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Lil Light O' Mine teaches children to shine

MABLETON -- Former Gwinnett resident and 1994 Parkview High School graduate Courtney DeFeo started her company Lil Light O' Mine out of passion, not for profit. Since moving to Mableton with her family, she wanted to figure out ways to teach her daughters how to be responsible, learn to save money and the importance of giving back.

"Honestly, we were always getting into debates in the dollar section of Target -- they just assumed they would get something," DeFeo said. "We felt like we needed a system. I thought that we need to teach early on that no matter how much money we have, not everything is ours. It's fun to give and save for something that you really want."

Then she decided on making My Lil Money Jars. It comes with three jars including chalk board labels, a wooden holder and a piece of chalk or bistro chalk marker, both of which can be wiped clean with a wet paper towel.

"We change our labels all the time," she said. "It really matters to write what motivates the kids at the time or they won't be as interested. Now, there is less fighting and more of an understanding of what we have."

Another product that DeFeo has developed is the ABC Scripture Cards.

"As I stayed home as a mom, I had a passion of teaching my kids the life lessons," she said. "It had to be something that was also stylish and that I would want to keep on the counter."

DeFeo worked closely with one of her mentors to choose the best Bible verses for young children as a tool for encouragement instead of discipline. She needed something other than "because mom said so."

"I think the products are so meaningful and memorable," she said. "When I think of other mothers, they are so invested in the children, they are always looking for something meaningful to give."

Once DeFeo begins to make a profit, she will give a portion to charity.

For more information about the products, visit lillightomine.com.