Meet a Mom: Emily A. Hay from Hay There Social Media - Greater Lansing Area Moms

GLAMoms is THRILLED to share Emily A. Hay as this week’s Meet a Mom!  Emily and her husband live in southeast Michigan with their two daughters!   Earlier this year GLAMoms was introduced to Emily and her business partners Ali Spitzer and Kelli Robinson from Hay There Social Media!   

Hay There Social Media is hyper-focused on moms and accommodating our often ridiculous schedules – and working.  Hey There Social Media offers training for moms to become social media managers!  Yet it offers much more!  The training combined with the INsiders Program provides this sense of community, unleashes possibility and sets the groundwork for moms to take what they learn and apply it however they choose!  

Learn more about Emily, her family and how you too can give Hay There Social Media training a try – and a special deal just for GLAMoms!

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Emily!  We are glad you are here!

Emily, would you introduce yourself?

Hay There!  I’m Emily A. Hay and I am a business owner, a mom and a wife.

I live in Metro Detroit – Birmingham to be exact – and have been here since 2006 when I first moved to Michigan.  I’m a native Ohioan raised near Lake Erie west of Cleveland and I graduated from the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University (probably not the best thing to lead with when speaking to those in the Mitten State but I’m used to it by now. ;)).  I started my business, Hay There Social Media, in 2009 about 5 years before I became a mom and built my team of all women who were moms before I was.   

How old are your kids? 

I am a mom to 2 girls; ages 7 and 9 (going into 2nd and 4th grades). 

What do you think is one of the best parts about being a mom so far? 

One of the best parts of being a mom so far is this age!  I love the age of my kids right now.  The baby years were hard on me and I have friends warn me about the tween and teen years, so I’m savoring every moment with them as elementary school kiddos since they are becoming more independent but still love being with us.

What is a piece of advice for new moms you wish you would have known when you were a new mom?

Read the NY Times Bestselling book by Eve Rodsky, “Fair Play,” and make your spouse read Fair Play.  See the Fair Play Documentary together.  Spend a lot of time learning about Fair Play and a little bit of time learning about labor and delivery.  Your time investment into Fair Play will serve you much longer.  (It was not written when I became a new mom.)

Would you share a female mentor or role model?

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the First Partner of California, the founder of The Representation Project and the writer/producer/director of the Fair Play Documentary produced in partnership with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.  I got to know Jennifer when she was writing/producing/directing the Fair Play Documentary, in which my husband and I shared our personal story to find fairness in dividing household labor.   I have witnessed her activism from afar for years through her work as a storyteller and am constantly in awe of her ability to get out of bed and lead effectively everyday in the face of criticism.  Her work literally betters the world.

What are you looking forward to the remainder of 2023?

I turned 40 this year so I’m using 2023 as a fresh lens to view opportunities, make decisions and be intentional with my time and energy.  There are some parts of my operating system I’m trying to rewire and it starts with taking an opportunity to get to know yourself.  So far, this side of 40 has been great.  

How do you balance being a mom and a small business owner?

Ha!  I work on this everyday of my life.  I try to keep the big picture in mind while remembering the day-to-days are simply zoomed-in views.  This takes the pressure off to have a productive day as a business owner or as your best mom self everyday.  I also believe in work life integration – not balance; integration acknowledges the reality of modern life and we can’t simply be moms OR small business owners.  It’s just an “and” job.    

Favorite place to vacation in the Mitten?  How about anywhere?

We have loved going up to the Port Austin area this summer at the tip of the thumb.  It’s gorgeous and only a 2.5 hour drive from where we live. 

Favorite place anywhere to vacation?  In the winter, we have really enjoyed skiing locally since it’s so easy to get to and makes the winter go by quickly – so I’ll call that a staycation.  Other favorite places to vacation – we like going to the beach in Florida.  We have friends in Miami and Naples so that makes vacationing over long weekends fun and with kids, it’s ideal to stay in the same timezone as home.  

If we are visiting southeast Michigan, where would you suggest we stop?

You cannot beat seeing a Leprechauns game at Memorial Park in Royal Oak.  It’s fun, clean, modern and the prices offer such a great value – super fun and affordable night out for the whole family.  You can take your kids and have them each bring a friend.  We love it!

I am a sucker for the State Fair.  It’s Labor Day weekend and I just LOVE going there with my kids and wandering for hours.   I love how simple the fun is – looking at livestock, drinking bottomless chocolate milk and getting face paint.  It’s the best kind of tired to come home feeling. 

