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All things mommy

By NAN BIALEK

May 9, 2011

Using her skills as an event planner and marketing manager, Shannon Schultz launched a blog for parents and a family-oriented event planning business.


As a full-time, home-schooling mom, Shannon Schultz of Cedarburg knows how to keep her three children ó August, 7, Martha, 4, and Hazel, 2 ó calm and carrying on. On her Ugga Mugga blog, she shares her family friendly tips on everything from new products to fashion, fascinating field trips and crafts that manage to be cute, but not sappy.

Armed with a degree in organizational communication and public relations, Schultz plunged right into challenging jobs soon after graduating from Mequonís Concordia University Wisconsin. She worked as marketing manager at the Betty Brinn Childrenís Museum and as an event planner at Northwestern Mutual Life and Quarles & Brady. She also organized Firstar Eve and Firstar Fireworks celebrations.

"But I always knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom," she says.

So she left the corporate world behind, with faith that new opportunities would present themselves. She took the same energy that propelled her business career and invested it in researching "every aspect of being a mother," she says. Soon friends began calling her for advice, and Schultz found herself fielding questions about the safest car seats, best diaper bags and keeping little ones entertained on snow days.

When her husband, Aaron, suggested that she write a blog, Schultz didnít hesitate. She borrowed one of Augustís favorite phrases from "Mister Rogersí Neighborhood" and launched Ugga Mugga.

Schultz writes about childrenís products she can highly recommend from experience. Although she often receives samples from manufacturers, she says she does not get paid to feature the items and writes only about the products she loves.

Itís no coincidence that her 4-year-old is named Martha. Schultz is a devoted Martha Stewart fan. She has always had Stewart-like tendencies. Her mother recalls Schultzís kindergarten teacher asking her to name colors. Even at that tender age, Schultzís answers were "robinís egg blue" and "moss green." The crafts featured on Ugga Mugga have that same artistic sensibility, such as charming do-it-yourself snow globes made from plastic cups, white glitter and tiny penguin figurines.

Now, Schultz says, she is combining all of her interests into a new venture, Ugga Mugga Events.

"Itís another way to try to reach more families," she says. "So now, instead of hiring a magician or clown to come to a birthday party for an hour, they can hire me to come and do a nice craft."

Families can hire Schultz to plan and stage the entire party, or simply handle one or two aspects of the event, such as creating custom invitations or inventing a one-of-a-kind cake.

The idea came from the "crazy" birthday parties requested by her own kids, like Hazelís "cow party." Schultz offered Hazelís guests an array of flavored milk, and they played "pin the tail on the cow." At the Schultzís fortune cookie party, homemade dragons hung from the ceiling and each guest had their personalized fortunes baked into their cookies.

Five years ago, when she decided to stay home to raise her children, Schultz never dreamed that she would be a go-to resource for families.

"I just try to make things easier for parents, especially those who work, so they can enjoy their kids more," she says.

For more information, visit www.UggaMugga.com and www.UggaMuggaEvents.com


This story ran in the April 2011 issue of: