We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Kenney M.Ed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Peace and Parenting was born out of the idea we all need and deserve help and support around our parenting. Before I had my first child I thought parenting would come naturally to me. Having been a former teacher and High School Counselor with a Master’s Degree in Education and a successful professional who loved her students, I assumed this would make me a shoe-in as a mom. I was sadly mistaken when parenting was completely overwhelming and everything I learned in my professional career didn’t do me a bit of good and ended up causing me to yell in order to get kids to comply. Once I found there were new ways, modern ideas around connection and relationship which actually helped me feel more secure in my parenting I wanted to share it with everyone! My thought was if I didn’t know that parenting with the ideas of connection where more beneficial then parenting with punishments are and rewards there must be an entire world of people who also didn’t know. I was determined to spread my message and help as many parents as I could find more peace and love at home with their children, so things didn’t have to be so hard.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I was a teacher, with zero business experience. When I began teaching parenting classes out of my living room it came from pure passion to help others. I think that’s what sets my business apart from many others, I did not begin this work to make money I do this work to reach as many parents as I can and the business part was always second. I have had to learn the hard way and work endlessly to figure out how to both make a living and serve people the best way I can. There is a delicate balance in this business paradigm. There are days when I feel like the business side of my company is failing and there are days where I am on top of the world. Not giving up and riding out the hard moments has severed me well. Being flexible and not expecting perfection has also helped my find my way through the murkiness of owning your own small business. Peace and Parenting more than anything else is built on the idea that we can change a generation of people one family at a time. I continue to let that reign supreme in my mind when I have days which are challenging.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has it all! But in my mind there are a few special spots one should not miss out on. My favorite lunch place hands down is Cheteau Marmont, the patio is incredible and the burger is a must. It’s not on the menu anymore but you can always ask for it! I am a huge fan of a good dive bar and there are a few that I always come back to. The Dime on Fairfax is as divey as they get! They often have a DJ and this tiny but mighty spot is extremely lively for a Friday or Saturday night. I live in Toluca Lake and our neighborhood dive bar is great too, The Red Door, it’s cash only and they serve pizza from the restaurant in front’s brick oven. If you are lucky enough you will find a good show to go to at The Henry Fond Theater which is my favorite. This tiny amphitheater is located in the Hollywood Hills and the setting is dreamy. They have few shows but it is worth going to regardless of the music. Point Dume is the best place to relax especially if you pay the few dollars to park and make your way all the way to the end of the beach. Chez Jay is a Santa Monica staple this dinner and drinks spot is one half old school restaurant and one half dive bar all in one. Horses is currently my favorite place to have dinner, this Hollywood restaurant use to be Coach and Horses way back in the day and The Pikey and has recently opened up under the name Horses. The food is phenomenal and so are the drinks! The Broad museum houses some of LA”s best modern art, I could wander there for hours, but getting tickets is a must. If you want to shop my three favorite clothing stores are Mohawk General Store, Midland and American Rag. Each has their special brand of modern hippy gear which is always up my alley. The Helen Albert Certified Farmer’s Market in my opinion is the best in the city, there are plenty of fruits and vegetable and a fresh fish stand which brings the daily fish straight form the port. It’s open on Monday so if you can swing it you also miss the weekend craziness of most Farmer’s Markets.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I found Hand in Hand Parenting in 2012. It changed my life completely and gave me the relationships with my daughters that I only dreamed of having before they were born. The founder Patty Wipfler has a deep understanding of children’s emotions and how to support kids through listening. Completing my Hand in Hand Certification in 2015 was one of the most important steps I have taken as a mom and as a professional. I would attribute the work I did in that year long certification more monumental then both of my degrees and the 10 years of personal therapy I have. I am grateful for Patty’s work and her continued efforts to support parents.