This week's Spotlight on Mommy is Rita Mauceri, creator of Dotcoms For Moms.
What is Dotcoms For Moms?
Rita called on her experience in entertainment and women's lifestyle to launch the ultimate online destination for moms of all ages. DotcomsForMoms™ brings together the very best sites, reviewed and rated by real moms. She started at the very top of the Internet with popular mega-sites and worked down through to obscure favorites based upon a comprehensive review system to make sure her recommended sites and content are the very best out there.
DotcomsForMoms™ has seven main categories: Parenting, Home, Fashion, Gear, Life, Fun and Food. You can also browse by mom type - Budget Mom, Green Mom, Healthy Mom and Rock Mom are a few of the nearly 20 style filters you can surf. With an easy, searchable site, you'll be happily surprised at all the cool stuff we've found to share with you.
Whether you're looking for teen parenting advice, great shoe sites, gardening tips, decorating ideas, or just some new tunes to chill out to, our mom mavens have compiled simple but comprehensive lists to help you find exactly what you are looking for (in minutes rather than hours!).
DotcomsForMoms™ from cradle to college, we'll find it for you!
So, when the kids are napping or at school, head on over to Dotcoms For Moms and check out this wonderful resource. But, in the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Rita.
Name: Rita Mauceri
Company Name/Product/Service: Dotcoms For Moms
Company Location: Los Angeles, California
Company Website: http://www.dotcomsformoms.com
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/dotcomsformoms
Twitter Handle: http://twitter.com/#!/dotcomsformoms
Age of Company: 1 year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “If you build it, they will come.”
Favorite Book: “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I have never done things along “normal” timelines, so I got married at 36, got pregnant at 40 with twins. I actually had several people tell me: “Oh, you’re going to be on bedrest.” I had a wonderful pregnancy, a healthy birth, and two beautiful boys. Then, when they were just four months old, I became pregnant again with my daughter – and YES, it was a surprise and NO it was not planned! So, I found myself with three kids under the age of 15 months. Insanity! My twins are about to turn six and – my daughter will be five shortly thereafter. They are all strong, creative, and energetic kids. I always joke that we didn’t get the super mellow kids – but that’s fine by me. They’re healthy, unique – and most importantly, happy.
My hobby – as much as I have time for it – is art. I love painting, doing collages, making mobiles with my kids – painting cardboard boxes and making buildings. Anything involving visual arts – I find it inspiring, relaxing, and endlessly enjoyable.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
After having my children, I wanted to have more flexibility in my life, as many moms would like to! I also felt I had gotten everything I could out of television – I wanted to do something more independent and more creative. I found myself using the Internet a lot in my early days of motherhood – for supplies, clothing, gear, information, advice – but I also felt overwhelmed and frustrated at the amount of junk I had to weed through to get to the good stuff. So, one night I thought there should be a web filter for moms and the idea for Dotcoms For Moms was born.
The idea behind DFM is simple – but unique. Instead of branching out to include as much information as possible, filter it down to include less information – the BEST information. The Internet has simply gotten too big – it’s a wonderful resource but not if you have to spend hours looking for what you need. Today, it’s all about curating.
What is a typical work day like?
Each day starts with the wonderfully hectic morning routine – getting the kids showered, dressed, fed, off to school. I get on my computer around 9am and check email, then start working on networking sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. I take an avid interest in how everything on my site looks, so I always spend a portion of every day choosing photographs, designing headlines for the Home Page, etc. I work until around 2pm when it’s time to pick the kids up. I try not to turn my computer on again until they are in bed. The afternoon and evening is family time and I enjoy logging off and clearing my head a bit.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
I’m a right brain person – I tend to think in terms of “ideas” – rather than “plans.” I’ve really had to learn to stay focused on business goals, watch numbers, and keep track of statistics.
What did you do in your past work life?
I previously worked in television as a development and production executive at top cable networks, including E! Entertainment, Discovery, TLC, and HGTV.
What have been some of your major successes?
I traveled with King Abdullah of Jordan – a definite highlight. He is an incredible man – intelligent, kind, charismatic – like his father. I met his camel brigade and discovered that if you pet a camel your hand will smell – they are beautiful animals, but smelly. That’s a career success. I was also nominated for an Emmy for a Discovery daytime show I produced called Interior Motives. On the personal side, my greatest success is getting my son to eat arugula and getting my daughter to eat spinach – my third child eats everything! Along those same lines, I planted a thriving garden for the first time in my life – for me, that was a huge success!
What have been some of your major challenges?
My single greatest challenge has been balancing my creative self with my corporate self. The corporate culture in this country generally rewards those who fit in, do what they’re told, and agree with upper management. I’ve always respected differences of opinion, rebels, and ultra-creative people. So merging those two rather conflicted things was always a challenge for me.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I think when you start your own business you can’t consider failure an option. That’s the only way. My kids are a motivator too – I want to be able to say to them, “I did this. You can anything you want to do, see?”
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Draw lines and schedule your life – in other words, compartmentalize. Always realize how important it is for a five-year-old that you are present and aware and interested.
What is next for your business?
We are opening up a forum to bring in some of the wonderful discussions we’ve been having on Twitter and Facebook and start tapping into the wealth of mom knowledge out there. There’s a lot of cool undiscovered stuff on the World Wide Web and we want to hear what moms are finding, where they’re clicking, and what’s on the horizon. We have our own picks, of course, but we want to include the amazing online mom community as well.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Find at least one person to work with who will be utterly honest with you – tell you what you sometimes don’t want to hear – give you fresh perspectives. And remember that having your kids smile at you at the end of the day is more important than any amount of revenue or valuable PR.