By Eden Godsoe (Co-Founder & CEO, SkinnyScoop) I was not one of those women who always knew she would be an entrepreneur. Around the time I became pregnant with my first child, I began looking into the dynamics of female purchase power and how women influence one another. What I saw was a huge, untapped opportunity that I had the know-how and the passion to address.
I am originally from Toronto, Canada where I got a BA in Economics and Philosophy before moving to New York to work at Morgan Stanley. After a few years in NYC, I headed west to Stanford Business School. Post business school, I honed my expertise in sales, marketing and general management including four years at Covad and six years at Comcast.
I am a risk taker and extremely driven at anything I do including sports (I've done the NYC Marathon and Escape from Alcatraz triathlon), travel (I've been to 40+ countries including Syria, Bolivia and Vietnam) and playing cards (I won a Comcast’s poker tournament as the only woman against 50 men – a proud moment!) I have always been a strong proponent of female empowerment and believe that women are the economic engine of America.
Women make 85% of all purchase decisions – that's more than $3 trillion in annual consumer spending – and the majority of those decisions are driven by a female friend's recommendation. When I was expecting my first child, I had hundreds of questions and needed to make many big ticket purchases.
Luckily, a Stanford classmate (now SkinnyScoop Chief Evangelist) Erin Crocker was one of those go-to girlfriends. Erin loved polling friends and creating amazing lists on baby gear, travel destinations, healthy snacks, you name it. She shared her recommendations via email with hundreds of friends and her lists became famous throughout the Bay Area.
I made major purchases based on her culled research but I knew there had to be a better way for women like Erin to curate and share what they know and love, and for all women to get recognized and rewarded for our influence and purchase power.
The solution was SkinnyScoop - a women's virtual cheat sheet for everything. We have developed tools that make it easier for women to create and collaborate on lists of recommendations and tips, and for women to poll their friends for advice. Our mission is to recognize and reward women for our knowledge and influence. As we like to say, Oprah isn't the only one with favorites!
The early days of SkinnyScoop were both exciting and scary. I left a promising career, set up camp in my home office, did product mock-ups in PowerPoint (embarrassing but true!) and hired a contract developer to build the alpha version of SkinnyScoop.
Once we had traction, I raised an angel round of funding and was able to bring on a small team. One of my key hires was our Head of Product, Larissa Dinh. Her skill set complements mine and she is equally passionate about our mission. Bringing Larissa onboard means I no longer do product mock-ups in PowerPoint and can focus on strategy, team building, and fundraising. We are growing quickly and these days things are more exciting than ever.
As I reflect back on my decision to start a family and my choice to go the entrepreneurial route, I realize there are many similarities. Here are 5 things I learned from both experiences.
We are onto something really big and I know it's time to step on the accelerator. We expect to raise a Series A to build out the team and drive even faster growth. We will expand our network of female influencers who leverage SkinnyScoop's platform to curate, share and be rewarded for what they know and love. That network includes bloggers, female business leaders and entrepreneurs, and any woman who wants to "unleash her inner Oprah."
If you are one of those go-to girlfriends or want to recognize a mom maven in your life, please take advantage of SkinnyScoop's lists and polls! Better yet, email us to learn about our tastemaker program.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Eden Godsoe is Co-Founder and CEO of SkinnyScoop, a social curation platform hat makes it easy, fun and rewarding for women to collect, store and share all our favorite things in one place. Prior to SkinnyScoop, Eden spent 15 years in various leadership roles at Morgan Stanley, Boston Consulting Group, Covad and Comcast. Eden holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from the University of Western Ontario. Follow her on Twitter at @egodsoe.