Where: In-Person Gatherings Hosted at Rotating Locations in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Virtual Meet Ups Hosted via Zoom.
When: Monthly Gatherings and Virtual Meet Ups Alternate Between Lunch Time and Early Evening.
What to Expect: Casual, Friendly Atmosphere. Perfect for New Business Owners. Most Meetings Kid-Friendly. One Hour – Ninety Minutes in Length.
We are #bettertogether!
Hampton Roads – Virginia Beach Business Among Moms
The Hampton Roads BAM chapter welcomes women from all walks of life across Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News and beyond!
We are a kid-friendly tribe of women committed to doing life together. Whether that means coming together to brainstorm new business ideas and tackle professional roadblocks, hosting a potluck dinner or BBQ while the kids play, testing our courage at the ropes course, laughing through our paddle boarding adventures, or going out into the local community to serve those in need, the #HRVA BAM tribe loves to celebrate the beautiful chaos of life and everything that can mean for us as women, mothers, friends, sisters, business owners, side hustlers, career professionals, wives and selves.
We also enjoy the wonderful luxury of having a sister chapter nearby on the Peninsula side, which stretches towards Williamsburg and beyond, to further strengthen our powerful network of motivated women. BAM members are welcome to attend events hosted by both chapters and we often come together to collaborate on creative projects, special workshops and community services.
Meeting regularly each month, both in-person and via virtual connect, the Hampton Roads chapter is a great place for women looking to make new friends, get a better grip on their business vision, and be surrounded by those who understand the unique challenges of balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. All are welcome!
Our meetings tend to be spirited and heartfelt, with kiddos often running happily among us or playing in another room. Because our group covers a substantial bit of ground, and Hampton Roads traffic most often works to make life extra fun, meetings are hosted at a variety of locations – sometimes at a leader’s home in Chesapeake and sometimes in different social or coworking spots in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. We welcome local speakers and influencers to share, work together in a mastermind circle of trust and accountability, and are always looking for new ways to further cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued, purposed and heard.
Our virtual meetings often include listening in to a favorite podcast or video, lasting about 45 minutes to an hour, as we check in with each other on the go during lunch or later evenings as we’re winding down. Our in-person meetings generally last about 1.5 hours, including some social time at the beginning, a member business spotlight and about an hour of discussion on a shared topic of interest. We are a casual group where everyone has a voice and we understand if you’re running a few minutes late or have to pop out a few minutes early. We get it! We’re with you and we truly believe we are #bettertogether.
We do allow prospective members to visit in our members only Facebook group for a week or two to get a feel for the atmosphere of the group and to stay informed of our upcoming events as you explore whether our community is a best fit for you. Ask to join there or hop on over to the Facebook page that we share with our Peninsula sister chapter to see when and where we are meeting next!
The Hampton Roads BAM Chapter is led by a trio of working moms, committed friends and ambitious women! Katy, Andrea and Elsbeth have a deep passion for building a community where everyone feels valued and loved, and whether they are laughing over kiddo chaos or carrying each other through life’s ups and downs, these three friends are a breath of fresh air. Let’s hear a bit more from them!
Consultant with Rodan + Fields
President and Founder of Habesha Momma Inc.
Married for 24 years with six children ranging in age from 28 to 12, life has been an adventure, to say the least! My four younger boys are adopted from Ethiopia. Being the only girl in the mix, my daughter refused to share the crown for her princess status, thus my four younger kids being boys. Admittedly, we’ve seen some unique challenges to parenting among that age gap, in addition to navigating the ins and outs of international adoption…oh…and all that testosterone.
The adoption of my four sons led to a deep, steadfast love for the country of Ethiopia, and after traveling for several years with my local church, I decided it was time to branch out into the nonprofit arena to provide further aid to my growing family in my heart country. Thus, Habesha Momma Inc. was born in 2014 and has been serving and supporting women and children in Ethiopia ever since.
