Maria Shriver: First Lady, Advocate, Mom & Entrepreneur

by Deborah A Bailey

Award-winning journalist, First Lady of California, mother of four and entrepreneur, Maria Shriver continues to make her mark on the world while contributing her time and energy to social programs. Continuing in the footsteps of her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver who started the Special Olympics over 40 years ago, Maria is one of the founders of Lovin' Scoopful ice cream company which donates 25% of its profits to the Special Olympics and other causes.

A busy mom, Maria is firm about sitting down to dinner with her children five nights a week, and Sunday nights the family eats dinner together. Maria's advice for women who are trying to find that elusive balance between family, business and life in general?

"I think it's just to be more patient with yourself. Very often your kids are proud of you. There's no reason to beat yourself up about it," Maria says. Everybody's trying to do the best they can. Everyone's trying to make it look effortless. But I don't think anyone in their honest moments will say it's easy."

These days entrepreneurship is quickly becoming a norm for women who want to take control of their working lives. They also want more control over their income while having more time to oversee family obligations and making a difference in their communities. Maria's reason for founding an ice cream company is really no different.

"My brother talked to me about starting a company that would support Special Olympics. To reach beyond the community and be involved with fun and play and bringing families together," Maria says. "It's been a great experience, a fun experience. I buy things that will do good. I always go for the product that has a social conscience to it. It not only tastes good but does good as well."

As Creative Director of Lovin' Scoopful, Maria is heavily involved in product development including designing the packaging and concept in addition to creating flavors such as, "Out Of This World Chocolate," "Cozy Vanilla," "So Good Cookies & Cream," "Caramel Chocolate Heaven," "Yummy Cake & Cookie Dough" and "What The Fudge."

"I've loved having a hand in all aspects of the company, from creating the sumptuous flavors and coming up with the product names and logo, to ensuring that the quality of our ice cream is the best our customers have ever experienced," she says.

True to her values and concern for creating a healthy product, Maria is quick to emphasize that Lovin' Scoopful has 1/2 the fat and less calories than other premium ice creams and comes from the milk and cream of cows not treated with the cow growth hormone, rBST.

According to Maria, "This is the little ice cream company that could. It has a purpose about doing good in the world. If people start asking for it and supporting it, that's really our hope."

In addition to her role as First Lady and her duties with Lovin' Spoonful, Maria is producer of The Women's Conference which under her guidance has grown into the preeminent women's conference in the world. She's established programs across the United States to help women so that they can become economically empowered in order to make a difference within their families and communities.

For Maria, being an advocate of powerful social change is not just something she does because she's in the media spotlight. She's committed to being a voice for the working poor, disabled and disenfranchised by giving them tools to be empowered.

She advises other women who want to make a difference to: "Just do it. Look at programs we're supporting (through The Women's Conference) and just join in. There is much that is exciting, but much to be concerned about. As everyone focuses around the world, there are a lot of women in this country that need help."

She encourages other women who are considering entrepreneurship to learn so that they can be better equipped for the business world.

"The more we get comfortable about money the better," Maria says.

Leading by example is how Maria Shriver fills her varied roles as First Lady, entrepreneur, advocate of social awareness and change, wife and mother. What inspires her to keep going and helping to create powerful changes in the world?

"My children. My mother's voice. Helping people to be inspired," she says. "It's how you conduct your life."

Become a fan of Lovin' Scoopful:
and check out Lovin' Scoopful's NEW What' Flavor of Ice Cream Are You? app:

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”

1 comment

Erica Polaris said...

Thank you for such an enlightening view of entrepreneural techniques for women. There isn't enough information out there to help women and as a fellow internet marketing entrepreneur I know how much I have struggled in the early days to make a success of my business.

I have written a blog on rags to riches success which aims to help women and men to succeed as an entrepreneur online and I hope that there will be more entrepreneurs that will pass on their knowledge and secrets to helps others in need.

Please do stop by and leave your comments on

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