Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lavelle Smith Hall, Founder of MOMLogics, located in Flossmoor, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
MOMLogics is a maternal wellness company that supports Black moms in their busy, overwhelmed lives. We do this through community, coaching, technology, and media to help them become successful in their parenting and personal health and wellness journey.
Our mobile AI app with voice activation makes the lives of moms easier and helps them identify health risks early. We currently have a social community of over 5K moms and an email list of nearly 1K.
Tell us about yourself
Being a Black mom of two in the midst of racial tension, health disparities, and social injustice is challenging. The data indicate that Black women have been the most at risk relative to their mortality and employment. In 2018, a close friend of mine had three heart attacks over a two-week period, and the third one killed her. She died, leaving 4 children behind. She was only 47. Black women are 3x more likely to die from a heart attack, stroke, or cancer – and just like my beautiful friend, many are unaware of the life-threatening signs.
MOMLogics was founded by Black moms for Black moms, and as a team of moms, we know the needs of our targeted moms because we are one ourselves. As entrepreneurial moms, we see the need and understand the problem because we, too, are overwhelmed and overworked. Developing a tech solution that helps moms take better care of themselves is a game changer. I'm motivated by the opportunity for her to be healthier, here longer, and more present for her family, friends, and loved ones.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
MOMLogics began as an online private community and has expanded to thousands of Black moms across the country, including African countries. We built a thriving community because we started with our own stories and now have over 5K moms across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn social platforms, including our 15 brand ambassadors (aka "MOMBassadors") who engage in the community, volunteer at virtual and in-person events, beta test new content and participate in launch workshops and programming.
Since 2021, we have partnered with Penn State and Surge Business Development tech interns to conduct focus groups of 50 Black moms, create wireframes, customer journeys, and user stories for our mobile AI app prototype to support overwhelmed moms. In May 2022, we received approval from Penn State's Internal Review Board (IRB) to conduct research on health disparities for moms through a survey instrument created by team members from MOMLogics, Penn State, and Surge. My greatest accomplishment has been working with so many other partners and thought leaders, from Penn State to UChicago to Allstate — the connections and mentors, entrepreneurs, founders, and tech community have all been rewarding!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The many hats you wear! Just like being a mom, as a business owner, you wear many hats to take care of, nourish and grow "your baby." Nights and days are long. You use strengths and resources you didn't know you had, ask and plead to get things done and make "mom magic" over and over and over again.
But just like in motherhood, I believe you have to "lose yourself" in order to learn who you really are, but at the end of the day, the journey and mission of MOMLogics have been worth every bit of it. Just like my motherhood, some days I struggle to juggle very much, but at the end of the day, I love what I do tremendously and the people that I do it for.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do "the thing" before the thing is done. Begin solving the problem to test your idea, product, or service before you invest too many resources (money, time, or talent). The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a great book on starting simple and testing your market before launching BIG.
- Join a community of other entrepreneurs, or make sure you have at least one entrepreneur mentor. Having "your kind of people" as thought partners and support will save you time, money, and many stress-filled days — trust me!
- Start with what's in your hand. You don't have to be everything to everyone or serve every whim of the customer (target) needs. Over time they'll let you know what they need, and the more time you spend learning them, the more ideas and problems they'll give you to solve.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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