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Movin’ and shakin’ NOLA mamas: Thinkerella’s Cherie Melancon Franz

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With Mother’s Day on the horizon (this Sunday, May 14!), IntheNOLA’s celebrating some of our favorite #NOLAMamas all month long!
Cherie Melancon Franz (Thinkerella), Anabelle Reese (14 years old), and Ethan Thomas (10 years old)
As a New Orleans entrepreneur and mom, Cherie Melancon Franz is one busy woman. When Cherie is not running her local company Thinkerella, “a hands-on educational program for elementary and middle school girls and boys that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) experiments and activities,” she’s busy running a successful household with her husband and children!
For Cherie, being a mother, and a “New Orleans mother” in particular, is pretty special. “Being a New Orleans mother is putting on crazy wigs and going to the French Quarter on a Sunday morning,” she laughed. “It’s handmade beignet costumes for Mardi Gras (my husband and I were Café du Monde workers). It’s having Jazz Festin’, float chasin’, king cake and red beans and rice on Mondays eatin’ babies!”
Fourteen-year old Anabelle and ten-year old Ethan keep Cherie on her toes! “Anabelle is the perfect mix of my husband and I,” she said. “Sometimes,just when I think she’s more like him, she’ll turn into a mini me. She is smart and incredibly funny. She is simply the greatest big sister on the planet.”

“Ethan is the perfect example of what happens when you mix massive intelligence with curiosity, comedy, and artistic ability,” added Cherie. “I call him my ‘Moon’ instead of my son. He can melt hearts with just his smile and snuggles with him are the absolute best. He keeps me running, but I would not change him for the world.” 
For many parents in New Orleans, the issue of education can be a stress-inducing topic. Luckily, Cherie has found schools for her children that suit their needs best.
“Anabelle is finishing up 8th grade at St. Mary’s Dominican High School,” Cherie 
explained. “It has been a year of hard work, but she has found her tribe there. Ethan attends Edward Hynes Charter School. It is, in my opinion, the best school in the world. They not only love my son, they also fill his little brain with confidence and knowledge. As a mother of a high functioning child with autism, I leave there oftentimes with tears in my eyes because I am so thankful he is there.” 
As a working mother, the balance between family and work life is always a work in progress. “The balance of working and being a mother is walking a constant tightrope. Sometimes, it’s a little overwhelming and although I may drop the ball (or two) on occasion, showing them what hard work can do has been absolutely worth it. I love teaching my young, impressionable children to create their own identities besides the ones they are naturally given.”
Cherie concluded, “Before starting Thinkerella, I was Art’s wife, Anabelle’s mom, or Mr. Louis’ daughter. After building my company, I can say I that I created something I love that inspires kids to learn. And even if I miss outings once in a while, they understand why my job is important.” 

Here are some of Cherie’s favorites:

Favorite Park

Cherie: City Park, especially the Couturie Forest. 
Favorite Snowball Stand
Cherie:  Casey’s…I worked here when I was 15! Love the Orchid Cream Vanilla snowball.
Favorite Restaurant
Cherie: Blue Crab Oyster Happy Hour.
Other Favorite Places to Go 
Cherie: Frenchmen St., Royal St., the Lakefront, Magazine St.
Other Favorite Things to Do 
Cherie: Jazz Fest is my personal heaven on earth! I also enjoy The Music Box Village, French Quarter Fest, playing at City Park, the Children’s Museum, riding the streetcar, and visiting the Aquarium. 

Check out our other movin’ and shakin’ NOLA mamas:
Donna Crump (Good Dance Since 1984)
Genevieve Douglass (Uptown PR and KINDRED Studios)
Tamica Lee (WWLTV and New Orleans Saintsations)
Jolie Bensen Hamilton (Jolie and Elizabeth)
Melissa Mendoza (Family attorney)
Cat Vo (Professional makeup artist and hairstylist)
Tracie Tervalon (TraElle Salon Exclusive)


Last modified on Wednesday, 17 May 2017
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