The mompreneur community that I discovered soon after the birth of my son and during the very early stages of my blog has truly opened my eyes to a world of wonderful and seriously supportive women! Natalie Telfer and Catherine Belknap of Social Common are prime examples of this. After inviting me to one of their events a few months ago (where they welcomed me like an old friend!), Catherine holding my little guy while I ate a lot of donuts and chatted with some other amazing mamas, I was immediately drawn to their laidback and genuine nature. Over the past few months I’ve really had a chance to get to know them both, and I can tell you they are “real and uncensored” all the time! Like laugh out loud, are you seriously saying this, but yes thank you so much for saying this, kind of funny. All kidding aside though, these ladies are bringing mamas together and changing the game.
We can be working-stay-at-home-moms; it no longer needs to be one or the other.
Yes we can, ladies, yes we can!
Social Common is a blossoming and ever-evolving social platform for moms. Yes, you read that right mamas, just for moms! The platform includes Social Common Live (which is a YouTube show that streams live every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm). If you haven’t checked this out yet, head over there now! Like before you finish reading this. The show is kind of like an uncensored talk show where Natalie and Catherine host a variety of guest experts who share advice on all things “mom-life”. The topics range from sleep to sex and everything in between. Oh and there is nothing these ladies won’t share, so if you like over-sharing, which I am personally a huge fan of, you will love the show!
I am so excited to start off the New Year by introducing and featuring the women of Social Common!
- “If you can’t find something, create it!” This seems to be exactly what you ladies did when you developed Social Common. Out of a desire for something that suited you, and of course, giving mamas a night to get dressed up for, you created something fantastic! How did all of this come together? What’s the story behind Social Common?
We’ve been friends since high school (we also went to sleepover camp together) and after high school we stayed connected over the years through phone calls. With Natalie being the first of our friends to have a baby, it was difficult to go through this brand new experience alone, with no one to turn to. The mom groups that were available at the time always had long line-ups that began as early as 9:00 am and it was hard to connect with other moms with the babies present. Once Catherine had a baby, we really connected again and have been inseparable ever since.
We both know that many other moms feel the same way in motherhood and we feel very lucky to have each other. As new mom’s we would find ourselves saying let’s get together for dinner, but no one would ever actually plan it. So, we decided to create dinner clubs in which moms would have to buy a ticket in order to attend. This would ensure they were committed to coming out. We wanted to get moms, who are all in the same situation, to spend a great night out together. Each week we would send out a topic, which the dinner party would be based around, and invite women to connect over this topic. Knowing that most moms won’t go out unless it’s to better their family, we made sure the topics would focus on parenting, relationships and family life.
As time went on, we found that moms were looking for expert advice, but they didn’t have time to read books or the opportunity to talk to experts. So, the dinner parties turned to cocktail parties – and we began bringing in parenting, sex, relationship, health and sleep experts. Moms would network and build relationships at these events and we also noticed that they were the type searching for the “what’s next” – educated, driven women. When our community started to grow; people from London, New York and Vancouver wanting to come to these events, we decided that we needed to share our information the way that bloggers do in order to connect with this larger audience. But we are not good at blogging, so we looked to video, in particular YouTube. By airing Social Common Live each Tuesday night women and moms from different parts of the world can join the event from the comfort of their own home with a glass of wine after baby’s bedtime. Social Common Live offers tips and tricks for women and moms, we are real moms wanting to connect with other moms in an uncensored way, and that’s just what our show does!
While the YouTube show is a huge part of who we are, we still believe in the power of face-to-face human connection and that’s why we still have real guests attending our show/cocktail party every Tuesday night. We are not trying to be socialites or “Insta-famous;” instead we want to build a community for mothers. We believe that moms today are truly changing the game, we can be working-stay-at-home-moms, it no longer needs to be one or the other.
- They always say; “two heads are better than one.” What’s it like working with your BFF/ another mama?
