Working with StrengthsMay 18, 2021
In this episode of Dominate Your Day, Dana Williams speaks with her daughter, Whitney Rowell, about utilizing her strengths in her various businesses as a mom-repreneur.
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We are so excited to share the sixth episode of the Dominate Your Day Podcast! This podcast is for any professional or business owner who wants to live intentionally and dominate their day. Dana Williams and her guests will bring you practical advice about how to create a productive life through tools and experiences from guests who have designed the life they love.
At Dana Williams Consulting, we teach you everything you need to know about how to live intentionally and Dominate your Day based on your unique talents. We have also created some great tools like The Strengths Journal™, a daily companion guide to the CliftonStrengths assessment.
Episode 6 ft Whitney Rowell
Whitney is a mother, wife, and passionate entrepreneur. She spent the first decade of her professional career helping to launch new businesses and grow brand awareness through positions in public relations, digital strategy, marketing and branding in Texas, New York and Florida. Today, she is the founder and CEO of Miracle Milkookies, a company designed to give mamas everywhere a little boost. She’s also the co-founder of Collective Thirty One, an invitation only platform that provides a source of community, inspiration, career intel, and support for local female entrepreneurs. During the COVID lockdown, Whitney and two friends co-founded HerStory, a highly curated luxury subscription box aimed to support female founded small-businesses facing an uncertain future. Whitney is also founder and host of the podcast, Message From Mom, a platform she uses to have candid conversations about current ‘real-life’ topics with healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and other inspiring women.
Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including timestamps. To subscribe to Dominate Your Day on Apple Podcasts, click here.
Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to the sixth episode of Dominate Your Day, where Dana Williams shares conversations from leaders, coaches, and visionaries from all facets of life. She talks about all that goes into leading a life with intention and dominating your day. Today, she shares her conversation with her daughter, Whitney Rowell on entrepreneurship, family, life and
Dana Williams: [00:00:28] Oh, I'm very excited today to introduce my daughter, Whitney Rowell and Whitney. I think she started with a lemonade stand when, how, how old were you? Like seven or eight? I can't remember your first entrepreneurial venture. I remember you and richest standing outside selling lemonade, and then it kind of fast forward.
Another year you started selling stationary and designing stationary and taking it door to door and then gone into high school and started designing jewelry and tell everybody where you are now as an entrepreneur.
Whitney Rowell: [00:01:06] Well now so I guess in 2018, I started a company for moms called Miracle Milkookies.
We bake and ship fresh lactation cookies, which helped boost milk supply to moms doorsteps everywhere, and through that I've been able to just really hone in on the women entrepreneurial community of women in Dallas. And I started a group called Collective 31 that same year with a girlfriend of mine.
And we have some incredible members. It's a female entrepreneurship network for women really ages, I would say 25 to . We have to probably early forties, a women like Christina Lynch with me Andrena and Alex Snodgrass that define dash and all across the board, just women who've kind of created something impactful in our community and also know nationally a lot of these cases.
And then I also just launched a platform called By Mom For Mom, which is a online network for moms.
Dana Williams: [00:02:12] So for those of you who know your strengths, you wouldn't be surprised to hear Whitney's top five. So why don't you tell him your top five strengths?
Whitney Rowell: [00:02:21] So my number one is Maximizer, then Strategic Achiever Belief, and Self-esteem.
Dana Williams: [00:02:30] So I have watched as her mom, I've watched her Achiever all the time and this self-assurance, she, she was kind of shy when she was younger, but it just kinda came out as she started developing these businesses. And it was probably your Achiever that was kind of motivating you to get something done and have an idea.
And I forgot about one of your other companies you developed design purses. I think that was one of the other ones before, while you were like junior high. I remember that. So that was really fun, but yeah. What I guess the point here is that these strengths are with you as, as you're born and as you grow up and while you were in your late twenties, when we found your strengths out, it was kind of fun for me as your mom to see how they've manifested as you've developed your business.
I love the fact that you have Self-assurance cause that's just helped you just keep going. When the days are probably tough and you got to get out there and get things done. So, why do you think you've been on this entrepreneurial journey since you were about six or seven? What do you think it's within you?
Whitney Rowell: [00:03:35] I would say probably I mean, just going off of my strengths, I just, I feel like I have achieved. I mean, as I mentioned, I have Achiever in me, and I'm always trying to I don't know if this necessarily ties into that strength, but do something better work harder and create something different than what I've seen out there.
And I know with jewelry, when I had a jewelry company in high school, I couldn't find what I wanted available. And I thought, well, I might as well make them pieces of make pieces of jewelry for myself. And go with that and then seeing other people to also embrace the concepts I was creating, whether it was jewelry or, or now cookies, it's just really cool to see that you can build something yourself and then other people buy it.
It's amazing just to watch that grow. And so for me, it kind of gives me a sense of satisfaction just knowing that I'm creating something for somebody else too, that not only benefits me, but benefits others.
Dana Williams: [00:04:31] So I heard Maximizer loud and clear in there. It's finding something that's good, but taking it to great, finding something that people need.
Tell everybody this story about how you develop the cookie. The lactation cookie.
