entrepreneurship

071 Lesley Butler on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

071: Lesley Butler — What’s For Dinner? This Smart Oven Is Doing the Cooking

071: Lesley Butler — What’s For Dinner? This Smart Oven Is Doing the Cooking 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Since the pandemic began, families have been opting to eat at home instead of dining out and premium delivery services have become not only ubiquitous, they’re necessary. This new food tech startup sends you premium meals with a subscription, but you get something else — your very own smart oven. It’s called Tovala. You simply scan the barcode and the oven knows exactly how much time to cook it for. What I was most fascinated about is that it can scan other bar codes like frozen foods from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

On today’s episode, I interview Lesley Butler, CMO of Tovala. A proud Canadian, she holds a BComm from Queen’s University and an MBA from Harvard. She’s spent 15 years in consumer marketing, innovation, and strategy roles at Pepsico, Bain, and Kraft. Most recently at Pepsico, she co-led marketing for the Quaker brand and oversaw innovation, launching over 30 products generating $200MM in revenue. Tovala has become a dinnertime savior in her busy life with two young boys. Her favorite ingredient is basil.

Since joining Tovala in 2018, Lesley has helped drive 5x growth and deliver over 1MM meals to customers. At Tovala Lesley oversees all marketing efforts across the customer journey including new user acquisition, customer experience, brand and design.

Prior to joining Tovala, Lesley was founder of The Growth Project, a strategic marketing advisory business helping early stage food & beverage startups chart a consumer-led path to growth. Previously, Lesley spent nearly 15 years in the CPG Food & Beverage industry where she held a number of senior roles in marketing, innovation, and strategy at Pepsico, Bain & Company, and Kraft Foods. During her time at Pepsico she launched over 30 new products generating over $200MM in annual revenue.

Originally from Canada, Lesley holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 young boys.

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052: Liza Huber — Sage Advice on Entrepreneurship + Motherhood

052: Liza Huber — Sage Advice on Entrepreneurship + Motherhood 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Liza Huber is an entrepreneur, award-winning cookbook author, wife, mom of 4 and the CEO & Founder of Sage Spoonfuls; one of the most trusted brands in mealtime products for babies and kids available at major retailers both nationwide and internationally.

Liza had the idea for Sage Spoonfuls after her first baby was born. She couldn’t find homemade baby food products that offered the ease of use, convenience and quality she was looking for. At the time, she was working for NBC and didn’t have the desire to start a new business, but just a year and half later, her second child was born 9 weeks premature and everything changed.

After nearly losing her son, the importance of giving babies the healthiest start to life became her mission. She made a career pivot from TV to entrepreneur and dedicated herself fully to developing a product line that made healthy easy for busy parents. It was then that Sage Spoonfuls was born.

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044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism

044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Anjali Kumar on That's Total Mom Sense Podcast with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

This episode is for the mompreneurs in the audience. So you have your newly launched brand and have taken it to market. You are seeing steady growth, are consistently posting compelling content on your company website and social media channels, and are engaging with your audience in an authentic way.

Last week, we talked about creating a buzz and establishing your brand credibility through Event Production with veteran Rachel Paige Goldstein.

Today, we are talking about all things legal related to your business. Enter author, attorney, advisor, speaker and idea acupuncturist, Anjali Kumar.

Anjali recently co-founded The Justice Dept, a women-led firm focusing on legal counsel and business strategy development for female entrepreneurs, executives, talent, and brands in technology, consumer product, entertainment, and fashion. Prior to that, she was the Founding Chief People Officer and General Counsel at Cheddar, and the Founding Head of Social Innovation and Founding General Counsel at Warby Parker. Anjali was Founding General Counsel at Acumen and Senior Counsel at Google. While at Google, Anjali curated and hosted the Google Speaker Series on campus in NYC bringing Googlers from around the globe face-to-face with today’s most prominent and innovative thought leaders including Anthony Bourdain, Questlove, and Jacques Pépin and hosted a YouTube interview series “Lunchtime at Google.”

Anjali has taught for several years as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University. She has served as an advisor to prominent technology companies, luxury fashion brands, consumer products, and non-profit organizations including Malala Fund and IDEO.org.

In November 2017 she spoke at TEDWomen. Her “beautiful inspiring, and funny” talk “My Failed Mission To Find God – And What I Found Instead”, based on her book Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search For Something To Believe In (Hachette 2018), has been watched by over 3 million people around the world and translated into over twenty languages.

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043: Rachel Paige Goldstein — The Business of Event Planning & Production

043: Rachel Paige Goldstein — The Business of Event Planning & Production 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Rachel Paige Goldstein on That's Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

Sure it seems like we won’t be assembling for conferences, summits, or concerts anytime soon, but know that this is a blip in time. We will enjoy events and human connection again. I got a chance to interview Rachel Paige Goldstein prior to the pandemic.

