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Moms With Style

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It’s no secret that Minnesota women are a smart, savvy and creative bunch who work hard and struggle to juggle the elusive work/ life balance. On May 2 and 3, the Minneapolis Convention Center will be host to Moms Rock! Expo™, a unique and innovative gathering that will provide Minnesota moms with the opportunity for access to information, resources, camaraderie and tools for living a better life.

“I’ve wanted to create an event like Moms Rock! Expo for the Twin Cities area for some time,” Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, event creator and founder, shared. “When I moved here from St. Louis, Missouri, 23 years ago to do marketing and promotions work for singer-songwriter Prince, I had it in my head that I would only stay two years before moving on. I’ll never forget the day Prince looked at me and said, ‘You’ll never leave,’ and he was right! Once I lived here for a while, I fell in love with Minnesota because it is a great place to live, work and play.”

As her love of the area grew, so did her desire to better the lives of those around her. “My mother always taught me to add value and be of service whenever you can in life,” Sharon confirmed. “So I decide that if I was going to make Minnesota my home, I needed to really focus on enhancing the lives of those around me. I’ve always been in love with fighting for, and working towards, women’s issues and things that elevate women, moms and girls. That has always been a passion of mine. I also knew that if Minnesota was to remain a great place to live, work and play, we needed to do a better job of elevating moms and supporting working families. We need to be aware that 72 percent of children in our state have a mom who works outside the home and an estimated 44 percent of area moms have to work to keep the family together. I want to raise the issue that we all need to work together to support our moms and that includes government, corporations and communities. That passion and knowledge of the facts fueled me to create a venue in which moms could come together, learn, grow and celebrate each other: the Moms Rock! Expo.”

Armed with a seed of an idea and a vast knowledge of creating events and promotions, Sharon created the Moms Rock! Expo in 2013 and it has been full steam ahead ever since. This first weekend in May is not only packed with expert panel discussions, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations and break-out sessions; there is an impressive line-up of celebrity keynote speakers, all of whom happen to be moms with real-world parenting experience. The event’s keynote speakers include celebrities and thought leaders such as actress Tamera Mowry-Housley, CBS contributing reporter Lee Woodruff and Jaime Primak-Sullivan; star of Bravo TV’s Jersey Belle series, and Lisa Lillien, founder of

“I want to provide real-life resources that moms can use,” Sharon affirmed. “Moms have so many responsibilities, and I want every woman who attends to walk away with new information on hot topics such as healthy meals, fashion and creating designer looks for less, getting your child ready for college, online safety and cyberbullying, dealing with divorce and grief, tips for step-moms and so much more. This event will also be a place where moms can connect with policymakers during our Town Hall gatherings to ask those hard questions and be heard. My goal is to provide moms with access to the best tools, tips and advice to keep it all together so that they can live life easier and still have time to honor themselves as well!”

As this upcoming event grows, Sharon that revealed her Moms Rock! Expo project is definitely a family affair. “My beautiful daughter Rae Akinsanya is an 18-year-old getting ready for college, but she is also a huge help to me on this project,” she added. “Not only does she help with social media; she has also been an amazing project manager for me as well. My mother Amanda Smith also helps and is our go-to person for mailings and other promotional tasks.”

As a strong advocate for women, one who is dedicated to the wealth and overall success of moms, women, and girls everywhere, Sharon admits she is optimistic and excited for her upcoming event. “I am so proud of how the Moms Rock! Expo has grown and come together, we’ve received such great support from sponsors, U.S. Bank, 3M and Microsoft, and our media partners KARE 11 and MyTalk107.1 to help make this happen” she noted. “I’m also thrilled to be providing a gathering place that will help to ensure moms have the information they need to achieve a happy, healthy and prosperous balance between work and family. This topic is a passion for me and this event is a truly a dream come true.” HLM

To learn more about Moms Rock! Expo™ and to purchase tickets for the event, visit them on the web at, or check the Facebook page at