And the baby shower that solidified their friendship.
Leah Weinberg and Jackie Mangiolino

Editor's Note: In the spirit of Galentine's Day, we're profiling powerful women duos in the creative industry - party planners, stylists, designers, makers, and more - who demonstrate innovation and embody entrepreneurial empowerment. In other words, they're #SoMartha.

What does it take to trade an executive office for the life of a "craft-epreneur"? Two friends know the answer to this question all too well.

When Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events met Jackie Mangiolino of Sincerely, Jackie as well as The Everyday Mother, they were in a similar set of circumstances. "It was shortly after we had both quit our full-time jobs to focus on our businesses," Weinberg says. "Both of us were very successful at our corporate jobs (she as an executive coach and me as an attorney) and so going out on our own presented a different kind of challenge for us."

"Early on in our friendship, I remember mentioning to Jackie that now that we're our own bosses, there's no one to validate the work that we're doing or praise us on a job well done," Weinberg says. "She knew exactly what I meant and that was really comforting. Now that we've been spent a few years growing our businesses, we're able to get that reassurance from our clients, but in the beginning it's so hard and so lonely, and that's one of the things that really brought us together."

Jackie Mangiolino
Credit: Brklyn View Photography

In the years of their newly-found friendship, Weinberg and Mangiolino have partnered on a handful of styled shoots together from a "Beauty and the Beast" inspired baby shower to a dapper art deco themed cocktail hour and a "She Got Scooped Up" ice cream inspired bridal shower.

But it was when Mangiolino (as a mother-to-be) gave birth to her son Richie at just 26 weeks into her pregnancy that something changed. "At that moment, Jackie had to balance her own health with her son's health with running a business with her personal life," Weinberg recalls. "Watching her handle that challenge with such strength, grace and determination was so incredibly inspiring. And so incredibly emotional to witness."

"Leah and I had already started working on the shower when I got sick, and I was so heartbroken to think we might have had to cancel it," Mangiolino remembers. "After Richie was born, we decided to go ahead and have the shower - which suddenly became even more meaningful."

"Jackie's son is now approaching his second birthday in May and what Jackie has been able to accomplish in these last two years is superhero-worthy," Weinberg says.

CHECK OUT: Jackie's Buzz-Worthy Bumblebee Baby Shower
Leah Weinberg
Credit: Mikkel Paige Photography

And on that note comes their advice to other women who work (and have fun) together: "love and support each other unconditionally. Life can be tough. Work can be tough. It's invaluable to surround yourself with women who just 'get you' professionally and personally, and can be there for you when you need help. And vice versa."

Feeling inspired? Watch how to host a Valentine's Day kiss-themed party with these easy DIY ideas:


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