An event production veteran with over 25 years of experience, Rachel is a Partner and Executive Vice President of Matter Unlimited. She is a masterful facilitator and connector of people, using her diverse background and perspective as a New York City native to cultivate experiences and opportunities for her clients. In her former role, as the Founder and CEO of Agent of Change Events, Rachel inspired global change by producing live events that created impact by leading strategic buzz strategy campaigns that celebrated today’s most influential voices. She curated dynamic panels and high-profile speaker engagements as well as led influencer outreach campaigns for a variety of mission-driven clients which have achieved over 1 billion social media imprints. The Agent of Change Events fundraising events reached over $70 million for various initiatives related to women’s rights, veterans’ issues, political advocacy, peace initiatives, social justice, and the arts. Additionally, Rachel uses her 300 hour yoga certification and mindfulness certifications to create dynamic wellness event experiences.

Rachel was a strategic advisor of the inaugural Women’s March on Washington and is a senior advisor at the Milken Institute. She is the co-founder and executive producer of the annual Dot2Dot Summit, a movement to convene powerful young leaders to inspire and challenge their generation to take ownership and action. Rachel proudly sits on the Advisory Board of the Rise of Broken Women and the Holistic Life Foundation.

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041: Kate Anderson — Crowdfunding to Scale Your Business

041: Kate Anderson — Crowdfunding to Scale Your Business 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Kate Anderson on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

As the adage goes, “it takes money to make money.” For female entrepreneurs, that money can be elusive when starting a business or trying to grow one.

According to a Forbes article by Kerry Hannon, author of “Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life,” her friend Linda Abraham — a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and start-up board member told her the biggest hurdle for female entrepreneurs: “Raising capital. I am sorry to say that, but it’s true.”

Hannon interviewed several women in the early stages of starting ventures and each said that having enough seed money in the bank is what is slowing them down. A few said they considered launching a crowdfunding campaign — raising cash online through a campaign and inviting people to help them. But they were nervous about taking this non-traditional approach.

On today’s show, I am joined by Kate Anderson of iFundWomen, a popular crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs.

Kate Anderson is a leader in generating change and gender equality within the private fundraising space. As co-founder and Operations Director of iFundWomen, she has driven millions of dollars into the hands of female founders. iFundWomen’s flexible crowdfunding platform combines a pay-it-forward model, expert startup coaching, professional video production, and a private community for its entrepreneurs, all with the goal of helping female entrepreneurs launch and grow better businesses. Kate lives in Boston with her husband and their three kids, Maggie, JR and Audrey.

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039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go

039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go 1024 512 Chase Jennings

39 Jana Blankenship - Featured

Jana Blankenship authored a book called Wild Beauty and is here to tell us all about it. She is the founder of Captain Blankenship.

Founded in 2009, Captain Blankenship is a green beauty company based in New York’s Hudson River Valley that makes haircare, skincare, bodycare products and scents with organic ingredients. Social responsibility and sustainability of ingredients and packaging are at the heart of the company, which is a B Corp, Leaping Bunny Certified and part of 1% for the Planet. Captain Blankenship was born out of Jana Blankenship’s desire to create organic beauty products that create a direct link with nature. From its birth in Jana’s kitchen, the company has grown into a full product line sold at The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, Anthropologie, Follain, CAP Beauty, and over 300 stores nationally and internationally. Captain Blankenship also launched a gender-neutral skincare and grooming line called Sailor by Captain Blankenship in 2018 that is available in Target stores nationwide. Jana is the author of Wild Beauty, a holistic primer for green beauty rich in practical wisdom, anecdotes and 45 DIY recipes for natural perfumes, skincare, hair care, body care, teas and tonics. She lives in Gardiner, NY with her husband, two children, dog and cat.

She’s a mom of two kiddos, Mila (6) and Caspian (4). She’s a passionate educator about plant based beauty and says, “It’s been a wild ride running a growing business alongside two growing kids, but I am loving the joyful chaos of it all.”

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31 Reshma Saujani on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda Gupta - Featured girls who code

031: Reshma Saujani — Teaching Our Girls to Be Brave, Not Perfect

031: Reshma Saujani — Teaching Our Girls to Be Brave, Not Perfect 1024 512 Chase Jennings

In 2019, women earn .79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Though we can attribute the gender pay gap to several factors including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers, and circumstances like racial bias, disability, and access to education, there’s no denying numbers and that we still have a lot of work to do to create an even playing field.

On today’s episode, I am thrilled to have a woman and mother who has been an advocate for closing the gender gap throughout her career.

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in tech and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. It has reached 185,000 girls in all 50 states, Canada, and the UK. In 2019, Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company.

Reshma is the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect and has a podcast with the same name and the New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than four million views and has sparked a worldwide conversation about how we’re raising our girls.

She began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, she visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code.

She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law. Her work on behalf of young women has earned her broad recognition on lists including: Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders; Fortune 40 Under 40; WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year; Forbes Most Powerful Women Changing the World; and Fast Company 100 Most Creative People, among others.

She lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and bulldog, Stanley.

