Helping single moms get their "MoJo" back

Evening News - Help Wanted Series

LOWELL, Mass. - As a 23-year-old single mother, Tameira Lanier spent three years without a full time job.

"It was terrible for me. I had to go into a shelter and everything," Lanier tells CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason.

Then, she got hired at MoJo. Lanier says it "feels good" to be back in the workforce. A former fashion major in vocational school, Lanier's now a stitcher at this unusual new clothing company. MoJo is short for moms and jobs.

Learn more about Moms and Jobs

Twin brothers Darr and Tom Aley specifically built the company to help single mothers. They invested money from the sale of their software company to start MoJo with their sister Cara.

It's a business where, Tom says, "We're trying to solve a social problem with a for-profit answer."

MoJo pays its workers more than $10 per hour, provides career training and health care - and most important for single mothers like Lanier - covers the entire cost of child care.

"It's not just about revenue and earnings," Tom says. "It's about what else are you doing for your employees?"

The company, which launched last year, is already selling blankets to the Dave Matthews Band, fleece jackets to companies like Accenture and Morgan Stanley, and logo wear to colleges.

"We will have approximately 50 college campuses next fall selling to students," Cara says.

With 23 employees currently, Cara says MoJo plans to expand quickly to other cities like Oakland, Detroit, and New Orleans. "By the end of the year we expect to have 160 employees," Cara says.

With MoJo's help, Lanier is not only designing a new life for herself and her two boys - she's now dreaming of designing her own fashions. "I'm so happy. I'm so proud of myself. My mom's proud of me too. It's amazing. I love it!"

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  • Anthony Mason
    Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"