Ownr Success Story: Maturing Mama and Entrepreneur Chanelle Holder
When new mother Chanelle Holder was diagnosed with postpartum depression, she struggled to find honest voices on social media that she could draw strength and help from. The isolation of that experience motivated her to set up her blog, Maturing Mama, to speak about the hidden struggles of motherhood. Chanelle registered Maturing Mama as a business with Ownr in 2019. In this candid chat, she shares her tips for turning blogging into an income-earning business and how she juggles entrepreneurship and motherhood.
Ownr: Introduce us to Maturing Mama.
Chanelle: Maturing Mama is a blog dedicated to bettering the emotional well-being of moms who battle postpartum depression and feelings of inadequacy. Maturing Mama is my answer to all the mom blogs on social media that share unrealistic content that most of us can’t relate to.
Maturing Mama also promotes small businesses through blog post features. These are businesses that develop products that understand mothers who are battling mental illness or are run by moms who have or are currently battling mental illness.
Ownr: What motivated you to start blogging about motherhood and encourage other young mothers to open up about it?
Chanelle: In June of 2018, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. In that moment, I was so alone, I felt like I was the worst human being in the world. My condition was described as a “textbook” case of postpartum depression.
I looked through many popular mom blogs on social media, but couldn’t find authentic content about the real struggles of being a mom. Postpartum depression was not being discussed openly, instead I saw highly curated posts about home decor and family vacations. Everything looked perfect – the mothers, the children, and their homes.
It was disheartening, but I knew that this was far from the truth. I had a large group of mom friends that could back me up on that. I decided to get to work and challenge those blogs by starting one of my own that would portray real content.
Ownr: What do you love about being your own boss?
Chanelle: I love that I can do things my way when it comes to marketing content and customer service. I’ve worked in marketing and hospitality for years. My biggest frustrations were during times when I wanted to deliver good customer service, but was limited by company policies.
I have a firm belief that as a business, your number one goal should be to have your customers leave your service or establishment better than when they came. I love that I can make the rules, and also change the rules at any point. With my own company, I can prioritize the happiness of my readers and the brands that I partner with.
Ownr: What’s the hardest part of running a business of this nature? What keeps you motivated?
Chanelle: The hardest part about running a business of this nature is when you’re not taken seriously. It’s challenging to find businesses that support the mission of Maturing Mama. What keeps me motivated to keep going is when I am contacted by a business owner with a history of mental illness. Like-minded brands appreciate the authenticity of my content.
Also, whenever a member from my audience comments something like, “This is me! I thought I was the only one!”, my heart just melts. This is the fuel I need to keep going. Because really and truly, this is what I wanted to feel when I looked at those superficial mom blogs. I didn’t want to feel like I didn’t measure up.
Balancing my role as a business woman, stay-at-home wife and mom is a challenge. But I’m blessed to say that my entire family is working with me to conquer this.
Ownr: How have you managed to turn your passion into a source of income?
Chanelle: This part was tricky beyond belief! Many articles out there by successful bloggers say things like, “We found a way to make money blogging!” Then the moment you click on their link to read and take notes, you get a vague idea from them with insane amounts of promotional content for their $200 dollar manual, that is guaranteed to teach you how to make money blogging. That never worked for me.
Instead of short-cuts, I went to work for hours, networking through every means possible, building relationships with businesses and letting them know who I was and what my mission was. Many bloggers give up within six months of starting. But I had to believe that my business was profitable no matter what anyone else said. I had to stand my ground.
There’s an idea I learned from my days working as a door-to-door sales person. Don’t get neg’d out! It means, don’t let another person’s negativity cause you to become negative.
Ownr: How do you view success in the social media space? What are your hopes for Maturing Mama?
Chanelle: I view success as having a large following while maintaining humility and being approachable. I love it when I contact successful bloggers and they respond even just to say a personal thank you for reaching out. My hope for Maturing Mama is for it to become a multi-million dollar online magazine known by everyone everywhere. I don’t want it to be about me. I want it to become its own brand that my audience takes ownership of.
I have already taken on other mom bloggers to tell their authentic stories and advertise brands using their unique families. This is what I want to keep doing. I want to have mom bloggers from every ethnic background and every walk of life, telling their stories.
Ownr: What does a typical day look like for you as an entrepreneur?
Chanelle: Oh boy. Let me see if I can remember what today even looked like. It all becomes a blur after a while. On average, my four year old wakes me and my husband up at 6 a.m. I start answering emails right away. Soon the baby wakes up and I’ll feed her while hubs is feeding the four year old.
I work on blog posts and other projects in the afternoon. And after the kids have gone to bed in the evening, I spend time talking to clients around the world.
We have pretty relaxed days. The kids play with us while we’re working. We eat meals together as a family. If we have to shoot on site at a client’s business, the kids will go with us and it becomes a fun field trip.
Ownr: What can you tell us about your experience of using Ownr to set up Maturing Mama.
Chanelle: Using Ownr to set up Maturing Mama was easy and straight-forward. It took little to no time at all. It was easily worth the money. It pretty much did the work for me.
Ownr: Are there any tips you’d like to share with other entrepreneurs looking to engage their audience online?
Chanelle: Be yourself! Don’t be a robot. Don’t hide your feelings. When talking to potential clients show them that you are a real person. I’ve had other businesses give better responses after realizing that I am not an automated system sending pre-recorded responses. I like to show others that I am a mom trying to provide for my family like every other mom out there.
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