Categorized | Shoestring Startup

A New Business Based On a Life Stage

I spent 20+ years doing the same thing – Public Relations in the entertainment industry. My career spanned television outlets (NBC-TV, CBS-TV) and publishing (In Style magazine and Elle). I worked the red carpet 9 years in a row for the In Style Golden Globes party and the In Style/Elton John Oscar party.

I was very fortunate to have such an exciting career dealing with celebrities and the media, but it was time to make a life change, but what could I possibly do that would be more exciting than the first 20 years of my career? I thought about that question often, ironically most of the time I talked about it with my friends as I commuted to NYC on the Long Island Railroad (known at the LIRR).

I would also talk a lot about my daughter’s pending Bat Mitzvah. I received her Bat Mitzvah date from my synagogue about 3 years in advance. I turned to my LIRR commuting friends for help. The Moms who had already been thru the planning process were a wealth of information. They knew exactly what I should do and when I should be doing it.

At some point I realized this Mom-to-Mom advice was invaluable and should be captured somewhere on the internet. After much research and many sleepless nights, was launched in November 2008.

Our goal was to develop a voice through our email newsletters and deliver clever, useful and entertaining ideas to help make planning your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah more fun and less stressful.

We launched our business on a budget of approximately $80 a month for our email marketing service. We tapped all our resources, a brother-in-law who could build a simple Website and a sister who was a graphic designer.

Through Facebook, we were able to reach High School friends, college friends and former colleagues who all signed-up to receive our newsletter.

Having worked in PR for many years was a big advantage. I knew how to write press releases and where to plant them. We used a free online tool called HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to find various media outlets who might be interested in writing about us.

Approximately 6 months after launch, we started getting calls from vendors who cater to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah industry. They had been told about us by Mitzvah planning Moms and wanted to know our advertising rates.

Now we had a revenue stream and an actual money-making business! After 1 year, we caught the attention of a national magazine called, The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide and became their official Website. This enabled us to reach people beyond the tri-state area due to their 220,000+ readers nationwide.

We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary and have almost 3,000 registered users receiving our newsletter and thousands more who visit our Website monthly. I’m proud to say we have become a trusted source among Mitzvah planning families.

Our small team has grown too. We are now a group of 3

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