MomsinTow.com is an online community in West
Michigan providing area merchant discounts and information on networking
opportunities to mothers interested in maintaining an active lifestyle.
MomsinTow.com Founder Jenny White, 29, came
up with the idea for the online venture soon after she moved back to Holland,
MI from Colorado with her husband, a professional cyclist, and their newborn
While in Colorado, White had been involved
with a group of young mothers that got together for hiking and biking and
supported kid-friendly stores. Wanting
to meet other new mothers in Holland, who were interested in active lifestyles
with their children, White had an idea for a website that would serves a
platform for these moms to interact and to share ideas, plus serve as a
catalyst to meet offline as well.
Taking it one step further, White felt that
besides being a resource site, why not use this community of active moms to
approach local businesses to see if they would provide discounts on their
products or services in exchange for patronage by this customer base?
According to White, "merchants have loved this
concept," and she has very positive and encouraging feedback from everyone
she has discussed this with.
Which is good, because White, who has no
background in sales, admits to being
"very nervous" when initially approaching the business community with
the idea. But, local businesses immediately saw the benefits of direct
marketing to young families early in developing their purchasing patterns.
White now has a core listing of select
businesses that provide discounts to members of MomsinTow.com. There is no cost
to the merchant to become part of the first level of the network. White also
has a paid sponsorship program for businesses that will provide them extra
visibility to this community.
For the moms, in order to get these
discounts, there is a $30.00 annual membership fee, soon increasing to
$48.00. White says the primary
benefit of membership is to "save money at local businesses."
White is also quick to point out these
businesses are not just mom-related, but family-related. For example: "We
just partnered with a plumbing firm," White says. "Moms are usually
the ones at home and have to deal with the plumber."
White will be relying heavily on
word-of-mouth and social media to spread the word. She points to their Facebook page as key source of marketing.
White also is very appreciative and amazed at
the help she has received from the entrepreneurial community. She recently
pitched MomsinTow.com at pitch night at Startup West Michigan and took first
"I am just discovering the support groups for
entrepreneurs," she says. "Pitch night was terrific evening."
For more information, you can visit the MomsInTow
or attend their launch party on Thursday, October, 14, details on their Facebook page.
Source. Interview with Jenny White
John Rumery is the Innovation
and Jobs Editor for Rapid Growth Media. He is an educator, board member of AimWest,
WYCE music programmer, entrepreneur, raconteur and competitive barbecuer living
in Grand Rapids, MI. He can be
reached at InnovationandJobs@RapidGrowthMedia.com
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