Cascia Smith

Founder + Owner

Cascia was born and raised in the Arizona heat. While receiving her Pre-Med degree at HIU in California, a blonde, surfing, skateboarding boy stole her heart. In 2004, she married Chuck and had many adventures living in Arizona, California and Colorado. They now call Simi Valley home and have three wild and curious children - Becker (10), Bodie (7) and Lyla (6). She has been blessed to be a teacher, summer camp staff/program director, SAHM and now the owner of Ventura County Mom Collective. Playing guitar, writing songs, and reading any and every parenting book helps keep her sane and happy! A good cup of coffee or a bubbly La Croix can usually be found in her hand! She tries to live by the motto "I'd rather recover from failure than live with regret.

Gia Calista Ilole

Contributor

Gia is a native Californian who has lived all over the state from San Diego to Trinity County, plus Washington DC for a short time. She recently relocated to Ventura County with her family to build a compound property together with her sister’s family so that they could always share wardrobes and parenting responsibilities for their 5 combined children at home. Gia graduated from UCSB with a degree in Linguistics (which she thinks entitles her to make up words). It took her just three years, as she was eager to graduate early to go live with her long distance boyfriend and his toddler daughter at the time. That seemed to work out, as the boyfriend got promoted to husband years ago and her step-daughter promoted her to grandmother recently! Gia’s husband is from East Africa and runs their Bed and Breakfast in Tanzania from near and far. Gia is a Human Resources Director who has a major obsession with watermelon and eggnog lattes, depending on the season.

Dominique Tucker

Contributor

Dominique is a mother to 3 great kiddos. Twin life is her life. It's like having free entertainment that you never asked for and you never know what to expect! She lives by her grandmother's motto..."A home is just for sleeping but the world is where you live." She loves traveling and finding new places to discover. She is a die hard foodie and is still on the hunt for the best pizza!!.

Laura Miller

Contributor

Laura was born in California and hasn’t moved far since, a true California girl at heart. She and her husband John have been happily married for 25 years. They are blessed with two amazing daughters, Allison (20) is attending college locally and is studying to become a Nurse and Kristina (16) is finishing her Junior year of High School and already dreaming big dreams. Their last member of the family is a 10-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Stewie. He is the attempt to help balance out the female hormones and not sure that worked out for her husband. Each day, Laura and John strive to support each other and hopefully not mess up too badly as they raise their girls in this crazy world.

Stephanie Schramm

Contributor

Stephanie was born in California but moved to Alaska when she was ten years old. She finally made California her home again when she attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara. After working for several years with talent in the entertainment industry, she is loving her time at home with her two young kids who never cease to amaze and challenge her. She is married to a very supportive man who loves their Schramm Family Adventures in Thousand Oaks and beyond.

Suzie Schultze

Contributor

Suzie has lived most of her life in Simi Valley, CA, and has raised her family here for the last 20 years. Happily married to her “multi-tasking Super-Husband”, they have a 20-year-old son (Peyton) and a 16-year-old daughter (Delaney). For over 15 years, Suzie spent time as a stay-at-home mom, volunteering as a PE teacher at her kids’ elementary school and trying to navigate her family through the suburbs. At almost 40-years-old, she went back to college at the California Lutheran University, where she graduated with honors in Communications. Now, as a Full-time K-8th grade P.E. teacher & Athletic Director, Suzie spends her free time developing and learning about her craft every day. A self-proclaimed “Kid at heart”, Suzie loves to travel with her family and is an avid reader. She loves all-sports, from youth to professional, and will talk your ear off about football, if you let her. A movie-buff, she loves movie-sets and nostalgia, everything Disney & Harry Potter, and is unapologetically a thrift store shopper who loves a bargain. “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~Albus Dumbledore

Tara Romero

Contributor

Tara is a small town California girl from the Central Valley. She met her best friend turned husband shortly after high school. They met at a Hot Topic, while she was "shopping" at the mall. He was the cute emo kid from Simi Valley that her heart couldn't resist. Nearly twenty years later, they have 3 children ages 13, 8, and 6. Tara is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and SAHHM (stay at home homeschooling mom). She attributes her appreciation for witnessing beauty and transformation to leading her to wear many hats. Whether it's changing a hairstyle, one's physique, increasing knowledge or changing one's point of view, she's passionate about helping others become their personal best. When she's not leading a workout or teaching her kids, you'll find her at a local Mexican restaurant (because tacos are life), visiting a museum, hiking, or listening to live music. Tara is proud to be a contributor for the Ventura County Mom Collective. "I hope to encourage more women to honor their bodies and use their personal gifts, so that collectively, we can make a greater impact in this world."

Valerie Garbe

Contributor

Valerie is a California native. A first generation American citizen from Polish and Dutch immigrants. Valerie enjoys investing time in her community. As the President of her daughter's, Paizley (8), school PTA , she advocates for better, more expansive and inclusive education. Valerie spends her days weeding and watering the school gardens, then planning and fundraising for student enrichment. Valerie has a degree in Political Science and a Minor in Theatre. A self professed nature girl, you can find Valerie with her nose to the ground searching for foliage and fossils. Her hobbies include painting, writing, reading, hiking, educating and DIYing herself through life.

