Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Glenview mom of one AA central state hockey champ, small business owner and podcaster, Amy Alexander! Amy founded A2 Sales & Marketing seven years ago when her then sales job at Groupon, shed light on a missing asset in the small business market. Today Amy works alongside the small business owner, as a fractional CMO focusing on content development, social media strategy, & email marketing. And when she’s not at a hockey game or one of the many practices throughout the week Amy is chatting it up with bestie Denyse Rabbat on their podcast, “Midlife at the Mailbox.” Welcome, Amy!
Hi Amy! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
Hey beautiful mamas of Chicago’s North Shore. I’m Amy Alexander and I have lived within 20-25 miles or so miles of my childhood home in Buffalo Grove for most of my life! 10-years ago, my husband and I bought a home in The Glen in Glenview and have been here ever since.
I am the proud mama of one fantastic almost 11 year old boy, Caleb, who, daily wants to see if he has surpassed his mama in height–he is just about there. What is my tween into? He’s into Hockey and is a winger for the Glenview Stars on the PeeWee AA Central States team! From September thru March you can probably find us at the Glenview Community Ice Center or another area ice rink! When Caleb is not skating, you can find him playing Golf, or Lacrosse, solving his Rubix cubes – he can solve it in just over a minute, learning to play trombone, or building worlds in Minecraft.
What are a few fun facts to know about you?
1.I absolutely love the outdoors, especially the ocean and having the sand between my toes. In fact, from March to June of 2021, we packed up the car with our necessities and lived in the cutest town of Dunedin, FL on the Gulf coast just outside of Tampa. When I say, lived, we lived. Caleb finished 3rd grade at a neighborhood school, played hockey on a local team, we made friends and even shopped for a home. God had other plans, and we find ourselves still here in Glenview; but, we absolutely love the west coast of Florida and hope to call that area home one day.
2. My husband, Mike and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together since 1998, met at Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion, (hockey is in our blood) and Married for 12 years, we have never broken up and have spent most of our relationship together versus apart even when we were dating!
3. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, so when It came time to pick a major I choose education because my mom was a teacher and everyone said I’d make a good teacher. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with kids, so I didn’t disagree. Once I found myself in the classroom, I didn’t find any joy from the day to day as a teacher, but I loved the creative aspect of designing lesson plans and presenting. Fast forward 15-years in various sales roles, I pivoted to marketing and have been working over the past 7 years to evolve my skill set.
Where are your favorite places to eat?
For family Restaurants, Caleb is super picky, so we have found we’re experts in pizza and grilled cheese! Buffos in Highwood has been a favorite of ours since my days at Lake Forest College. Napolita in Wilmette is another family favorite. Coarse Italian, at the Glenview Park Golf Course is always a crowd pleaser. My sister introduced me to Hometown Coffee & Juice in Wilmette and Glencoe, they have the best blueberry muffins, and delicious avocado toast! Dairy Bar is our go to summer place for ice cream. Hubby and I love the sandwiches and meat from Forza in downtown Glenview and Sushi from BluFish.
Please introduce A2 Sales & Marketing!
I’ve been excited to answer this question through the whole interview! A2 is me, my passion. I love the small business community. In 2010, I started working at Groupon. While Groupon was not a small business, its goal was to shine a spotlight on the best places in a particular city. I learned a lot and took that knowledge into my next role, selling digital marketing services within the home building space.
It was during that position that I observed a need in the market to support the small business owner. That’s when A2 Sales & Marketing was born. Owner’s are pulled in so many directions, they are often so caught up working on the-day-to-day of the business, they often lose track of what they need to do to grow. I recognized that many small business owners don’t need someone full time, but they do need assistance with their sales and marketing operations.
In a nutshell, A2 works alongside the small business owner, as a fractional CMO focusing on content development, social media strategy, & email marketing.
What’s on the horizon for A2 Sales & Marketing?
