Empowering Mothers- How it started!
Tracey and Shayna were two ordinary moms who had a strong sense of humor and desire to share it! It suddenly turned into a business, empowering mothers with laughter and sisterhood. Starting out with a mom’s night out show once a week, they created a chance for mothers to relax and take the break they needed and deserved.
Now their business is not only empowering mothers and sisterhood once a week, but every DAY. Tracey and Shayna now have a whole brand: Band of Mothers which includes a website, products, a podcast, and much more.
Listen to this weeks episode as they share their journey growing the business, fulfilling motherhood, and brightening the lives of many!
In this episode, we cover:
- Starting up a business based on your passion
- Empowering mothers through their own talents
- Micro-focusing on your business even with young children
- Why both the highs and lows are necessary for developing a strong brand/business.
Resources and links mentioned during this episode:
- Qube Money App
- Band of Mothers Instagram
- Band of Mothers Website
- The Wisdom of the Enneagram book
- BOM Market Website
- Band of Mothers Podcast
CALL ME CEO
Episode: Band of Mothers
CAMILLE WALKER [0:01]
Welcome back everyone to another show of Call Me CEO. And you are in for such a treat because today we are talking with Shayna and Tracey from bandofmothers.com. They have been best friends since 8th grade. And I could tell you, just from spending this one hour together that I want to be their best friend too. They lived on separate coasts after college and after some years, came back together in Denver, Colorado.
When they became mothers, they created a show called The Pump and Dump Show in 2012, where they used their humor and generosity, and went all over from coast to coast sharing their hilarious comedy sketch and music. Their mission is to invite every mother and every way of mothering and have everyone come together in a comfortable, supportive place. They have now created an app, Band of Mothers. They also just released a podcast called the Band of Mothers podcast.
And they're in it to win it. Everything that these women do, I am their big fan girl now. And listening to this episode, you are going to see why. So, get cozy, come and grab a drink and sit down with us because you're in a for a good time for how two women who are best friends built an empire that is built on love.
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am today to have the co-hosts of Band of Mothers. Shayna and Tracey are here with us. And they're going to tell us all about their journey together as best friends, starting out in the 8th grade. They both live in Colorado and they're going to take us through the path of what it is to share such a wonderful community of women and mothers.
And I am so thrilled that you're here today. Thank you so much for being here.
TRACEY TEE [2:11]
Thank you for having us.
SHAYNA FERM [2:11]
Thank you. We're so honored.
TRACEY TEE [2:13]
Yes. We're so excited to be here.
Well, the podcast world is pretty new to me too. I've been doing online website for nearly twelve years. And then, just recently launched this podcast in January. And I love the podcast community. It's so collaborative and I feel like it really takes you into the heart of who someone is. And immediately, I was just saying before we started this recording that I feel like I'm already your best friends. It's just so fun to listen in to you two chatting because you are hilarious.
Oh, thank you.
And it's so easy to fall in love with you. Let's introduce you to the audience. Tell us about who you are and a little bit about your families and then, we'll get into your business.
Yeah. Okay. I'll start. I'm Shayna. Just Shayna like share. I'm just kidding.
It's funny. I have several names, actually. So, I didn't know what to say, so I got nervous.
I'm Shayna Farm. And we, like you said, have known each other since the 8th grade, but we live in Denver, Colorado. And I'll let Tracey speak for herself, but I have two kids, this business. I spent my 20s and 30s in Chicago and New York City as an actor and a comedian. Then, doing odd jobs here and there between. And I've been with my husband for 20 years. So funny, we never talk about ourselves individually. I don�t even know what to say.
I know. I'm like, "This is so fascinating."
I don't even know.
This is good practice. Keep going.
Talk about yourself. I love it.
But I guess my point is, through being an artist, I developed a ton of different kinds of skills because I always kind of had to take a job that then I had to quit. And then take another job, but then I'd have to quit. So, I learned a lot of things that have really helped us in our business, just by being an artist.
And Tracey and I always say that everything we've kind of done up until The Pump and Dump Show just kind of made sense once we started The Pump and Dump Show. So, I have a background in a lot of different things, mostly creative, whether it's graphic design and marketing or acting in comedy and playing the guitar and singing. So, that's me.
So talented. My goodness. We're going to have to unpack that a little bit. Okay. Let's hear yours.
I'm Tracey Tee. I, too, have been with my husband for 20. Has it been? I think I'm coming up on my 19th year anniversary and we've been together for 4 years, so 20, more than that. And I've been married to Shayna for about 30 years.
Yeah. Even longer. Yes. The test of time. I also am a Denver native. I have one daughter. She is 10. I have three dogs. And I�m only saying this because no one should have three dogs. And the third dog, lost my mind during COVID, got my kid a puppy.
Wow. You're not alone in that. That's a thing.
It's a thing and I don�t have a lot of regrets in my life and I love the dog, but three is just too many. Even with just one kid.
And I spent all of my 20s in L.A. studying comedy, freelance writing, and eventually started my own business to keep myself afloat in between auditions, and I come from a family of entrepreneurs. And moved back to Denver once I couldn't stand L.A. or Hollywood anymore. I started an e-commerce company and eventually, sold that when the market crashed when we were still up. We sold it in 2010 after I had my daughter and we were sort of recovering from the 2008 crash. So, I'm always having business during massive economic crashes. It's super fun.
