcia and her mother Maria were sitting around the dinner table with her brothers when they asked each other, “Why aren’t we selling lumpia?” Maria hopped up immediately to cook the lumpia, which are authentic Phillipino egg rolls.
They took pictures of them and kickstarted their business, Momma Lumpia, right then and there.
Marcia grew up eating lumpia cooked by her mother Maria, a native Phillipino. Marcia’s parents were both chefs and had their own restaurants when they were younger. After that, Maria continued to work as a chef. Marcia’s dad passed away in 2019, and Maria didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore, so starting the family business was the next step.
Momma Lumpia serves four different types of lumpia, as well as a Phillipino noodle dish called “pansit”. They started off by selling the lumpia to friends and family, and recently got their license. Right now, they work out of a shared kitchen called Maryland Bakes, and run their business catering style, cooking and delivering their orders.
Maria and Marcia share that they work well together… and they can get pretty saucy together. Their vision for the future is to expand and get a food truck, or get their product on shelves, and expand in offering more authentic Phillipino food. Their motto is: “I always say yes, I can do it.”
Marcia’s Tribute to Her Mom Maria:
“She’s my #1. She’s always been the person to push me to strive towards my dreams, which is what we’re doing right now. She’s a very wonderful supportive number. My brothers and I all love her.”
Learn more and order your lumpia here: https://www.facebook.com/mommalumpia
Marianna and Maren Good - The Center-Sound, Mind, Body
Maren and Marianna Good are the mother-daughter team that own and run The Center-Sound, Mind, Body, a holistic center with sound and aromatherapy options, yoga and pilates, and gong meditations.
Together, they bring complementary holistic services, which they discovered blend together beautifully.
Marianna is a Yoga and Pilates teacher, who was trained in India and New York City, as well as receiving a Masters in Yoga Therapy from the Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2015. For over 20 years, Maren has been doing sound work, as well as aromatherapy, selling an aromatherapy product line, and offering licensed massage therapy and reflexology.
Maren came to visit her daughter in Frederick and they collaborated on some yin yoga classes and Full Moon Ceremonies with gongs and oils… and found they made a great team.
Maren shares, “When I first came to Frederick to visit Mari, I fell in love with Frederick. I knew it was time to shift things, and my husband said, “You and Mari make a good team. How can these two not be together?’ ”
Together, they opened The Center-Sound, Mind, Body. They’ve found that their mother-daughter familial relationship only enhances their work relationship. They have an understanding of how to communicate with one another and are able to push each other in healthy, supportive ways.
Marianna’s Tribute to Her Mom Maren:
“If it wasn’t for the support and encouragement of my mother, and her supporting and encouraging me, this would not have ever come to fruition. She’s provided a safety net to help me take big leaps in my life without fear. Without her, none of this would be possible and I would not have been able to grow into who I am.”
Find out more and visit The Center-Sound, Mind, Body: https://www.thecenterfrederick.com/