When Lisa Ridd, founder of Smitten FIlms, and Katharine Earnhardt, founder of Mason Lane, told us about the holiday package they’re partnering up on this year, we knew we had to learn more about just how it came about. We do know where it began: at a HEYMAMA event! Read on to learn more about what they’ve created together and their tips for developing mutually beneficial partnerships.
It’s always so exciting to hear about a partnership that’s born out of the HEYMAMA community. How and when did you two first meet?
Lisa: We met at a HEYMAMA event at Sezane in NYC and hit it off immediately. We are both founders of creative businesses in New York City (I run Smitten Films, a creative studio that makes family films from clients’ own footage, and Katharine runs Mason Lane Art Advisory, which styles walls including gallery walls!) We are also both moms (of course!) and actually both went to Williams College (go Ephs!)
Katharine: Yes. What Lisa said! We mom-hit on each other at Sezanne and developed a biz friendship from there.
Was there a clear opportunity for a partnership as soon as you met, or did this idea come after you spent some time getting to know each other?
Lisa: At first we were just excited to meet and find another like-minded mama who was also growing her business. It really was after we had bumped into each other at a number of HEYMAMA events that Katharine suggested working on something more formal together. I’m so glad she did because our companies share a really similar purpose AND target demographic. The fit was so right!
Katharine: The partnership didn’t come to mind until maybe a year later? I liked and respected what Lisa was doing and was separately considering creative collabs with like-minded businesses that share a similar target audience. Smitten came to mind quite randomly and my initial thought was “Um, why didn’t I think of this before?!”
Tell us more about what the partnership you’ve created together entails!
Katharine: We’re calling it Moments to Memories, the silver bullet answer to two high demand products that are inappropriately marketed as DIYs: the home gallery wall and the family video on steroids. With this package deal, we offer a Smitten family film and a Mason Lane curated gallery wall, without the DIY hassle.
Lisa: It’s the perfect holiday gift for families out there who have tons of beautiful video and photo footage of their family they aren’t able to fully enjoy it because it’s stuck on their phone or computer. Moments to Memories gives mamas two beautiful ways to enjoy the memories, both in-home and on video. Check out our video to learn more!
What advice do you have for other mamas looking to partner with fellow HEYMAMA members?
Lisa: Take advantage of these wonderful events, now in so many cities across the US. Truly it is a place to meet ambitious smart mamas that you just can’t find elsewhere. And don’t be tentative about asking questions at the events or in the awesome digital forums that HEYMAMA runs. I have gotten a ton of great advice on how to grow and more efficiently run my company from these sources.
Katherine: Consider businesses’ drive and values first, THEN feasible and mutually beneficial collabs with those identified businesses. I believe that a shared drive and values leads to more success than simply operating within a common industry. And communication! Up front, and always in person and in writing.
Beyond business connections, what do you draw from being a member of this community?
Lisa: I feel completely inspired by this community every day. Every time I read a newsletter, or scroll through the Instagram feed I just feel invigorated. And I’m lucky enough to be in NYC where so many of the IRL events happen—I always look forward to them as I consistently walk away with a head full of new buzzing ideas, leads to follow up on, and just general inspiration. So many mamas creating amazing things and being such positive mentors to one another! Sometimes the news can be pretty bleak and seeing the innovation and collaboration within this community makes my heart feel lighter again.
Katherine: Motivation. At my first event, I felt like every other mama had a national business and a published book. Because of the collaborative nature, I was motivated rather than intimidated and today (one year later) I’m 3 steps closer to being national and published.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Lisa and Katherine! Hearing about the real business successes born out of the HEYMAMA community fuels our own hustle. Keep an eye out for more stories like this in the months to come!