At a La Mesa coffee shop called Java Mama, Nichole MacDonald shows off the latest in eco-friendly purses. One’s made of recycled polyester, treated to look and feel like leather. Another has a zippered compartment to hide your green shopping bag. Her year old business Bagonia is thriving, she says, in big part, because of the support she’s getting from other moms.
"I can't even tell you what it's meant to me and my business," the single mom of a four year old boy says. "Being connected to some of the moms has gotten me into stores and has gotten other people onto my website, and that's genuine support."
And now MacDonald is part of a new online movement asking moms to pledge to do exactly that: harness their purchasing power to support women-owned businesses through the recession. It’s called "Moms Rock the Economy."
"Eight five percent of all the purchases that happen within a household are made by women. So women are essentially going to take this recession and bring the U.S. out of the recession by their purchases," said Charity Lacey, a spokesperson for the Moms Rock the Economy website.
The website asks moms to sign a pledge saying they will support women-owned businesses as often as possible.
"It doesn't mean I can't go to Target and buy my diapers if I need to do that it,“ Lacey explains. “Essentially, it says when I look at where I purchase my goods and services I'm going to take a look and really support other mothers and other women owned businesses so they can become financially stable and as well as successful.”
"I know what it's like to fight for your family and fight for your economic success and really want to be a part of that in any way you can," says San Diego mom Michell Sybert, who signed the online pledge.
"There's always this stereotype about women that they're competitive and it's not true. I have nothing but support from every mom group, every person that I talk to about the bags. People really do want to help each other," MacDonald says.