The old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and Ashley Jones, Woodstock local and mother of two, decided to raise her own from the ground up through Towne Lake Mama, a social media initiative with the goal to build a “local and virtual mom community.”

Becoming a mother amid the isolation of the COVID pandemic, Ashley’s introduction to motherhood was rocky, and even after quarantine restrictions lifted, she felt alone. This struggle motivated her to build a community of her own.

“Post-COVID, I had a lot of friends with babies and kids but none who lived locally. I knew I couldn’t be the only mom feeling alone. It really opened my eyes to how postpartum mental health is not talked about enough. It can be hard to make mom friends sometimes. It doesn’t always happen organically at the park or at daycare or school functions, so I decided to start Towne Lake Mama.”

Towne Lake Mama serves as a resource for mothers to learn about events for kids and moms around Woodstock and Canton as well as child-friendly crafts, activities, and products. Moms can also share experiences and ask questions about motherhood through the account.

Mama-Owned Mondays

Ashley also supports local mother-owned businesses through a weekly series, Mama-Owned Mondays.

“I thought of the idea because I had a few friends and neighbors who owned their own businesses, and I was in awe that they could run a business and be a super mom all at the same time,” says Ashley. “I think it’s important to support each other as women and also support local businesses in this unpredictable economy. The response has been great so far, and I have enough mom-owned businesses to spotlight every Monday for the next few months.”

Two of these “super mom”-owned businesses are Closing With Madeline and Cherokee Rose Candle Company. Both women echo Ashley’s sentiment of community and share their gratitude for the connections they have made through Towne Lake Mama.

Madeline King, owner of transaction-coordination company Closing With Madeline, says, “Ashley mentioned this opportunity to me, and I was delighted to be featured. I met her via her Instagram account and actually joined one of her mama meetups last fall. I love what she is doing for moms in our community.”

Along with a sense of connection, Ashley’s Mama-Owned Mondays foster support and collaboration among local mothers’ businesses. “I love the community she is building for local moms,” says Amanda Roberts, founder and CEO of Cherokee Rose Candle Company. “I look forward to seeing what other mama-owned businesses she features so I can support and possibly collaborate with them.”

While Ashley recently welcomed her second child, a daughter, she continues to work toward goals to expand Towne Lake Mama’s online presence and further unify the local mom community. “I would love to get some in-person meetups on the calendar in the near future, whether that’s chatting over some drinks or over coffee,” says Ashley. “I am hoping to get a website or blog started while on my maternity leave so there is a more static place to share some of my content and an easier way to find something rather than just an Instagram post.”

Towne Lake Mama | Ashley Jones | Photo Credit: Katie Johnson/KT Johnson Photography

Jones, party of four: The Jones family recently grew with the addition of a daughter. Pictured are Ashley; her husband, Dylan; and their son. (Photo Credit: Katie Johnson/KT Johnson Photography)

Ashley strives to build an authentic, supportive community of mothers in a culture where individualism is the norm. “It’s easy to see social media and think other moms have it all together or are not struggling,” says Ashley. “Having a community or village around you that knows what you are going through is important, whether that’s virtual or in person.”

More information and resources from Towne Lake Mama can be found through Ashley’s Instagram account (@townelakemama) and new website (TowneLakeMama.BlogSpot.com).

 

 

You May Also Like…

Artisans in Bloom in Woodstock

Annual Powwow Celebrates Mothers and Mother Earth

Not Your Typical Festival

Rewriting the Book on Menswear

Movers & Makers: The Women Shaping Art in Cherokee County

 

 

SUBSCRIBE TO ENJOY CHEROKEE MAGAZINE