Collen Mook ’94 VSB graduated with a degree in marketing, and after graduation worked in Manhattan as an insurance underwriter. She eventually left her corporate job to focus on starting her family. After several months of being a stay-at-home parent, Mook channeled her extra energy into launching a small business, Baby Be Hip. The business was geared toward creating personalized baby gifts that could be ordered online. Mook’s business model was progressive for its time, as online retailers were few in number in 2002. She recalls how when she initially launched her business, many people took a chance on her because of the Villanova connection. Mook credits many of her experiences from Villanova as helping her have the skills, both technical and interpersonal, that allowed her to become a successful entrepreneur. 

The Villanova values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas translated seamlessly into the values that Mook wanted her small business to embody. As an entrepreneur, she emphasized these values in her business by providing excellent customer service, allowing her to make her business successful. Mook stressed how Villanova’s emphasis on relationships was important to her founding her business. Reaching out to many people is one of the challenges Mook recalls from beginning her business, and she stated how the collaboration she did at Villanova gave her the practice to continue reaching out to people. She emphasized the strength and role the Villanova network played when she launched her business. She believes this is the power of the Villanova network, and she is proud to belong to such a supportive network of alumni.  

Mook also feels that the way VSB taught her the importance of being truthful and a good leader has been significant in her career. She notes a critical part of being a leader is making the right choices even when no one is watching, and that Villanova provides a values-based education that is helpful for an entrepreneur and in the corporate world.

Mook sold her business a year ago, and is now transitioning to the next phase of her career: small business coaching and consulting, podcasting, speaking, and writing about work-life balance and self-care. Learn more at colleenmook.com.

Colleen Mook ’94 VSB

Colleen Mook ’94 VSBVSB

“VSB teaches students how to be good leaders who are honest and to stay true to who they are and do the right thing even when no one is looking.”