Founder Spotlight: Meet Motherly's Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety

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Motherly is Be Curious Partners’ first investment and we’re happy to profile them as we launch a new series: Founder Spotlight.

Motherly is a lifestyle parenting brand redefining motherhood, writing a new narrative that’s powerful and feminine, informed and inspiring, capable and loving, confident and uplifting. Motherly exists to change the world on behalf of Millennial moms. Motherly’s platform blurs digital/physical boundaries with a digital media business and a consumer goods line launching in 2018, driven by MotherlyInsights, a proprietary predictive analytics engine.

Motherly was founded in 2015 by Jill Koziol, consultant/repeat entrepreneur and Liz Tenety, an award-winning Washington Post editor and digital strategist. TToday as over 25M monthly unique views, including over 4M monthly unique article views and 20M video views

We were able to ask Liz Tenety some questions about how Motherly came to fruition and how they’re growing one of the largest communities for millennials.


Be Curious Partners: What sparked the idea for Motherly?

Liz Tenety: Both Jill and I were entrepreneurial before founding Motherly. Jill worked in change management consulting and was a proven entrepreneur, inventing and bringing to market the HoneyBee Child SwingEase. I had worked in innovation within digital media and was always taking on jobs I had never done before and just figuring it out! Both of our pasts and frankly appetite for risk (and adventure!) meant we were always looking for opportunities to solve big problems. We found it in the parenthood space when we acutely realized that there was very little high-quality content focused on a woman’s journey and challenges. We identified an obvious white space and believed mothers deserved better—so we decided to do something about it ourselves. We designed Motherly to sit at the intersection of content, community and commerce, bridging the digital—physical divide providing holistic solutions for the micro-moments of motherhood.

Be Curious Partners:  What is something neither of you expected when you began this journey?

Liz Tenety: One of the surprising things about startup life is how many twists and turns the journey can take—while still pointing towards your vision and mission for the company. Jill and I launched Motherly 6 weeks after our first conversation about the concept—which I think in many ways is a reason for our achievements. We have a strong bias for action and we’ve just been willing to get out there and iterate until we find our way to success. And we try every day to enjoy the ride.

Be Curious Partners: Why do you think Motherly has resonated with its massive growing community?

Liz Tenety: Millennial women are an incredibly upbeat and supportive generation that they simply didn’t have an outlet that reflected them before Motherly. Our positive, non-judgmental, uplifting community and inspiring content is a great match for their overall ethos. We’ve got this, together.

Be Curious Partners: What is a piece of advice someone told you each that you would like to pass on to readers?

Liz Tenety: The most powerful advice I ever read was, "It doesn't get easier, you just get stronger.” This advice helps me to look at challenges as opportunities to grow, not set-backs.