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Ridgefield Moms Hottest Summer Tips

Moms Helping Moms Through a Common Purpose and Community

Article by Ashley Alt

Photography by New Light Creative Services

Originally published in Ridgefield Lifestyle

Dresses, J.McLaughlin. Hair styles, Whip Salon.

Michele Moonan and Ashley Forte bring support, comfort, and so much more to the local community. Taking on the Ridgefield Chapter of The Local Moms Network back in 2018, their friendship is just as solid as their business. Doling out resource after resource to moms craving community and companionship, these two smart and savvy business women know exactly what mothers of Ridgefield want, and they deliver.

The mission of The Local Moms Network (and all of its chapters), is to give moms the gift of time, something that always seems to either go by too quickly or not quickly enough.

“The bad news is that time flies,” they declare. “The good news is that you’re the pilot. Why not create ways to collectively devote ourselves to the most meaningful parts of our lives? That is our family, friendships, and responsibilities to others and ourselves."

The duo provides all moms with gifts to preserve their time spent with family and friends by sharing tips, tricks, roundups of local activities, and reasons to pause, reflect, laugh, cry, and know you are not alone in motherhood.

Many new moms join Ashley and Michele’s community looking for exactly what they provide which includes everything from pediatric dentist recommendations to weekend art classes to the best places to host moms nights out. Many of those new moms are new to town, and are seeking that sense of comfort and familiarity that we all need in order to feel a sense of belonging.

“We all know first impressions go a long way and we encourage all moms here to just smile,” the two state. “A smile can be that simple sign that you are welcoming another to engage, feel safe, seen, and respected.”

They also encourage moms to utilize the incredible resources here in town from the arts to theater to community happenings, neighborhood pool organizations, ball fields, and facilities built for families to play, learn and thrive. “And of course, to check out our Weekly Roundups that give a small taste of what’s to come each weekend here in Ridgefield,” they suggest.

As for getting involved with the Ridgefield Moms group, Ashley and Michele declare the most notable way is recognizing the moms that “make our community tick,” and the local businesses that drive the town’s daily happenings.

“Our chapter of Ridgefield Moms is especially busy with so many new and existing businesses opening or expanding in town,” they state. “Our passion is connecting like-minded women and supporting them however we can.” 

This past Mother’s Day, Michele and Ashley hosted a successful pop-up shop that consisted of 30+ mom-owned businesses to display their talents and offerings to the community. “We had such great feedback from that event, and will be focusing on more larger events in the future,” they say.

Their tips to enjoy the dog days of summer? Michele always thinks back to the saying, "We only have 18 summers with our kids," which motivates her to plan how to make the most of that precious time. "It doesn't have to be big trips or fancy outings," she says. "It's the smells of summer, the feeling of carefree days."

Ashley believes that "getting back to the basics" is best, like running through backyard sprinklers, witnessing endless splashes in the pool, and relishing in backyard s'mores. A secret summer tip? "Rent a pontoon boat on Candlewood Lake with the family just for the day," she says. 

The community the business partners have fostered for moms is nothing short of spectacular. I had to ask what keeps them inspired and motivated to keep creating content relevant to moms, aiding in so many individuals’ ability to flourish personally and professionally.

“This question is the easiest yet,” they say. “The answer is our children. They motivate us to be better daily — whether that means being more prepared for their busy schedules, having a healthy meal ready to nourish them, or a fun activity to enjoy with them. It is so important to us both that we lead by example and that consists of working hard, giving back and loving unconditionally.”

“We all know first impressions go a long way...we encourage all moms here to smile. A smile can be that simple sign that you are welcoming another to engage, feel safe, seen, and respected.”