Seattle Startup: MoxTree The Social Network For Moms INTERVIEW

Whether you’re a brand new mom or a veteran mom, you can always use the camaraderie and advice of other likeminded mothers. If you’ve just had your first child and you have a problem or a question it’s great to have experienced moms to help you out. It’s also great to have new moms to buddy up with and go through the goods and the bads of raising children together.

These are the basic principles around connecting moms to each other, and Mox Tree a social network for moms.

The Seattle startup was founded by 33 year old Victoria Oldridge who is the mom to two children under two and a a half. She was attending different mom groups for play dates and book clubs and found that for some reason or another most of these groups don’t stay together. Obviously the internet and a social network just for moms would be a great place to start.

MoxTree is still prelaunch and they have a sign up bar at the top of the page but Oldridge is very optimistic about meeting the general need to connect for moms.

Sure you can meet moms in the neighborhood or at the park,but we’ve all seen at least one episode of Desperate Housewives. Of course school can be a great place to meet other moms, and it can also turn into a competitive war zone.

Using MoxTree mothers can learn more and more about each other while connecting and forming friendships without these other issues in the way.

We got a chance to talk with Oldridge about MoxTree in this interview:

What is MoxTree?
MoxTree is a great solution and tool that connects modern moms based on common interests and easily! At MoxTree members can connect based on location, age range, and interests ranging from fitness to SAHM’s (stay at home moms) to moms working outside the home to professional networking and many more! In addition, MoxTree members will have the added benefit of creating their own groups for easy organization.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Me, myself, and I, Victoria Oldridge. In my past life I was in consulting/sales for the medical device industry.
Where are you based?
Seattle, WA.
What’s the startup culture like in Seattle?
Good question. The perception is that Seattle needs more infrastructure in place to support the startup community, weighing most on investor accessibility. There’s a frequent contrast up here between our startup landscape and that of Silicon Valley and NY. In my own experience thus far I have found fellow entrepreneurs to be extremely supportive and receptive and events surrounding the entrepreneur community are becoming more prevalent. Even though I haven’t participated in an accelerator or incubator here, those I know who have are very encouraging of their startup comrades in Seattle and that yields a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’.  It would be fantastic to feel like you could walk down the street and know that the investors and similar connections are ubiquitous but it just warrants that we all become a bit more creative and resourceful in our endeavor.
What’s the problem that MoxTree solves?
Moms need intimate and sustainable mom connections. When connecting with moms, having a child is a great starting point but it’s not enough. And, today’s mom doesn’t have the time to run to a myriad of sites for all of her interests. We were multifaceted women before children and we still are so we should be connecting with other moms based on all of those things. MoxTree is your ‘one stop shop’ from pregnancy and beyond to connect with like-minded moms with the flexibility to get together or support each other from afar.
What is your secret sauce?
Well, if I told you it wouldn’t be a secret but what I can say is for anyone taking on a mountain such as a startup is that it’s an extremely tempestuous ride and an abundantly rewarding one on infinite levels. So, you had better make sure your drive comes from your core; it’s what keeps you fueled every day for the unknown. If your motivation feels too superficial, you’ll have a much tougher time riding out the imminent storms. On a different note I also have a very supportive husband who has evolved to have his own passion about MoxTree and that contributes to a very fruitful ride.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Establishing very unambiguous communication with the developers. We were always very clear on the vision, concept and content of MoxTree but threw too much of the actual layout and functionality decisions of the site onto the developers and expected magic to appear; this assumption set us back in time a bit and we had to revamp the structure of the site. Very succinct visual communication is really important and you know what they say about assumptions…we learned a lot.
Who are your mentors, business role models?
I find Arianna Huffington really inspiring. She said that ‘ninety percent of people told her the Huffington Post would never work’. And, she took that adversity, listened to her gut, pushed full force ahead and came out the other side successfully. Her philosophy is that we all get so consumed and enveloped in the word ‘failure’ when pursuing our ideas but that ‘failure is just a stepping stone to success’. Not that I’m aiming to fail any time soon but embracing more of the positive angles to the word we fear and seeing the light within it is quite empowering.
What’s next for MoxTree?
Working toward an APP in the near future and keeping a pulse on continuing to solve problems for the entire modern mom and her needs.
Sign up to be one of the first on MoxTree here
Here’s a great interview Oldridge did with our friends at GeekWire
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