And then, Shayna and I, when our kids were little littles, got together for a play date and somehow a few weeks later, decided to create a night out for moms that we called The Pump and Dump Show and that was how we started our business together. We created a comedy show that was 50% music of Shayna writing and singing her own music, and then sort of like a late night talk show format for the other 50%.
We started in a bar in Denver for free when we sleep deprived ourselves, our kids were so tiny, and we just needed a mom's night out. And what started as truly like a release and something for us to do both creatively and just to get out of the house, eventually turned into Shayna and myself touring the country with The Pump and Dump Show for five years all across the country, coast to coast. And then, a couple of years ago, we decided we could not travel anymore and we basically self-franchised ourselves and created two more casts with new moms who had tiny babies, as ours were getting bigger. One out of Chicago and one out of L.A. And then, we got them on the road. And in 2020, right when they were supposed to start 50+ shows, we had to cancel everything and lost all of our revenue in 2020.
But the silver lining is in the middle of that, last year, we were able to create The Band of Mothers podcast. And so, we've just recently launched that on Wondery. And we launched an e-commerce site for moms that's all great gifts for you to treat yourself or to send to another mom. We have a social media app for moms called Band of Mothers. That's basically everything we all love about a Facebook group, but it's not on Facebook. That's super fun. It's sort of been in beta for a year because we had big plans to launch that, that fell out in 2020. And what else do we have? Is that it? I think that's it.
I think so.
Moms Who Make Money website.
Right. We have Moms Who Make Money. We started a blog that sort of supports moms who are looking for alternative forms of income and that's been really fun. And then, we started a wellness line of sort of health products that are homemade by myself that are sort of plant based, beautiful bath and body oils and bath salts or clearing spray and whatever else I concoct with plants. So, we've just been busy. It all stems around supporting moms and Band of Mothers.
Wow. It's just mind blowing to me. Obviously, between the pair of you, you have such a breadth of experience with being in the public eye. And I am so curious to hear more about with The Pump and Dump Show.
So, when you started that, take me to where you were in head space. Because you have both gone from big cities and you come to a smaller city, still relatively big. And you decide you want to have this show. So, what was your reaction from your husbands? How did you start it out? What was that process of putting that together?
I think, at the time, we needed it as much as other moms did because like Tracey said, our babies were babies. And it really just kind of started because I�m a crazy person and can never just not be doing something.
Yeah. Yeah. I know that.
And so, my family had moved here from New York City, where I had been producing and performing all the time. And then, I had my first baby there and was pregnant with my second, a year and a half later and on my way to Denver and really should have taken a break. But at a bar, of course, not drinking while I was pregnant.
But there was a local bar that had a stage. And, of course, my brain was just like, "Must produce here in Denver." So, it was like natural. It was just, same with Tracey as an entrepreneur, we've just never stopped. We're just not those people. We were actually just commenting today because whenever upcoming episodes are about sex and relationships and how when there's two parents that they are both working from home, they can find time for sexy time. But that wouldn't happen with us or doesn't happen with us because we work so hard. We can't even stop. We're so micro focused all the time.
Don't worry. We still have sex. We still have sex. Don't worry.
I believe you. I believe you.
Not during work hours.
The show was kind of our saving grace. And we never, ever imagined that now, the Band of Mothers media would exist. I mean, it was not in our purview at all. In fact, Band of Mothers and the larger kind of scope of what we do supporting moms, almost like surprised us. We didn't realize how helpful and how grateful our audiences would be to have the content we were giving them. We were shocked at the response and knew that we needed to be of service in a bigger way. And that's kind of how the brand itself grew.
But some context for this show. I mean, this was 8 years ago now. And it's funny that it seems like a lifetime ago. Social media wasn't the monolith that it is now. And when we did the show, the first night, I mean, we just put up some posters around the neighborhood and called our friends and family and there was 75 people that showed up to that first show in this bar. And it was free because we felt like we didn't charge anyone. We don't know what we're doing.
And then, we came back the next month and we walked in to the bar, and the manager was wide eyed and just said, "We have had phone calls all day long of people wanting reservations for groups of 10 and 15 and 13 people. We're a bar. We don't even take reservations. We don't know where to put everyone." And we just happened to tap into some zeitgeist of need of moms just needed to get out.
And to this day, we were just on another podcast Plus Mommy, she was there in our first show. And there was just this beautiful moment in time. It was here in Denver of a community of moms, who felt the same thing who were willing to leave for a couple of hours and get out and laugh, who got our sort of irreverent sense of humor, our honesty. And the whole point of the show is we all just sort of laugh at the things we have in common as parents.
And it's not navel gazing about me and Shayna and our lives. We're not standing up there with a martini glass going, "Why doesn�t anyone do the laundry?" It's not that kind of show. It's very raw and honest. And it really just resonated with people and we just kind of went with it.
I wish that I could see that. Is there any way to tap into the shows that you did? Did you record them? Are they shared online? How do we see them?
Do you have a cure for COVID? No, just jokes.
