Project Nursery is a powerhouse. Manned by two stylish, savvy mamas (with six children between them), it is an online community with active members that number into the millions.
Project Nursery gives expecting parents sneak peeks into celebrity nurseries, easy pieces of DIY inspiration and the resources to turn their imagined space into a reality. Recognized by Parents Magazine as “experts in all things related to baby's room," among dozens of other accolades, the duo behind Project Nursery is consistently delivering fresh content and new products—while being all-around mom bosses.
But it hasn't always been roses: Melisa Fluhr lives with her family just outside of New York, while Pam Ginoccio lives in San Francisco with her family. It's truly a coast-to-coast business.
We caught up with the two of them and dug into the challenges that faced them as they started and grew the company. Specifically, how did they deal with the very real miles that separated them?
Challenge #1: The literal distance
Melisa: While we launched our business on the same coast, family life sent me to the east coast less than 18 months in. With different time zones and family schedules, it's safe to say we were not completely prepared for the challenges with me living in New York and Pam living in San Francisco would pose. But we got uber creative—as per usual—used technology and were flexible enough to make it work.
Google Hangouts has been just about the best thing ever. We literally feel like we are working in the same room and are so much more in tune with each other by being able to see each other's faces. Our families are so accustomed to us talking through our devices. If I'm not virtually in Pam's kitchen when the kids come home from school, they'll wonder if something is wrong.
Challenge #2: Our different styles
Pam: We didn't go into our partnership realizing this, but over the years, our interests in the business have evolved and today we each gravitate towards different aspects of running our company. This gives us that “divide and conquer" mentality, allowing us to get more done, faster.
Challenge #3: Going into business with a friend
Melisa: This challenge ended up not being a challenge at all! What is sometimes businesses' biggest weakness was in fact our biggest strength.
One of the best parts of running a business as long-time friends is that we always have each other's back. With six kids between the both of us, there are often days when one of our lives goes a bit sideways—like a sick kid, a school play or a snow day—and knowing we can count on one another has been instrumental in growing our business over the past nine years.
We also have an acute understanding of one another's personalities, as well as likes and dislikes, which in our book is an advantage between business partners. At the end of the day, we're proud to say we value our years of friendship and unconditional support of one another above all else.
Challenge #4: Deciding what's next
Pam: We both feel so incredibly proud that we've taken a blog, evolved it into a community and developed a genuine brand. Our passion for the beautiful and functional has now launched a popular line of electronics, bedding and more to come.
The best part of our jobs? We love what we do and are grateful for our awesome team as well as the flexibility to do it all while still being able to raise our kids. Not sure we'd change a thing right now so let's keep the momentum going!
Want more from the founders of Project Nursery. Look no further!
Here are five “Motherly" insights from these two epic mamas.
How do you make your mornings run smoothly?
Pam: You know that graphic tee that says, “But first, coffee"? That one was made for me. The coffee is brewing before I even get out of bed; that's how serious I am about it. Most mornings aren't exactly what I'd call our most “zen" time of the day but I can honestly say no kid has missed the school bus or gone off without a lunch on my watch!
Melisa: Honestly, I do my best to take care of me first before I can take care of everyone else. That means getting up at 5:30am and taking a 3-4 mile walk/run. Feeling incredibly energized, I come home to shower, take the dogs out and make my bed. Then it's on to getting everyone up, fed and out of the house stat! It doesn't always go as smoothly as I wish for—'cause that's life with kids—but it's efficient.
The life hack or tip that has changed my life…
Pam: A very wise woman (with fabulous hair!) once said, "Let it Go, Let it Go". That's basically a motto I've integrated into my daily life and I really do try to stick to it. I've learned that if something isn't super-duper important and worth pushing back on, roll with it and move on.
Melisa: Forgo the top sheet mamas. I can make my kids beds in less than two minutes and looking picture ready! It's small, and not everyday but I've learned that when working from home, I need to have my surroundings highly organized so I am not constantly thinking of that unfolded pile of laundry. I am much more productive throughout the day for it.
What superpower have you discovered as a mom?
Pam: Super sonic hearing! Who knew that would happen? Often I wish I didn't have this special skill but it basically started the day I brought my first baby home from the hospital. My ability to hear even the quietest of mischief from one of my littles is still going strong.
Melisa: Juggling. Once becoming a mom, there's a lot to handle and keeping all the “balls in the air" so to speak—family, work, life—all happy and productive is the world's greatest juggling act in my book.
This quote inspires me…
Pam: I find so many hilarious quotes that put a smile on my face and inspire on Instagram these days. A recent favorite is, “To be honest I'm just winging it. Life, motherhood, my eyeliner, everything."
Melisa: “The struggle is real." So I know it's not poetic whatsoever, but it's my reality. Life and parenting are not easy, don't fool yourself. But when I'm honest and can laugh at myself, that's the person I want to be. And now that I am a mother of three, I know oh-so well that the reward is tenfold the struggle!
To me "motherly" means...
Pam: Unconditional love, nurturing, kindness with the right amount of James Bond-ness.
Melisa: Caring for another being with your whole heart!