Currently I’m building out a coaching curriculum, where I’ll work 1:1 with business owners or individuals to help them with social media over a period of time. One of my coaching clients, Jenny Kane Skin Care, has done a great job putting into practice the lessons we have been working on. I’m learning that every person, regardless of age has a different comfort level on social media. That has been an experience in itself. My goal will be to meet you where you are, even if you’re at the beginning! Always remember, it’s progress not perfection.
As a person in the marketing field, your creative brain must be on overdrive. Is that where you came up with the inspiration to start your podcast, Midlife at the Mailbox?
Haha, yes! Here’s how it all started…. One day, my friend Denyse said, “I think we should start a podcast.” We had zero knowledge of what it would take to start a podcast. We started to brainstorm topics. What would we talk about? We’re “just” two midlife aquarius moms, who also happen to be solopreneurs, who are inspired by smart people, who met at our neighborhood mailbox and bonded over our kids, a shared desire to pursue happiness and grow our business all while being rockstar moms!
After months of overthinking, I said, let’s use zoom to record and just jump in with both feet. Denyse was nervous but agreed. We wrote a script about pursuing happiness, I designed a logo, built a landing page for a website, and thus, Midlife at the Mailbox was born! In April 2022, we dropped our first Midlife at the Mailbox episode, Pursuit of Happiness. It’s our most downloaded episode to date. We’ve produced and recorded a dozen episodes, and have over 550 downloads. We didn’t think more than our own moms would listen to our show. If you think about it, when have you ever had the attention of 550 people for almost an hour? It’s humbling to us for sure.
What do you talk about?
We tackle everyday topics on midlife, building our respective businesses, family, and more. The reality is that no topic is off the table. Plus we think we’re kinda funny, maybe others will think so too. It’s also like listening to two best friends (which we are) talk – you never know where the conversation is going to end up.
October 6, 2022 will be our season 1 finale, we’re interviewing a former colleague of mine, who designed and brought to market a board game! It’s an awesome episode, with a great message…Progress not perfection and it’s never too late to do something great! Two perfect mantras for our show.
Who have been your mentors and/or champions?
I have a number of people over the years who have been champions for Amy Alexander. Whether it was simply friendship or someone that would offer me advice. I find that my most successful relationships in my business are with women who, in turn, become friends. A benefit to my position is I can also work alongside people that lift me up and I can lift them up as well. My co-host and bestie, Denyse, from my podcast has been instrumental in her support for A2 Sales & Marketing from day zero.
I really look up to strong people who have built success for themselves. So, with that statement, I’d be remiss not to mention my biggest champion, my husband, Mike. I have been watching him for the past 13 years grow an independent mortgage brokerage, Infiniti Financial Group, in Deerfield from the ground up. He’s been hustling hard for the past 13-years working to support himself and our family. His tireless pursuit has allowed me the flexibility to explore and find my true passion. Mike, immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union when he was 9 years old, has had nothing handed to him. Everything he has, has been his own making from his own drive of being able to give his family the things he didn’t have as a child growing up. It’s truly remarkable.
What do you tell yourself to build you back up when you’re feeling that moment of defeat?
I’m a person who vents. So if I am feeling defeat I have my own stages of processing and which typically starts with venting my issue, and getting feedback from my mentors and champions before I move on to processing. My processing can be written or just continuing to talk it out. Working out is helpful too, and moving my body in some capacity, a walk outside helps. I am also a big proponent of self care such as getting a massage or a manicure. Providing myself with a needed distraction. When I finally realize that the energy in which this defeat is taking from me, it’s time to form a different perspective and move on. Anger takes up too much mental space.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I LOVE to get to know interesting people…and most people have an interesting story to tell. I love to hear it, truly. I’ve been told I know “everyone,” while I don’t think that’s really true, I do love to connect people that I think would mesh well together. So please, drop me a note if you get this far reading my meet a mom spotlight!
How do our readers get in touch with you to learn more about obtaining services?
You can find me on most social networks:
- Instagram: @amylalex28
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A2SalesandMarketing
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amylalex/
And of course, my website: https://www.a2salesandmarketing.com. Let’s chat!
About Our Meet a Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here!