Yeah. So, there's a lot of clips and things that you can watch online. We're two brand new cast going out there, kind of speaking our gospel to moms everywhere, and there will be again. But yeah, that's the thing. Like Tracey said, this social media world, even becoming like a YouTube video person. Even 8 years ago, it's funny because it either sounds like a long time ago or it doesn't. And we're a big admirers of a lot of moms who do hilarious things on video.
That's not our strong suit. We've tried. We're terrible at it. This live event was really important to us and it's still really important to us because you would get these moms, first of all, out of the house and home by 10. That was like a really big thing. You could come and the show starts at 7:30 and you walk out at 9 and you're in bed, hopefully, someone else put your kids to bed and you were in bed at 10. And you just had a rockest amazing couple of hours to celebrate how hard parenting is. Finally laugh about it. Finally have some relief. Finally be surrounded by 600, 700 moms who, no matter what kind of mom you are, whether you ate your placenta because you're a hippie mom or you've never tried a cloth diaper and you wouldn't in your life, all in the same room celebrating the difficulty. I mean, it was this really unique, I'm going to cry, I feel like we miss it so much. But it's this really unique experience in a very digital world. We were kind of Lo-Fi in what was becoming a Hi-fi world, which is why the podcast is so interesting.
Which is a long way to say we never taped our show.
Which, dang it, I don't know. I think maybe you might need to rethink this.
Because as you're describing it, I�m just like, man, that sounds like such a cure that we all need. Just to really sit down and be able to laugh at it and also nod our heads, saying, "Yes, yes, yes." Because I've been doing My Mommy Style for the last 10 years and that's what it was meant to be. It was all "embrace the mom that you are" and really it doesn't matter what our differences are. There are so much more that we can laugh about and relate to that we have in common than we ever have different, right?
Yeah. And it's so easy to forget it as women, I think.
Oh, all the time.
We constantly forget.
Yeah. What do you think it was? And I'm trying to envision because I can get pieces of it from listening to your show now, but what do you think it was in the show that was really so transformative for these women? Did you follow the same kind of script so to speak or was it like song and talking? Tell me a little bit about how that works.
Imagine like a talk show format. So, there was 50% was music, and then there was segments we played games with the audience members.
We would bring moms up on stage. It is multimedia. It's not dead. It's multimedia, so there's games. There's segments. There's times where we just talk. One of our most famous and most popular segments, at the beginning of every show, we pass out note cards to everyone in the audience and we ask them to write down the most effed up thing their kid has ever done. And then, we read some of those off on stage and you cannot make up those stories.
Yeah. They're different every show. Yeah.
And so, every show is the same but different. But truly, over time as we evolved, we realized that the message there was Band of Mothers, which is kind of why the podcast was so easy to evolve to. At the end of the show, we end with a beautiful song called You're an Awesome Mom and at the very, very end everyone is standing up and high fiving each other and slapping each other on the butt and hugging and crying. And it's just community. It's something about comedy, which is why live theatre is so important in general. But there's something about being in a room with strangers and the people that you love and just hearing laughter and everyone's laughing about the same thing. It's so powerful.
While eating nachos.
This sounds like a dream.
And downing awful drinks in a hurricane glass that'll probably make you sick later.
But you know what? It's a night out and moms went to it.
Yeah. And so, that really was what it was. We quickly realized that's just what moms needed and what we needed. I mean, our cup got filled up every show we ever did and it's the same for our cast. It's a labor of love. It's amazing.
I really feel that each of us has these gifts and talents that are put into this perfect brew. And if you're in that higher level of energy really following that path, that all of these opportunities will open up to you. And I feel like that's exactly what has happened to the two of you, where you've really created this partnership that it taps into that pure essence of who you are and that joy and that love. Talk to me about working as a partnership. What has been so wonderful? What's been so hard about it? How have you made it work between the two of you?
Gosh, I just feel so lucky. I mean, it's not like it's always smooth sailing but we're very transparent, which I think is key. And I would advise anybody going into a partnership with a friend or not even a friend, an enemy. Yeah, don't do it. Whoever you are going in to an endeavor that is your passion, that is something that your heart is in, that you're going to be expelling a significant amount of energy into, the transparency is absolutely key.
But I think that we've been on such a journey. I mean, we've had such high highs and such low lows and it really is a marriage. We've been through it together. When we have those lows, we suffer in different ways. When we have those high stress highs, we deal with them in different ways. And understanding how the other person responds, how you respond to the other person, that kind of a study is something we've gotten more into as the years have gone on and it's made everything a lot better. Not that it was bad before, but I think that understanding our dynamics, the core values that I have as a human and the core values that Tracey has as a human, how they feed into the core values that we have as a company.
And as a married couple.
And as a married couple, right? Taking the time to really focus on that and understand and appreciate each other's person, but the lucky part is the things that Tracey's really good at, I'm not. And the things I�m really good at, she's not. And that's just luck. Honestly, there's just some parts of our business that are better handled by Tracey and some that are better handled by me and there's like never an issue. Yeah.
That's right. Yeah. But it was funny in the beginning. Well, first of all, I was very anti. Coming from a line of entrepreneurs, the advice my father always gave me was, if you ever go into business with someone, consider it, it's your other marriage. It is absolutely a marriage. The money, the division of responsibility, the stress, the love, the hate, it's just like a marriage. And I was like, "No, no thank you. I don't want to do this with you. I don't want to lose you as a friend."
But then, we started doing the show and we had so much of a good time and there was no expectation in those early days. We just showed up at this bar and performed. And once it really started picking up and we eventually moved to a different theatre and we were selling out. And I remember we were agonizing over charging 10 dollars for a ticket because we were like, "Is that too much?" And that theatre was filling up. And eventually, we got on a plane and did our first show in Mill Valley outside San Francisco.
That was the trip that changed it all for us.
That was the trip.
Tell me. I want to hear all the things.
Well, we just travelled well together.
Yeah, if you could travel.
Okay. Yeah. If you can travel with someone, you know it's gold because that really puts it to the test.
It's like sharing a bed.
But we shared a bed. Yeah. I mean, we were sleeping in someone's basement. We were sleep deprived. Our kids were so tiny. We were stressed about leaving our children. All that that has to do when you've got two-year-olds and younger at home.
I think we netted 200 dollars over the trip.
And then, we'd spend it on food. We were so happy. But that was the light. And then, I remember Shay saying like, "This was delightful." And we just spent the next five years in Hilton Garden Inns. Yeah. And so that was really it. We are lucky. We're a good couple. And some tools that we rely on now. One thing that was super transformative for us a few years ago is we learned about the Enneagram and that changed everything.
So, what are you? What are your numbers?
What are you?
I think I need to commit to taking it again because I've gotten two different answers. So, once I took it and I was a 7 and then another time, I was a 2. And so, I think I need to take another stab at it. I'm learning more about it. I actually have an Enneagram specialist coming on this show soon.
Oh, fun. Great. Well, take the RHETI test.
Okay. I'll take that one.
I'm so much of an 8. I can't be more of an 8.
Yeah. And the first time I took it, I was like 5 things. And then, just started reading about the things, I was the most and realized I'm a 3. So, I think some people are just clearer into their type than others. But as you know there's types that are within the types.
Right. With a wing of this or that.
Yeah. I mean, I'm a 3 with a 2 wing. It's amazing being 40, well now I'm 43, but at the time, I was 41 years and realized that, "Oh. My entire value as a human being comes from my success." Like, what? That was a huge thing to realize in your fucking 40s. So, yeah.
Yeah. So, I�m an 8, wing 8. I'm not even a 7 or a 9. I'm just an 8. I think pretty much.
And what is the 8? I don't know it well enough. You might need to describe it a little bit.
Well, 8 is the one that no one likes.
Donald Trump's an 8.
Also, so is Margaret Thatcher. And maybe some, I don't know if anyone likes Margaret Thatcher either. I don't know. 8s are very loud and big and domineering and business oriented.
Leaders. Very leader, but soft inside but nobody can see it.
Yeah. And that was a big thing for me. I had to really learn how to express my emotions. And so, the misconception with 8s is that everyone thinks you're just yelling at them. In fact, you're just very passionate about everything in life, whether it's a bowl of soup you just ate or who is running for President. It's all the same level. So, I had to learn how to dial that back, so that everyone just didn't think I was screaming at them.
Well, so imagine, right? In a partnership, so now, I understand that about Tracey because it's defined. And so, I understand when she's yelling at me, she's not necessarily yelling at me, right? Which is huge. And then, she understands that if she's giving me criticism on something that I worked on because success of things is so innately important. If I respond in a certain way, it's just my threeness. And we did it with our husbands too. I mean, it cracks it open because it's just an acceptance that this is just who you genuinely are.
Ugh. We can't recommend it enough. And you've learned to recognize your flaws. And then, once they're there it's up to you to understand that you can't lean on those and just say, "Well, it's just who I am. I'm just an asshole." You got to fix it.
Yeah. No, that's really helpful. I actually did the quiz with my husband in the car, but it was a really quick one. You're inspiring me to do this again. I've been married for about 16 and a half years. So, I'm a couple of steps behind you. Yeah.
Okay. It's time. Well, I will tell you when I did it with my husband. Because, again, same thing, we've all been in long term relationships. When we did the test and we started talking about it, there were things from our dating years, fights that we got in, I was like, "I finally understand where you were coming from." I mean, you think you know someone after two decades together, and it gave us 25 years of free therapy. It was amazing.
We really dug in but the book, The Wisdom of the Enneagram, it's blue. That's kind of like the Bible.
Yeah. That's our go-to.
That's the Bible of it? Okay.
I think so, yeah. It's good.
All right. We'll link to that in the Show Notes. That sounds really good.
We didn't write it.
Yeah. That's okay.
We got nothing, except we're grateful.
Hey, I love hearing and sharing books that are lifechanging like that. So, thank you.
I was going to say we'll put it in our BOM market, so people can link their directly to it if you're curious. We'll just have it in there.
Oh yeah. We should put it in there.
That's a good idea.
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So, I want to go back to transitioning from the shared bed to the Hilton Hotels. You did this for five years. How many weekends were you travelling? How did you fit that in with motherhood and what did that look like?
