Friday, September 19, 2014 Elul 24, 5774

Hello, Muddah ... Wait, That's Me!

June 28, 2007 By:
Rita Charleston, JE Feature
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Entrepreneur Carole Blum
Miss your grandmother's mandelbread, but don't think you could ever recreate it?

Capable of selecting the right wine for a great meal based on taste, not the bottle's beauty? Would you enjoy a private tennis lesson, beauty session or Pilates instruction -- catering just to you and your needs?

Impossible to do it all with your busy schedule, right?

Well, not so, says Carole Blum, a member of Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim, a busy and successful entrepreneur, as well as creator of the Take Five Day Camp for Women, a new concept to help busy mothers and working women take time out for themselves.

Twenty-four years ago -- after graduating with a fashion merchandising degree from Bridgeport University, working for a number of high-end department stores and marrying -- Blum moved to Philadelphia and opened That Special Look, a women's sportswear boutique on Montgomery Avenue in Bala Cynwyd.

With a loyal customer base, Blum became successful enough to close the store for July and August and, changing hats, began directing a drama program at the Julian Krinsky children's summer camp. And that gave Blum a chance to exchange thoughts and dreams with the mothers who came to drop their kids off for a day of entertainment and relaxation.

"And the one thing the women kept saying to me was, 'I want to go to camp, too. Why should my kids be the only ones to have all the fun?' "

Blum agreed and thought to herself, "Why indeed?"

And so, using her contacts to make it all happen, the special new summer camp -- the only one of its kind, according to Blum, and which runs June 25 through Aug. 9 -- was born.

Utilizing the talents and skills of experts in her area to bring five hours of enjoyment into women's lives (the five hours many kids are in camp), Blum explains the idea: "I wanted women to have the same kind of fun their kids had, and that's what planted the seed for me. Now women can enjoy such things as yoga, cooking, wine tasting, tennis, horticulture and much, much more."

Letters From Home
Many of the classes are run out of Blum's home, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The program is in session four days a week with two, 21/2-hour programs scheduled each day, or women can organize a group of people and create a custom day of activities. There are also extras for those who sign up for eight or more days.

"And if there's anything else I haven't thought of to make a women's day more enjoyable, all they have to do is let me know and I'll make it happen."

Blum adds that "as a mother of three and business owner, I find I spend a lot of time on others, but don't have the opportunity to spend much time on myself. That's why I created Take Five -- to give women like me a chance to take a break from the hustle and bustle of every day. The program is designed for women to get together, pursue passions and improve themselves."

In addition to the local activities, Blum is also planning a rafting adventure on the Salmon River, July 15 to July 20. The trip includes activities like meditating, yoga, fine foods and conversation under the stars with friends.

"All I'm trying to do is help women take some time out of their busy lives to spend on themselves. And come September, it's back to the store for me for another chapter -- a good chapter -- of my life," she says.

"I truly enjoy everything I do. I've had the bad stuff in my life, now I just want the good."

For more information, call 610-733-7737.

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