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.
Interview with the Chief Macaroni Mom, Joyce Shulman
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
Macaroni Kid publishes hyper-local e-newsletters and websites focused on great events, activities products and places for kids and families in more than 525 communities across the US and a handful in Canada. Each community is managed by a local Publisher Mom (and a few special dads) who connect deeply with their local communities. These publishers are building incredible local resources and businesses, all consistent with our commitment to “enrich communities and empower moms.” I have a pretty long background in media and business, though Macaroni Kid was my first foray into the digital space and was really the result of two strong held beliefs of mine: first that local communities and businesses are vibrant and important and deserving of support and two that there is a huge amount of talent among stay-at-home or under-employed moms. Macaroni Kid was my way to answer those two needs.
What do your kids think about your job?
My kids love, love, love being the original “Macaroni Kids.” Because it is such a family-centric businesses, they are involved in many aspects. And my daughter frequently serves as a model for us, which of course she loves. Running your own business can be a tremendous amount of pressure, however, and I know that sometimes it seeps into our home-life, something I wish I could avoid. But then some days I think it is good for them to see that work can sometimes be challenging and that people aren't perfect.
Tell us about a total mom+ biz fail?
Oh, where to begin. I could start with my first entrepreneurial endeavor, when I left my “career” and started a pet products business with my husband which was such a disaster it almost resulted in the loss of our home … but better to recall the time I completely forgot my daughter's winter school concert. She's was in first grade at the time and not only did I fail to show up, so there was no one in the audience to cheer her on, I sent her to school in a HUGE bright pink tutu … so she was on stage with all the other kids wearing black pants and white shirts.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
While I had a huge vision for Macaroni Kid, the growth, and the way it has impacted moms and families blows me away. Almost every week, I find an email in my inbox sharing a way that joining the Macaroni Kid community has changed a Publisher's life. Here's an example of one I received last week—and truly, these are the emails and notes and cards that keep me going, 'cause this running a business thing ain't easy: I think it ALL the time but I rarely, if ever, have dropped a quick email to say how much I enjoy what I do and I am so grateful to you not only for starting MacKid, but for your enduring support and all the sweat and tears (and laughs) that you put into the company every day. You've created something amazing that has given me a multitude of opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had. I am so grateful that my path in life led me to you. I look forward to what the future holds.
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
I had been aware of Mamalode for years, but was fortunate to attend the Aya Summit this fall, where Dori and I met on a school bus on the way to the summit, and I knew we could have talked business, parenthood and changing the world for hours.