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Meet the Team: Mumsy

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Mumsy co-founders Amy Frost, Michelle Nemirovsky and Stef Etow photographed by Melissa de Mata for The Style Line

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Download Mumsy – Read AkinPhotos by Melissa de Mata

From San Francisco to Philadelphia three creative women have banded together to –

reshape the landscape in which mothers and daughters relate to and communicate with one another. By embracing the rapidly evolving digital landscape Amy Frost, Michelle Nemirovsky and Stef Etow have recognized the unique opportunity that technology can provide when implemented in a responsible and innovative manner. Enter Mumsy, an app designed to help realize the tech trio’s goals of fostering authentic connection for mothers and daughters from all walks of life. The app’s inception first began with the daunting realization of the changes happening within their own relationships which served as a catalyst to think about the ways content can spark meaningful conversations between two very different generations. As Michelle Nemirovsky the co-founder and CEO relayed in our interview below, “Mumsy aims to bolster communication in an age where distances are great and schedules are filled. We are working to fill in the gaps where mother-daughter relationships feel unfulfilled or inconsistent…”

With this sentiment also includes the desire to motivate users to make time for these interactions in the first place. The team contends that once there is an established mutual understanding of technology’s increasingly present role in our lives, barriers can be broken down that will allow for mothers and daughters to get into a groove – one that supports a fast-paced lifestyle that forces the issue. Today we’re delving deeper into the stories behind the women who have made it their personal and professional mission to help mothers and daughters everywhere rediscover common ground. While it’s safe to assume that the work is just beginning, we can’t help but find ourselves in awe of their commitment to cultivating a movement that attempts to humanize our habits and remember the essence of what it means to be a family. “We are not reinventing the wheel.” says Mumsy co-founder and Creative Director Amy Frost, “We are building an experience that prioritizes design and community as a new approach to a tech problem.” We don’t know about you, but that sounds like a step (and “like”) in the right direction.

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“That’s what Mumsy is – using creativity to communicate. We are not reinventing the wheel; we are building an experience that prioritizes design and community as a new approach to a tech problem.”

the style line mumsy

Michelle Nemirovsky, Co-Founder + CEO

Please introduce yourself! Outside of Mumsy who are you, what do you enjoy and what do you value in life?

I’m Michelle. I’m a cultural mutt and wanderlust chaser whose heart (mostly) lies in Argentina, where my family is originally from. I’m happiest with a boarding pass in hand and or surrounded by family and friends. I value new ideas and those who seek to bring their ideas to life. I’m constantly inspired by my generation (millennials), who are proving themselves to be the movers and shakers in all sorts of fields. They are pushing boundaries of what defines a successful life path, tailoring their own paths by leaving jobs and studies that limit them and taking the risk of chasing their passions. One of my favorite outcomes of this collective passion is the new sharing economy.

What conversation do you hope to cultivate amongst families in general and what role do you think fathers can play in Mumsy? 

Mumsy aims to bolster communication in an age where distances are great and schedules are filled. We are working to fill in the gaps where mother-daughter relationships feel unfulfilled or inconsistent, by building a platform that provides more cohesive sharing of photos, messages, suggestions, and check-ins. We designed Mumsy with the communication styles and aesthetic tastes of mothers and daughters in mind, and although anyone could benefit from the app’s functions, we decided to focus on a specific market in order to measure how effective it really is for this relationship. We’d love to grow and expand from there! It really just comes down to figuring out what our users want and what the best experience is for our community.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Are you free right now?” In this hectic time I miss the spontaneity that I grew up with. Growing up in a Latin household we had a less structured concept of friendship than I have now. In that sense I appreciate the value my mother passed on, of being flexible and placing human connections first. We need to make the most of people when we have them close.

How and when did you personally discover the need to revitalize the conversation around modern relationships and what resources/tools would you recommend for mothers and daughters?

Just when I thought moving away to college was a big leap, my parents moved to Barcelona. Between a 6,000 mile distance and an 8 hour time difference, I was finding it hard to communicate with my mom the way we used to.

