Effective Executive: Akemi Williams, TeetheMe.com

This week’s Effective Executive interview is with Akemi Williams, a busy mother who has founded an exciting new baby products business called TeetheMe.com. TeetheMe is a monthly subscription service that delivers functional and fun baby products to parents on a monthly basis. Subscribers receive mini care packages that arrive just at the right moment and are for children ages newborn to 3-years-old.

We caught up with Akemi and asked her some questions about what inspired her to start her own business and the challenges she has faced in doing so.

What inspired you to create Teetheme?

As a busy, working mother of a 3-year-old little girl, I found myself completely overwhelmed by all of the baby products on the market today. I knew there had to be a simpler and more efficient way to find quality baby products that would grow with my child. I founded TeetheMe.com to do just that!

How long did it take to get your Company up and running after creating the concept? Did you encounter any obstacles along the way?

It took me about 6 months and I was still working my corporate publishing job while launching TeetheMe. I think everyone who starts any company encounters obstacles! But as I have learned, it really is all about the journey and I am having so much fun and absolutely love going to work every day.

How do you explain your career and your Company to your daughter?

She thinks mommy works with babies all day long! She loves learning about all of the products that mommy brings home and pretends to use some of them on her babies! It’s too cute!

What excites you most about your job?

I am so fortunate to wake up every day and do something that I am truly passionate about. I love working with other mompreneurs as well as meeting real moms and being able to relate to what they are going through as parents. TeetheMe is not just a service; it’s a community of real moms going through real life experiences. We are all, every day still trying to figure it all out and to be the best parents we can be. I am so honored to be a part of this process with thousands of moms!

You have a social community for moms launching soon. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Baby bragging without boundaries or worries! Subscribers are granted access to our exclusive user-controlled Teether Social Network where the parent-to-parent connections are priceless and no milestone is too little to share! We have created a place where parents can share every last detail about their child. Post photo albums, organize play dates or just update fellow Teethers on their little one’s sleep schedule in our safe and secure network.

The review section of our community is a place where like-minded parents rate, review and share their experiences on the latest products, giving you an invaluable buyers’ edge in today’s overstuffed market. The information provided through our community will help you make smarter, more informed and most importantly, time saving buying decisions for your little Teether.

Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of work?

I love to read (what mom isn’t reading 50 Shades of Grey right now?), a good spin class and spending time on the beach! I’m also very involved with my church and can’t live without my weekly bible study with some amazing ladies!

What is next for you in 2012?

Focusing on the growth and expansion of TeetheMe! And, continuing to have fun while I do it! Spending as much time as I can with my daughter, family and friends. Life is all about balance!

Persuasive Picks for the week of 10/19/09

No Kidding
I’ll start the picks off with some humor via Scott Monty’s revisit to a post he did a year ago, askingHow many social media experts does it take to change a lightbulb?” I think you’ll enjoy the creative answers he received.

Ways to Be Human at a Distance
Chris Brogan reminds readers of the importance of showing the human side of your business when engaging your online communities. Lots of great tips here along with many additional bits in the comments.

When social media attacks: learn from others’ mistakes
Henry Elliss from the econsultancy.com blog shares five great real-world examples of how companies have made mistakes in handling their brands online.

4 Lies about social media
Penelope Trunk sheds some light on four common lies that many people wrongly believe about social media. We’re fond of correcting beliefs about all of them, but especially #4: “Social media is no place for business.” (Still don’t believe it? Let’s talk – we can help you understand why it is and what ROI you can receive.)

10 Proven Applications For Social Media
No, Adam Singer from the TopRank’s Online Marketing blog isn’t running through a list of tools to start using, but rather a more helpful list of business objectives to which social media can be applied. Read on for inspiration.

The New Community?

choice2I had an interesting conversation the other day with an industry colleague who used to be a community manager and is now building his own social media training and speaking consultancy. We got into the usual topic of social media and how businesses are still learning to adopt it in their communications programs. We also discussed his past life running online communities for businesses and the differences between managing a purpose-built community and navigating a community like Twitter.

I asked the question, will branded online or topic-specific online communities suffer because of the popularity of general communities such as Twitter and Facebook? For example, will you still participate in communities built around TV shows like LOST, life experiences like motherhood, brands like Kodak, or user communities for products such as Quickbooks or even EMC’s ControlCenter Community? Or has the ability to follow and hold such conversations simultaneously on Twitter taken your attention away from such communities?

Are you more likely to participate in one over the other? Do you get enough of what you need from a brand you admire on their Facebook fan page (ex: Avelle) or Twitter account (ex JetBlue), or will you still join an online community built for their customers? Is there one kind of online community that you prefer over another?

If you have an opinion will you please take our poll and/or leave a comment here with your opinion? Thank you in advance! We’re very interested to see how the future of online communities evolves over the next 6-12 months.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 08/16/09

LInkedIn GroupsHow To Use LinkedIn Groups To Drive Website Traffic
Jason Yormark shares five tips to help drive traffic to your blog using LinkedIn Groups.

Corporate Twitter Toolbox: Twitter Tools for the Enterprise
Sudha Jamthe lists off the top market-leading Twitter tools to manage social media engagement with your customers.

The Five Ws of Social Media Listening
Chuck Hemann guest posts on the SocialMediaExplorer blog and shares his take on the who, what, when, where and why of social media listening.

Six steps to controlling brand buzz on review sites
Neal Leavitt asked a number of industry experts, analysts, and agency heads about their online brand monitoring experiences and how they handle criticism and negative buzz. Their perspectives are revealed in this post.

Online communities are most authentic
Chris Abraham reminds us that online (virtual) communities are filled with real people – and why it’s important to take your involvement (and your brand’s involvement) seriously within such communities, in order to be most effective

Persuasive Picks for the week of 08/02/09

TechRadium vs. TwitterTwitter Sued for Patent Infringement – and it doesn’t look good
How would your online social interactions change if Twitter suddenly went away? We may soon find out.

The 10 Rock Solid Elements of Effective Online Marketing
Snag this free PDF written by Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, and find out more about the importance of building online authority.

Social Media Marketing Spend to Hit $3.1 Billion by 2014
Forrester‘s new Interactive Marketing Forecast for the next five years shows healthy growth that will out-pace email and mobile, but naturally, still won’t top traditional ad spends.

Time to Replace your Online News Room with Facebook!
The term “online newsroom” was all the buzz a year or two ago. Paul Dunay argues in favor of ditching a home-grown news room to go with Facebook pages, as a free alternative with better exposure. Read his post on MPDailyFix.com

Community Netiquette: How to Avoid Stepping on Virtual Toes
Community Guy Jake McKee shares some of the basics for proper conduct in online communities – especially when representing your company.