Picking fruit has been one of my favorite traditions with my kids – from strawberries and blueberries to apples and pumpkins – so I’d recommend checking that activity out.  Personally, we are loyal to Westview Orchards in Washington, MI but we’ve also done Blake’s.  It’s so satisfying to do something outside together that takes teamwork and allows us to share with others (part of our tradition is to give some of the fruit we pick to our neighbors).   Also, when we pick blueberries at Hazen Farms in Howell, we LOVE stopping at the Howell Nature Preserve because they have the best outdoor playground.  Totally worth the drive. 

Here are a couple questions to get to know you better 🙂  

What gets you up in the morning? 

Since the pandemic, I’ve become more of a night owl.  So I’d have to say my alarm.  

I would like to get back into a morning journaling practice or at least a mindful routine where I can control how my time is spent before all the things that need me need me.  I will flag this to work on once the kids are back in school.

 And how do you take your coffee? 🙂 

A little coffee with my cream.  Seriously… give me all the half and half.

What is the last book you read?

Love this question.  I certainly have a lot of books started, dogeared and on my mental list to check out since I listen to a lot of podcasts that mention books.  The book I open the most frequently now – at least weekly –  is The Bible.  I need a lot of help interpreting the stories but it is an enjoyable process.  Since the pandemic, I’ve been on a bit of a spiritual journey and am investing time and energy into developing this part of my life.  I’d be happy to share more but that’s likely for another interview LOL . 

What kind of music do you listen to?

On Pandora, I either play “Dixie Chicks radio” to bring back all the high school and college country favorites or “Beach Bar Lounge radio” for that peppy but chill vibe.  But lately, I prefer quiet during the times I used to put on background music; it helps me focus and I savor the ability to focus on one thing. 

If you watch television, what is your favorite show? 

My husband and I do watch a decent amount of television (what can I say – it’s cold half the year here!) I love documentaries to learn and be inspired; I love live comedy shows; my all-time favorite dramatic shows are Money Heist and Ozark.  And I will always watch an episode of Shark Tank.  Always.    

Do you have a children’s book you most enjoy reading? 

Anything empowering.  I love the “Little People Big Dreams” series to teach my kids what people of all walks of life are capable of.  I love the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, which helps my daughters see the world through a lens of women being powerful and capable. 

Mind sharing a mom trick another mom will be happy to learn?

Sure!  Since becoming a mom, I talk to a lot of women that have taken a “career pause” to step into the role of full-time caregiver for their families.  While society is becoming aware of the benefits of these pauses, they can still penalize women looking to re-enter the workforce and it can be stressful on the woman to have a gap in her resume.  If you are a woman considering “what’s next” professionally, I would recommend you consider these 2 tips: 1) freelance work and 2) upskilling yourself.  

When you freelance, you don’t have a resume gap!  And when you upskill yourself, you advance your current skills and/or develop new ones that you can list in your resume and open your eyes to opportunities you didn’t know existed.  I talk to plenty of moms who don’t realize these options, hacks or tricks exist.

What is something you do yearly with your kids as you prepare to head back to school?  

Take some time to savor slow mornings.  Most of the year, I’m the first person to jump out of bed and follow the rush-to-get-out-the-door-routine; but before school starts, I’m making sure we all take this in and acknowledge what we get to do on slow mornings during slower-paced seasons of our life, like summer.

What did your kids have in common this summer? 

They both LOVE the 4th of July.  It’s their favorite holiday/time of year.   We all enjoyed ‘round the clock activities, festivities, food, friends…kind of feels like that Luke Bryan song, “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset, Repeat” but with kids and a lot more SPF.   

What was something you did this summer that YOU very much enjoyed?

I really enjoyed a business milestone we accomplished this summer.  I am proud of my business partner, Ali Spitzer, and I for launching a new product just in time for back-to-school – called “Core Training Lite” – which is a an upskilling program in a box delivered to your door with less upfront cost and a low-risk way to close a resume gap and/or obtain a new professional certification.  (We specialize in upskilling women to be freelance professionals with a social media skillset).   

I spent some time on CBS News Detroit talking about freelancing and upskilling for women looking for “what’s next,” when kids go back to school and Core Training Lite is an option.  

Find more specific information about Core Training Lite on this page of the Hay There website: haytheresocialmedia.com/core-training-lite/ 

How do you prefer readers to connect with you if they would like more information? 

I’m on Instagram and TikTok as emilyahay.  I also spend a good amount of time on LinkedIn so feel free to send me an invitation there – I’d love to connect! 

Emily, this is fantastic.  First, GO GREEN 🙂   

We know first hand how useful Hey There Social Media training is and we hope others will take advantage of the offer you have shared with GLAMoms!  It is not only useful, it opens doors that lead to all sorts of possibilities and potential.  And you created this just for moms in mind.  Thank you!

