Family Village is
created for and run
by moms just like you
Founder Melanie Hekkelman-Piazza came up with the idea for Family Village in response to raising an infant and 3 year-old while also caretaking her terminally ill mother (in a town she'd just moved to). Fueled by desperation, isolation and rage, she gathered like-minded mothers and set to work building the space of her dreams. Within six months, the doors were open and lives were being changed. Four years and more than 200 families later, Family Village continues to buck the status quo of childcare and parenting norms to bring families the work-life balance they crave.
“Empowering mothers to thrive as both diaper-changers AND change-makers by creating space for community care, cooperative entrepreneurship and the re-humanizing of cultural norms.”
We create spaces that are
COLLABORATIVE & COMMUNAL
We strive to be increasingly
RESOURCED & RESOURCEFUL
We are guided by our
INTEGRITY & INTUITION
We've set our sight on being
DISRUPTIVE & DECOLONIZING*
*REALITY CHECK: We are a work in progress, which is why we are invested in learning from, partnering with, hiring and being led by queer and BIPOC leaders as we evolve.
Family Village is a cooperative, which means we exist to serve, empower and enrich the community who use our services. The cooperative model is deliberately disruptive to oppressive systems of injustice... and that's just the way we like it. We are guided by the seven core tenets of cooperatives:
Inclusive & open membership (nondiscriminatory)
Democratic member control (equal voting power)
Member economic participation (shared wealth)
Autonomy & independence (can't be bought off)
Educational (especially RE: benefits of cooperation)
Collaboration amongst cooperatives (synergistic)
Community concern (sustainability & social justice)
Even before COVID, we saw the desperation of families across the US and began laying plans for a matrix of decentralized but coordinated Villages throughout this country. The vessel for fulfilling that vision is the Family Village Cooperative Collective (also known as FVCC or "The Mothership" for short).
FVCC is disrupting the status quo for parents of young children through proven, gap-filling childcare solutions that:
Transform parental and familial wellbeing
Drive entrepreneurship among womxn and mothers
Leverage under-utilized real estate and resources, and
Promote individual and community health and wealth
We partner with parents, community leaders, churches and state and municipal legislators to build sustainable, community-driven villages where they are needed (which is everywhere!)
Tell us about your re-villaging vision and find out how we can support your community's goals!
Nikki brings a huge wealth of care and coordination to our operations and community building. She keeps us grounded in connection at every turn. We rely heavily on Nikki's leadership skills, crisis management and human relations training from her other gig as a Sergeant in the Air National Guard. Nikki joined Family Village before it opened and served on our original Steering Committee. As a mom of 3, Nikki credits Family Village with helping her stay centered, practice boundary-setting, open to the "woo" and leave an unfulfilling marriage. She is a tireless advocate for under-resourced moms, especially single moms.
Melanie is the original vision-keeper for Family Village, which grew from her pain and anger at the lack of support she experienced as a new mother. She brings a marketing background and a penchant for research, storytelling, and finances that keeps us walking the tightrope between our big vision and our bank account. Ever the expander, Melanie relentlessly seeks out new opportunities for connection and growth. She leads from her heart, lets the tears flow when needed and bravely trusts in the seasons of life and business. This undaunted mother of two is devoted to helping mothers (and society) thrive.
Emily serves as steward of the Family Village vision, voice, aesthetic and vibe. From "zhuzhing" spaces to creating our marketing materials, Emily translates our vision in ways that enliven, inspire and engage our community. She brings a passion for the ceremonial arts and cultural healing that keeps us attuned to the creative forces that permeate all of life. As a mother of one, Emily joined Family Village shortly after it opened and was a quick "Hell yes!" to the twin powers of collective entrepreneurship and divine feminine leadership. Through Family Village, Emily gained the confidence to seek (and embrace) an adult diagnosis of neurodivergance.