In Conversation with Danielle Melton of Boss Mom Crew
Describe your business in a few words?
Boss Mom Crew is a community for working moms seeking sisterhood, resources, and empowerment with the goal of reimagining how career-driven women thrive in motherhood.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
My husband Quinton, and I entered into parenthood in a non-traditional way–through foster care. Jumping into parenthood in this way required a huge lifestyle change. On my journey of trying to balance it all–work, motherhood, and home life. I began to feel overwhelmed, helpless, and lonely. My circle of friends began to shrink because we were on different paths of life–they could not relate to my daily struggles as a working mom. I was missing the connection of community. I needed to fill that void with people who could understand me and my journey as a mother and a working mom. What started as a mission to solve a deep personal need to feel connected to other working mothers propelled me to create Boss Mom Crew.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have a background in education and have worked in the field for over 15 years. From the school teacher, to the family advocate, to the college professor, and currently a school principal of an early childhood school, education is in my blood. I love my career as well as enjoy leading both my school and Boss Mom Crew. They are both rewarding in their own way.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Honestly, I never imagined myself being an entrepreneur, but I always had a passion for helping others. With Boss Mom Crew, I am walking in my passion by helping other working moms connect and create that space where we can be our authentic selves as we grow and learn together.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
I started to DM different people and informing them of who we are and how we could support them. After doing that for a while our social media presence grew and we shifted to word of mouth.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
At the beginning of this journey, I was providing the community content I thought they wanted. I noticed that I was not receiving much engagement and our community growth was becoming stagnant. During my self-reflection, I figured that I needed to lean on the community to tell me what they wanted. Listening to the community-led us to create things like our first membership that focuses on mom-owned business owners and our mom-owned business directory, helping bring traffic/awareness to these businesses.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
It has been the ability to create unity with Boss Mom Crew. With everything that is going on within the world right now, from the global pandemic, political divides, and racial issues– the world needs community and unity more than ever. I can proudly say that Boss Mom Crew is doing our part in breaking down racial barriers. We are a community filled with amazing women from all different races, backgrounds, and walks of life. We are all different, but the one thing that we have in common is being a working mom seeking connection, understanding, and sisterhood. I am so proud to be able to create this space and do our part to make the change we want to see in the world.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
When hiring a team, what I look for is passion and drive. It is much easier to grow the skill needed to succeed in a position, but it is impossible to grow passion and drive. With this being said, the go-to interview question I ask in all interviews is, “So why would you like to work for us”. When someone answers this question, I look at body language and a true authentic answer. From there, I can tell if the person being interviewed would be a great fit or not.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
I launched Boss Mom Crew one month before the pandemic. We had to shift our in-person meetings to virtual quickly. Although this shift was unpredictable, the silver lining of it all is that it gave us the ability to expand our reach and connect women, not just locally but worldwide. It also gave the brand and me the ability to speak on international stages/panels to share my journey and expertise through the comfort of my home.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Growing our Shop Mom Members Club. Shop Mom Members Club is our first membership program inside of Boss Mom Crew. The membership focuses on business owners by providing them the resources, masterclasses, and opportunities to help them grow their business. We currently have 55 founding members, and many people on the waitlist. We will soon open this membership to invite more mompreneurs into the members’ club. It is so important for us to shop small and put our dollar where it matters–back in the hands of mom-owned businesses.
With our Boss Mom Crew community’s rapid growth, the sky’s the limit. In the next few years, I envision many different areas developing from Boss Mom Crew’s foundation. This includes a Boss Mom Crew podcast, chapters across the nation, and conferences worldwide. I believe that we will change the lives of millions of working moms worldwide as we become the leading mom community assisting in the growth of family, business, and career simultaneously across the world.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
What started on Instagram has become a movement. Today, this community has allowed us to connect over 8,000 women worldwide in just one year. One of the biggest things I’ve learned during this journey was to let Boss Mom Crew create Boss Mom Crew. By listening to what the community wanted and needed, led us to create things like our first membership that focuses on mom-owned business owners and our mom-owned business directory–helping bring traffic/awareness to these businesses.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
My advice for you is to take that leap of faith and just start your business. My vision for Boss Mom Crew began in 2019, and it took me many months later to launch because I wanted everything perfect before finally starting. I had to figure out that if I continued to strive for perfection before launching, I’d never launch. I learned to embrace my imperfect beginning and continue to perfect my craft along the way.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
What has helped me to say grounded is my lovely husband of 10 years, Quinton Melton. None of this would be possible without his love and support. With the late-night and early mornings, Quinton would be there holding down the family fort. He would entertain the kids, make dinner, and whatever it takes to keep the home running smoothly. He is definitely my backbone and I appreciate his love and support during this whole process. Boss Mom Crew would not be where we are today without him.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
At the beginning of my motherhood journey, I tried to balance everything–home, work, children, husband, friends, etc. This strive for perfection was not only exhausting but impossible. During this search for this balance of work and life, I realized that balance was not the word, but instead, the word is a juggle. With this daily work/ life juggle, I embraced that some ball will drop, and I had to learn to be okay with this. I realized that sometimes there would be more work than home, and other times it will be more home than work. In this realization, I now feel less stressed about life and embrace my life journey.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
Many people may not know that we entered parenthood in a no-traditional l way. We are currently parents and have been since 2016. My beautiful daughter, Kennedy, is my daughter through adoption. We adopted her in 2018 when she was six years old. She and I have this bond so close it’s as if I birthed her myself. I love her dearly and would not have it any other way. Although we have started our family through foster and adoption, we aspire to continue to grow our family.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Start your day for yourself. It is essential to give yourself at least 15 mins focused on yourself. I like to start my day with a nice cup of tea and listening to an audiobook or podcast. This creates a great foundation to start my day. I feel refreshed and ready to conquer what the day has for me.
- Create a list. I am a list person, so each day, I create a list of my top priorities. Once I complete a task, I check it off the list. If there are items that I cannot get to by the end of the day, I’ll add them to the top of the list for the next day.
- Give yourself breaks in between tasks. I am a competitive person, and I like to race against the clock between tasks. Once a major task is completed, I will step away from the desk and give myself a 10-15 min brain break. When I do this, I notice that my mind is much clearer when I return to my task list.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
I believe that being an Entreprenista is being a goal-getter and visionary where we can pave the way for the next Entreprenista by showing them that if I can do it, so can you.