To begin with we don’t fight! When we disagree with each other, one just talks over the other… louder, and someone always wins. But we’re practical about it. We should be married. We know each other so well and don’t have to manage each other like we find ourselves doing with our husbands and this actually takes a lot of pressure off of our husbands. We pull each other up when one is down and affirm each other a lot!
- Ok, let’s talk about the “B” word for a second. I know this is something you are probably asked all the time, but seriously, how do you do it? How do you balance seven kids, two households and a show/network like Social Common (with events and weekly live streaming)?
Honestly, balance doesn’t exist and it’s kind of overrated; some days you get it, some days you don’t. Sometimes there’s balance with the kids or yourself and sometimes their isn’t. But mostly we just don’t feel guilty about it. We found ourselves in motherhood and we have each other, not everyone has that kind of support. This helps us to feel confident as we have each other as a sounding board. We set goals, are excitable and celebrate the little things! In addition to all of this, we take the advice from our experts and meet with them regularly, so that helps too. The community of moms we’ve built has allowed us to feel less guilty – so many moms are feeling the same way and doing the same things and we realize that we’re not the only ones in the same situation.
- With your show airing live every Tuesday, the days and hours leading up to this must be mayhem. Can you describe a typical Tuesday?
Tuesdays are a “team effort.” Our team meets in the mornings, sends out newsletter and social posts to encourage people to tune in to the live show that night. We get our hair done and have meetings, pick out clothes from Club Monaco (one of our sponsors) and then pick up the kids from school. Nat packs the kids bags, because they stay at grandma’s house that night, while Catherine is at home taking care of her kids until someone comes to relieve her. The team sets up the house with lights and cameras, a makeup artist comes and does makeup, and we finish setting up. Before the show airs we review the content one more time: who the sponsor is, what the guest experts will be discussing. At 7:00 our guests arrive for cocktails and we get some time to talk with them. When the show airs at 7:30 we deal with any live stream issues that come up. Then, we sit down on the couch for show time. It’s point and shoot from there. It’s not perfect, but it will never be perfect. Who’s perfect? No one is.
- You ladies are seriously laugh-out-loud funny, really down-to-earth and so easy to connect with. How do you stay true to yourselves both on and off the air?
We are ourselves both on and off the air, uncensored and over-sharing! We keep it real on all platforms and have fun doing this. We also don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are very comfortable in the uncensored YouTube space, so we want to continue with this. We want to be uncensored. Eventually brands started approaching us to be spokespeople, they liked our authenticity, but we had to become very selective as we became more protective of our audience and wanted to keep our own story and brand authentic. If a brand is of value, whether it’s paid or not paid (partnership), we’ll bring the information to moms. We want moms to trust us, so we don’t want to push sponsored content onto followers.
- When you first started Social Common did you have any idea that it would become the show that it is now? What were your original hopes for Social Common?
No, we thought it would just be dinner parties. We really didn’t see it outside those events in the beginning. But as soon as we achieve one thing, we are always looking for something more. We often have vision boarding nights and meet with a business coach that helps us see and navigate our future; setting goals and making business plans. Our goal is to build this community to help moms, but we also see ourselves as entrepreneurs. We are starting a platform to make a difference, but one that will also make us financially successful. We want to be taken seriously in the marketing, business and media world.
- You recently shared some exciting news about upcoming changes at Social Common; like becoming “a platform for moms to come and get every single piece of information they’ll ever need,” plus daily videos! Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
We work together with brands as mom experts, but we are not experts on everything. So we wanted to create one place where experts could contribute advice on a variety of mom topics. The idea is that we want to give “moms like us” the platform to find answers to questions all in one place.
Social Common Creative is an extended arm of Social Common, a platform where contributors offer expert advice for moms. We will also be a part of this, contributing our own DIY and cooking segments. Social Common Creative will include categories such as: parenting, health and fitness, beauty and style, sex and relationships, and so much more, all in one place for busy moms. In addition to this new project, we will continue vlogging and airing live shows on Tuesday nights, as well as media and brand partnerships.
We love what we do, but we want the platform to live without us, because as we change and our kids grow, we still want a place for new moms to come for advice and guidance.