Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler have channeled their skills in marketing and fashion to provide a community for mothers who want to bond, draw inspiration and work together. Fast friends, the two women behind the entrepreneurial website actually met through their daughters. A playdate in McCarren Park ignited the first converstaion for heymama.co - today the network has interviewed power mamas like Ivanka Truamp, Ali Webb (Drybar), and a rising Babesta fashion star Rylee & Cru founder; Kelli Murray. We spoke with Amri & Katya to talk girl power & find out more about the mamas behind the mamas!
What does it take to be an entrepreneur? Why this company and why now?
K: Endless positivity and focus, a true fire within that doesn't really burn out. On the subject of how did I get here, it all started with a huge risk!! It helped that I started heymama while I had a full time job at a big tech company and then when the company made layoffs it was my sign to go for it.
A: As an entrepreneur you have to be ready to roll with the punches as every day is different. This means that not only do you never get bored, but you also have to do it ALL yourself. It really helps to go into it with a great partner that you trust.
What do you see that tie the women that you profile together – personal attributes or point of view?
K: All of the women we interview have a crazy fire under their ass and passion which we admire. it doesn't slow down when they have kids, just gives them a greater purpose to do what they do and have it all, even for a few minutes a day (before one ball drops. What we saw at The Great Jane, our retreat in Ojai this May is that whether it was a speaker or an attendee, every mama has something she's been through and can speak to. Heymama's events and platform just gives them an opportunity to do that.
One of our favorite pages on the site is the Discover page. What was the concept here?
K: Having a way for mamas to find each other, connect on interests and collaborate. We found this was the best way for us to do that and we hope people use it to “Discover” mamas in their city. We'll be adding new functionality soon too, so stay tuned!
What are the challenges you see that woment in the work force still face today?
K: Great question. Equal pay for equal work. That's why starting your own company gives you so much more control.
I guess I shouldn’t talk about politics, but what about the fact that we’ve nearly broken the ultimate glass ceiling? Any words on the election?
K: We never follow the rules either. It would be crazy to say that it's not exciting to have a woman be so close in the election, and actually in grasp of the presidency. It would be a huge milestone for us. However, personally, I am not behind any of the candidates this election 100%.
We’ve met some pretty cool entrepreneurs through you guys – Hello Sitter, Natti Natti at least! - how do you find people or learn about these amazing women and their businesses with great product and great stories and ideas?
K: Word of mouth! we have so many members introduce us to other mamas just getting their businesses going, and it feels so good to help someone along their path.
A: Lots of Instagram and just talking to people. Mamas are great about supporting each other! We've been lucky enough to have people believe in what we're doing and they recommend other mamas they love to us and so on. This is how the network has organically developed and expanded.
What defines a 'cool mama'?
K: Someone who knows herself but is always growing. Strong sense of style and identity and most importantly someone with a great attitude.
A: Someone who wants to share their experiences in life and help other people, while remaining excited and curious about life.
What are you most looking forward to this fall?
K: We have so many exciting events and projects in the works; a series of workshops and panels in NYC and other cities to help working mamas get the skills they need in business, and the next Great Jane retreat. Oh, did we mention NYFW.
What’s next for heymama – where do you see it evolving?
Our goals are to build local communities in different cities to support mamas along their journeys. We're excited to launch Denver this July 27th with the help of our local ambassadors. We're also in the midst of planning the next Great Jane retreat happening this Fall, and focus heavily on sharing incredible stories on heymama.co and in our new weekly newsletter.
Any lasting thoughts?
K: One email can change your life. Thanks to those that helped us and we hope we can do the same to further your dreams and businesses in some way, big or small.
A: You have to believe in yourself. Waking in the am and start the day with positive thoughts can change the word. We wanted to build a network of empowering mamas and we did it!