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Jill Koziol: Co-Founder + CEO of Motherly

Jill Koziol: Co-Founder + CEO of Motherly

This week we spoke with Jill Koziol, Co-founder + CEO of Motherly and mom of two.

  • Are your reasons for starting Motherly a few years ago and for continuing to grow it today the same? What if anything has changed? Has the mission evolved? 

    • My cofounder, Liz Tenety, and I founded Motherly because it simply didn’t exist and as Millennial mothers we acutely felt the absence of a modern brand to guide us through motherhood. And so, we set out to create a community and company that was woman-centered, expert-driven, and empowering. While I feel our work is far from done, we’ve positively impacted the lives of millions of women and families with our mission and voice. We take motherhood seriously and are obsessed with supporting women on this journey, guiding them through the highs and the lows, and showing them that motherhood can be an opportunity to nurture, not lose, their true sense of self.

  • Motherly’s Guide to Becoming Mama has been so well received! What do you think is the biggest difference between the moms of today and the moms of 20 years ago?

    • Looking at drivers of change, I believe there are three things that make this generation of mothers different than in the past. First, she’s a digital native and as a result she is comfortable harnessing the power of technology and also demands authenticity from brands. Second, she’s super educated -- this generation is the first in which women are more educated than men. That changes everything! Family dynamics are different, women are in the workforce more, having children later, and demand credible information. And, third, this is the most diverse generation in history. A couple years ago the long awaited tipping point was reached and now the majority of births in this country are of minorities. That means that families are more diverse and with it, seeking to write their own family narrative. We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama with all of this in mind because today’s mama needs more support, and way less judgment.

  • Millions of women look to Motherly for guidance and advice on a wide range of issues. I imagine that this is a great responsibility. As the CEO, how do you ensure that the content published meets the brand guidelines, but is also original and thought provoking? Has there ever been content that Motherly put out that you regretted? 

    • My hope is for Motherly to be a generational brand, serving generations of mothers, and in order to do that, I must be obsessed on quality and protecting our brand and credibility. We have very strict content and brand guidelines that every employee is trained on directly by me as they onboard. We also have a clear policy on medical reviews and follow guidance from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics. While there's not content we’ve published that I’ve directly regretted, I always think we can push ourselves more to be inclusive, supportive, and empowering. We don’t always get it perfect, but we are always trying to do the next right thing.

  • In our current intense political environment, how has Motherly ‘walked the line’ regarding these and other personal issues without alienating one side or the other? Does Motherly take a political stance on issues such as pro life or pro choice? Or do you just try to stay clear of these issues?

    • As the recent election has shown, our country is more divided than ever. And it pains me. Because divisiveness gets in the way of progress. And progress is long overdue for America’s mothers. This year we launched our formal platform advocating for mothers, addressing critical areas like paid family leave, affordable childcare solutions, and the maternal health crisis we are facing. While this year has unfortunately become the year of COVID-19, we are excited to relaunch our platform in 2021 and take a leadership role advancing discourse and policy at the national level.

  • With such a strong following on social and on your site - do you feel Motherly can play a role in helping our country heal and come together?

    • Absolutely! I feel that we are doing this work every day, in fact. During the election Motherly remained committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans. We do not endorse any political party or candidate but rather, we stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country. We strive to be a bridge, creating a safe place for hard conversations to happen, focused on policies, not people.

  • Motherhood is based on community. Has there ever been a mom that’s reached out to you that made you feel “wow, we are actually making a difference”? 

    • This is my most favorite part of my job! The love notes we receive from our community makes the hard days of #startuplife so worth it. We have a Slack channel where we share user feedback across the team and it’s so inspiring. Countless women from all around the world feel that Motherly has helped them redefine motherhood on their own terms. That we make them feel like they can take a deep breath and center on a hard day. I’m really proud of how we guide mothers through really challenging times, including COVID-19, with our approachable expert driven, evidence based content. I go to bed every night confident that I’ve made the world a little better through my work at Motherly.

  • With so many of motherhood’s most intimate moments now being documented for social media (eg childbirth), what kind of effect do you think this is having on new moms (positive and/or negative)?

    • I personally think that social media can bring out the best and worst in people. It so often helps mothers feel seen and understood through other people’s stories, while also sometimes setting a standard of perfection that is not achievable. So much of what we experience as mothers is universal and there is so much more that unites us than divides us. And social media can be a tool to bring us together to support one another. At Motherly we try to share real, raw, and relatable stories that leave women feeling empowered, confident that they are not alone and that they’ve got this.

  • Tiny Tags has been so honored to be part of the Motherly family, and have always felt our missions and our communities are closely aligned. We have been so excited that Tiny Tags are now part of the shop! What is next for the Motherly brand, and how do you see the shop expanding in 2021?

    • This year has been an exciting year of growth for Motherly despite the hardship of the pandemic. Mothers have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and need Motherly more than ever. We launch our Motherly Shop and are so proud to work with nearly 200 amazing brands, including Tiny Tags, providing holistic solutions to mamas. Next year we’ll continue to grow the Motherly Shop as well as begin launching our own products, including our innovative nursery furniture line, set to launch Q1. (I can share a pic as a sneak peek, if helpful). We also have a really exciting video project in the works, expanding the ways we support and empower our community.

  • As a fellow female entrepreneur, it’s been amazing watching what you have created at Motherly, and I was thrilled to share Tiny Tags with you. What were your daughters’ reactions when they saw your Tiny Tags necklace with their names on it?

    • I’m such a fan of Tiny Tags and now my daughters are, too! They were both overjoyed to see their names and birthdates on my necklace and love to know that they are always “with” me as I wear it. When I’m tucking them in bed at night they both often touch it and smile. It’s such a special piece that I’m honored to wear.


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