A mom is a superwoman—a nurturing individual who puts the needs of her children first while, at the same time, appears as if she’s running the world.
That’s how sisters Leslie Venokur and Risa Goldberg define it, anyway. And as moms and the founders of Big City Moms, they should know.
Big City Moms is, simply stated, a community for new and expectant parents who want to be the best mom, the best dad, they can be—to be that superhero. Through its online presence and in-person events, the company provides invaluable resources to make the parenthood journey a little bit less scary with a lot more information.
Ten years ago, Goldberg became a mom, but at that time there was something missing—community. Where were the other moms, the other women also navigating the ins and outs of motherhood? There wasn’t an easy way to find them, to meet them—to mommy network—and learn from and with them. So the sisters made a decision to fill this void themselves. That’s when Big City Moms, a support system of young moms, was born.
They started small, by personally sending out an email to friends and asking them to forward to new moms in their circles for weekly dinners comprised of 15 to 20 moms. After that first dinner, the 18 moms in attendance wanted to know when and what the next event was—so they helped brainstorm the next stage of Big City Moms, including an exclusive shopping night at Barneys New York and salon sessions. Once the brand was introduced to the community, the get-togethers quickly grew into holiday parties, educational seminars and baby showers with increased mom counts of up to 1,500 guests. The industry responded to this baby boom, and soon companies in the juvenile market were lining up to launch products, sponsor events and advertise with Big City Moms.
Now, the brand—which has grown from a community of 18 to one upward of 300,000—is a trusted resource for parents and outside businesses alike. It serves its information-hungry audience and all relevant major markets with its signature event Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower, a showcase of baby products and services and access to parenting expertise. Big City Moms also acts as a marketing partner for companies who want to reach new parents and offers instant information for moms and moms-to-be seeking advice through BigCityMoms.com.
Venokur and Goldberg didn’t know that organizing a dinner for moms would develop into a marketing and events company when they passed out the invitations in 2004. Although the business plan seemed to fall into place, the same can’t be said for growing a company to the magnitude enjoyed now by Big City Moms.
Since the company’s launch, both sisters have learned how to prioritize time and tasks for the benefit of both business and personal life. It takes a lot to build a business—especially as the parents of young kids—so Venokur and Goldberg embraced productive habits to achieve the best results in the office and at home. This is what works for them:
1. Love lists: “Lists and Post-its. At the beginning of every day, we make lists with everything we need to accomplish. There are yellow post-its everywhere, but this helps us to keep everything organized.”
2. Accept help: “Outsource. In the infancy of our business, we used to make the gift bags for all our events—we have since hired a warehouse and fulfillment center that takes care of all of that for us. We try to [outsource] as much as possible. Sometimes you can’t do it all yourself!”
3. Start talking: “Communicate. We are always aware of everything that is going on so there is no duplication in efforts.”
4. Get techy: “Embrace technology. We use all types of tools [Google Drive and FaceTime] to communicate and work more efficiently.” (And we can’t dismiss their presence on social media, a powerful platform to spread the word about upcoming events.)
5. A morning burst: “Exercise in the morning. Working out gives us energy, and we are more productive when we feel good about ourselves.”
Big City Moms is celebrating 10 years at its next Biggest Baby Shower Ever! event on April 29 in New York City (with later dates in Washington, D.C.; Boston; Miami; and Los Angeles). With more than 125 vendors, 20 speakers and 1,500 expectant and new parents, attendees will walk away with the “in” on the newest and best baby gear and services plus valuable notes from top parenting experts. And companies, with direct exposure to and conversation with their target customers, will leave with a better approach to product marketing.
Sounds like baby bliss to us.