SheSpeaks recently had the opportunity to interview entrepreneurial working mom Amy Keroes. Amy and her partner Dawn Dobras run the working mother’s guide website, Mommy Track’d. During the interview Amy let us in on how she got her business started, obstacles she faced, and some tricks she learned along the way that every working mom should know.
Q: How did you and Dawn get started?
A: I started the site by myself working with freelance designers and programmers. The reception and traffic to the site were beyond my expectations and I realized I needed a partner. Dawn went to Harvard Business School and had been at Gap for 15 years. After launching oldnavy.com and running the strategy group for the Gap websites, she was interested in doing something more entrepreneurial. I am thrilled that I was able to convince her to join me.
Q: What made you want to start a website aimed at working moms?
A: I read every parenting magazine and mom-related website there was, but nothing really spoke directly to my experience, so I decided to create a website with a mission to provide time-crunched, over-extended, multi-tasked -out moms an informative and entertaining resource to help alleviate some of the stress associated with working outside the home while raising a family.
Mommy Track’d launched on Mother’s Day 2006. I started creating the site after hours while I was working as Senior Corporate Counsel for Gap Inc. Back in late 2005, early 2006, there was a great deal of discussion in the media marketplace about women who were opting out of the workforce, but very little about those who by choice or necessity were continuing to work outside their homes.
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your website; who is it for and
what will they find there?
A: Mommy Track'd is the working mother's guide to managed chaos. Our mission is to provide a smart, stylish and entertaining resource to the millions of time-crunched moms doing their best to manage the daily tug of war between work and home.
On Mommy Track'd you will find a virtual survival guide, great columns such as "Working Moms in Pop Culture and Politics" and "Tales from the Mommy Track," candid interviews with moms juggling careers and kids, the best mom-related reading recommendations on the web, a community offering inspiration and commiseration and a shop carrying products perfect for the modern multi-tasking mom.
Our readers are working moms of all shapes and sizes. We have over 60,000 visitors a month they range from senior partners in corporate law firms to those who intend to re-enter the workforce in the future ? and everything in between. Our readers are across the US, Canada and the UK.
Q:Were there any obstacles you had to overcome to get your business off the ground?
A: The biggest obstacle for me was getting up the nerve to leave the comfort of corporate life to become an entrepreneur. I am risk averse. I am so glad I took the leap. I am working harder than I ever have, but it doesn't feel as much like work when you are working for yourself -- doing something you feel passionately about.
Q: How do you juggle the website and a family? Any tips or secrets you
can give us?
A: Oh goodness. Though I have been a working mom for almost seven years and run a website dedicated to the working mother experience, I by no means consider myself an expert on how to keep all the balls from dropping around your tired feet. I guess I would say this: (1) lose the guilt: (2) embrace the dust bunnies, (3) buy, don’t bake; (4) find time for a glass of wine with a friend as often as you can; and (5) try as hard as you can to turn off your BlackBerry when you are playing with your kids.
Q: What kind of new and exciting additions can we look for on Mommytrackd.com?
A: We are very excited to be re-launching the site this summer. We will debut an updated design, with lots of new features and writers. Specifically, we will be introducing Mommy Track’d Video and a new WEB 2.0 community feature as well as bringing on new writers, including Christie Mellor, author of Three Martini Playdate, Paige Hobey, author of the Working Gal’s Guide to Babyville and Wendy Sachs, author of How She Really Does It: Successful Secrets of Stay at Work Moms
I love her site.
I actually had to quit working after the birth of my 3rd child. Daycare would've cost around $800 a week, which is severely limiting. Since then, I've began building websites from home and am finally starting to see some money! The internet is a fantastic thing for mothers. It opens so many doors if you aren't able to leave your home for work.
In Europe, an on-site "creche" at the workplace is common: it is unfortunate that even flex-time is considered a perk.
This is such a wonderful and unique idea. With the growing number of working moms and women starting new businesses a guide like this will be really helpful.
Sharman421 I agree with you all jobs should provide good daycare for all of their employees on site. It has proven those that have it are usually least absent from work and more productive when there. They don't have to take extra time out traveling with their children to alternative daycare site and you can drop in and check on your child when they close to you.
It's so good to see more and more women running their own businesses. And any business geared toward helping the working mom is a plus! This may be a bit off track, but I would love to see more companies have on-site day care/nursery school facilities. I believe that, in and of itself, would take a lot of stress off of the working mom.