Well, first of all, I just want to clarify Hilton Garden Inn, not Hilton Hotels. That'd be really large.
Hilton Garden Inn, okay.
It was unfortunately never a Westin.
And there is no redemption story. We never ended up at the Ritz, ever. So, just so that's very clear.
We were this close before COVID.
We got a lot of points at the HGI and got the free cookies and that's about as good as it got.
They give you a water when you check in. That's all we got.
Okay. Sorry, what was your question? What was your question?
Yeah. So, talk to me about that transition. How often were you travelling? How were you navigating the shows? Family?
It's so funny. It's funny now because our kids are a little bit older, so I don't know if it would be easier now or easier then. It was almost easier then because they were too little to realize what was happening.
Yeah. I can see that.
We would because we're the moms. And this isn't to discredit our husbands because we are both really lucky with good partners, but we would get everybody set and ready for one day, 24 to 48 hours we'd be gone. When we started touring, we were doing mid-week shows because that's what the comedy clubs would allow you to have if you weren't a comic that could do five shows on a weekend. But also, I will say, no one thought that a comedy show for moms was ever going to do any good.
People rolling their eyes. The staff would make fun of us when we would come into the comedy clubs. I'd hear them. I'd be there, plugging in chords and the staff would be like, "Well, this is going to be a crappy night. How funny could this be?" I'm like, "I'm right here."
Oh my gosh.
"And also, it's sold out."
You're like, "Watch me."
Yes. So, we never got the weekends, really, until much later.
Yeah. It took us years. Just to put it in mom perspective, we would get everything ready, so that our partners could take our kids to school, okay. And then, we would already be on a plane. We would land in some city. We would do a show. We'd get up at 4 in the morning the next morning and fly home and be there for pickup.
And this was every week.
Yeah. We'd do four or five shows a week. A month, sorry.
I was like, what? No. Yeah, so sometimes we'd do two in a row. We'd be gone for 48 hours, but we always tried to book our flights, so we were home as early as we could so that we would be there for pick up and it would just be less pressure on the family. And it's so insane to think that we did that. But honestly, sitting an HGI in the middle of Omaha wasn't going to do us any good either, so we just needed to get home.
But we would do a show and we would get home at one in the morning, and then, yes, sleep for two, three hours. And then, my route was land at DIA airport, and then swing by the grocery store on the way home and pick-up dinner. Pick up my daughter, and then bring her home from school, do the things, and cook dinner like we've never been gone. And then, I was sick for five years.
Yeah. It was crazy.
And it was hard. Looking back on it now, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves because when your babies are tiny, you don't want to leave your babies. They didn't really miss us. And we are lucky we had a lot of help and our partners were always supportive. And they married artists, so they knew what they were getting into all those years ago. So, they're thrilled that we're doing what we love. But it was really hard for us to leave them. And you can't leave your kids for two weeks and go on a tour without a lot of help. And we just weren't in the space to have multiple nannies and all the things. So, we just made it work week by week. And we would kind of take the summers off and we never did any shows during Christmas because moms don't have time to do it anyway.
And this was before we had even a stage manager traveling with us, so we would just be carrying all of the stuff.
We weighed it once. A 150 pounds of tech stuff we would carry on our own.
Do you check that in with the luggage?
Yeah. We would haul it.
Yeah. We would haul it up to the airport. We would throw it on the thing.
And we'd be on our hands and knees, plugging in cords, in our pantyhose. Why did we even wear pantyhose by the way?
You wore pantyhose.
I did because I always wore really short skirts. And the stages are high.
No one wants to look at a mom's cooch.
This is where the baby came out. So, yeah, we plug in our cords. There are two hours early to do a tech and then, we're sitting in some green room in some club in the middle of America.
And then, a server would come in and be like, "Do you want the chicken fingers or the nachos?" And we would get a little meal. I almost love telling this story because I think people have this misconception that we would get on some bus with our pictures on the side and it was like, "No, we are working moms."
Honestly, if The Pump and Dump Show was going to live on, we needed to become the producers. We needed to grow in a way that was going to reach more moms than 300 sold out in Columbus, Ohio. We needed to build on that. So, A, we could get off the road and B, like normal human beings, be able to put moms on the road, not in that situation. The girls that went out that are our cast numbers now are amazing. There's a cast in Chicago and one in L.A. We were doing everything we could to make usure that they were
Well-fed and that they each had their own hotel room. We were doing everything.
We paid them really well. We just felt like we really wanted to support especially female artists because it's a tough gig. So, we really prided ourselves in kind of going above.
And in order to do that, we had to build the brand. So, we built that up. We started this podcast. We just are trying to come up with ways that Band of Mothers can really live beyond Tracey and I sharing a bed in Mill Valley, California.
Well, you're doing an incredible job. I mean, starting an app alone. That's a huge undertaking. What made you decide to want to do that?
We don't like Facebook. Actually, we do. We have a private Facebook group that we started as a band of mothers. It's called Band of Mothers and it's really this beautiful mom group.
It's like 5000 moms in there.
