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December, 3 2018

Have you ever found yourself at Sephora or a department store beauty section wondering which lip gloss to get (of course you have!)? In today's world of options, it's hard to know what will work for us. You could ask the salesperson, but really, you just want your girlfriend, sister or neighbor to tell you what they're using and love. Enter SwearBy. Kate Foster Lengyel's baby. This mama created an innovative word of mouth platform that allows you to review products and get authentic "swear by's" by women just like you. Find out how this Mama got the idea and how she made it all happen - all while juggling life with two kiddos.

Kate Foster Lengyel

Where do you live?
Brooklyn, NY

What is your child/children’s name(s) and ages?
Ryan, girl, age 7
Archer, boy, age 4

Describe each child in a few words:
Ryan is artistic, imaginative, goofy, fun, very empathetic. She wants to be a mom. She thinks we’re all raising Archie together. It’s hilarious. She’s a little mommy-in-training.

Archer (aka Archie), is social, funny, creative, caring, silly and hell-on-wheels on his bike and scooter.

What kind of work do you do?
I’m the founder and CEO of SwearBy, a word of mouth directory for the awesome products that awesome women honestly swear by. We’re bypassing all the noise and sponsored endorsements to deliver product recommendations from people you can is straight up honesty and killer curation for the best products around.

What inspired you to get into this?
I was the head of marketing for women’s fashion brands, and I also ran ecommerce. I became frustrated, both as a marketer and as a consumer, with all the noise and confusion generated by fake reviews sponsored endorsements. When you talk with a girlfriend about the things you Swear By, it’s a higher standard based on honesty and a genuine experience. I wanted to replicate that experience at scale for busy, smart women so they can get on with life and discover awesome products faster without all the marketing BS.

Kate MamaCrush

What has been the most rewarding or surprising part about starting this enterprise?
In only a few weeks since launching our new online experience, I love how women are connecting with the mission and the site. It's been really gratifying. This has been a start-up in the truest nature, with very little funding and resources, powered by some talented friends who share my passion. Every once in a while, I allow myself to pause and be proud about how far we've come.

Have you found it challenging to launch your own business and have young children? How have you dealt with it?
Oh. My. Goodness. It's a lot. I really appreciated the quality of life of my former corporate c-suite job after starting this entrepreneurial journey. The hardest part about starting your own business is that it never stops. Nights, weekends, every second of the day, there's something to address, but, it's impossible to be 24/7 when you're trying to keep little humans alive, as well! My husband has been a huge help. This weekend, he took my daughter to the museum while I worked, with my son drawing next to me in my office. This adorableness only lasted 20 minutes, but I was able to check one thing off my list!

What advice would you give another Mama who has been grappling with the decision of whether to start her own business?

After being at this for a year, I’ve developed 5 little recommendations:
1) Be honest with yourself. Do you have just a great idea or a great idea with a plan to back it up? Are you passionate beyond belief about it? Are you willing to make sacrifices for it?

2) Go in open-eyed. You’ll work harder than you ever thought you would, without giving up your mom duties. You’ll hate it sometimes, but have to love your concept and believe in it enough to keep going. 
3) Side hustle. It takes time to get everything in place. Can you test your hypothesis, develop skills, and build for the future without making it a full time gig?
4) Stack hands. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about what it means. In many ways, a start up is more disruptive and intense than a reliable 9-5 full time job. 
5) Don’t give up. Keep doing. Don’t stop. Freaking out is allowed, but get your self together again and remind yourself, you got this.
Kate MamaCrush

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Where do I begin?  I love everything about being a mom. I guess if you made me pick, my favorite thing is about 8PM when they are both asleep. They look so cute and my love for them regenerates :)

How has motherhood changed you?
Kids are little mirrors that reflect everything, including your positive and not-so-great qualities. I will hear my daughter talk in this exasperated tone with her brother and I recognize...that’s me! That’s how I sounded like a minute ago! It’s humbling, but a really valuable and powerful reminder to try to do better and get your sh*t together.

So, of course, we’ve gotta know: what are your top 5 SwearBy’s?
I have so many Swears! See my SwearBy profile here!
For moms specifically I’m into...
Magna-Tiles - the best $ you'll ever spend on a building toy that lasts for years and years
Balance Bike - the surefire way to get your kid riding a two-wheel bike faster and without tears (from mom and kid)
Plus Plus Maker Tube - portable entertainment and a sanity-saver at restaurants
Fairy Tales Shampoo - for soft, shiny kiddo hair, even after swimming
Philip Thomas Roth 24K Gold Eye Patches - late nights and early mornings can make a mama's eyes puffy, amirite?

Those are pretty great. Thanks, Kate! Want to join the community of SwearBy Editors...discerning women who share what they honestly, truly SwearBy to help other busy women cut through the clutter? Get a beauty box from Fresh when you become a Founding Editor with 10 Swears. Apply here and say you saw it on Allette! And if you're curious, check out our very own Founder and CEO's list here


Photo credit Michelle Rose Photo

Tags: entrepreneur, interview, mamacrush, popular, tech


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