When Katie and Sarah met up in a rainy London playground with their two small children, they struck up an amazing and surprising friendship that was to lead to a wonderfully successful new business.
They realized that all Mums should have access to a free and fun way to make friends nearby in the same boat. And in May 2016 the app Mush was launched. In this candid conversation at Mush HQ White City London, Sarah reveals the story behind the creation of Mush, the trials and tribulations of growing a startup tech business as a young Mum, and her passion and joy of watching her business baby go from strength to strength.
“Babies aren’t great company—they get better with age, I think, but when they’re small you don’t get a lot back and I think that can be quite difficult.”[1:30]
Mush was born out of Sarah and Katie’s experiences as Mums and realizing that there was no local social network for Mums—no way to connect and support one another. You make a profile that contains the age range of your kids and the app will connect Mums with similar interests and kids of the same ages. There are also ways to reach out with questions, support, and find meetups. And of course, talk about sleep—the rarest of commodities for any Mum.
“The idea is that when you become a parent – it can be an incredibly overwhelming time in your life. Especially as a Mum at home with small kids, you really need local Mum pals to hang out with—share those highs and lows with, and just make it all a load more fun.”[10:08]
Sarah is quick to point out that when they sat down to actually start work on the app they weren’t in some quaint café sipping latte’s, they were huddled around a Pizza Express with kids screaming around them—just celebrating that they’d made it through another week.
The app went live within a year of having the idea – although the features were kept to a minimum, there were technical issues to deal with as well. Still, the app proved a point: Mums needed this app. People were leaving 5 star reviews even if the app didn’t work for them, because they wanted to show how much they needed something like Mush in their lives.[18:50]
Now thousands of Mums use the app everyday with no signs of slowing down in 2019. Mush now works with mental health charities and even the Royal Family. The feedback has been incredible, communities have started in the app, and sifting through the comments and reviews is the fuel that keeps Mush improving and expanding to all over the UK, Australia, and if Sarah and Katie have their way—the rest of the globe.