Cute LA had the chance to interview Maria Hunt. She's an entrepreneur and founder of Unicorn Moms. Unicorn Moms is a community and app of over 70,000 women that can connect and support each other. Maria is not a stranger to start-ups and tech. She has worked with well-known tech companies including MySpace and Brandish. Happy that she was able to take a break from her busy schedule as a mom of two boys and a boss to chat with Cute LA!
Read On To Learn More About Maria Hunt And What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur.
// What inspired you to start Unicorn Moms, the app and UniCon? //
I was in a few online mom groups, and they were all the same: judgmental, mean and catty. When I asked a question or asked for advice, instead of helping me, the replies were generally mean and judgy. So, I decided to start my own group. A group that was different -- different in the sense of support, kindness, empathy, compassion, and laughs. I wanted it to be a platform for moms to post without fear of being judged. A place where our goal is the same, to help and support one another through more than just our children's struggles. Our own personal struggles; our marriages, our confidence, our depression, our insecurities and most importantly our loneliness. Motherhood is isolating and lonely at times especially if you feel you don't fit in. A group, where at the end of the day you feel good because you have all these women behind you telling you you're beautiful and that you're doing a great job. This mom thing is hard and you can lose yourself in it. This is why I created this group. We have Unicorn Moms all over the country so it was only natural for me to create an app. The app helps moms find other moms in their cities for adult playdates. UniCon came about because I wanted to meet more of these amazing moms, for the past 2 years, I have seen them post in the group and have gotten to know them (and met a bunch), but wanted to actually meet more of them and give them an experience they deserve.
// What separates you from other mom groups? //
We pride ourselves in the way we run our group. We have a very strict screening process you have have to be a mom, and we actually have to creep your profile to confirm that in fact, you are a mom. We have strict rules you must follow, and if you don't, we remove you from the group. We rally together when one of our own is in need and we laugh our asses off throughout the day when we can relate to a funny meme or post. A mom about a year ago posted this: "My husband, changed a poopy diaper this morning. For his bravery and commitment, a celebration in his honor will be held this evening at our home. As many are expected to arrive, parking may be limited; valet will be available to the first 500 guests. A five-course meal will be served at 9:00 pm along with a champagne toast at midnight. Snoop Dogg will perform directly after the toast and an early bird caviar and seafood breakfast buffet will begin at 0400. No video or flash photography will be allowed. Please RSVP below. I am truly honored to have a role in planning this cherished event." Posts like these are frequent in the group and they give us life.
// What were the first steps in launching your own company? //
I didn't set out to start a company, I started this group because I needed it. I needed it for my sanity and my soul. I started to sell car decals of our logo to help identify each other, and it just evolved from there. Everyone thinks when you start a company that it's easy and that the money starts rolling in right away. It doesn't. I started this venture with my laptop, my business partner, and a vision. Oh, and of course, some cash, and we just took it from there.
// What are the most difficult & most rewarding aspects of your career? //
The logistics have been the most difficult. I have six amazing admins that help with the group, but all the other stuff it's just me. The most rewarding aspect is hearing the stories of these moms about how this group has helped them. That to me is why I do what I do period. There is no greater reward than helping someone, and that's my goal in life. I received this email from a UM's husband and it just validates what I do: "I don't know who you women are or how my wife came to join this group but I have to tell you all thank you. My wife has suffered from major depression when our son died and even though she was having good days and starting to come around this group has helped her so much. She has less "bad" days and she is always laughing at some of the posts she sees. I don't know what you have said to her or how the hell you lovely ladies did it but I get to see my wife's beautiful smile and hear her contagious laugh. She doesn't get overstressed when our son's boneheaded teacher says anything about our son's reading level and she has started to become herself. So I just want to say thank you, beautiful women, for giving her so much support. I am proud to be a unicorn husband!"
// What advice do you have for someone wanting to become an entrepreneur? //
Believe in you and your mission that's the most important advice. You are your biggest cheerleader. Surround yourself with people who are happy for you and encourage your success. It's hard as women to do this but it really is important. Many women do not want to see other women like them succeed, and it's sad. You have do what you love and believe in your brand. Also, listen to your audience/customers to give them what they want. This is how I grew this business, the group told me what they want and wanted to see and I gave it to them.
// What's next for Unicorn Moms? //
We are focusing on expanding and growing. We are also working on releasing the app on Android before the end of the year and taking UniCon across the county. Who knows? Maybe a clothing line, Unicorn Moms wine, etc... So many things I want to do. The sky's the limit.
// Anything else you want our readers to know about you? //
I love to give back and help out local charities. I'm very passionate about that. I have a huge platform, and it would be a shame not to use it for good. We have worked with a lot of charities over the last 2 years including Ronald McDonald House, Baby2Baby, Good+ Foundation, and Prom Dress Project. We will continue to help and give back.
Follow Unicorn Moms: Website
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