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We’ve always been really close and as I got older I realized that I was starting to see her as a peer more than a parent. I wanted to have a place where I could share things I enjoyed with her without them getting lost in the messages and have a place where she could feel a part of my new memories by sharing in my photos.

The mother-daughter relationship is unique in its female nature. For the most part, it has to be constantly nurtured through communication and offer a source for advice, support, and empowerment. And if you ask my mom, it also needs a good dose of baby Panda videos and emojis. In our quest to create a tool that does all of this, we came across some other women-led initiatives that the Mumsy team loves and would recommend for mothers and daughters: Grown and Flown for moms who are empty nesters, My Mother, My Daughter, My Friend led by my friend Jenna and her mom Ellen, and Brit + Co for moms and daughters with that hidden creative side!

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

My style is clean and simple with a little boho edge. I work at different coffee shops during the week so I like to be comfortable and cozy. My closet has a lot of neutrals and of course, black. With a good pair of jeans (right now I am loving my Madewell high rise jeans!) and a big comfy sweater I am happy! I recently moved to Philadelphia and since it’s my first time living somewhere with a true winter, I have no warm clothes! Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what my winter style will be and just bought some cute Sperry boots for the snow.

“I would love to see this community continue to grow, connecting strangers of all ages and diverse backgrounds and reinforcing what it means to be a woman with a voice.”

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Amy Frost, Co-Founder + Creative Director

Please introduce yourself! Outside of Mumsy who are you, what do you enjoy and what do you value in life?

I live in a small town of 800 people in the wine country of Northern California. I love being surrounded by nature, simplicity, family and friends. One of the things that I have come to value most in life is serenity. I have worked remotely for over 5 years now, and I truly mean it in the sense that I am virtually connected from a very remote location. Living and working in a small town gives me the serenity I need to recharge my creative mind, and yet conveniently, the world is only an internet-connection away. Some people would say that I am competitive, almost to a fault, but I attribute that characteristic as the driver for my success. My passion for sports runs deep, as does my love for creativity and my English bulldog Hurley.

How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and what role is Mumsy playing in this shift in thinking?

As creative people, we have a different way of looking at the problem, whatever it may be. We experiment, iterate, innovate, and influence conversations purely based on our curiosity. It all comes down to questioning the status quo and finding a new way to communicate. 

That’s what Mumsy is – using creativity to communicate. We are not reinventing the wheel; we are building an experience that prioritizes design and community as a new approach to a tech problem. As Mumsy collects precious moments in time and provides a private space for personal exchanges between moms and daughters, it becomes apparent that the communication in the relationship is no longer stretched across channels or strained by the buildup of anticipation. We’ve watched mothers and daughters using our app and the ongoing (and oftentimes unspoken) connection it preserves for their relationship. 

What is one question you think mothers should be asking their daughters more often and vice-versa?

I would say, “What did you learn today?” Almost like I am back around the dinner table, and my parents are asking me what I learned in school. But at this stage in life, I am so much more eager to share. I can’t wait to tell my mom the things that I am learning on a daily basis; we have this wealth of knowledge at our fingertips 24/7. It’s curiosity that kindles creative conversations. The more curious we are the more innovative we become, and that is exciting to me; those are the type of questions I want to be asked.

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What has been the biggest discovery you’ve made within your mother/daughter relationship as a result of launching Mumsy?

Mumsy has brought my mom and I closer together in so many ways. My mom is also creative, so she has been able to share her likes and dislikes in terms of features/usability from the perspective of a digital immigrant. It’s as much of a project with my mom as it has been with my co-founders.

I have been able to teach her technology-related things that she didn’t know before, and in return, it’s made her more comfortable with other platforms. I feel like technology has brought us closer together through the experiences we’ve shared, which is the core of our mission at Mumsy. 

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

I was raised on a farm in Northern California and I feel like that has really influenced my style as I’ve I gotten older. I would call it “urban meets nature”. Majority of my closet reflects a pretty neutral color pallet, but I do add pops of color with a scarf or statement necklace to mix it up.

I love native prints right now, and mixing textures. Living in the country can make being fashion-forward challenging. I try to balance trendy with sensible, but I also try and adapt my style to the various places I travel to so I can keep my wardrobe fresh. Whoever said “Beauty knows no pain.” wasn’t a 6ft ex-athlete with nagging injuries. “Heels” are a bad word in my fashion vocabulary, and they are banned from my closet!

“It’s online content that reminds us of this wonderful truth. Most moms are heroines who should never feel alone. Whether they like it or not, this content-driven world is their key to connection.”

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Stef Etow, Co-Founder + Director of Content Marketing

Please introduce yourself! Outside of Mumsy who are you, what do you enjoy and what do you value in life?

Imagine that – a life outside of Mumsy! Well, I’m Stef. Creativity is my engine in life. I approach everything with a creative lens, whether that’s re-thinking a fresh approach to an old problem or photographing the underappreciated aesthetics of everyday spaces. I’m an advocate of women-led businesses and believe that taking the time to build genuine connections is the most fulfilling practice as a professional and as a human. I am a serial supporter of craft and design fairs and I think Instagram is the greatest social invention since the domestication of dogs. 

How would you like to see the Mumsy community evolve?

One of my early objectives in leading our brand content was to build a loyal community. Our community has been growing steadily, and what we’re seeing is Mumsy awareness evolving into Mumsy recognition and finally into Mumsy loyalty. I would love to see this community continue to grow, connecting strangers of all ages and diverse backgrounds and reinforcing what it means to be a woman with a voice. There are so many older women who don’t have a voice online. As a millennial, my dream is for the Mumsy community to be a gateway for older generations to join us with confidence on digital. 

How has launching Mumsy’s blog, Akin, and learning more about dynamic mother/daughter relationships around the world impacted your personal story the most?

My mom actually wrote one of the articles we launched with Akin. She described her experience as a baby boomer turned beta tester (adorable, I know), and shared a glimpse into what it’s like when the mother-daughter roles begin to reverse. It’s been an incredible experience collaborating with my mom and we even co-hosted an Instagram takeover for The Free Woman. These are crossovers I never expected as a daughter in media with a mom in the medical field. What I’ve learned from other mother-daughter collaborations is that the synergy at the heart of these relationships is more powerful than any preconceived differences. My mom has always been a fan and supporter of my work, but it’s life-changing for both of us now that I’ve allowed her to become an integral part of my creative process and career growth. 

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In a content-driven world, what do you hope moms discover about content and the digital landscape?

I hope moms of all ages discover that the digital landscape is pliable. It’s elasticity is what has transformed traditional advertising into what we now call content marketing. Blogs and apps aren’t commodities to buy or own. They are lead to larger conversations, like the evolving nature of media consumption or significant patterns in habit-forming behaviors. And in all honesty, the more moms understand the fluidity of this landscape, the more acceptance and knowledge there will be for daughters with job titles containing words like “creative” or “content” or “community.”  Another important discovery would be the power of connection. Content creators are the new oral historians, sharing stories that bring us together even in moments when we feel most isolated. Part of what drives the mommy blogging world is this collective understanding that “I’m not alone.” Many of us do similarly embarrassing things, struggle with even the smallest adversity, and find humor in the same ridiculous situations – it’s online content that reminds us of this wonderful truth. Most moms are heroines who should never feel alone. Whether they like it or not, this content-driven world is their key to connection.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

For many years, my eclectic style did nothing more than tell the story of my eccentric self. Now I spread awareness about the pieces themselves, and the women and missions behind them. One of my favorite jewelry artists and friends is Katie Dean Jewelry, whose dainty, feminine jewels are designed with such love and attention to her community. Also part of my usual lineup of accessories are a beautiful black and gold bracelet designed by Tribe Alive in support of female Honduran artisans, as well as my beaded Priyam Global bracelet handmade by disabled students in Chennai, India.  You can usually find me in something loose and comfortable, but with a little edge; lots of bracelets; walking and wearing an ongoing story of social impact, slow fashion, and female entrepreneurship.

“They are pushing boundaries of what defines a successful life path, tailoring their own paths by leaving [what] limits them and taking the risk of chasing their passions.”