Serial Entreprenista and Gowhee Founder, Maud Maciak, on Her Mission to Represent Families of all Conpositions
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
French ex-pat and a passionate world traveler, I set myself on the mission to represent families of all compositions, ethnicity, and located worldwide, in the travel industry. Gowhee is the only worldwide app that helps parents to find fun places and experiences to enjoy with their kids.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I love to connect and share what I have learned along the way. May it be things that I overcame being a woman in tech, or some simple solutions to manage time and get work done while raising kids or traveling. I am also excited to learn from others and “pick people’s brains” to achieve success.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I knew that the travel industry leaders were mainly run by men and or non-parents. So I decided to take a leap of faith and tackle that issue and finally provide families the representation they deserve in the travel industry.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I am a serial entrepreneur. After attending law school in Paris, I moved to the U.S and started my first brick-and-mortar business in massage therapy. But my passion for travel was stronger so I decided to create my own “work from home” platform and launched a virtual interior design business, which was fun and profitable. In 2019, I closed that business to work full-time on the Gowhee app.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I started my first business at 6 years old, selling crafts at my local farmer’s market in France.
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?
The launch was planned for April 2020. So when the pandemic and travel bans hit, I decided to spend my bootstrapping budget on creating brand recognition and growing an organic community, instead of ads. After focusing on our organic content, we started paid ads in June of 2022.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Creating value means always listening to your audience and meeting them where they are at. I learned to never be afraid of rejection and criticism since they are helping you grow. There is no EGO in GROWTH!
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
Bootstrapping a tech company with no network, no funds, and no tech experience. I celebrate each win as they come along the way!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
ABSOLUTELY! This is what our business is all about. As a French woman, it has always been in me, but starting this company definitely brought challenges. I always say, work hard and play hard. Save 1 day of the week for your kids/family, where no call and no phone usage are allowed. And save 1 hr. / day for your own growth. From learning new skills to binging your favorite show. Whatever makes you feel grounded. Then plan your schedule around it. And the biggest thing to remember is: It is ok to say NO.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Patience is a virtue. Be patient, because everything from finding the right people to seeing results in your ad campaigns takes time. My biggest mistakes were made when I rushed through things.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
We have gotten our market fit and numbers are showing that we have something to hold on to. The end f the pandemic was a huge turning point for us.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Actively looking for angel investors to take all of our plans to the next level and become fully profitable.