Sometimes Michelle Fecher has to multi-task, even if it means peering over her youngest child's shoulder during his reading lesson as she mixes cake icing a few feet away, while five other children cheerfully make cake pops in the background.
Such is the life of a devoted mother to one dozen kids, grandmother to three more, and the owner of a successful, family-run west Richmond, Indiana catering and baking business.
The owner of Fechers' Panache — note the plural — has spent the past 29 years rearing children with her husband, Craig, and along the way has learned many lessons about parenting and educating her offspring. In recent years, she's learned a few more lessons about what it takes to operate a business, particularly with the help of immediate family members.
For Fecher, the focus has never been about striking a perfect balance between her children's schooling and the business, but rather blending the two together in the best way she can, while still letting her kids experience their childhood.
"We bring (it all) with us; we fit catering around school and school around catering," she said. "The family works together to make sure everything moves smoothly ... and (we) all still have lives outside these walls."