And we don't do anything and it's everyone got the ethos of our company and everyone's cool. There is no mom-shaming. There's no diatribes. There's no trolling. Everyone is super supportive and constantly some mom will tentatively write like, "I don't know. Should I get my daughter the HPV vaccine?" And the comments are loving and they come from both sides of the conversation, but they're from the heart. And it's just trying to help you make your own informed decision and we've always encouraged just responsible dialogue. You're allowed to disagree with people. You just have to be nice about it. And everyone got that.
So, we thought, let's take that off of a social media platform, where a lot of people don't feel comfortable and provide a space that's even more secure, even more private, even more safe. And explore all of the things of being a mom. So, it's a community-based app. It's group-based. So, you can join lots of sort of subgroups within the Band of Mothers thing, which I think is one problem with Facebook groups. Because if you're a teenage mom, but you want to be part of Band of Mothers, you don't necessarily want to read about potty training all day long. So, on the Band of Mothers app, you can join the teen mom group or you can join the book group or you can join recipes or you can join LGBTQ.
Or CEO moms.
Or military moms or infertility. All the things. And then, you can really drill down into your community. So, yeah. But it's not easy to run and there's a lot of scary implications of being in the tech world, for sure.
And part of our unfortunate sob story is that we had a team of about 15 people when COVID hit. And now, we have us and our digital manager who is literally just kind enough to work for us. I mean, we lost everything. Everything.
So, the app. we're hoping that with the podcast, it can only work the way the Facebook group works in the sense of if people go in there and have conversations but our way of telling people about the app was the live show. So, it's kind of just sitting there as this beautiful space for you. And so, we're excited to be able to tell people about it now. Because A, we've had a long time to kind of test it and see how it works, etc. But now, it just takes the moms. And so, we just kind of have to trust that that's going to happen. But it's cool. It's really cool. It's free.
So, are you monetizing that with sponsors that are in the app? Does it roll ads or has a banner? How did you monetize it so that it's free for the consumer?
That's a great question. We have a long-term monetization plan that requires some upgrades to the app that aren't there yet. But one of our favorite parts, we have this section called BOM Deals, Being A Mother Deals. Because we're entrepreneurs and because we always want to support every kind of mom, you can, as a business owner, put up a deal for your company for 75 bucks and it lives on the app. And then, it's like Tinder meets RetailMeNot. You just swipe and you look through all these pretty businesses. And then, you can swipe up and go right to that company's page and that's our sort of lowkey monetization right now. And then, we're just going to trust that the rest of it will come not at the expense of our users.
And I think, too, for influencers and for people trying to reach an audience that have to deal with algorithms of Instagram and Facebook. And we won't go into details, but I think there's some really great ways to monetize communities because when you post something, people actually see it.
Yeah. If you have them on the Band of Mothers app, if you want to speak to your audience, you get to. Everybody who is in your group will see your post.
Yeah. We're not picking and choosing and deciding what you should see in your feed.
So, just use Nordstrom for example, right? If we want some big high powered corporate, someone wants to have a page full of moms, great. And those moms want to sign up for your page? Great. Your moms, those moms, are going to see your shoes. And that's kind of the long-term idea and what we kind of went into it with.
That's amazing. Okay. So, let's talk about your podcast. Because you're, what? Three episodes in right now that are published.
And it is so much fun. You're covering all things motherhood and a lot of funny things, too. I was dying over you talking about your son kissing you. I have three boys.
Oh my gosh.
And yeah, they definitely go through a stage of just being in love with you. And then, they turn 12.
Yeah. And they don't speak for 5 years.
I could never imagine.
So, it's so fun. How did you hook up with Wondery? What a slam dunk deal. I am just so happy for you.
I think the universe was like, "You girls have been fucked over enough." No, we, fortunately, had a meeting, gosh, right as COVID was happening, with our partners in this endeavor. Somebody who we love over at Warner Brothers.
They were looking for women led content. And they really got our brand and got what we're trying to do and enjoy our banter, etc. And so, they were the ones who were able to kind of get us in some doors of some networks and Wondery was looking for the same thing. They're really focused on women led content and supporting women run businesses.
And female voices. That's kind of their thing and it's cool that they're so bullish on that. And we're their first, and right now, their only mom centered podcast.
Wow. I'll come next. I mean, if they're looking.
Right, girl? I know. There's room for everyone and I think it's so fun. I think one, I'm interested to see if you've found this, too, just in the business conversations I've been having, especially I would say over the last five months, we've all woken up that it just doesn't need to be the male gaze, kind of everyone's just sort of done with that. No offense to men. I love men. I get it.
Did you just say the male gays?
Yeah. It's everything's through a male lens.
I like that, yeah. I like that.
Okay, the gay males.
I knew what you were saying.
It's all about the male gays.
The male gays are fine.
Yeah. We love them.
I like that view.
Yeah. Totally. So, I think people are just wanting different perspectives. And I'm finding it in collaborations and partnerships. And certainly, women are finally getting put at the forefront and just women of color and minorities and voices are being elevated and within that comes moms.
