The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Today's Interview is with Jill Salzman, Founder of The Founding Moms—the world's first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
The Founding Moms is a collective of offline meetups and online resources for mom entrepreneurs. We’re 8,000+ members in 40 cities (9 countries!) around the world.
We got started by accident.
I was running two unrelated businesses and pregnant with my second kiddo. I was pretty concerned about how I was going to work with two little kiddos in one home office. So I launched a Meetup on Meetup.com and asked anyone in my neighborhood that had a baby and a business to come meet with me and tell me how they were doing it. That grew pretty quickly. In six months we had 200 members and we just kept growing after that. It occurred to me one day to open up a second chapter…and once I did that, I figured, why not keep going? So 40 chapters later, we’re still growing and opening up in new cities every month. We’re in the middle of launching a new online portal right now, and we have a product—The Founding Kit—I have a podcast, Breaking Down Your Business and a book and have been slightly productive since our launch in 2008. Ha!
What do your kids think about your job?
I’m not sure they give it much thought. If I check in with them, it’s often about mom being at a business meeting that night or mom having to take a call today. If you asked them (now five and seven years old) what Mom does for a living, I think they’d know to utter the word “entrepreneur” and sometimes “she’s on TV!” but otherwise, they don’t know much. And if they did, I’m sure they’d be wholly unimpressed. Having dance parties in the kitchen? Much more interesting.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail?
Too many to choose from. Not getting dinner started on time because I’m home late from a meeting? Forgetting about an earlier-than-usual business call because my kiddo refuses to get dressed in the morning? I don’t consider them failures. They’re all adventures that make for great interview fodder.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
We just completed a Kiva Zip campaign — we raised $5,000 in two weeks to build our new online portal! Couldn’t be prouder of our community. Hopefully we’ll launch June 1, 2015, and be able to grow our community doubly and triply because of all the awesome resources we will offer inside of it. (Thanks for asking!)
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
Anything mama-related is awesome to me.