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.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you started it.
Mom It Forward Media is a digital agency and blogger network, partnering family friendly brands with parents in social media from a variety of niches. Mom It Forward started informally in September 2008 with our #gno-branded Twitter Parties. With an engaged and active online community, we added more services and started partnering more robustly with agencies and brands. Nearly 6 years later, we are still loving generating buzz for our client's campaigns via social media and through our influential Mom It Forward Blogger Network.
One of our strong passions is bringing brands and bloggers together via live events. After co-founding/organizing the successful EVO Conference (a social media conference for women) for 3 years (2010-2012), we founded and currently organize Family Forward—retreats in southern Utah and Orlando, focusing on strengthening digital families. Additionally, we run brand-sponsored meet ups in key locations around the nation hosted by members of our network, including monthly events in Utah.
What do your kids think about your job?
I have two boys, ages 10 and 13. I left my corporate job when they were 4 and 6 to work from home. But even though I see them more than if I were still at my corporate job, work is work. And my work involves a lot of online time and traveling. They don't always love that part of it. They'd love me to always be present and home with them, of course!
The good news is that lots of perks come with this job. For example, once we went on a Royal Caribbean cruise as part of a campaign we were working on. And our working relationship with Universal Orlando Resort has resulted in many visits to their theme parks with some awesome behind-the-scenes opps. The boys recognize these types of perks don't come with every job, and they LOVE that we get to enjoy awesome family experiences because of both my job and my husband's work (he's a dad blogger!).
Tell us about a mom + biz fail?
I have a hard time leaving my family so much, so last year I decided to take them with me on an important business trip. The challenge was that I didn't have the luxury to not work. I really needed to be about business the whole time. But, we were in New York City together. How could anyone not make the whole trip about family time with so many fun opportunities around every corner? I was completely distracted and ended up spending a lot of “business trip” money on an impromptu family vacation. It was a business fail (I got absolutely no work done), but a family win. Next time? I'll plan a vacation and save the money for it and leave the business and guilt at home!
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
Mom It Forward Media started when my husband's company downsized at the downturn of the economy and his position was eliminated. I had never sold anything in my life and furthermore, didn't think I had the confidence to run a business. I had managed projects and project teams, but had never run a company, hired or managed employees, or done any sort of selling. One of my greatest wins is simply jumping in and taking the leap of faith. Starting this business was the scariest thing I've ever done. Growing it pushes me outside of my comfort zone regularly. My “total win” is not that I'm awesome or doing it 100% right; I'm soooo not! My win is that I keep moving forward no matter what. I'm doing something hard and continue to push myself even when I am so scared I can hardly stand it. The passion and love for what I'm doing fuels me!
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
I met Elke at BlogHer Entrepreneur 2012 in California. We fell in love at first sight! I was organizing a social media conference only a couple of months later and invited her to speak at it. She was so enthusiastic and got a whole group of people from Montana to sign up for the conference and they carpooled down. Her passion and excitement, not to mention her expertise as a speaker, really added to our event. We've kept in contact ever since! I'm thrilled at the success of Mamalode and love being part of it in a small way!