Categorized | Shoestring Startup

A Passion with a Purpose for a Rockin’ Mom

Tiffany Petrossi

I have always loved music since I can remember. The pure joy that music brings to humanity is hard to rival. I found that having children brought the same fulfillment and happiness but how could I do both? I wrote my first song at age 7. By age 29 when my second child, Liam was a baby, I decided I would regret not ever having my songs published… if I died tomorrow, sort of thing. So, my husband and I agreed that we would put $1200. On our MasterCard and buy some home recording equipment. So, with sheets tacked to the walls of my home office, I recorded my first acoustic CD, Circles. When it was done, I thought, “Now What?” It was time to share my songs with others. After all, isn’t that part of the purpose? With a family and a part time job, I found this to be a tough row to hoe.

Aspiring Singer-songwriters don’t really get paid much and have to really play out a lot or somehow magically get picked up by a label to help grow their fan base and earn a decent income with their songs. After a year or so of practicing, playing many coffee shop gigs and using the Internet to market what music I had after the kids (then 2 and 5) went to bed, I had an idea…

I wanted to help other moms in my shoes! Not only to help promote their passions but acknowledge the work their were doing as mothers. To encourage moms to not give up on their dreams and to provide resources for them to more easily succeed. So, I came up with the name, bought the domain, applied for a trademark and in late 2004, Rockin’ Moms was born.

Rockin' Moms

I had NO budget and I still don’t have any monetary sponsors. I took out a line of credit form a bank, had the website built and little by little have grown the site to have just over 600 members. Rockin’ Moms is a social networking site for moms, has an ebay like store-selling products made by moms, and produces live events, song contests, interviews and promotions. I keep it going by doing many forms of grass roots marketing. I use press releases to get more traffic to our website. I do link exchanges with other mom-related sites. I host a radio/podcast show for our artist that reaches an audience on itunes. I do a lot of the work for the promotional and design to market the business myself. This helps to eliminate or keep those costs at a minimum. I found that using twitter and facebook to garner interest is a great way to advertise and connect and only takes a few minutes. Those minutes are precious for a busy mom of four!

One of the features of our site that I love is our monthly, “ Mom” interview. I am always inspired form hearing how others make it work. My goal has been to help other moms but I have learned to also think of it as a company. Just like your run your family, you don’t want the cart-to run away from you. You must stay organized, commitment and focused! As a start-up business, I get the most impetus to keep going from the thank- you messages and appreciation from our members. If Rockin’ Moms is helping them in their professions and making them feel special and acknowledged as mothers then I am fueled to do more for them.

Two years ago, when I found out we were having twins, I almost through in the towel. With four kids to support, time and energy spent on Rockin’ Moms became a stretch and I wondered if it would be a drain on my family both financially and emotionally. To my surprise, I had all these new ideas for the company when I was pregnant and the first year of my twins life, was able to incorporate new revenue streams in our business model and now I feel that we are on the brink of really reaching a larger audience and membership base.

I would love for Rockin’ Moms to be picked up by a larger company, who had the financial resources to take it to the next level. There is something to be said about being the owner of your own company. It comes with all the rewards and all the pitfalls, too! I do find that that finding reliable people to work for you is key and many times I’ve found that is just as easy to do the job myself. We have hired contractors to help us with events, reviews for our site and press releases but for the most part due to budget constraints get most of the work done by trade and with the help of volunteers. I would love to be able to hire more people and I think this is happening naturally as the site grows its subscribing members and increases in advertising revenues. Being that this project is like my 5th child, so to speak, I am very protective and would most likely want to stay on board, if we got bought out.

My advice for others starting their own venture is to just do it. Do it now. Do it as much as you can. Inspiration is a beautiful and random occurrence that should be catered to when it happens. Many people ask me, “How are you dong this with four kids?’ I just don’t waist a lot of time. I try to be focused and not let negative thoughts enter my mind. It’s easy to say, your too busy or this or that is impossible. I am amazed at what I can accomplish in just twenty minutes. For example, one could post an announcement to twitter, facebook , myspace and message board! This year, I started a new business called; “Rockin’ kidz,” and next year maybe I’ll get to, “Rockin’ Dads!”

~Tiffany Petrossi

Founder, Rockin’ Moms
(408) 410-8487
Founder, Rockin’ Kidz

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