After over 25 years in the world of corporate ladder climbing in the healthcare industry, I decided to quit the rat race in December of 2016 to pursue a full-time commitment to Habesha Momma, Inc. and the world of entrepreneurship. The transition has been challenging and exciting, and all the feelings in between. After spending most of my life stressing over a corporate schedule while also struggling to juggle parenthood, balancing a growing non-profit and part time business, I knew it was time to make a change. Learning to navigate outside of the identity I wore in my “real job,” and taking on this new role has not been without its bumps and bruises, especially as I continue to establish myself as a “real business owner” among the varied belief that network marketing and MLM representatives don’t “qualify.”
I now spend my days making my own schedule and my own rules, while battling for a corner of my home office along with my fur babies, a Mastiff named Desta (my only other source of in-home estrogen these days), a Pit mix named Marley (yes, as in Bob) and my grand puppy, Apollo. My husband is also a business owner, remodeling homes, so you name it, we’ve been there.
BAM came along at exactly the right time, it’s been an incredible resource that’s provided an invaluable source of friendship and sisterhood along with tangible insights to growing my business and nonprofit. Working from home after so many years in the corporate world can be isolating and lonely, and having a network of like-minded women by my side as we do this crazy little thing called life…well, it’s truly been a gift.
Fit With Emotion
The Ying Yang Life
Hey there! I’m Elsbeth Thurston and yes, I’m a self-proclaimed science and technology nerd! By day, I work as an Informatics Pharmacist (say that three times fast!) and by night (i.e. every other waking moment), I’m both a blogger and budding entrepreneur. My purpose in all of my endeavors is to combine spiritual, mental and physical health to guide others forward to embrace an overall healthy lifestyle. I have been married for six years and have an incredibly outgoing and exceptionally busy, four year old son!
Business Among Moms, to me, is an opportunity to share not only business challenges, but life struggles with other women who understand the need for balance and support. Our local chapter is truly welcoming to anyone, from women with grown up children, to those single and just looking for fellowship and inspiration. Our meetings are often lively, with kids of many ages happily playing near us and forging their own friendships. I love that I can grow my business and my relationships in a manner that fuels my inspiration but also lets me firmly show up and champion myself and my life, exactly as I am, kiddo crazy included.
If I were to share something that surprises most people, is pretty interesting and wouldn’t be your first guess, it’s that I am a state-certified Search and Rescue Management Team Member. I belong to a local all-volunteer SAR group and we are dispatched for missing persons across the state.
Follow Elsbeth Online!
Katy Blevins Calabrese
Chief Leadership and Training Officer, Business Among Moms
Writer, Consultant and Community Builder
After a lifetime of faking perfection and clawing my way up the corporate ladder, I decided to drop the curtain and get real with my friends, my family and most importantly, myself. A self-professed, raging workaholic and obsessive perfectionist, I am intimately familiar with epic failure and maybe not so familiar with myself. As I fully embrace entering this #seasonofkaty, I am learning that the laundry is better off almost always, almost done and life is more and more about purpose and family, and less and less about success and public opinion. An expert in all things Super Mario Bros. and old school Nintendo, I love hanging at home with my newlywed husband, twin sons and teenage daughter, giant wannabe-chihuahua 150 lb. dog/chicken Gambit, one very large bearded dragon, Cricket, a handful of mostly alive fish and one barely deserves to be mentioned, annoyingly lacking in personal space, black cat, Leo.
I’ve recently returned to full-time corporate work, and while this particular season of life is not leaning into the entrepreneurial realm as it did before, this go-around I feel much more in control of my boundaries, and fiercely protect my time for my family and myself. When I’m not at the office or taking my kiddos to cooking class, I can be found at my church, volunteering at MOPS and leading small group Bible studies. Business Among Moms has celebrated my successes, and stood by me during my darker moments. The community and fellowship I have found among women of faith, passion and purpose has been life-saving and crucial to my many transformations and reinventions. I am honored to contribute to the nationwide growth and development of this organization and love calling Hampton Roads home.