Whitney Rowell: [00:04:46] Yeah. When I was, I guess in brand new mom, I was one of the first of pretty much all my friends have a baby, so I didn't really know much about the mom world. All I knew is when I got home from the hospital, I knew I needed to feed her.
And I did have one friend who decided she was, she had about a five month old and she decided to drop off some fresh baked cookies on my doorstep. And she said, I don't know if you're breastfeeding or not, but I made you some homemade cookies that help with your milk supply. They're called lactation cookies.
And I was like, what the heck is a lactation cookie? I've never heard of this in my life. So I ended up eating them and I was so impressed. I was making so much more milk. I couldn't believe it. And, and also another thing I've always done for fun, not as a business, but it's just make cookies as you know, I love making cookies.
And so I Googled lactation producing ingredients and discovered that just really all natural brewers, yeast flax seed and oats really help with milk supply. So I ended up just adding flax seed and Brewer's yeast to my chocolate chip cookie recipe. And then I thought, you know, So these actually tastes really good.
They're working for me. I know a lot of friends who are going to be getting pregnant soon or friends that are having babies. It'd be so neat to just share this recipe with them, because I did honestly look for places to buy these cookies and I couldn't find them anywhere online. So I figured, well, people are going to have to make them for themselves at the time.
It was just the only option. So I created a blog post on a blog I started when I was living in New York, after college called Lifestyle Hunting. And I, the blog post is called the Miracle Milk Cookie. Cause I didn't was not writing at the time about moms or lactation or anything to do with that. And so I called it the miracle Milkcookie.
And honestly, didn't post anything thought. I think you're the only one who read my blog, maybe like a couple of other friends, but I thought, well, at least I could just share the link with people when they have babies. And then fast forward to a year and a half later, I was pregnant with Charlotte, my second.
And I, I went on the back end of that blog because I hadn't written anything and I was checking it out. And I had about, I think 300,000 hits, 300,000 people had visited that one blog post. And I was like, this is crazy. Cause like I said, nobody read that blog except for a few of my friends. Definitely was a side project.
And so I checked the analytics and it turns out that I Pop Sugar had written about it and Health Magazine had written about it and I had pinned it on Pinterest. And I had like thousands of re-pins of that blog post. And I thought, wow, these people really like these cookies and it's true. There really isn't anywhere out there to buy these.
And why not turn this into a business in my, I guess my Maximizer came out, like, let's do this. And I at the time was a marketing consulting. So I thought let's just, I'll just build a little website on Squarespace and, you know, link that blog post to that website and see what happens. And that's kind of how, how it got started.
Dana Williams: [00:07:43] And so that was two years ago with that too.
Whitney Rowell: [00:07:47] Actually it was the summer of 2017. Little did I know that launching a CPG brand, it gets super package. Good brand would take a lot more than just setting up a website. Just as, you know, launching her book, developing the packaging distribution, figuring out a way to even find someone who could create the cookie for me from, you know, a small little oven to mass production just took a long time.
And so we didn't officially launch until August of 2018, which is when I was finally able to bake package and ship our cookies to moms nationally. But I, I really am glad that we had that. You know, year long time, just to, because I learned so much about just doing doorstep deliveries in Dallas, talking to moms here, learning about the whole industry.
I kept hearing over and over again from other bakers. You're crazy to not want to do these bake these yourself, but I surrounded myself with a lot of really great mentors and one of them, my, friend Natalie, she just said, you know, you are not meant to be sitting in your kitchen. Baking all day are meant to be in marketing and sales.
So you focus on marketing sales and find somebody else who can do your production for you. And that was hard to let that go at first. But now I'm just so glad I did.
Dana Williams: [00:08:58] So you probably have a lot of lessons in building your business. And this month we're talking to our customers and our followers about designing a life you love by leaning in onto your strengths and creating a life you love now.
You're a working mom. You you've chosen, you're kind of designing your life. Tell everybody about, about your family and kind of why you decided to launch these businesses and kind of what you've been designing as you've been looking to the future, because you also have Futuristic number 10. So I know that something that, that you've been working on are you probably vision it out?
Whitney Rowell: [00:09:39] Yeah, I think, you know, we live in such a unique time in our world where we have access to everything at our fingertips. Unlike even when I was growing up, you know, you didn't really have laptops to bring home or you couldn't really start a business in the way you can now. And I think just, it was the perfect place.
Perfect time to start online, direct to consumer business, where I was able to stay home. The time we know when I had Stella, my first, I really believe that, you know, once I became a mom, I wanted to be home with her full-time, but I also really motivated to work. And I didn't want to have to choose between going to an office or being at home with her.
And I feel like that's kind of the approach that we grew up thinking like you either full-time mom or you're a full-time corporate working girl. And I think our generation is very much more enmeshed with both worlds. And it's hard because I've talked to so many other moms about this it's there really isn't a balance, but I don't, there's not a balance when you're working full-time or being a mom full-time it's, there's no balance.
It's we call it like work-life harmony and that's kind of just something I, I knew. I always, you know, I saw you working when I grew up, I know Marillyn, your mom worked when you grew up and that's kind of been ingrained in me that you, you work and you don't. I mean, I know you don't rely on men. I mean, you never said that to you, but you, you create your own future.
You create your own business and and you can, I mean, we have the ability to, and the capability to each, I believe every single woman does and man too. And so when I had Stella, I knew I wanted to start my own business. So I was doing marketing consulting, but this, I saw this opportunity to really build a business at home, this, this direct to consumer cookie delivery business and, and take that to the next level and instead be a full-time mom and still be all the things that she needed.
But I think what's really cool is it's funny last year at school and choosing pre-K four, they were learning the letters, the alphabet and words that go with letters, and her teacher texted me and said, we're learning the letter M today. And I thought in, everyone says in for mom and Stella says M for Miracle Milkookies.
And it's just like, that's her, you know, her world she's grown up and same with Charlotte. They've grown up like seeing me work full-time from home, but also be there for all those moments. And, and I'm not saying it's easy, but I think that's the life I wanted to create for myself. I knew that early on, and I think something else I've told people is when I graduated from college before I've been thinking about kids are getting married.
You said to me, what are the three things that you want to do with your life? And then you build your job or your life around those three things. And at the time for me, It was designed write and travel. So I went to New York, I designed jewelry. I wrote and I worked in travel PR. And that was at that time that worked for me.
And I think that's, that was that season of my life. And I think you know, we each have different seasons of our lives. We embrace different things and different things change and being open to that. And I know, you know, in five years from now, my right now, my life is mom entrepreneurship cultivating growth in our home.
And so it might change in five years, but I'm just being open to that. So that's kind of where I guess my futuristic comes in, but each of these stages are impactful in different ways.
Dana Williams: [00:12:57] And it's been interesting to watch your generation. I think one of the things we have in common is we both have husbands who support us and support us working in making a difference in the world.
What do you say to your friends? And to other women out there, when they ask for advice, if they want to start a business, I know you've had several other in your tribe and just friends say, I'm wanting to do this. What, you know what, what's the first thing you tell them? What do you, what kind of recommendations do you give them?
As they're getting ready to start their own business.
Whitney Rowell: [00:13:28] Yeah, I know I get that question a lot and sometimes it's, I want to start something, but I don't know what it is. And then sometimes it's like, I have this great idea, but I, I'm not sure how to turn it into a business. And so I always just say, first of all, You can be passionate all day long about something, but you have to decide if you want it to be a hobby or you want this to actually be a business.
Because I had that advice really early on from one of my friend, Lauren Brundage, Mario, her dad has been a good mentor to me. And she started live, love, pop the popcorn company. And when I first went to him, when I was first starting my cookie company, he said, you have a really great idea. Cause I was telling him all these things that we have, all these orders, you have all these.
Celebrities who like it. I thought it was just this really amazing concept. And he was like, you have a really great idea. You don't have a business. And that to me was so defeating, but now that I've I really think about that in every step. Whenever I'm wanting to launch something, is this a business or is this a hobby?
This is a passion. Is this actually going to make money? Because at the end of the day, your time is so valuable. And I think people don't recognize that or realize how valuable your time is. And so I just say, how much time do you actually want to spend doing this? Because if you're launching a business, you need to spend
a lot more time than you even think you do, but it could be also a hobby and a passion project on the side, but you need to first just define that before you move forward, because that's the first step before you even do anything.
Dana Williams: [00:14:53] Absolutely. So you mentioned several times that you've had mentors who have been your mentors for you as a, as a mompreneur and as a female leader and a wife, and
a mom. Who, who have been those mentors that you brought in to help you during this time?
Whitney Rowell: [00:15:12] So I had, it's interesting because a lot of my mentors have been around my age. Natalie Yates. Who was in finance and had a passion for just helping women turn their side hustles into business. She was working in a venture capital with a lot of women who had been taken advantage of, and she was like, women need to know about money and finances and how businesses work.
And so she's been a really great mentor. She was in the beginning. And then. Brenda Bogart, your friend has been a great mentor to me. She's started very successful businesses, but has transitioned throughout the day, different seasons of her life. And she's been just always a great person to talk to about my ideas.
I mean, you've been a good mentor to me, obviously just as my mom, but as a business owner and leader And then my friend Lauren, who has her popcorn company Live, Love, Pop, and she's grown it, so it's now the number three popcorn company in the country. And it's scaled so greatly, but her whole passion has been behind, you know, about stories.
And then also just a women in my Collective 31 group. I had coffee with Christina Lynch yesterday morning. She's the founder of Michel Andrena and You know, it just, she was talking to about mentors and she said, how great it would be to set up a mentorship program for these women who, who are around us, who really just want to start something.
It doesn't matter how small it is, but just we gain so much from that to ourselves, like helping other people. So I think it's just, it's been just really been so amazing. Cause I think in Dallas, especially we have, and I'm sure this is the same in a lot of different cities, but we have so many incredible female entrepreneurs here.
Who've, who've done a lot of amazing things and they're still really young. And there are a lot of them are in their thirties or late thirties late twenties and they inspire me. So just making sure I I'm constantly leaning on them for questions and support, especially during, you know, COVID over the past year as business, small business changed a lot.
Being able, just to text and email and call people and say, how are you handling this has been so great. So I think it's so important for anyone launching a business to have at least one person they can just lean on who they respect.
