Meet Emily A. Hay, Founder of Hay There Social Media and mom to Ainsley and Quinn. Small world is our daughters meet before we even did. Emily and I recently have spent hours chatting over coffee about her incredible business that allows flexibility to moms which is more demanding than ever. Fun fact is she was in a documentary produced by Reese Witherspoon. Read more about Emily, her family and our amazing business.
How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
I have 2 daughers, Ainsley (9) and Quinn (6).
Where do your kids go to school?
Bham Public Schools
You have an incredible business that you started back in 2010, Hay There Social Media. Let’s dive into some questions about it.
That’s so nice of you to say 😉
Tell us more about what Hay There Social Media is?
Hay There Social Media is a social media agency turned unique training company that teaches a proven program to moms across the U.S. to be independent social media managers. We often say we serve moms who are looking for “what’s next” or “what else” professionally.
What made you end up starting a business like this?
I started my boutique (fancy word for small-but-mighty) agency in 2010 by being a freelance social media manager myself. Over the years, I built it with a team of work from home moms that had sidelined their careers to stay home to be primary caregivers of their small children. For a decade, we served as the outsourced social media team for businesses small to large local to Michigan and across the U.S.. It was never easy, but it allowed me to integrate work and life which was flexible and fulfilling.
In 2019, my season of motherhood changed with 2 kids in school (albeit kindergarten and preschool), so it gave me an opportunity to decide what was my path forward. My passion was there to still help businesses with their social media marketing but my purpose was clear that it was time to teach other moms how to do what we do.
We pivoted from “boutique agency” to “unique training company” just before the pandemic. There are many ways today that women can work flexibly; we simply know one that is proven, in an in-demand field of social media marketing and that provides women with versatile skills should they want to close a resume gap and re-enter a more traditional work role.
There are so many moms “trying to find themselves in their career” after having kids. Hay There Social Media could be a fit for some moms to explore. Tell us why?
I love this question because no one tells you before you become a mom about this “trying to find yourself in your career” chapter of life.
To make this less daunting, we at Hay There give women the 3 C’s: Credibility, Community and Connection. Our goal is that every woman who completes our core training and portfolio work proceeds down their chosen path with a new confidence by being associated with the Hay There name. It’s important to us to give women years back of building from scratch alone as we put our reputation to work for them.
As the expression goes, if you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far, go together. One of the most unique takeaways for our program grads is the community of like-minded women and experts that serve as a support network crucial to one’s success as an independent professional. These ingredients lead to meaningful connections for our grads to potential clients.
We are most proud of the women that start this journey without all the answers in front of them. It’s so easy for us women – especially moms – to talk ourselves out of something because of how limited our time is and let’s be honest – doing something for ourselves does not always come easily. However, we have to sometimes be willing to move forward without the answers in order to experience all something could be.
Anything else we should know about your amazing company?
Often times women are willing to upskill (a buzzword for specialize skill training) themselves but then they don’t how to display and explain that effort to the outside world. We offer a proof of completion NFT to our program grads as a way to differentiate themselves with verifiable credentials in a sea of self-declared social media experts. We constantly focus on clearly explaining the professional development steps they have taken.
Tell us a fun fact about you
My husband and I shared our personal story to find fairness and equity around the invisible labor in the home that historically falls on women in the Fair Play Documentary produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, based on Eve Rodsky’s NYTimes Bestselling book. The Documentary can be seen on hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, YouTube and VUDU. Fair Play has been viewed nationwide, including screenings by the U.N. and has been recognized at Sundance for Brand Storytelling.
And I love chocolate. Like anything and everything chocolate. Right now I cannot get enough of the Cadbury Royal Dark candy coated eggs.
What made you decide to raise your family here?
My husband’s job brought us to southeast Michigan. While we don’t have family locally (he’s from Minnesota and I’m from Ohio), we love the family-focused atmosphere and the incredible community of Birmingham. Who doesn’t?
What’s your favorite family activity during the summer?
Anything that is outside; particularly swimming, picnics, bonfires and High Noons in moderation for the adults.
Is your family looking forward to any fun family vacations?
We will likely go to Scotland sometime in 2023 to visit my husband’s family but nothing firmly in the books yet. I am traveling without my family in May for a business trip to the Mom 2.0 Summit. That doesn’t really answer your question about the family looking forward to it, but I am. 😉 ☺
What do you do to balance your own life and motherhood? What do you do for “me” time? Juggling your own business and kids is always hardwork.
Ah, Lauren. I love this question, too. Right now, I need to do a better job with this. I am the flexible parent, which I realize has enabled me to take on more than what’s fair and sustainable. This ties directly into Fair Play. I would say I am focusing on leveraging the Fair Play method regularly and at a moderate pace in order to get to the root of why I feel a lack of “me time” in the first place.
Lately, I have been reading a lot about moms being overstimulated and how the need to decompress is so critical to us operating at our best. The research has helped me explain my needs to my husband. The “me time” I like is simple though: time to think and focus on one task without interruption.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
One of my best friends, Tina Yancey.
Emilys Contact Information
Email: [email protected]
Instagram | Tik Tok. | LinkedIn