Mom On The Move: The Great Girlfriends
Mom On The Move is a weekly profile of a mom mover and shaker. Women we admire, who inspire us and who have amazing stories to share, oh and they happen to have kids, too! While we love to talk about celebrity moms and their fabulous lives, we also love (and need) to know about real moms who are out here doing it all, just as fabulously. This week we’re profiling The Great Girlfriends Show creators and co-hosts Sybil Amuti and Brandice Daniel, whose podcast conversation series was created to connect women with daily tips and solutions for living a passionate life and building thriving businesses.
Mommynoire: I love the concept of your podcast of sharing your friendships and the value you’ve received from the women in your lives over the years. So how did you two become friends?
Brandice: I love that you asked this question first. We have two different stories and we explained it, both versions, on our podcast but Sybil and I met in 2008 through a mutual friend who had just started a non-profit, so it’s funny that we met while actually supporting another great girlfriend. We were in a round circle and everyone was introducing themselves and if you know anyone from Memphis, we lead an introduction with, “I’m from Memphis.” SO I was like, I’m Brandice, I’m from Memphis and Sybil was like, I’m from Memphis!” and we stopped the whole circle and after that I think the thing that kind of propelled our friendship was that Sybil was super giving and in that spirit of giving, it was like, “Let’s do this!.” She and her husband became a safe space for me when I was just starting my business when I wanted to vent or cry and I literally felt comfortable enough to lay on the couch and say whatever was going wrong on in my life. Sometimes you meet certain people and it’s just divine, and that’s what it was from the very first day
Sybil: It was a missing puzzle piece. And the interesting thing is that we both have a lot of great friends but we both definitely had room for each other, and over time we combined friends, it was just one of those organic things.
Do you two have similar personalities, you seem to just from this chat…
Sybil: Brandice thinks she’s cool and laid back and I’m like the energizer bunny. I have my very cool moments, but when I’m excited you’re going to feel it…and I think she’s the same way.
So tell us about yourselves individually?
Brandice: I am the wife of Rich Daniel, he’s seen so much of my journey, and we got married three years ago. I have one daughter who is seven months old and her name is Sky Grace.
I have two sisters, and I’m the textbook middle child. And I would say I’m really ambitious, I’ve pushed myself to my limit since I was a kid. I’m a person of faith and I believe in taking steps of faith or cliff jumps, as I like to call them.
I have another full-time company called Harlem Fashion Row, which is a platform for multi-cultural fashion designers that I started nine years ago.
Sybil: I am from Memphis and have been in New York for 15 years working initially as a model and then as a brand strategist for companies. Then I left to start my own brand and brand consultancy and to pursue modeling once again and to grow out the Great Girlfriends brand. My company is Legacy Row and I focus on doing legacy branding with clients, so I help brands decide where they’re going to sit 100 years from now and steps that they need to do today to solidify their brand future. I have an amazing husband of 10 years, Kwaku, two kids that I adore, my son Sam is seven and my daughter Dylan is four. And we have two guinea pigs. (laughs)
I’m a textbook youngest child and I rock my position when it comes to bullheadedness. I live in New Jersey. I love community and I love charity.
And what made you start this concept/podcast? And when was this?
Sybil: We started the podcast July 29 of 2015. The purpose of the podcast was to create a space where we could aggregate all of the professional and personal coaching that we do with women into one space. Last year Brandice was pregnant with her daughter and I have two small ones and each of us were spending a lot of time doing a lot of personal and professional coaching and it was very time consuming. So we thought why not put all of this into one space in a podcast form and send our friends to go listen and from there if people like it we’ll keep going. We’re both uber ambitious so we set a goal, but at the time we didn’t want to push too many resources towards this “passion project.” So we said, why don’t we set a small goal of 100 women a month as listeners and if we do that, that’d be cool. That would be like our friends listening and if they told one friend…we’d have 100 listeners. We emailed out to maybe about 50 friends just to say, hey we’re starting this podcast and we have three episodes, listen and let us know what you think. And in day one we had 150 downloads, and we were like what’s going on? We did a little research and discovered that the average podcast has about 3600 listeners in the lifespan of the podcast so then that became our goal.
In the first few months were growing and growing and we were trying to figure out how these women were finding us and who they were. We knew that it would be good for our friends but we were like, who are these people outside our circle listening in. It was great.
Brandice: We were literally looking at our analytics like, do you know someone in Charlotte?
Sybil: Sure enough, we’re at 25,000 downloads and listeners every Wednesday from 60 countries. I really attribute it to women—we are the most powerful marketers on the planet. Word of mouth is still the best marketing tool, it will never change…and we have something women want to share because we are women that are sharing. On our podcast, we are sharing wisdom very high experiences and very low experiences, from me growing a company to $12 million and Brandice growing a multi-million dollar company to having a quarter, and having mommy guilt, and having fears that kept us back for years, it’s all those things. We felt that sharing our stories would be the power behind what we do on the podcast.
So it sounds like the beginning was great, due to the fact that you ladies had a plan and solid footing…was there any struggle?
Sybil: You know, our struggle from the beginning was that I had a crazy pregnant partner named Brandice who is on a quick jump. When I say maybe jump, she says, “Let’s just jump.” She’s always ready, fire, aim. And I’m ready, aim, fire. So we had to get our footing and podcasting is not a simple process. We had never done business like this together, we had always been advisers to each other, but this was really getting on the ground together. I think we had a fantastic footing—we had no issues, we knew the ground rules, and goals. We did have to say, ok, you’re going to be delivering a baby in October.
Brandice: We would go to an event and Sybil would say, ‘Brandice you can’t tell anyone about this podcast because the product is not out yet, and I’d say ok, ok.’ We’d get to the event and people would walk up to Sybil and say, ‘I’m so excited about this podcast!’ When I get excited about something, I can’t stop talking about it.
Sybil: I kept saying, ‘Brandice, branding is my business, we can’t half-step on this.’ It has to be clean aesthetically, we have to make sure the market is right and she just kicked my little plan in the side. So July 29th was the launch date. So we had to do some speed branding. My husband is a fantastic art director so we have a synergy where he can hear a vision and he can manifest it beautifully. So we spent a weekend and worked on the website, Facebook, Instagram, building out written content, we had recordings but we needed content for the site as well. We told Kwaku we wanted the site to feel like a burst of energy so The Great Girlfriends site feels very citrus-y and vibrant. Then we needed intro music and we didn’t have a name for the first few episodes.
Brandice: We didn’t have a name we agreed on.
Sybil: So we just put out the show and then The Great Girlfriends felt right.
Read Part 2 of the interview on Monday 6/6/16.