Dana Williams: [00:17:20] I love that. And I think one of the things we talk a lot about in using strengths is that we can't develop by ourselves.
Strengths develop alongside other people. So bringing in other people like Natalie that had the financial or Brenda that kind of had run several different businesses and has a, a good business mindset also bringing in some of your peers that have started their own businesses and learn from him even Lauren's father who, you know, has a seasoned Person executive in the food business to being able to take time and talk to you.
And so we always hear that you're always either coaching down or coaching up or mentoring up or mentoring down depending on, you know, and I know we do a lot of reverse mentoring where you, you guide me in all the digital stuff, and I'll tell you about what I learned through life. So I think there's, there's those important that those are important relationships, especially during seasons of change.
And especially when we'd had Things like COVID come in our life. What was the first thing you did during COVID? I noticed that you have Strategic and I want to talk about Strategic for a moment. Cause we haven't talked about that, but strategic always has a plan, A, a plan B and a plan C. So when you're creating something and you're in the middle of summit, all of a sudden everything changed.
What was your plan B? What happened during COVID to you? And that became an opportunity.
Whitney Rowell: [00:18:47] Yeah. You know, like I mentioned earlier, we were so lucky in that we were direct to consumer and it's been such a blessing for us that we've continued to just ship directly to our customers. But at the same time, I've seen a lot of businesses around me that.
We're changing drastically from selling wholesale to large, big box retailers like Nordstrom's and Neiman's, and now sitting on tons of inventory. And so I partnered with two of my girlfriends, Tinsley, and Tinsley who founded a company called Pear, which is a digital marketing platform. And then Brittany, her sister, who started Akola, the Akola project, which is a social impact brand.
And together, we decided to start a company to help support female founded businesses during COVID. And through that channel, I was able to also promote and sell Miracle Milkookies in a whole different world than I had before. Cause I was targeting a different demographic than just the breastfeeding mom that was saying, this is a small business.
We focus on a health and creating a quality cookies that get you through your day. And it was the conversation kind of switched from just lactation to okay "get fresh baked cookies delivered to your doorstep while you're also getting these other really cool brands all delivered to your doorstep," so we curated these luxury subscription boxes with.
Full-sized products from brands like Beauty Bio and, and Migal Andrena and Kelly, when , and ship them directly to people's doorsteps. Whereas before there, they were actually interacting with the founder only through the retailer. Now they are actually getting direct access to the founder through Her Story, the company we started and sharing their stories directly to the consumer.
And so that became a different business model, different business that I launched in different model for me to sell to consumers in a different way. And then directly with, with Miracle Milkookies. We launched a whole a digital resource for moms called Mpowered, where like M, from Miracle Milkookies cookies.
And we would bring resources to moms phones directly through Instagram, through social, where I would bring on lactation consultants, healthcare professionals, different providers who are focused on the mom world to answer questions and answers to for moms who weren't able to actually get out and go meet with a pediatrician or go meet with an OB.
And, and while they're pregnant, learning these things. And so everybody putting all those resources in one spot, which became now a new bed, new platform, I mentioned earlier called By Mom for Mom. And I was also, I had a podcast. I tried do have a podcast. Called messaged Her Mom, that I was able to put all those resources on as well.
And just interview therapists and different people about in mindfulness, mindfulness coaches, about how do you get through this time? How do you keep your business afloat? How do you keep your sanity alive? How do you take care of your children and work from home? And so I I learned a lot to that, but I think it was also a really great opportunity to launch a whole new digital side of our business, which is now.
You know, we now provide a product. We also provide services and resources, which is By Mom For Mom.
Dana Williams: [00:21:50] So your, we didn't go through your six through 10, but number six for use Ideation. So that is seeing the problem coming up with the idea, taking something from good to great. I didn't see you ever rest in, Oh my gosh, what are we going to do now?
Where, you know, you just immediately went and worked with your friends to create new products and new services for the moms and looking back. And I know it's hard to look back sometimes when you're always futuristic, which is one of my strengths as well. But looking back now, what. What did you learn?
What was a lesson you learned through that time of COVID being a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, a leader in the community. What was, if you had to just summarize kind of one big lesson you learned during that time that you would share with other moms or other folks on this podcast? What, what do you think you learned?
Whitney Rowell: [00:22:50] I mean, I think number one was one of one I realized, "wow, I really am working from home and taking care of my children." And there really wasn't an outlet for me. The outlet became what I had already started to create. And it really just fast forwarded my plans because I knew beyond cookies. I wanted to have a resource for women from the conception journey to beyond.
And so it was a perfect time for me to just. Really hone in on that and work on that because that's really what women needed at the time is just a place to go online. That was virtual where before they could just go into a practice and meet with somebody. I also feel like it forced me to think about things differently than I had before in a way that helped me to, I mean, I, I went through, you know, I think like a lot of people that are really challenging time for a while where I was just like, I don't know who I am.
I don't know what I'm doing. This whole world is tough and it felt like Groundhog day, every single day with my kids at home working. I don't think we mentioned this, but Spencer, my husband works with me full time, so we were all in it every single day. And, I think finally coming out of all of that, just that period
of hardship, but learning and growth. I realized I need to have an outlet for myself every day. I needed to create time for myself every day. I need to get up every morning, whether it's before the kids get up or stay up late , after they go to bed and have meetings at least once a day before it was easy just to go to the gym and workout or go, you know, do something.
But yeah. You have to really be intentional about your time. And like I mentioned earlier, too, time is so valuable. And I realize that too. It's so easy. I think in, in a situation where we're in a lockdown, in a pandemic to like, just not want to do anything and just kind of like suffer through it. But then that's where really a lot of mental instability comes out and people
make bad choices or the wrong choices. And I think you have to realize, okay, what am I doing every day that matters? And how does my day matter and what am I doing? Not only for me, for other people, because you can get really caught up in this is so hard for me. But if, I think if you turn it around and say, what can I do for other people, then you start living your day with more intention.
And that. And for me, it was the outlet of creating this Mpowered series, focusing on my podcasts, building out this new platform called By Mom For Mom, focusing on these interviews and asking a lot of questions about other people that really helped me to just get out of my head and start thinking of ways I could help other people.
And I think there's also a lot of opportunity in times like this. I mean, they say out of 2008, So much growth happened in our country. So many businesses were born after the great depression. So many huge businesses came out of it were born. And I think looking at this time is not a bad thing, but as a time to create change and growth in your own life, and then in the culture and community around you.
And what you can kind of build upon from that is, is where a lot of great change happens.
Dana Williams: [00:25:44] I love that. I think that the COVID was a time- the big word I've been hearing is accelerate- it accelerated. So you probably wouldn't be where you are in your business had you not done those things during that time, I've seen that with Southwest Airlines too, that they're, they're going in and getting these smaller markets now so that when we
come out of the pandemic, they have new growth. I've seen it time and time again with entrepreneurs pivoting during this time and saying, "okay, what next? What can I be doing?" We're going to be in a hybrid world of virtual and being in person. So how do we connect and reach out? So you've got a lot of moms that depend on you and customers that lean on you and everything that, that you and Spencer put out each week with getting the cookies out there and getting the content out there with your team and feeding the community.
I love the fact that you talked about, you know, being intentional each day and taking care of you and, you know, coming from the airline business, we always say, "put the oxygen mask on you first, before you can serve others." And so I love that, but what are, what are some of the things now that you're working on?
You're thinking about as you're moving into 2021, we're in February of 2021 right now. What are things you're thinking about as you're ideating, as you're maximizing, as you're strategically planning the future, what's kind of on your mind right now, as you think about what these moms in your community need from you or the entrepreneurial community that created here in Dallas, what, what do you think is the big, hot thing that, that everybody's need that, that you're hearing
Whitney Rowell: [00:27:21] about?
Yeah, you know, it's interesting because I think For, at least from a lot of the conversations I've had with entrepreneurs is they just needed to figure things out over the past six months. It was kind of put your head down, reassess your team, cut some people from your team. Go lean, go strong, go hard.
And now people are starting to kind of rise above that. And they're looking around, they're saying, okay, this is our new landscape. We have it's virtual is going to stay, but people miss community, they miss the face-to-face interaction. There's just something about that, that we really crave as a society, as individuals, as people we need.
And so my, you know, 2.0 for this year is really to start doing more in person events. Where it's virtual and people are able to be around each other. I had this whole great vision and plan in 2018 where we were all going to do these fun miracle mama meetups in different cities. And now I can't
do the ones I had planned. We did one at park house in September, which was great, but of last year, 2019, but we're 2020. But we are now there By Mom For Mom , launching a city by city approach where we focus on different partners, different practices, different people in different cities who are resources for moms, where they can go in and do an and
meet one-on-one these people, but they also can get to know these people virtually. And so it's kind of creating this whole hybrid platform for, for moms to connect with other moms in their city, with other practices in their city. If they're able to go in person great, but if not, they have this platform and they can lean on that's virtual.
So just really growing that, and instead of just focusing on it, let's focus on the whole entire country, it's it doesn't work that way for me. It's like, Let's start in Dallas with people we know, people we trust, and build out these community platforms for people to be able to interact with these different people we already know here.
And then we'll launch, you know, Houston, Austin, Atlanta at different cities that are our big markets and focus on just really super, highly targeting those women there and connecting them with the people we already know and just making, making it easier because from conversations I've had with different healthcare providers and had one conversation with a doctor in LA a couple months ago.
And she was just saying the hardest thing for women right now. For moms, young moms is they go home and they don't have, they can't connect to mom groups and they miss that. And so trying to figure out how that works for me is kind of my next goal.
Dana Williams: [00:29:49] I love that. I love it. It's just continuing the journey with your customers or where they are and what
they need and adjusting and being relevant for them. So a little bit of the marketing comes in for both of us here. When we think about a customer and the customer journey and what our customers are needing and being able to pivot quickly and not stay with something. If it's not working.
I've seen you have an idea, get it out there and they go, okay, this isn't working, we're going to pivot. And in the journal, we have a great quote from Henry Ford says, "you can't build a reputation of what you're going to do." And so I think a lot of us like to talk and ideate, but it's figuring out, I see you tend to take action when you have an idea and you find the people to help you get that done.
And that's what I see in all of your strengths, as we're talking about You're futuristic and your maximizers in your strategic and your achiever. You also have belief in there. And I see that come through with opportunities to give back and to help others, especially with moms right now. So as you see, as you see your belief work, what kind of things are on your mind in that
Whitney Rowell: [00:30:55] area?
Yeah, you know, it's been interesting because I, when I had my jewelry company, you know, in college, my whole platform was jewelry with a cause. So we always chose a different charity to give back to. And then and I've always loved working. My, my marketing business consulting business I had was working with nonprofits and I always I told myself when I became a mom, I only want to work with organizations with heart organizations that when I'm spending an hour away from my daughter, I want to spend an hour working, helping somebody else out.
And so it's really surprising to me that when I launched Miracle Milkookies, it wasn't based on giving back in that capacity. But to me, it's giving back to moms in a completely different way where we're not, you know, charity focus, even though I would love to be this year. That's kind of something I've been thinking about as who do we want to partner with.
And I want to be just really. Again, intentional blog about that because there's so many amazing organizations out there, but there's so much need out there too. And I want to find the right company, right nonprofit to partner with in that regard. But I think for us, I'm always looking at you know, who can we help?
I mean, how can we help moms in a way that they haven't been helped before? I mean, we could donate cookies, we could give diapers, but where are the resources where the conversations that we can start having and yeah. You know, it's so I feel like there's, there's so much just, I don't really know what the word is, but yeah.
If people don't talk about a lot of the struggles they face as women. I was actually texting with a friend this morning. She was pregnant and I just said "Hey, how are you feeling?" And she said, "Oh, I just lost a baby at 14 weeks." And I was like, "Oh my gosh. And I know that pain too." And I just like, and you know, "people don't talk about it" and she was like, "it's okay.
A lot of people experienced this." And I was like, "no, it's not okay for you. I know that's hard. It's really, really hard. What can I do?" And it's just like, It's like having those conversations with people, for me, that's where I'm giving back. It's like, let's, let's bring that person on our platform when they're ready and talk about that experience and have real share real stories and story, tell and, and have people come on and talk about what their experience was like raising a special needs child.
Cause it's not easy. And, but how do you talk to that mom? Or, you know, whatever that is into, that's kind of where I feel like I want to spend a lot of my time and, and it's interesting. One of the girls who works for me, you know, we're working on content for this next year and I really want to focus on IVF and infertility.
Fortunately that's not a struggle we had, but a lot of my friends are going through that right now. And I know it's not, it's not talked about enough and it's sad because the groups that do talk about it are in a really it's depressing, honestly like the moms I was talking to her saying these like online groups are just so depressing.
It's like my sob story about not getting pregnant. And I want to make, create conversations of hope around that. Like what are some things that we can do to help support these women? So, anyway, just long answer. To your question, but that's kind of where I feel like I can come in is like let's bring light to these issues, create conversations, not make it sad, but make it hopeful.
And that's kinda my goal for this year.
Dana Williams: [00:33:52] I love that. Did you see, when you see the playback of this, you'll see the energy you brought to that answer. And when we use our strengths, we're energized. And so that's the goal every day is that we want people to intentionally use their strengths every day to get stuff done and not try to think, or compare ourselves with somebody else and say, well, they got to do that, but I didn't, it's not about that at all.
It's about intentionally living and using your strengths, but seeing you light up when you talked about I'm here to help moms with what they need, that's my belief. And that was your belief coming out. So it was kind of fun to watch that. Okay, so you've got two daughters. And one on the way three girls, you've got little girls following you.
And March is Women's History Month. There's a lot of women resilient women that have gone before us women of power women they're are strong women that are courageous. What do you want to teach your daughters as you're thinking about raising them to be. Great godly young women, but yet women that make a difference in this world, what are some things that you're, as you're leading, going to be leading them into the future that you hope for them?
Whitney Rowell: [00:35:04] Yeah, that's a good question. You know, It's every day. I feel like we have opportunities at home just being around the girls a lot. Especially in COVID world to talk about this, like, what is, what is it you want to do? What is it you want to, and I never want to push them in any direction, but I'm always encouraging them.
You know, if, if Stella wants to make jewelry or wants to drop a book or you know, Whatever she wants to do. It's like, let's, let's create that together and maybe we can. And so I'm always encouraging them to create something or think about it from a business standpoint. It's probably cause I'm very entrepreneurial, but I'm like, let's make this into a business.
I'll help you with that. But I think also You know, I think women today there's so much, and I'm not going to get into about, you know, going on in our, in our culture with women. And you know, I think it's just about treating people with respect and men and women that need to be treated with the same respect.
And I think. There's been a lot of history where that hasn't been in our history, that hasn't been the case, but I think now more than ever, you know when Kamala Harris became the vice president, it doesn't matter what your political beliefs are one way or the other, but Marillyn, your mom texted me on, I don't know if I told you this
and she said, I hope your girls know how incredible this moment is because they'll never not know, not having a vice-president that a woman who can be in power in our country. And to me that was we know really cool, because I feel like I've kind of been desensitized to it, even growing up, being born in the eighties, living through the nineties.
And now it's I've seen a lot of women rise to power. I've seen a lot of women do a lot of incredible things, but that generation hasn't, and it's really cool for our girls to be able to see so many women leaders around them. To them, they think that every mommy has a business, they just think that's normal.
And it's also trained them to think, you know, you don't need to rely on other people to do these things. If you want to do it, you kick the door in and usually make it happen. So if you want to start a company, you make it happen. If you don't want to, if you want to do whatever you want to do, but you can make it happen, you are up to you.
And I think that's something that they need to keep hearing is, is you can do anything you really want to do. You just have to work hard. And, and that's something that I, I keep wanting to, you know, share with them daily because it's so important to hear that they can do anything they want to do. It's just a matter of really putting the time and effort in, and that's something hard to teach a three-year-old a five-year-old, but I think the more they hear it, the more they will live it.
Dana Williams: [00:37:24] Yeah, I think of the women. I remember before COVID I think it was in 2019. We got to go to New York and hear from Gweneth Paltrow and Diane Von Furstenberg and all these women leaders and some of them weren't known and some of them were known, but I was just so admirable of these women who have raised
families, and they're in the workplace and they're making a difference and they're leading great teams. And it makes them, you know, a little bit well rounded, but they're not, they're just being themselves. So I kind of took away that. What was your takeaway from that, from that time?
Whitney Rowell: [00:38:02] Yeah. You know, it, it reminded me a lot of it's interesting because yeah.
Hearing when Gweneth Paltrow speaking and she said that she got, I think at one point, she was raising, raising money for Goop. And so she was invited to pretty much every single meeting with every single VC she wanted to meet with, which is kind of unheard of. And she said, she'd walk in and they'd be like, "Oh, can we get a picture with you?
My wife is a huge fan of my daughter's a huge fan or I'm a huge fan." And she was like, "I'm not here for this. I'm here because I'm running a business like this is me as a business woman, not the actress." And she said, You know, it was easy for her to want to just like Google things on her phone or the table when they're talking about different term sheets or different things that she didn't know what they meant.
But she started just started asking questions. She said it's okay to ask questions and to not know. And I've heard that a lot from women entrepreneurs who really seem like, "Oh my gosh, they are like the epitome of whatever I want to be. Like, they've created this huge business. They have had all these amazing employees.
They've sold their company for X amount of millions," but end of the day, they're like, "I'm just like a normal woman. I'm here. I've struggled. I have imposter syndrome. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing." People I was listening to Norma Kamali had, you know, she was on How I Built This, the podcast.
It's a really good one. But she was like, "I was designing these clothes in the 1960's and my clothes were in full page spreads and Vogue and bizarre, and I was so mortified people are going to find out that I did not know what I was doing" and she, but you know, it's like that, that experience is like being real and knowing like, there's not some secret answer.
I don't think to anything it's like, yeah, it's just working hard saying, "I don't know" when you don't know and surrounding yourself with people who are really smart, who can help you get there. And it's just been it's cool. Cause a lot of these women are like, Yeah, they're just like you and me. They're just normal human beings living in this world who are making a difference.
Dana Williams: [00:40:01] Right. And it's, I mean, there's luck. That's part of that getting, but I think it's putting yourself in the proximity to meet those people and to give yourself to other up and becoming entrepreneurs young. I know you're, you've got some interns and you've got some people that you're mentoring and it's always, you know, I think that's, we're here to serve and to help them, but also to learn from.
Those other folks. And, you know, we only have one life to live. So it's like designing our lives that we can make a difference right now and build a meaningful life. And I think that's one of the reasons I love strengths because it helps people feel competent in who they are. And they're not getting into the comparison zone of comparing themselves to, because we're so unique.
The way you are lined up here is you're one in 33 million. There's not another person with those strengths. Watching your daughters right now is so fun for me. I can't wait until they're old enough to do their strengths. When they're about 10, but I'm starting to spot some of their strengths and I'll mention something like to, to Charlotte about organizing and she's like all energized.
So it's helping each other stay in that, in those zones where everybody's energized and they're feeling the best. And then it translates to work. It's at home, it's in marriages. So it kind of works the whole gambit. So as we get ready to close out here, and we've, we've kind of mentioned a little bit about Women's History Month.
We've got Mother's Day coming up in May. We've got some amazing moms and grandmothers before us resilient women. What, what do you want your legacy to be?
Whitney Rowell: [00:41:36] Oh man.
Dana Williams: [00:41:37] I know that's hard. I didn't even say this is just like coffee, tea, coffee talk. You know, these are the things I would say. Yeah.
Whitney Rowell: [00:41:42] Yeah, my legacy.
I mean, I think I number one, just being there for my, for my daughters, you know, first and foremost, I think being the best supporter I can for them and advocate for them. Just cause they're the future generation. But also creating a conversation around topics in motherhood that isn't
currently there are available. Being kind of a trailblazer in the, in that world and creating products and resources and tools for women to feel empowered. Because as much as our daughters are important, I feel like if the, and I have this conversation with Spencer a lot, because I'm like, if the mom isn't healthy, if the mom isn't happy, if she's not mentally in a good spot, then the rest of the family isn't either.