Miriam Cave

Contributor

Miriam was raised in Oxnard, CA. She attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia and graduated with a degree in Sociology. She moved back home and eventually pursued a career in affiliate marketing. After working in that industry for 10 years, she decided to prioritize her health and her family and became a stay-at-home mom. Throughout the years, she and her husband have lived in various parts of Ventura County – Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, and now Camarillo – and are currently raising a 4-year-old boy named Benji. She has always loved writing as a child and is excited to be a part of Ventura County Mom Collective. Reading nonfiction books, doing Pilates, exploring new restaurants, and hiking with her family are some of her favorite hobbies. After experiencing years of postpartum depression, she considers herself to be an advocate of women’s mental health (especially moms!) and loves to encourage and uplift others. She tries to live by the motto “Grace over Guilt.”

Kelly Niebergall

Contributor

Kelly is a native Californian and has lived up and down the coast, from Santa Cruz to San Francisco to San Diego and has now made her permanent home in Newbury Park. She has a masters in creative writing from San Francisco State University and finds solace and strength in writing about the vulnerability of being a mother. When not writing, she enjoys hiking, gardening, reading and all things cheese--especially a good blue or cheddar. She is married to an amazingly supportive husband and is a stay at home mom to her two wild daughters.

Ashlee Spear

Contributor

Ashlee grew up in Newbury Park, and returned to the area after studying journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and teaching English in Santiago, Chile for two years. She spent three years as a working mom, before leaving the corporate world to become a full-time, at-home parent. Her daughters are 4 and 6 years old, and she relishes getting to experience her old childhood stomping grounds through their eyes. An Enneagram 4, Ashlee enjoys reading, running, music, collecting vintage fashion magazines, and sharing a fun cocktail with her husband after work while their kids sit/jump beside them on the couch and watch "Pinkalicious." She is a whole-hearted believer that “it takes a village” not only to raise a child, but also to raise a mother. She is grateful for a supportive family, friends, and community, and is passionate about the power of writing to connect us and let us know we’re not alone.

Kimberly Shapiro

Contributor

Kimberly has been a Southern California girl from day one. At age 22, she tried something new…online dating! This proved a success and she met a nice SoCal guy named Max; they married in 2017, traveled to some of the most amazing parts of the world, tried living in different states, and eventually made their way back to the West Coast. Kimberly spent her (pre-mom) time working in childcare and on finishing her degree. In 2020, Kimberly completed school while being a stay-at-home mom and now holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Her and Max currently reside in Newbury Park with their two hilarious, sweet, and full-of-personality babies: Abby (2.5) and Ben (1). Oh, and Bear, their 5 year old dog! She works her part-time side job while spending her days with her little ones and any down time is spent crafting, walking through Target, or re-watching Schitt’s Creek. Weekends are for family and this group of four can be found at the zoo, aquarium, farm, or just spending time with their large and local family.

Annette Pearson

Contributor

Annette was born in Canoga Park and at the age of 10 split her time between Los Angeles and Naperville IL. Annette moved to Raleigh/Durham NC in 2004 where she met and married her soul mate, Tom. Annette and her family moved from Durham NC to Thousand Oaks in 2014 and purchased their forever home in Simi Valley (2015) while having a serious case of food poisoning from grocery store sushi. Annette has worked in all facets of Health Care but has found her Niche in IT Project Management for a large Health Insurance company. She is also the owner of 'I Got Faith Baby', where she provides strength/life, health and wellness coaching, in addition to writing her own blog by the same name, Annette published her first book in January 2021, which has become an International Best Seller. Annette is passionate about the strength found in each of us, and passionately believes in the healing power of laughing hysterically. Annette's mantra is "strength is found inside of us, joy is a choice and belief is an action".

Sara Richardson

Contributor

Sara is a native of Arizona, but after 20 years of living in Southern California she and her family proudly call Ventura County home. Living in the pines of Northern Arizona for many years, Sara developed a passion for fitness and the outdoors. She shares this love with her husband of 20 years, Jarod. With a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology, Sara is also passionate about creating a healthy lifestyle including a healthy mind, body and spirit. What started 14 years ago as a whole family health transformation due to her son's food allergies, has blossomed into a career of helping others. As a Health Coach, she has found creative ways to help others achieve their goals, from leading running groups, teaching fitness classes and working one-on-one with individuals. She and Jarod now have three children, ages 16, 14 (the boys) and 11 (her girl). They are all very outdoorsy, and can be found camping, hiking, biking, snowboarding, surfing and spending time in their backyard. Her best day consists of hiking or biking in the Santa Monica Mountains, spending time with her family, including her little fluffy dog, Roxy. A fun fact about Sara: her sport growing up was Synchronized Swimming!

Contributor