Welcome to Chicago North Shore Moms weekly Meet a Mom series where we feature one local mama, what they’re up to both personally and professionally. This week’s Meet a Mom feature is the lovely born and raised Detroit, MI mama of two wonderful girls and someone who’s brand has become synonymous with pregnancy and parenthood, Lindsay Pinchuk of Bump Club & Beyond! Lindsay’s a ball of contagious positive energy, and it’s catching right through this very interview! Don’t miss Lindsay’s story about how she started the now national brand with just $500 in her pocket and went from “winging it” to selling it, and persevering x10 through this pandemic. Welcome, Lindsay!
Hi Lindsay! Please introduce yourself.
Hi Chicago North Shore Moms! I’m Lindsay Pinchuk, proud Detroit native living in the North Shore of Chicago. I moved to the city in 2001 after college graduation for a career in advertising. I spent fifteen years downtown, living most recently in Bucktown, before moving north—mainly for schools and a yard for my kids.
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have two amazing daughters, Jordyn is 10 and Lila is 7. We also got a new dog over quarantine, so my son Ollie is not even a year.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I love the questions and curiosity and the snuggles…and I also love that they keep me on my toes—every single day!
Do you have any advice for our moms about “momming” through the pandemic?
We all know that the past year has quite honestly sucked. But as I like to say….at the same time, I feel very fortunate to be healthy, to have a roof over my head, a job I love and food on the table. Half my family had COVID and we got through it. But I can promise you this, you don’t ever want it in your house. It’s so important to do everything you can to keep your family safe. Bump Club and Beyond hosts bi-weekly Q&A sessions with IMPACT4HC, an amazing COVID resource. They have taught me so much that my family puts into practice daily.
But I also want to add that one of the things I have been saying to the BCB community since March 13, 2020 is that we have to find the silver linings. We have to flip this thing on its head. Take it day by day, slow down, enjoy the time with your family and think about the positives that are coming out of this…and I promise you, there are MANY. We will get through this, and when we do and come out the other side….we will be that much stronger.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’m, a pretty open book these days…but people are usually surprised to learn that I have seen Bon Jovi in concert 36 times. They are also shocked to know that I am such a germaphobe (even before COVID)…especially with all of the concerts I go to and travel I usually do outside of COVID.
Any local favorite takeout restaurants?
My favorite restaurants on the North Shore for carry out include Blue Fish sushi, Hotbox Sushi, Charlie Beinlichs or Greenwood for burgers and D Squared Pizza (it’s Detroit style and the ranch is TO DIE FOR.) I also love Hometown Coffee. My family are HUGE Grill House fans.
Any favorite restaurants in the city?
Truly one of my favorite things to do on the weekends during quarantine is drive to the city to carry out our favorite places. Not only do we get a great meal, but the whole process has become an activity as well. Our faves include Sushi San, Warbler and Honey Butter Fried Chicken.
You’re a mompreneur! Please introduce Bump Club and Beyond! How did this come to be and what is it now?
I started Bump Club and Beyond eleven years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I sought community and support. What began as local events here in Chicago turned into events in 25+ cities across the country and an online community of now over 1 million families. Our mission is to connect parents and parents-to-be with the best products, resources, information and each other both online and through premier in-person events (outside of COVID).
BCB began as an event-based company, as we grew and evolved we started working with big partners such as Nordstrom, Target, The Honest Company, Seventh Generation and others. With those partnerships and activations, our national footprint grew and so did our online content. We added webinars and more online in addition to our large social media following.
How has the brand changed directions with the pandemic?
With COVID, we did a quick pivot on March 13, 2020 and we put the events that we were hosting in-person, online—workouts, playdates, story times, expectant parent dinners, registry events…EVERYTHING. And it’s doing so well! We had our biggest year ever in 2020 in terms of both audience growth and engagement, revenue and profit margin. Our information and content is now key and we are in more households than ever before. While I cannot wait for the day that we can go back to in person events, we will never abandon what we have created online when we do. With our online focus, we are reaching moms and moms-to-be in locations of the country that we have not been able to serve prior to COVID. I am so proud of our team for making this happen in 2020.
You sold BCB back in 2019. I still remember the announcement and I was shocked! Why did you sell and how has your role changed since selling it?
My goal was to sell BCB before I turned 40, but it had to be to the right buyer. Yes, you are correct about the timing; the process began the year prior and the deal closed on January 1, 2019. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the company once it was sold. I also knew that I had taken it as far as I could on my own. I never took investors or seed money or a loan….BCB started with $500 of my own money and I bootstrapped it until we sold. I want BCB to be a household name and I knew that in order to scale and do so, we would have to find a partner to help make that happen.
