Greetings from Bali! This week, I’ll be introducing some new faces on Tyckled Tales, and I’m excited for today’s Mommy Spotlight with Lacey Moler of BellyBallot.
It’s all about baby naming today.
I came across BellyBallot a couple weeks ago when Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, gave birth to her newborn baby boy. Marissa’s baby didn’t even have a name yet, and the social media world went bananas when she announced she was taking suggestions on her son’s name. Essentially, crowdsourcing his name.
Many would say what she did was unconventional but the topic of how parents these days are naming their babies is an interesting one. Each set of parents have their own approaches, including, crowdsourcing (which Lacey explains below), keeping it just between the parents until birth, or just being very open about it with everyone.
It was timely when I found BellyBallot, and I enjoyed getting to know Lacey and BellyBallot some more through the Q&A below.
P.S. Check out the part two of my Q&A on The Playroom!
Can you tell us about BellyBallot and why you started the company?
The idea for BellyBallot came about during my baby shower for our second child. We had a short list of names, but we had not made our final choice. We created a “Belly Ballot Box” where our friends and family voted anonymously on their favorite name. Everyone loved the involvement and really got into the whole process. We fell in love with the idea and loved the social aspect.
Baby name books are becoming inadequate in today’s society where parents need digital information at their fingertips. We wanted to create a site where baby names meet social media, and BellyBallot was born! We also have the most extensive database of names, with popularity information, meanings, and special lists to browse through.
With BellyBallot, Parents now have a more social and modern way to navigate through the baby naming process.
How does BellyBallot work?
Expecting parents can sign-up on our site and start their ballot.
- First, they search through all the names and create a ballot with their top five names, both boy and girl, or just boy or girl if they already know the sex.
- Parents can then invite friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or e-mail to vote for their favorite name.
It is such a fun process, and they can now include loved ones from all over the world to share in this very special time.
Some people may not be familiar with crowdsourcing. Can you explain what that is?
Crowdsourcing, which means soliciting feedback from many people, has seen growing popularity over the last five years. Thanks to the rise of social media, more personal interactions can now take place online, promoting quick collaboration and decision-making. Up until now though, it’s been largely popular with web design and financial applications, such as fundraising for noble philanthropic causes and businesses.
What makes you excited about what you’re doing?
What makes me excited about BellyBallot is that we have created something unique and met a demand that new parents today have been looking for. Being pregnant is one the most exciting times in any parent’s life, and to be able to add something to this step, feels great. Parents love the social and interactive process that we have created. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, recently gave birth and expressed her interest in crowdsourcing her baby name. The trend is definitely catching on!
What has been some of your favorite customer feedback since launching BellyBallot?
I loved a comment that one mom left with regard to an article written about us. She said, “This is what we have all been doing for years, asking opinions from our friends and family, but now we can do it over the computer.” This really resonated with me because this is why we wanted to create BellyBallot. So many moms and dads have provided such positive feedback about the site and that we help provide such a fun experience during their pregnancy. It’s important and special.
Tell us about your kids and what it was like for you in the early days planning for parenthood.
I have 3 kids, a boy (age 4), girl (age 3), and a baby girl (8 months). It is always a mess over here and complete chaos, but it is so much fun. I had my first when we lived in Washington, DC, and it was such a great experience to have a baby in a big city! We would walk to everything and be gone for hours strolling around the town. We were like any new parent: paranoid, overwhelmed, and controlling. Now with the third, I often think, “Wow, I had it so easy!”
In the early days of planning for parenthood, we read a LOT of articles and books online. We wanted to equip ourselves with plenty of information about this new chapter of life that we were about to start! I also joined a mom’s group, which was invaluable. It was so nice to have a network of friends that were going through the exact same process that we were. I still talk to those girls today!
With regard to nesting, I was a complete maniac all three times! Before the arrival of our first, I am fairly certain the nursery was done before I entered my third trimester. This last time around I redecorated the whole house, much to my husband’s dismay. Those hormones are strong! I don’t know what got into me. But we are both glad that it’s behind us!
Where are you favorite places to shop for baby products?
I love Diapers.com. They seem to have everything, and you can get it delivered in one to two days. AMAZING! Honestly, most of the time when you need something, you need it quick. And when you have multiple kids and a newborn, you might not be able to get out of the house as easily. I also love Buy Buy Baby. I think it truly is the best baby store around. I am happy to see they are expanding around the US. All of the employees are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The store is clean and laid out perfectly. And they have amazing coupons!
What were your essential baby products?
I think all moms are very passionate about certain products they use with their prized possessions. In no particular order, they are:
What would be the tip on being a mother you wish you knew then but know now?
I would definitely say to just relax and live in the moment. This is extremely hard to do, especially with the first. This might be one of those things in life that you never really realize until it is over. I would try to be a little more flexible, less strict about EVERYTHING, and enjoy the time. Now with my third, I might be a little too laid back!
Oh, and also, you don’t need everything at the baby store. And not nearly as many baby clothes as you might think. I have so many clothes that maybe were worn only one time. Save your money for diapers. Or a great newborn photographer!