Moms, we kind of get marginalized with like, "Oh, we respect them and we love them but they get really domineering. I mean, they can't really be an Oprah." And not that we're trying to be Oprah, but I think people are realizing that you can be a mom. You can even work from your house and create an empire and people are more open to that. One of the things that always irked us on the road when we would do interviews on morning shows is, I mean, it's not even trying to be bitter. It is what it is. When it was a male newscaster, the first question was always, "What do your husbands think of what you do?" And we're like, "Really?"
And really, just like the hypocrisy in the sense that they wouldn't ask a male comic that.
Yeah. No. Never.
Male comics are on the road all the time. And then, just like, oh, we're bad mothers or something.
Yeah. No one thinks Jim Gaffigan is a bad dad.
Yeah. He's got five kids all in one room in New York City, but nobody gives a shit about that.
The other thing is for years, we're such big fans of some parenting podcasts. So, we just were kind of like, "Where can we contribute to this space?" Because there's a lot of really amazing two women, two mom podcasts out there. And so, it took us years to kind of cultivate what we wanted ours to be and why that would be, honestly, worth it because there's so many great hilarious fun informational podcasts about parenting.
So, ours just kind of is, not necessarily, always about parenting. It's an informational podcast where we look at life of being a woman through the lens of being moms. Because when you're a mom, everything you do, every movie that you watch, every relationship that you have, every product, every bra that you buy is affected by the fact that you are a mom.
And it is a different world. And so, can we teach people something every week that's an important kind of core foundation of where we want to go with our podcast? Can we teach people about something through this wide-eyed lens?
It's not even teach, but can we just learn together? Something that we're interested in.
Yeah. So, we're having these really fun guests. Lathan Thomas was our first guest who has been so influential int eh world of just helping moms take care of themselves. So, that was a really fun interview to start with. And we have a bunch coming up in the docket. We have Shereen, Cooking with Shereen, where we just talk about how we can learn how to cook.
And we were her first podcast, so we're really excited about that one. And she's so great. If you guys don't follow her, she's TikTok famous. She's a mom out of Jersey who can teach you how to make cordon bleu in two minutes on TikTok. And somehow, people get it. She's amazing. She's funny and she's kind.
We met with Dr. Taz about the vaccine and about COVID. So, we do talk about our kids and we talk about being moms because everything is influenced by being moms. But we're really trying to kind of tap into this other space about being a woman, which we all forget.
Oh yeah. It's fascinating to me each week talking to different women about the hurdles and the question and the different scope that people shine on them because they are a mom. And, "What do you have to offer?" That's actually why I started this from the very beginning was someone saying to my face, "What do you have to offer? All I see is a pretty face." And I know, the audacity, right?
Oh my gosh.
It's so fascinating and just encouraging to hear your story and how you have overcome these hurdles and really worked together as a team. So, moving forward, what would you say your ultimate dream for this business? I mean, you have really, truly an empire that you're building and it's so full of goodness and just giving everyone a voice. I love that. Where do you hope to see this go?
I think we would just love to be the mom space that truly feels authentic and wholehearted and inclusive, not in a trendy way, but in a genuine way where I haven't found yet that space, where everyone is equal. No matter who you are, everyone is there for one reason and that's kind of because of love. Everyone struggles. Everyone questions themselves. Everyone has bad days. Everyone has great days. Everyone parents different.
But for the most part, moms really try their hardest to do their best by their children and unless you are truly abusive and that's actually much rarer than we think. Most moms are really doing the best they can with what they've been given. And to have a space where that's recognized, where you are as a human, I think that's what we want. And we can provide that in multiple areas, whether it's what gifts you're buying that are intentionally picked out by moms who know what other moms like that's a company that's run by moms and not by some dude telling moms what they should buy. To a podcast that lets moms remember that they're women to a social media app that allows them to feel safe and have conversations and agree to disagree, which is something I think we're forgetting that we can do. And then, man, just to get together and laugh, just laugh about it. Just go to a show and have a cup of drinks or have a cup of tea, I don't care. Just laugh.
Yeah. The show is definitely going to live on. We have 8 years of content. Our whole goal was that there would be Pump and Dump shows in every city and we were there. We were actually making that happen. So, that will happen again because I think moms really need that now more than ever.
The best ecosystem of being a mother is everything supports itself. You can go to a show and then, you can continue a dialogue with the podcast. You can go to a show and meet more people on the app. You can go to a show and then you can buy your friend a present. Everything is connected and that's what we see for the brand.
We see BOM retreat house. That's one of our big dreams is to have a place where moms can go and take workshops or just have a retreat or even just sprint out for grocery time.
But also, the house that we want. I mean, we kind of came with it when we had a retreat a couple of years ago. It's like moms want certain things that you don't necessarily want even on a family vacation. You want really nice beds and you want all the cooking tools and you want a sauna and you want clean towels, like really clean towels because we're not going to trash the place. And so, yeah, we just want to meet moms where they're at to support them in all areas of their life and I think that that's completely doable and we hope to be the women to do it.
Well, I think you are. I mean, everything you've just said so far, you are doing it. You are creating that vision. So, I'm curious if you were to give women listening right now, you've obviously come out of the tailspin here, 2020. And you're pivoting, you're making it work when you thought you really had missed trajectory that you were going and you had to spin around and do something different, what would you say to those women listening on how to keep moving forward when things feel so stopped? Or it's something you're tripping up on, how to overcome those moments?