Learn more about Emily and her recent Meet a Founder chat with The Local Moms Network

Without a doubt, social media has changed the way people communicate, helped brands grow and businesses market themselves. While it’s nice to be active online in their personal life to keep in touch with friends, it’s crucial for moms who are considering the next steps after having kids, looking to rejoin the workforce, or launching a small business to understand how a social media skill set can directly position them for success.

That’s where Hay There Social Media, a female-founded unique training company, comes in, teaching moms how to be independent social media managers – and it is Michigan based!

Recently, you may have seen Hay There’s Founder and CEO Emily A. Hay in the Fair Play documentary, a film that exposes the inequity of domestic labor and provides a solution for this universal struggle. Much like her advocacy in the film, Emily recognized that a viable work from home option was a necessity for women. “Navigating the professional landscape after becoming a mom can feel like a lonely and daunting task,” she says. “I want to give women a viable way to achieve flexibility and fulfillment, but also, help them create meaningful connections.”

Hay was able to envision teaching from her own experience. “It struck me that what I had created for myself could be shared with any woman searching for ways to preserve or rediscover their professional identity while their role as a mother evolved,” says the mom of two (ages 6 and 8).

Since the transition of  Hay There from agency work to a holistic training program, Emily built a strong team of talented women who are in turn teaching other women their skillset. “Our proven, holistic training was born out of a real boutique social media agency. Hay There’s six week, live 14-module course has helped women across the U.S. find new ways to work flexibly in an in-demand field, while giving them a versatile skill set and support that allows them to thrive as the future of work evolves,” says Emily.

We spoke to this inspiring entrepreneur about building her brand, the need for flexible work for moms, and more.

Use code haythereGLAM250 for $250 off the Hay There course!

Why do you think your business has resonated so well with the moms who have taken your course?
After a decade of running a successful social media agency and working exclusively with a team of work-from-home moms, I knew from experience that women could work independently with social media as their vehicle, but the real secret to success was networking with a community of supportive, talented, like-minded women to ensure they would never feel “alone.”

Who is your typical client?
Marie, our avatar, is a mother and caregiver, who is educated, creative, and desires professional fulfillment and flexibility to manage all of her responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. We have helped women from a wide variety of backgrounds, including women looking to re-enter the workforce, military spouses, women with MBAs, women with backgrounds in communications and PR, former teachers, even lawyers and engineers. A working knowledge of social (read: you have a social media account) is recommended—but there are no prerequisites.

You were part of Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play Documentary, which was produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. What is your best advice for couples looking for a balance of the home responsibilities?
The best advice I could give to anyone that wants to share the invisible load equitably at home is to start with the foundation of Fair Play: an understanding that all time is created equal.

Society conditions us to value men’s time more than women’s and women–especially moms– may unknowingly continue this vicious cycle, which shortchanges ourselves, our partners and our children. My recommendation is to set your expectation that finding fairness is a journey that takes ongoing communication and work.

Love that! You have a small but mighty team of talented women—how did you build the “right” team as you grew?
I built my boutique agency team by finding women who were looking for what I was looking for: flexible work and professional fulfillment that would allow us to live the mom lives we wanted. I met my original team members through social media and word-of-mouth.

Having a high level of collaboration and willingness to figure it out together is much stronger than having a large number of team members.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Amy Jo Martin, Founder of Renegades Global said, “With action comes clarity.” It has been such an empowering mantra for me because I am a self-proclaimed over-analyzer which makes it so easy to get frozen by overthinking. “With action comes clarity” pushes us forward confidently without all the answers; it keeps us out of all the “what ifs” and reassures us that just by getting moving, answers will appear.

More About Hay There

At Hay There, our relationship only just begins with our Hay There Core Training. We provide our Independent Social Media Marketing Managers with access to real clients, both for completing portfolio work and also to organizations waiting to hire them. 

We post new potential client leads on our exclusive job board. On larger clients, our graduates often collaborate in small groups. We have found that access to potential client introductions and pitch opportunities with our expert guidance removes a huge barrier mentally for many women.

Our monthly membership provides ongoing access to resources such as professional development sessions with subject experts ranging from TikTok best practices, to Web3, to small business tax consultation. 

We also provide open dialogue 24/7 on our slack channel, where we celebrate and elevate one another, as well as bounce any number of questions off of each other.

At Hay There, we know that when a woman is looking for “more”, it does not mean she is looking for one more thing—she’s looking for a different picture of her future self. We get that, because like the women we serve, we are dynamic, and complex, and constantly evolving. Ultimately, while we may all be working independently, we should never feel alone.

Originally shared by The Local Moms Network

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