About a year and a half ago I started working on my company Bubbsi, a line of clean coconut oil products that makes skincare fun for babies and toddlers. It’s a brand that combines many of my areas of expertise and passion— body care products, healthy living, great design, and kids. The best part (at least for now) is that, as a solo entrepreneur, I’m finding career fulfillment and business growth while still having the flexibility to be a bigger part of my children’s daily lives.
I’d heard solopreneurship could be lonely, but after years in the beauty industry, I had a rich network of contacts in the space, an incredible family, and friends (both professional and personal) to encourage and guide me. And while those things have certainly provided me a baseline level of support in this first year as an entrepreneur, I didn’t realize just how isolating solopreneurship can really be.
The sheer workload of starting a company from scratch is overwhelming, but the harder part is the emotional burden— the lack of social interaction with a daily workplace community. It’s difficult having no one to share in the ups and down on a day-to-day basis. I have the most loving husband, but I can only bore him so long about my PR plan or my inventory woes over dinner each night.
This is why HEYMAMA has been so integral to my entrepreneurship journey thus far. In just one year, this amazing network has become an invaluable source of support, confidence, and growth for me and my business. Here are a few reasons why.
1) THE BREADTH OF THE NETWORK
Creative & entrepreneurial women that truly want to learn, collaborate and mentor
In the early stages of developing my business, I began to look for creative freelancers in graphic design and photography to bring my brand to life. I came across HEYMAMA quite by accident via Google, and I immediately got sucked into the member database for hours. There were so many profiles of creative women with impressive pedigrees who had set out on their own— it was love at first sight.
As a brand that targets moms, I wanted to stack my team with other moms like me who really understood my brand’s values and customers. I sent dozens of emails out to HEYMAMA members who seemed perfect for my open roles, and was pleasantly surprised at the quick and warm response I received. Before even becoming a member, HEYMAMA had instantly expanded my network to include so many like-minded women looking to collaborate.
I officially joined a few weeks later, and the community manager at the time, Annie Evans, reached out to welcome me. Within a few minutes of learning about Bubbsi over coffee, she had jotted down a list of members that she would introduce me to, from new startup owners to much larger brands’ CEOs. I was struck by her genuine desire to help and connect. A few of the women on that initial list have become my go-to mentors and friends— women that are a year or two ahead of me on their entrepreneurial journey and have so much advice and support to give. More on that later!
2) EXPERTS & ADVICE
Frequent and diverse events with a focus on real, tangible takeaways
Moms are busy and our time is valuable. We all have those obligatory events that we’re weary to attend, but I’ve never regretted going to a HEYMAMA event. They are frequent and focused on specific topics that are relevant to working moms. Whether it’s getting help with your business, improving your health, or parenting during rough times, they bring real experts together to focus on tangible takeaways.
One of my favorite events was Mama Mentors, where my small group was paired with a very successful startup founder in the family goods space. She was accessible and completely transparent about her experiences in business and parenting, and she offered specific answers to the group’s questions. After the event, I reached out to her and she welcomed me into her office for a one-on-one session to give me more invaluable advice and feedback on my brand.
3) DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE
Women that lift you up
Speaking of obligations, I used to HATE networking events. The small group mingling made me feel like I had to prove myself within a few minutes and reminded me of speed dating. But the HEYMAMA community has changed my perspective on events like these. It’s always informal, warm, inviting, and has felt more and more like a small community as I’ve forged real relationships. Each of the women have different talents, but we all have similar values, interests and ambitions.
I was recently at an event where I introduced myself to the group, and a fairly new friend from the group piped in to support my brand. She had no hidden agenda, just a genuine desire to help and boost me. In this comforting and positive environment, I’ve felt myself becoming more empowered to speak up and ask for or offer help.
4) MENTORSHIP & PEER SUPPORT
Long-lasting, genuine, collaborative relationships
This is the most important of them all. Many of the mamapreneurs I have met through this network are quickly becoming the backbone of my career support network. These are women that I see frequently now, text or email when I have a question, and meet for coffee/lunch when I need support or a laugh. They are going through (or have recently gone through) much of what I’m experiencing in building my business. We bounce ideas off of one another, leverage each other’s expertise, and gain advice, support, and introductions. These women have become some of my biggest cheerleaders and were even some of my very first customers when I finally launched a few months ago!
We often hear it takes a village to raise a child but I also believe it takes a village to support and raise a mother…especially one that is starting a business on her own. Women want to help women, and I’m not sure I fully realized that until after I joined this group. For this, I’ve been truly grateful!
I’d like to give a special shoutout to the following mamas, who have been particularly amazing in supporting me and my business: Denise Woodard, Annie Trotta Evans, Larisa Courtien, Laura Lisowski Cox, Mariliana Arvelo, Paula Herrera, and Jacq Tatelman. Thank you, mamas!
Bubbsi is a line of coconut oil products that is making skincare FUN for babies & toddlers. Their formulas are clean, free of harsh chemicals, super moisturizing and best of all, come in playful silicone bottles that feel like toys and are refillable! We hope you’ll check them out @lovebubbsi // www.lovebubbsi.com