Take a bath.
Yeah. We take a lot of baths. We call it self-preservation rather than self-care.
I heard that. I love that term. Self-preservation, that's so perfect.
We feel strongly that it takes a kind of step away from the kind of social media hashtag and more into what it really is, which is if you don't take care of yourself, you're not going to be the person that you want to be for your family, for yourself, for your partner, for your business. And to be completely honest, we're not saying this because we're experts in this. We're saying this because we discovered this and had to.
Because like we said, we lost everything. And even before that, when we were really on that trajectory where we had invested so much on our business and we had cast new members and we were working so much and we had gotten investors. We were on this beautiful path. We, at the same time, were doing a lot of personal work, whether it's a hot bath or whether it's journaling some gratitude before bed or reading a book about something a little bit spiritual, just making space in yourself to either clear out shadows that will haunt you or just understanding yourself a little better energetically, it will only bring good things.
And so, as devastating as COVID was for our business, the last year has been unbelievably transformative for us as business women because we, as women, and we had to prioritize, right? So, we had this time and this loss and we had to really take a deep look, not only at ourselves, but at our work and say, "Okay. When we get off from this fetal position from on the couch, what does it look like?" And that takes a lot of work.
But I will say, as an 8 and a recovering not emotional, emotional person, one thing I never understood that I've heard in the self-help community is, "Feel your feelings." And I think so many of us as women and moms are in a tailspin. All of us in different levels in 2020. We lost our business but there was a lot of beautiful things that we were able to hold onto. And people are getting sick and people are losing our jobs and people are struggling with their children and it just goes on and on.
And so, we're all spinning and I would just say, "Let that flow through you and let those feelings." We don't have to be superheroes. We don't have to wallow in it, but we can say, "This really sucks." And let it come through you and acknowledge that this is a really hard time. Because if you keep on trying to push it down and try to be superwoman all the time, it's going to come and bite you in the butt eventually and that's not going to be pretty. And so, we let ourselves cry for a few weeks for sure and we've felt sorry for ourselves.
And we still do.
Yeah. And I still get angry and I'm still mad at the bank and all the things. But you can let that rise up and exit out your head and move on with your life. But I think to say that you can't be sad and that I know that trauma is such a buzzword, but we're all in it right now and people are really traumatized from this year on so many levels. And I think you got to recognize that about yourself so that you can learn how to get out of it.
Yeah. I agree. Really feeling it. I like how you said not feeling like you have to be superwoman all the time. Really just to sit in it and recognize that it sucks and that you can learn from it and move on. And I think it's fascinating where you had businesses grow and develop in those years of plummet.
I experienced something similar too. I was in the mortgage business when it crashed in 2008. That was when I became a mother. It was the year 2008. And so, that was really transformative. And then, again, during COVID, that was when I thought, "No. I really want to share women's stories." And it has been such a pleasure to share yours. I am so excited to follow your journey and to see what you do next. It's just full of so much good.
Well, thank you.
Thank you so much. We love what you're doing.
We love what you're doing. I know. And I love finding your why and all of the things. It's amazing. So, thank you for elevating everyone's stories too.
Well, you bet. Thank you so much. And please tell our audience where they can find you, how they can download your app, how they can connect with you personally and also, just contact you if they want to come to one of your future shows. Because I know I would want to go. I want to be able to go.
So, you can go to bandofmothers.com and you will see all of the things that we just talked about. If you want to go specifically just to find information about the podcast or even leave us a message, which we will listen to, you can go to bandofmothers.com/podcast.
And you can find the podcast on Wondery. Also, on Apple. Also, on Instagram, we're @bandofmothersofficial is our big IG page. And, yeah, you can just email us. It's just us. So, if we don't answer, it's because we're legit busy but when we do answer, it's from us.
Yeah. You can get all that information.
Yeah. And the app is available on iOS and Android. It's free. You can download it on any of the app platforms. And then, momswhomakemoney.com is our sort of financial money aspect website and visit that anytime you want.
And shop at the BOM Market.
Oh, yeah. And bom.market for gifts and you can find our High Planes Market wellness line and lots of other great stuff.
My goodness. There is so much to find and see. And I've downloaded your app. I've listened to your podcast and it's so fun. And I love your website teaching women how to make money because that's what this podcast is all about, too. Inspiring women to go after their dreams and find ways that they can work from home.
I heard someone say that this is the mom depression, so to speak. So many moms have lost their jobs and are having to come home and really be the ones to take that brunt load of, "What's next?" Because that's what we do. We figure it out. So, what a cool service to have that websites where people can learn to make money in all different ways.
Well, we have to collab with you. We need you to curate stuff up on BOM Market. We'd love to have you. Do an interview with you and get you on Moms Who Make Money too.
It can happen for women.
Hey, I love it. Well, thank you, thank you so much for being here. Please tune in next week for the next show because we love it when you come.
Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of Call Me CEO. If you found it helpful or inspiring, I would love it if you shared it with a friend and also, if you came and joined me on Instagram @callmeceopodcast where you can join other likeminded mommas like you who are looking up to step up in their lives and make it even better. Thank you so much and I will see you next week!
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