I am enjoying interviewing professionals and mom bosses about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with Audrey Wallace & Amy Husted who started an app to help moms, called Komae.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business. Why did you select it and how did you get started?
I have a working-mom confession. Last year I loaded up my kids to take them to school on the first day back after Christmas break. The problem was, the lights were off and the doors were locked because school didn’t actually start until the next day! So, I quickly posted a sit request on Komae. By the time I had my kids buckled back in the minivan, a SAHM friend offered to watch my kids all day. I dropped them off at her house and wasn’t even late to work! This is one of many examples I can give about Komae saving the day as a working mom. Like the time I Komae’d my kids for all of spring break and paid $0 for child care, the evening meetings I got to say “Yes” to, and the snow days I didn’t have to miss work for… It takes a village friends. And Komae gives me my Village People!
Hello! I am Audrey Wallace, co-founder of Komae- the Babysitting Exchange App. My friend, co-founder, and fellow mom Amy Husted and I started Komae out of our own desire to get more free time for ourselves and give more free time to our friends. So we started an old-fashioned babysitting co-op with 10 of our friends from church. After one year, we had swapped sits 165 times and saved nearly $10,000 between the 10 of us! We knew that this was the best parenting hack ever and decided to make it into an app so parents everywhere can experience the free sit euphoria by swapping free sits with their trusted friends.
Describe what you do and what you sell for those of us not familiar with your line of work or product.
Komae means Village in Greek. And our mission is to help parents “Be the Village” with each other. When you download our app (it’s free!), the first thing you do is find your friends and join local groups. You can also meet new friends by searching through nearby parents. Once you have built your Village, you can schedule play dates, post a sit request, or let your friends know when you are available to watch their kids. When you request a sit, the app calculates and transfers points to the friend that helped you and she saves those for when she needs free time in the future. If you are part of a MOMS Club, MOPS group, or other parenting organization, share Komae with them and start planning what you will do with your free time!
The Komae app is free! Be part of the 10,000 families that have joined Komae by downloading it on Apple and Android.
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
We all know being a mom is tough. And we want moms to do more than just survive. Our favorite thing is seeing moms swap sits so they can do the things they need to do and want to do, without spending cash on a sitter or feeling guilty about asking for a favor. We have seen them bring back date night, go to the doctor without kids in tow, work on their side hustle without distractions, even simply go to the grocery store to fill her barren cupboards when her husband has been out of town for a week and she can’t take all three kids out by herself one more time… And we also love seeing friendships built between children. They don’t even realize they are being babysat. All they know is they are having a playdate with a friend! And that makes everyone feel good.
What are some challenges of this business?
Not many parents have swapped sits with friends before and honestly, we have found many parents don’t have many people in their life that they trust. That is heartbreaking to us! It has been a challenge to introduce this new concept of opening up and letting people in. Plus, many people have moved away from their hometown and don’t have a trusted village to rely on. So we are working on ways to help moms connect through the app and build their village of trust.
For someone interested in what you do, can you share what to expect as far as earning potential and effort?
Komae has an ambassador program that you can apply for. We are looking for amazing people who are involved in their community and want to help kick off Komae in their area. We call them KEO’s (Komae Engagement Organizers) and we reward them for helping us grow! For more details and to apply, go to our website.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle in your line of work?
It takes a village to raise our kids AND to start a side hustle! Amy and I always suggest having a partner. Someone with complementary skills who will help pick you up when you are feeling overwhelmed.
— Komae App (@MyKomae) December 7, 2017
If you’re interested in learning more about Komae, contact these lovely ladies on their website.
If you would like to be interviewed for my side hustle series, please fill out this form.