Enterprising Mom Creates Local Site for Parents

Kristina Schnack Kotlus, shown with her husband and three children, is an active mom and member of the Prince William County community.

Kristina Schnack Kotlus does not like to call herself a mommy blogger.

“Mommy blogger has this connotation about how you sit around and drink wine and hate on your children. We love our children,” said Kotlus of herself and the community of online moms in Northern Virginia to which she belongs.

To be technical, “I do blog, and I am a mom,” said Kotlus.

However, the mom of three, who has a background in marketing, resists being defined in such narrow terms. Anyone who visits her site, PWC Moms, will understand. The website serves as hub for parents looking for kid-friendly activities. It offers business reviews, features community service organizations and even provides chances for readers to win prizes, such as tickets to children’s events in the area.

Kotlus has also joined an elite group of moms who have carved out a niche on the Internet, expanding their sites into a successful community assets.

“Really, I started this whole hobby that got out of control. I was in a mommy group and I decided that there were all these different resources for parents, but it’s hard to keep track of all of them,” Kotlus said.

So Kotlus created an event calendar with Google and shared it with the moms in her group. Soon she had too many events to fit on the calendar.

To accommodate the growth, Kotlus developed a PWC Moms Facebook Page. The social media site helped her attract a large following throughout the region.  Soon, she began reach out to local businesses, and also got involved with charities and nonprofit.

PWC Moms is an informative website for parents in the community, who want to know more about events, preschools or kid-friendly groups and activities in their community.

“I got really involved when ACTS (Action in Community Through Service) was out of food,” said Kotlus, who then decided to become more involved in promoting community service organizations.

Once organizations and businesses realized the service Kotlus was offering, they contacted her. Meanwhile, Kotlus branched out again, creating the website, which became her main hub of operation. Kotlus began to devote more and more time to PWC Moms, because of the passion she felt for the venture.

“I was a mom with two small kids. I had not been out of college for too long, and I felt that my brain was melting away,” said Kotlus.

Kotlus believes she is like many moms who relish time with their children, but also desire other outlets. Rather than taking a job outside of the home, Kotlus found a way to blur the lines between a stay-at-home and working mother.

“There is a business of motherhood now,” said Kotlus. “I don’t know if it changes the dynamic, but I like that it’s an option. I like that you can stay home with your kids, or you can find a business that works with your family and for your family; or you can be a mom and go to work. I think it’s just another facet of motherhood that is available now, and it’s fantastic.”

Kotlus takes her children everywhere with her, so they experience interacting with adults and being involved in worthwhile pursuits.

Kotlus said she is very fortunate to be in a position to have that option available to her. However, in choosing to stay home with her three children, she defied expectations.

“Friends are surprised that I stay home,” said Kotlus, who describes herself as a type-A go-getter. They remember the Prince William native as a Hylton High School honor student, juggling multiple activities with her sights set on a high-paying corporate career.

However, Kotlus feels she is exactly where she is supposed to be.

“I felt it was the path I was called to take. It was really freeing. Once you let go of the expectations other people have for you, (you find) the expectations you had for yourself are so much better.”

She also believes the experiences her children gain from shadowing their mom on the job are invaluable. Now her eldest son enjoys campaigning door-to-door, and is not shy when meeting business leaders or local officials.

Kotlus also enjoyed doing her part to help localize the culture in Prince William County.

“For a long time Nova was so encompassed in the D.C. Metro identity, but now people want to claim things locally.  There is so much going on here.  You don’t have to go to D.C. or Fairfax. We have Jiffy Lube Live. We have the Hylton Performing Arts Center. It doesn’t negate that you can be in the Kennedy Center in 45 minutes, but that’s still awesome.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Category: Bristow Biz, Community Service

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  1. I love PWC Moms and I love Kristina’s outlook on stay-at-home motherhood. Good job.

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