Jessica Conti, a nurse, business owner, entrepreneur, mother, and local Strathmore resident, exemplifies the power of women on International Women's Day (IWD). 

Conti is the co-owner of Jess and Lee Maternity, alongside her business partner and friend, Lee Brill. 

Jess and Lee Maternity offers perinatal education and support services. They provide everything from childbirth education classes to birth doula support, postpartum respite, infant feeding consultations, and infant CPR classes. 

Conti is also the owner of Jess the Nurse, where she does content creation and designs health and wellness journals. 

Conti grew up in Strathmore; she moved away for a few years but ultimately ended up moving back to her hometown and started her business. She spoke about this experience. 

“Working with and for women in the community has been a gift that keeps on giving, especially since moving back to Strathmore. I love seeing moms throughout their motherhood journey; it is really special.” 

When she graduated from nursing school, Conti started out working in the hospital setting but didn't like the fact that she only got to work with mothers through a tiny bit of their post-partum journey, which is why she decided to start her own business in a tight-knit community. 

“It is so amazing to see the moms continue to follow up, even years after they had their babies. It's amazing that we get to run into each other at soccer games, dance practices, and around the community; it's special.” 

Conti offers some advice to anyone who is interested in pursuing a similar career as hers. 

“Just do it. It's really cool to support new parents, especially when you are a parent yourself. But even if you're not a parent, there is something so vulnerable about seeing a birthing person go through what feels like their toughest moment, and going through all those tough experiences with them and seeing them come out of it is really special." 

For Conti, it is important for her to continue to have a strong relationship with her clients. 

“Watching parents grow through their family-creating journey is so special. If you are a parent, you know how special it is, but from an outsider's perspective, it's even better because you have a perspective that you didn't have when you were going through it yourself." 

On top of her business endeavors, Conti is also a mom to two young children. 

“It's important to have a support system. I am fortunate to have that here. Since moving back to Strathmore, we've been surrounded by friends and family. We have a community where we can help each other out,” Conti said. 

IWD is a time to reflect on the inspiring women in our lives, and Conti gives praise to her mom, who continues to remind her to slow down and be present with her children while they are still young. 

“My mom is so supportive of whatever I am doing.” 

She also finds inspiration from her business partner, Lee Brill. 

Jess and LeeJessica Conti (L) and Lee Brill (R) of Jess and Lee Maternity. 

“I love that we are on this chaotic journey together. We may not be the most organized pair, but we get through it, and I love that we are on this business-owning journey together.” 

Conti also admires her friend and fellow entrepreneur, Katie, who is a mother of three and a personal trainer. 

“It is a wonderful time to be a woman, so take advantage of it. It's our time to shine. I have never really felt that way before, but now that I have a daughter, I see it.” Conti said. 

To celebrate International Women's Day and every day, Conti says, “I want all of us to continue to be a community of women and girls who build each other up instead of bringing each other down.” 

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