Rising Together: How a Chic New Community is Redefining Working Motherhood

Meet the women behind Heymama, a rapidly growing network that has attracted sought-after working moms from fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff to fitness guru Taryn Toomey.

By Tess Tobin

Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler, Co-Founders of Heymama

The Helm’s Tess Tobin chats with Heymama co-founders Amri Kibbler and Katya Libin about what makes their community so special.

Tess Tobin: What is Heymama?

Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler: Heymama is a membership community comprised of mamas in business who are passionate about supporting one another, and by example, redefining working motherhood. We are an online and offline platform for moms to get the resources, support, inspiration, and connections needed to thrive. With local chapters in 7+ cities (our membership circle includes more than 700 CEOs, founders, creatives, artists and other kick-ass leaders in industries from wellness and tech to fashion and finance) and a thriving digital community, we hope to make the intersection of work and motherhood one that collides in a beautiful (albeit sometimes messy) way.

We hope to make the intersection of work and motherhood one that collides in a beautiful (albeit sometimes messy) way.

TT: What sets Heymama apart from other motherhood communities?

KL & AK: On our platform, you’ll find moms connecting in ways far beyond their children; moms who have special needs kids and run startups, moms who have fitness studios and are franchising, moms who are breaking the glass ceiling at the world’s biggest companies—they all crave support. Our community specifically focuses on mothers in business. Those who join this crew do so knowing they’ll be surrounding themselves with women who are experiencing a juggle similar to their own.

On Modern Motherhood

TT: What challenges do mothers face today?

KL & AK: Moms today have more on their plate than ever before. Plus, they are facing a great deal of pressure to be their best selves both at work and at home. (And look flawless while doing it.) Being the CMO of the house—chief mom officer—can be incredibly taxing, particularly for the many who do not live near, and receive the support of, extended family. On top of that, the mothers who are able to start a business are not getting the same access to capital, or mentorship needed to prosper.

TT: What is something about motherhood that more people should know?

KL & AK: Motherhood may actually make you more successful, more focused, and more supported than any other time in your life. Motherhood can bring a big burst of creativity and awareness of the impact that you and your actions have on the world.

Motherhood may actually make you more successful, more focused, and more supported than any other time in your life.

Connections and Community

TT: What are the unique challenges and rewards that come with building a community-based business?

KL & AK: From an experience perspective, the greatest reward is surrounding oneself with women who are actively pursuing their dreams. That collective energy radiates outwards and lifts us up both as individual entrepreneurs and as a collective. We also benefit tremendously from having easy access to a supportive community. Having friends in so many different cities doesn’t hurt either! From a business perspective, the benefits are clear: working never truly feels like work when you believe in the community behind your business. As for the biggest challenge, it’s getting everywhere you want to be when you want to be there.

TT: How have you been inspired by the Heymama community?

KL & AK: We’re inspired by the women who make time to give. One of our founding principles is to give more than you get, and there are some mamas who do this in spades. We’ve found that when someone is in need of help or support, the community will rally behind them. The ability to change someone’s day, even in a small way, is huge.

TT: What about Heymama gives you the most pride?

KL & AK: When someone comes up to us and says they’ve really felt a difference in their lives and in their work, from Heymama, we are so so proud. Our work for the children at the borders was also an incredible moment. We collectively gave 19,000 hygiene kits in less than 72 hours. The President of Catholic Charities was so blown away by our community.

Our work for the children at the borders was also an incredible moment. We collectively gave 19,000 hygiene kits in less than 72 hours.

Life Hacks for Entrepreneurs (and Moms)

TT: What’s one piece of advice you would give a fellow entrepreneur?

KL: Stay digitally organized from the beginning, and create processes from day one. It’s never too late to go back and organize, and that’s coming from someone who had 46,000 emails and now is on mission inbox zero. This will provide confidence and a sustainable workflow.  Advice #2: believe in yourself, but ask for help.

Believe in yourself, but ask for help.

AK: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll be surprised how receptive people are to helping.

TT: What is your favorite work hack?

KL: Google folder organization is life changing!

AK: Scheduling in time for everything that needs to be done—from big things to minor tasks, like connecting with your team or answering emails.

TT: What’s your favorite mama hack?

KL: I meditate when I get my nails done and put on masks during my daughter’s bath time. Perk for me? Glowy skin all while entertaining my daughter with a scary monster face.

AK: Getting my kids to help make dinner. It’s great for bonding, keeps them entertained, and we get to eat!

Amri Kibbler and Katya Libin are the phenomenal duo behind Heymama, which launched in 2014. As CEO, Katya is focused on building the community from the ground up by vetting and developing meaningful partnerships with brands and members. Previously, she worked for several years in sales for tech startups in the media measurement space. Amri, having spent a decade as an editor and stylist for major media publications, is passionate about storytelling and has a keen eye for curating brands, products and people that inspire. She brings all of this to her role as Creative Director at Heymama.

Read next

Women at The Helm

Henning Founder Lauren Chan on Balancing Purpose with Profit

After the model and former magazine editor launched Henning, a luxury plus-size womenswear label, she quickly proved the most important thing a brand can be is human.

By Lauren Fisher

Women at The Helm

How Melanie Elturk Took Hijab Fashion Mainstream in America

Defying cultural norms, the founder and CEO of Haute Hijab quit her stable job as an attorney to pursue her side hustle full-time.

By Lauren Fisher

Women at The Helm

Honey Pot Founder Beatrice Dixon Is Already Plotting Her Exit Strategy

The 38-year-old founder and CEO of the world’s first plant-based feminine care line opens up about her ultimate goal: selling her company.

By Lauren Fisher

Women at The Helm

Can Virtual Reality Solve Systemic Racism and Sexual Harassment?

Morgan Mercer is teaching thousands of employees how to be empathic with her new anti-bias training platform.

By Jenna Birch

Courtesy of Kai Avent-deLeon

Women at The Helm

Kai Avent-deLeon on the Sheer Exhaustion of Being a Black Small Business Owner in America

The founder of Sincerely Tommy opens up about the heavy toll of protecting your mental health as a Black woman in America.

By Lauren Fisher

Women at The Helm

How Lauren Singer Built a Sustainability Empire from a Tiny Mason Jar

The founder of zero-waste store Package Free opens up about the realities of fundraising and the glamorization of female founders.

By Lauren Fisher