If you’ve been a part of TFW for any amount of time, you’d know that we adore women who are pioneering something they believe in. You’d also know that we’re massive fans of this new app called Mumsy. Not too long they took over our Instagram (see the posts here) and now we’ve had the opportunity to chat to these three Co-Founders about their new beauty. Meet Michelle Nemirovsky (CEO), Amy Frost (Creative Director) and Stef Etow (Director of Content).
STEF: Mumsy is a brand that celebrates the connection between women across all generations and backgrounds. Our mission was inspired by the close bond the three of us share with our moms. It’s a pretty special way to start a business. These are the women who taught us some of our most valuable lessons and who want nothing more than to stay connected to us, their daughters. And yet, for some generations of women, the apps and tools that are out there are not so easy to adapt to and navigate.
Our app introduces a beautiful, user-friendly way for this relationship to connect through mobile tech. We also recently released our blog, Akin, as a way to share inspirational and relatable stories from different women in our growing community. And we are quite active all across social media. So you could say that Mumsy has evolved into a brand ecosystem, started by three women and strengthened by all women.
What inspired the creation of this beautiful app?
MICHELLE: When I started college, my parents moved to Barcelona, so suddenly they were 6,000 miles away with a 9 hour time difference. This made it difficult for my mom and I to stay connected. We would talk almost every day, and would use Skype, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, and email to communicate. Then a couple years ago my friend told me about a private app she was using to communicate with her long distance boyfriend. It suddenly hit me that I needed and wanted to have a single, private space on my phone, but just for my mom and me. And so, Mumsy was born.
AMY: What we’ve created with Mumsy is not just an app, but an entire brand personality. We wanted to move in a different direction than products being built solely by engineers and developers, so our main focus for our app has been on the user interface (how it looks) and user experience (how it works).
Our users are primarily baby boomer moms and millennial daughters, so we decided early on that we wanted to create a beautiful product that is fresh, contemporary, and stands out as a visually engaging brand. Our logo represents the connection between mother and daughter – the two parts of the M interlock as though they are holding hands with a heart at the center – and we use colors like coral and teal, which bring out the positive emotions of the relationship.
When it comes to the user experience, we’ve noticed a pattern in other apps, which is their focus on the millennial market. They do not seem to prioritize older generations of tech consumers. So we designed Mumsy to be easily understood by women of all ages and levels of tech confidence with large fonts, simple features, and beautiful aesthetic. It’s not that we are doing something differently technically; we are just rethinking the problem from the user perspective.
We looked at all the different channels moms and daughters are using to communicate – text, email, Facebook messaging, etc. – and distinguished the very basic interactions that were happening on these channels. It all came down to sharing. So we built an experience for our users that encompasses the different things moms and daughters tend to share with each other, like photos, recipes, recommendations, and social media updates.
Probably one of the most important qualities that distinguishes Mumsy from other mobile tools used to communicate is that it provides an ongoing and oftentimes unspoken connection. Everything that my mom and I share with each other is now captured in this one little space. I don’t have my mom’s gluten-free banana bread recipe anywhere but in Mumsy. It’s as if we each carry a piece of our relationship around with us, allowing us to catch real time updates of where the other is and what she’s up to, keeping us connected even when we’re apart.
MICHELLE: This has been an incredible journey and even though I’ve already learned SO much, I know there is still a lot left for me to learn as the industry keeps rapidly evolving. This was my first time starting a company and one of the things I learned at the start was the importance of early product validation. I realized that Mumsy needed to be something that people actually wanted. So my advice would be to get an MVP (minimum viable product) out as early as possible. It will allow you to gain as much feedback as you can with very few resources. This can be anything from putting up a website landing page to interacting with people in Facebook groups. Gather feedback and if you get traction, you know you are creating something that people want and it will be easier to raise funding. Most importantly, I learned to stay true to my passions and not to be scared of taking risks. Passion is what will keep you moving forward, even on the tough days.
STEF: First, trust your gut instinct. And second, community is everything. The beauty of building a startup from the ground up with two other women who share my vision and trust my work is that I’ve been able to follow my instinct and place tremendous value in our community. We started as a brand no one had heard of with 0 followers on Instagram. We have since fostered strong relationships with remarkable women, collaborated with other thoughtful brands we’ve long admired, and what do you know, that little zero has organically turned into nearly 1300. Even if you feel like a minority in your industry, your mission becomes undeniably more powerful when you have a growing number of people genuinely believing in it.
AMY: It’s been a learning process and has involved a lot of patience and tenacity – especially figuring out what is working in the design for our moms, what is working for our millennials, and creating that perfect balance for both.
When we started out, we knew our weakest area was technical experience, but where we shined was our design aesthetic. So we played to our strengths as we developed our product and created an app that we ourselves would want to use. We may have been reversing the process of how things are normally done in tech, but what we discovered is that by thoughtfully designing for our target market of moms and millennials, we created a positive reaction to our brand. Even people outside this demographic recognize that we’ve designed a comprehensive brand that evokes emotions for them as well. We’ve done things differently, and because of that, we’ve been successful.
STEF: Among many, many wonderful things, my mom raised me to value communication. Some very dear friendships have blossomed from it and my career has certainly been paved by it. I’ve even channeled my creativity into a means of visual communication, using photography to express my curiosity for the world around me. We have everything to gain when we are open and honest. So thanks for teaching me that, Mama.
AMY: My mom always supported my inner creative spirit and encouraged my independence at an early age. I never felt pressured to be anything I was not, and I think this has allowed me to grow as an artist and a person. She also taught me the importance of being a good listener. I’ve learned from her example to let go of ego and to reflect on myself creatively when I hear other people’s input. Being open and collaborative has allowed me to grow personally and professionally.
MICHELLE: My mom has inspired me to always chase after my dreams. She taught me that I am the only one who will create the life I want, so she encouraged me to go out and do just that! Thanks to her support, I started Mumsy and today, she continues to be one of our most loyal supporters.
If women want to be a part of or support Mumsy, what can they do?
STEF: We would love for you to download our app and let us know what you think! We appreciate feedback from the women in our community to help us shape the future of Mumsy. We are also very active on social media – Instagram and Twitter, in particular – and just gave our Pinterest a pretty little makeover! You can support us by following along with the fun, beautiful content we share across each of these channels. Oh, and every Monday we feature a different mother-daughter pair for #mumsymonday, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sharing your story for that or for our blog, Akin Women.