I was never great at the finances and operations and always sought help with that. I always wanted to focus on the marketing, content and overall strategy…and now I am able to do just that. I now run our content operation which includes our social media, website, emails and our business strategy. It’s been a great shift for me as I am now doing exactly what I want to be doing for the brand that I built and love.
What was your title before selling and now?
My title was Founder + CEO when I sold. Today it is Vice President and Founder—the latter part will always be a part of my title and that part I am very proud of.
What is your most favorite moments you can remember with regards to your work with Bump Club and Beyond?
There have been more than I can count…truly, I am so lucky to have a job that I love, surrounded by a community who has lifted us up for the last ten years. But I would say my three favorite moments:
- Surprising an audience filled with moms with the cast of A Bad Moms Christmas. It was an amazing surprise and a secret I carried around for eight weeks prior. VERY few people knew what was going to happen—not even my closest friends. When Kristen, Mila, Kathryn, Susan and Cheryl walked out on that stage….it was amazing.
- Hosting our 1,000th event. It was such a HUGE milestone and one that the entire Chicago community was excited about.
- Walking in on my daughters playing “Bump Club” one day. It was then that I knew I was doing something right.
Who are your influencers and/or mentors that have helped you get to where you are today and continue to inspire you?
There are so many people who have helped me, supported me and influenced me along the way. My parents, my husband and my kids of course. But two of my biggest cheerleaders and influencers were my Grandpa Dave and my Grandma Ruth. My Grandpa was the hardest working man I have ever met. He never took ‘no’ for an answer and achieved the goals he set out to accomplish. And my Grandma, well she cheered me on more than anyone. I lost both of them this year during the pandemic, which was a huge loss for me and my family. I can still hear them asking me “how’s the business.” They were so proud of me and I was so lucky to have their support for as long as I did.
What advice can you give other mamas out there who are looking to start a new business in the current climate and beyond?
Whether in the pandemic or not, I would probably say the same thing. First of all, are you all in? Because you have to be if you want it to succeed. Second, with everything you do you have to ask yourself: what is in it for me/my business. You have to make calculated decisions. You can’t be everything to everyone—so you have to pick and choose. Often that comes with you asking yourself: “Will this decision benefit my business and how?” Last, (and honestly there is so much more from where this comes from), trust your gut.
What are two of the most common questions that people reach out to ask you?
How do you do it all?
Newsflash…I don’t and no one can. I do the best I can and I am not afraid to ask for help. You have to know when and how to delegate both personally and professionally if you want to succeed at anything.
How did you find the courage to start your business? Did you have a plan and what was it?
You have to believe in yourself. Truthfully, I didn’t have a “plan” for BCB and I winged it for a very long time. Even today we wing it sometimes. But what I did know is that I don’t half-ass anything. When I am in, I am all in…and that was the plan. On that same note, you have to be flexible. Even if I did have a plan, things change and you have to be prepared to change with them.
Current lipstick brand/color: Buxom lipgloss in Gabby, I keep it in my desk drawer for online interviews and TV segments.
Undergrad major: Sports Management and Communications at the University of Michigan
Favorite candy: Good N’ Plenty (I know, people love ‘em or hate ‘em)
Strangest thing in your purse right now: I have not carried a purse in ten months. For real.
Last book you read: Fleishman is in Trouble, it was amazing!
Your binge shows: Just watched Bridgerton, OMG. I’m waiting with baited breath for new seasons of Workin’ Moms, The Handmaids’ Tale, The Bold Type and Younger. I also just finished Schitt’s Creek and just started Shameless. (So much TV, this is embarrassing.)
Have you thought about how you and your family are going to stay sane this winter with shutdowns and such?
Honestly, we take it day by day. For a minute last week I thought I was going to lose it….but I honestly just slowed down, took a few breaths, and took it one day at a time. My husband is Canadian (he’s from Montreal), and we have been outside more this winter than I think we ever have been before. Sledding, ice skating, we’re going skiing and snow tubing soon….really just trying to stay as busy as we possibly can. We’re so used to being on the go, it’s hard not having much to look forward to right now.
What’s on the horizon for your brand? Future aspirations, plans….
We are going to continue to evolve our online content—add to it and provide more. We also will be adding more content for parents with kids ages 4-10. Our Baby Registry 101 for Target event series will be back starting in February….with even more fun than in 2020. LOTS coming up…so stay tuned.
And for the Lindsay Pinchuk brand….you’re going to start seeing me public speaking more and sharing my expertise as an entrepreneur, marketer, businesswoman and mom in many more places.
How can we connect with you for more information?
Parents and parents-to-be need to check out www.bumpclubandbeyond.com for all of the online and virtual events and resources we have on the horizon….there is honestly so much coming up!