And that's why. That kind of is my driving force behind Miracle Milkookies behind By Mom For Mom behind her podcast Message For Mom, because I feel like I know this firsthand. If mom, isn't funny saying like, mom ain't happy, nobody happy, but it's not even really- it goes beyond that. I think women who are struggling with infertility or marital struggles or
being feeling like they they're torn between work and home life. I want them to feel like they have the support they need, and I want to create that for them because I don't think it's there. And, and that's a big task, but I know that through my community and through just putting myself out there, like you're saying, and having these conversations and surrounding myself with the right people, it can happen it
change, can happen. And it just, even one mom is like, "my life was transformed. I feel empowered to do X, Y, or Z, or I came out of this cloud, this fog, and I'm now where I need to be mentally, so I can be the best mom and best wife and best partner." Then that's a win for me. So that's, that's what I want my legacy to be.
Dana Williams: [00:43:27] I love that. I love that. And I love how you quickly put it together. With your self-assurance your command and just kind of pheww. Most people go "okay. I need to think about this one," but I knew you could do it. So I was, I wasn't too worried about that. So is there anything else that we didn't cover today on mompreneurship leading in your home with your, with your girls,
leading teams, being, you know, being a force of nature for your community and for your customers? Anything else that you've been thinking about that we didn't get to talk about today that maybe you'd want to share anything else on your mind?
Whitney Rowell: [00:44:04] Was, I mean, I was just thinking about, you know, you in particular, so you've spent, you know, however many, and I know we haven't totally in this year for like, what are you going to say?
But you have it, you have spent, you know, the majority of your life working in a corporate field, working plus your lines and in marketing. And it was very structured. It's corporate world. It's, I mean, I know it wasn't at first when you started, but it became that way. And then you pivoted to now starting your own business and, and you're, you know, Later area of life.
I wouldn't say your age later years. But I think for even a lot of women, my age in their thirties are like, "Oh my gosh, I only know how to be an attorney, or I only know how to be this, or I've only done that." And I don't know how to pivot in my life or change because they like that structure, which is great.
And I wish I had more of that sometimes, but I think One thing that I, I see and I feel encouraged and by, and I want to encourage others. And is that it doesn't matter where you are in your life. It's okay to, to pivot and to change and create change because a lot of learning can come from that.
Even if it ends up being a failure, at least you try and you learn from that failure and you don't regret it. And as I think too, I would say it's just like, you don't want to live a life with any regrets. And so for you, yeah, I know it's been a long, a big learning curve, especially. The past few months from us, just conversations we've had, but it's really inspiring to see you.
Like I can think, "Oh, and you know, when I'm in my X years, I can start something new too." You can keep reinventing yourself and keep changing. And you shouldn't like age is a number you know, and it shouldn't be defining your life or you shouldn't be retiring by a certain time because you are a certain age.
And I think that's something that You know, you can start over whenever you want to start over and start something new like today. And that's something I always want to tell people, like, it's something too that Christina told me is she said, you know, we're trying to figure out Collective 31 and how this slugs with, you know, all these female entrepreneurs right now.
And she said, I just love the fact that you're keeping it alive. Even if you can just keep it alive for a certain amount of years, that has value, you know, like anyone has a business around is keeps the business around for a certain amount of time. There's so much to that. So. Your business might change.
It might look different, but keeping it around is in whatever capacity that looks like. Just if you, if you think it's, it has something to it, which, I mean, that's something that you should keep doing. So I don't know. That's just one of my, my takeaway is from.
Dana Williams: [00:46:24] I love that. I love that. And I think that's the, I mean, we've got, of course my mom, your grandmother, who is in her eighties going to college.
So, and the women before her that were very resilient. And while the times look different, what we're going through with COVID. Well, it does seem hard and unique. There's nothing new under the sun, right? So it's how we react to everything and how, what mindset we have and it's how to get our mindset in that focus of I'm here for a purpose.
Am I living that out every day? And making a difference in this world? And so I think we're about that in different ways and, but how fun to help people transform. And you've helped me a lot as I've gone from corporate to entrepreneurship, you have amazing resources. We call this reverse mentoring, but yes it's been, it's been so exciting and I can't wait to see what the future continues to hold for you.
As you continue to build resources. And opportunities for those around you. So I'm so blessed to be your mom and to watch you in this process, but also to know that you've got some amazing talents to get you there always. So, so thank you. Thank you for being on today. And we look forward. Yeah. It's kind of fun.
Whitney Rowell: [00:47:42] I'm not used to being on this side. I know.
Dana Williams: [00:47:44] See, I just put you under the fire here.
Whitney Rowell: [00:47:47] Yeah. All right.
Dana Williams: [00:47:50] Thank you. Take care. Bye bye. That was so much fun talking to Whitney. We have these conversations, but not in one sitting just like we did. And it was fun to share that with you. If you are interested in following Whitney, you can follow her on Instagram at Miracle Milkookies or on her website, miraclemilkookies.com.
And then she's got a podcast for moms called Message From Mom. And she's been doing that a year or so, and there's some great content on there as well. So as we leave you today, we just want to encourage you to go out there and dominate your day.
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