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Daily Inspiration: Meet Sarah Lawrence

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Lawrence.

Hi Sarah, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been a believer in shopping small (especially now more than ever). Any time I’ve worked in a larger, more corporate environment, something just felt off for me. Prior to having children, I had been working in fundraising for a local nonprofit and loved being rooted to our local community.

Once I had kids, I knew that I wanted to work for myself, have more flexible hours, and be able to attend to things when I had the chance. MomSpot OC has been a labor of love over the past four years. I had the idea for MomSpot OC when I was pregnant with my daughter, over four years ago. While scrolling through Facebook, I kept noticing a common theme of moms looking for other local mom-owned businesses to support, as well as moms looking for ways to promote their own businesses. I knew that I could help meet a need by compiling this information in one place, but I also loved the idea of moms getting to share more of their story and expertise with each other. It took me nearly three years to hash out the details of the business and build the website. I then reached out to a smaller group of moms to invite anyone with a business to participate in my first round of business profiles and articles on the site. After a few more months of tweaking, I was ready to launch! I’ve been so excited by the response to the website and by how many businesses want to be part of it. I can’t wait to see how it grows!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
While I’ve always maintained the same vision for MomSpot OC- offering a space to promote business and share expertise- having this project become a reality hasn’t always been easy. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to build the site myself. I’m far from a techy person, so each step of the way was thoroughly researched and there was a lot of trial and error. Not having a background in tech, there were a lot of challenges along the way and countless hours spent with tech support. MomSpot’s launch was anything but smooth. I’d spent so long anticipating a seamless launch and was so excited to share this project that I’d worked so long on. I did a soft launch to friends and family on Facebook on Monday, March 10th (2020). Within 15 minutes of sharing, I received a message from a friend that my website had been hacked and was displaying a popup offering an iPad to my lucky millionth visitor.

A few days and a few hundred dollars later, I was back in business (lesson learned- a good cybersecurity service is worth every penny!). I relaunched MomSpot OC on that Thursday, only to receive announcements of the world shutting down due to Covid a few hours later. It was definitely a bit of a gut punch, but I had to make the decision to pivot- just like every business owner in 2020. I went through what so many moms have struggled with this past year- having limited (or no) childcare and then having to find ways to care for children while working at the same time. In my case, the only expectations that I had to meet were my own (versus a boss), but the struggle to juggle two things and feel like nothing was getting done well is very real. Though not always easy, I’ve definitely been grateful to have this business as a creative outlet and way to preserve a bit of sanity.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
MomSpot OC is a website where you can learn about local Orange County mom-owned businesses and connect with the moms behind them. In this interview-style business directory, business owners can create profiles to tell potential clients all about the goods or services that they offer and provide all of their contact information to make easy connections. Businesses can also choose to contribute an article or be interviewed to give insights into their industry and showcase their unique skill sets. These articles have been one of my favorite parts of this community, and I’ve been so fascinated by the wealth of knowledge that these mamas have. Interviews have ranged from topics that would apply more to daily mom-life (like tips for taking photos of your kids or getting your toddler to sleep) to professional life (like public relations for small businesses or tips to grow your business Instagram).

I love these sneak peeks into someone’s life and how MomSpot OC has become a hub for this collective knowledge. I love that this space allows moms, no matter how new or small their business is, to get in front of potential clients. It can be so tough or daunting to figure out how to market your business, especially if your business is new and you want to move beyond your nuclear community. MomSpot OC puts these businesses on equal footing and provides them with encouragement and an opportunity to connect with potential customers. While there is a fee for business profiles and features, all are welcome to connect via MomSpot OC’s social media channels.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve taken any major risks with regards to MomSpot OC. I’m very fortunate in knowing that if this venture fails, our family would be relatively unscathed. Knowing that has given me the flexibility to take smaller risks within the business, which has given me the opportunity to get a better pulse on the community that I’m serving. I’ll also say that returning to work or starting a business as a mom can be a risk that isn’t just financial. It’s risky to invest your time and energy into something with uncertain return. For many moms, there’s also an added layer of guilt surrounding whether it’s worth it to be spending time on business endeavors versus spending that time with family. Or maybe less is getting done around the house because energy is being spent on a career or passion project. Many take the risk of judgment from family or friends who can’t understand why you’d want to spend the time away from your kids. A lot of these worries can be paralyzing and lead to inaction, but I think it’s totally worth it to make that leap- even if it’s just to prove to yourself that you can!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Nicole Orue Photography

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