What do you get when you cross an at-home mom with a need in her local community? If the mom is Johanna Buoncontri and the need is for a one-stop spot for parent-to-parent communication, connection, and resource swapping, the result is Andover Mums. It began as a Facebook group, and later turned into a website, blog, and business that Johanna runs in balance with her busy family life.
Her previous experience as a corporate recruiter, coupled with her natural ability to connect people, has ensured that "the Mums" are a go-to for parents in Andover, MA, and throughout the Merrimack Valley when someone needs a business referral, fundraising support, information about local activities, and so much more.
Johanna is not one to let the conversation center around herself, so it was daring of her to play along with us! Meet Johanna:
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Johanna: When, with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to grow ANDOVER MUMS into a business vs just the “Facebook group”. This was bold for me in many ways. The biggest reason being that I do not have a business background, per se, and I had never created a business plan - never mind creating a business within a special niche combining social media and the local community.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe delivered.
Johanna: Keeping things related to Andover Mums, many things have gone wrong or not as planned. One specific time I recall was when I used poor wording on a note I sent out to all members. My idea got misconstrued and before I knew it, there were a lot of people questioning my intentions.
The integrity of the group is important to me, and I work hard to make sure it provides a genuinely helpful experience. I didn’t respond immediately, but rather took my time with a response note to address the concerns I felt needed to be addressed. This wrong quickly turned into a learning opportunity for me, a consummate people-pleaser. I realized there will always be someone challenging something, and not always for good reason. I quickly learned to grow a very thick skin!
Daring Spirits: What's one thing you really want people to know (about the world, about you, about life — this is your chance to drop some knowledge!)?
Johanna: Oh, how I love talking about myself (kidding!). I genuinely like to help people. It sometimes feels like a fault, since I cannot seem to say “no." I’m pretty transparent with all that I do.
I’m always interested in people and why we do what we do. I love psychology, human development; I'm always observing people and trying to understand someone’s actions. The world is full of so many types of people and I hope we can all learn and share from each other. I guess that’s one of the reasons I started Andover Mums in the first place - to share experiences.
Beach or Mountains?
Johanna: Tropical beach or on a boat!
DS: Sweet or spicy?
Johanna: At times I can be both!
DS: Window or aisle?
Johanna: The aisle! I hate being stuck in a row. i like to have freedom and not climb over people whenever I need to get up, plus I get a better view of all that’s going on in the plane.
Daring Spirits: Sharing experiences is a powerful force in raising the vibration of the world. All the better when we can do it via social media and have a direct impact on our community. Thank you, Johanna, for creating a space for people to forge stronger community ties!
If you want to learn more - either because you're in the area or if you're interested in creating something similar in your community - visit the Mums website at www.AndoverMums.com, and of course on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/andovermums.
Psst! Are you a daring spirit? If so, we want to hear from you! Fill out the form here, and you may find yourself featured on the blog.