It took 10 kids, 3 women and a whole lot of post-it notes to figure out a MUCH better way for moms to, well, be Moms. Take Yelp, Facebook and Angie's List, mix em up and VOILA! You've got Momstamp. www.MomStamp.com We connected with Paulette Light (btw, total Rockstar name, girl!) Co-founder and CEO of Momstamp and mom-of-4 to get the scoop on this incredible new community she's created for the So-Cal Area...and in more cities to come...
HML: Congrats Paulette on the "birth" of Momstamp! How exciting! You describe it as a hybrid between Angie's List, Yelp and Facebook...can you explain a bit more about how to actually use Momstamp and who it's for?
PL: Thank you! Momstamp is designed for parents to find service provider recommendations for their home and family, from people they trust, rather than from strangers. Momstamp is quick and easy. When you go on Momstamp you can easily find recommendations and filter by your friends and extended friend network. If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can ask your broad network for more recommendations. We also allow people to message recommenders if they have more specific questions. It’s our belief that two recommendations from a friend or friend-of-a friend are invaluable. We also offer a project management component—we call it collections- where you can see who people have used to plan projects such as parties, a new baby or renovation and ask for everything you need for yours. Momstamp is for moms (and dads too) who want to get things done quickly.
HML: On the site you can find information on everything from the best nannies to doctors, tutors to yep, even hair stylists in your neighborhood...what's your vetting process?
PL: Momstamp is a platform for recommendations- which means our community does the vetting. People can search for anything from tutors to piano teachers to handymen and they can see who their friends, friends and friends and community recommend. We understand that one person’s gem may not be another person's, so we let people message the recommender and get more information if they want. A provider is only on our site if they are recommended by someone.
PL: I have two co-founders—Staci Miller and Julie Hermelin (seen above- Paulette on right) Between us, we have 10 kids between the ages of 5 and 17. As our kids started to get older, we noticed that we were managing their lives in a pretty inefficient way. We were sharing recommendations via post-it-note and emails we could never find. More importantly, as our kids got older and their needs became more specific, we often did not have direct friends who ‘had the answers’. We did however, have friends-of-friends who could be helpful. For example, my partner Staci has a child with food allergies and I have a daughter with reading issues. You look for the people who have “been there done that”. We realized that the explosion in technology and social networks offered an opportunity for parents to more easily reach out to each other to share valuable recommendations. Solving this problem is challenging, but it offers a tremendous opportunity.
HML: You're super techie which makes this site a homerun! Can you tell us about your history and schooling?
PL: I love that you just called me super techie, I will make sure to share that with my kids! You hit it on the head in that our point is to create a tech solution to the things we do every day which is ask our friends for the names of the best providers. Our site is searchable, archivable, and shareable. It frees people from relying on emails and other social platforms which make finding and referencing past recommendations very cumbersome. I have a traditional business background and have an MBA from Wharton Business School. I was a management consultant and ran my own nanny agency before starting Momstamp.
HML: Yowzas, Paulette- you've really done it all. Ok, so here's the real question- ready to share all your secrets?? As a Haute Mom to 4, count em, FOUR beautiful children, how did you ever find time to take Momstamp from an idea to the real thing?
PL: As you know, when you are passionate about something you find the time. I am looking at it as an investment that will pay off in found time—and it already has… I have planned parties, renovations, found a new hairstylist and handyman just from searching on momstamp! Found time is an amazing thing!
HML: What do you hope Momstamp will provide our community of mommies?
PL: The key is community. As moms, we are all in this together to get things done. At one stage in life you may need a whole bunch of recommendations and at another stage you find yourself in a position where you are the one who can recommend great providers. Momstamp harnesses the collective wisdom of your friends. We have seen the power when groups of friends come on together. Being able to access friend of friend recommendations has been incredible. Seeing how the momstamp community comes together to support their friends and friends of friends has been inspiring.
***Note from Paulette: Please come check us out on momstamp.com and bring your friends… we are also expanding to other cities in the fall, so if you know of anyone who might want to share recommendations or work with us in Atlanta, San Diego, Detroit, San Francisco or Chicago- get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org