Punky Brewster left TV screens 25 long years ago – but her can-do spirit lives on in Soleil Moon Frye, the actress-turned-business maven who won the role of Punky when she was just seven years old.
In recent years, Frye – best known to a slightly younger generation as Roxie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s cynical college roommate – has reinvented herself as a professional parent. She’s currently overseeing her DIY parenting blog Moonfrye while simultaneously serving as Target’s “Mommy Ambassador,” writing books like this fall’s Let’s Get This Party Started: DIY Celebrations for You and Your Kids to Create Together, hosting OWN’s Home Made Simple, and regularly spotlighting fellow “momtrepreneurs” on Today.
Oh, and as she just announced this morning: The mother of two is having another child.
She’s certainly having “a really fun and crazy time,” Frye laughed in an interview yesterday. And the insanity will only increase as she launches more products and services – like Moonfrye’s brand new photo sharing app, which hit the iTunes store today.
As Frye explains, the app grew out of a desire to create an “immersive experience for families,” something they could use to be creative together: “It’s not meant for kids to just go in the corner and do [by themselves,” she explained.” This is an app that’s meant to be a family experience, a fun family affair.”
In essence, the app is sort of like the web 3.0 version of those goofy photo booths frequently seen at sweet 16 parties and bar mitzvahs. Families can take photos together, then enhance them with a variety of different themes – “circus,” “mermaids,” even a totally rad ’80s background. (Naturally, says Frye, she’s still “obsessed” with the ’80s.) After decorating the photos further with stickers and text, they can be printed or shared via social channels.
The app also includes a “crafted” section stocked with a passel of DIY projects – ones that are significantly easier to complete than the complex creations posted by other supermom blogs. Before Frye and her partner launched their own blog, “so much of what we saw out there was about the perfect kind of crafting parent,” she recalls. I would try it with my kids, and it would be so hard. It would never look exactly like the blog or the magazine.”
Frye is “very aware” that having a career that allows her to monetize motherhood is a luxury many parents don’t have. She also knows that not every mother – or father, for that matter – wants to devote her time to craft projects, let alone launching her own parenting-based businesses.
For those that do, though, Frye hopes that her own story – and the momtrepreneurial stories she’s been sharing on Today will serve as inspiration. “[We want] other parents out there to see it and say, ‘Hey, you know what? I could do that,” she says. “I know that so many parents are already working two jobs, and working around the clock – but we so often have that dream, and it’s [about] knowing that it’s possible to make that dream come true. It’s possible also with really limited resources.”