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Show Notes:

  • 01:51: Introduction
  • 04:03: How Reshma and Kanika met 
  • 05:10: Background
  • 07:10: Changing your given name
  • 10:00: Using your life in the service of others
  • 12:30: Rejection, failure and recovery
  • 15:55: Women in technology
  • 20:20: Girls are change makers
  • 22:40: Learning to code
  • 27:55: Allowing boys to be vulnerable and emotional
  • 30:00: Pregnancy and APS
  • 39:40: Learning how to prioritize you
  • 40:50: Mom Sense moment
  • 41:11: Quote of the day: “Brave, not perfect”
  • 41:46: Mom Haul

Mom Haul:

024: Corey Spiegel — Meet Your New Board of Directors for Your Personal Life

024: Corey Spiegel — Meet Your New Board of Directors for Your Personal Life 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Walt Disney once said,

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”

Many of us run our own businesses or are part of the entrepreneurial world and understand how important it is to us to have a trustworthy, dynamic, connected board of directors. My guest today believes that we could all use a board when it comes to our personal and mom life too.

Corey Spiegel is a married mom with two teenagers, born and raised in New Jersey and now living in California with her high school sweetheart for over 20 years. Her company, Light House is a fresh, new community of like-minded women who get together to share, advise, inspire and help each other navigate life in a judgement free zone. The connections are genuine, the conversations are real and the brainstorming vibrant. They feature a curated list of topics that resonate with today’s modern woman and provide interactive classes. Sometimes a more objective audience works better than a dearest confidant.

Corey worked as a senior executive working in the entertainment industry for brands like Playboy, National Geographic, Warner Bros., Extra, Ellen, Rotten Tomatoes and TMZ to name a few, overseeing digital sales, product integrations, social media and brand partnerships. She learned a ton at these companies but after so many years in the trenches, it was time to start her own business in a space that combined her skillset with her passion points outside of advertising. This led her to create Light House.

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Show Notes:

  • 02:00 – Introduction
  • 03:40 – What it was like growing up
  • 05:20 – First-time mom experience
  • 07:33 – Reason behind building Lighthouse
  • 09:35 – Lighthouse events
  • 12:40 – Corey’s ‘Mom Sense’ moment
  • 14:00 – Daily mantra — “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
  • 14:45 – The importance of exercise

019: Rebecca Minkoff — What the F: Fashion, Family and Female Empowerment

019: Rebecca Minkoff — What the F: Fashion, Family and Female Empowerment 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Rebecca Minkoff is a global fashion brand that was founded by brother and sister duo Rebecca Minkoff & Uri Minkoff in 2005 in New York City. The brand has four domestic retail stores, nine international locations, and is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide.

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Show Notes:

  • 02:00 – Introduction
  • 04:20 – Finding your own path
  • 07:13 – Positional treadmill
  • 08:40 – First fashion show
  • 13:00 – Dawn of social media + specialty stores
  • 14:35 – Weaving diversity into DNA of the brand
  • 18:12 – Collab with StichFix
  • 21:00 – SuperWomen podcast
  • 25:24 – Being a first time mom
  • 27:20 – How you can be healthier
  • 31:00 – The tribe
  • 31:30 – Values learned from parents to pass down
  • 35:00 – You have to be the change you want to see
  • 36:03 – Mom Haul
  • 37:33 – Mom sense moments and a piece of advice – “Don’t sweat the small stuff”

Mom Haul:

016: Brooke Allen & Heather Lovato — Finding Your Rhythm: Strategies for Mompreneurs

016: Brooke Allen & Heather Lovato — Finding Your Rhythm: Strategies for Mompreneurs 1024 512 Chase Jennings

On today’s episode, I have a gab fest with Brooke Allen and Heather Lovato, the founders of Sōlspace, a no holds barred podcast and blog for moms. These two mompreneurs share their journey from being single AF to married with children, and give you real-talk parenting tips along the way. Brooke, an entrepreneur and digital marketing strategist, loves spending time with her family, a glass of red wine with her girls (or alone), snuggling with her 2 year old boy and has a weird obsession with finding information online (friends affectionately call her “cyberstalker”). No one is safe but your secrets are safe with her. 

Heather started a successful conscious creative agency called clover PR over 6 years ago, married the man of her dreams and then they had the cutest, chunkiest, delicious little boy… but nothing is quite figured out. Heather loves being creative, coffee + morning walks with her family, attending anything with a theme and sarcasm is her true love language. She has always dreamed of sharing her thoughts with the masses one day — even if only for her own therapy. 

The two each have one son and are now pregnant with their daughters (due any day now!) We talk time management, how the mom life #juggleisreal, and more. 

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Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Introductions
  • 06:20 – Cofounding history
  • 14:56 – Starting the business out of a need you feel personal about
  • 18:33 – Bringing people together
  • 21:40 – “If you’re trying to conquer the world, you’re going to need help”
  • 22:11 – Time blocking
  • 29:40 – Organization
  • 38:59 – Defining your non-negotiables
  • 44:41 – Mom Haul
  • 47:07 – Quote of the day

Mom Haul: