December 11, 2009
Things I won’t miss about running Movies for Mommies:
- The Monday panic. Every other Monday I had to book the next film, but so did every theatre booker in the country. Getting a hold of distributors took a lot of time, and many times they couldn’t give me the film I wanted.
- Stocking the screening. Every week MFM screened, I had to make sure supplies were in place. My husband or I shlepped to the Ridge or Fifth Avenue or Park or wherever all the time, moving around the films themselves, dropping off welcome kits, baby food, chips and more.
- Not having time to devote to MFM, and the guilt that I wasn’t doing enough. I’ve got a busy consulting practice, and I never had enough time to do MFM justice, at least not in the last few years.
- Some of the personalities I’ve had to deal with over the years. ‘Nuff said.
Things I’ll miss:
- The popcorn. I love movie theatre popcorn, and whenever I’d work the door, the staff always gave me some free.
- The baby Halloween costumes. I always offered a discount if mom brought baby in costume at Halloween. I started it just because I loved to see the babies in costume. My favourite to date is still the two cousins who came dressed as identical dragons.
- Always having great baby gifts for friends.
- Getting my kids to work for me, either at the door handing out samples or booster seats, or from home stuffing all the flyers in turn into the welcome bags. We haven’t had to tackle the allowance issue yet because I paid the kids for this work. Now we have to tackle it.
- Being a pioneer at this. I was the first to license Movies for Mommies from the founder. I was the first to start parent-infant film screenings in BC. I was the first to do date nights for parents and babies, and now lots of other MFM locations, as well as some copycat versions from the multiplexes, do them. I was in the first wave of mompreneurs who had an idea of how to amuse mom on her full year of mat leave. 2001 was the first year we got a year, and that’s when my first baby was born. It was my boredom in his first year that led to me looking for entertainment. As I used to say, he’d be happy going anywhere, but I was getting sick of malls and coffee shops. Of course, now there are a plethora of mompreneurs with great ideas of how to amuse a mom on mat leave. You guys are lucky.
- The community feedback. Not everyone answered back when I posed questions on the e-newsletter, but many did. Even when you hated my film choices, or thought I over-shared personally, I still loved that you wrote me emails back.
- The community resource of the e-newsletter. The mommies are a knowledgeable group, and someone always had an answer when I had a question. I found a piano teacher, a recipe for round challahs, someone to take away our moving boxes, and more. Craigslist‘s got nothing on the mommies.
- The soapbox. I have used the e-newsletter and my audience over the years to promote many causes near and dear to my heart, including charities (Alzheimer’s Society, Terry Fox Run, BC Children’s Hospital) and baby-related groups (I’ve been a sucker for the UBC Infant Language Study Centre for years!), political causes (remember national daycare?), and my own personal milestones (remember the triathlon I droned on about when I turned 40?).
- The contra. I did a lot of great trades with other businesses over the years. Some of it was promotional, like with the Vancouver Courier and Urban Baby & Toddler magazine. But a lot of it was for personal gain, like the food preparation companies, the grocery delivery services, the theatre shows. I traded advertising at Movies for Mommies for a lot of great stuff for myself and my family over the years. I’ll miss that.
But perhaps the thing I’ll miss most is writing the e-newsletter. It was a great outlet for me over the years, telling funny stories about my family and my personal life. But that’s why I now have this blog. So if you liked my writing before, stick around here and come back to this blog. It’s my new outlet, and hopefully, it will be a small consolation for all the things I’ll be missing out on now that I no longer run Movies for Mommies.
October 12, 2009
Thanks to everyone who came forward over the weekend to offer to help me out with hostessing at Movies for Mommies. I’m overwhelmed with how many mommies wanted the job. And considering that I only posted it on Twitter, Facebook and my blog, it goes to show that social media and word of mouth work incredibly well for us mommies!
I have found someone, but now also have a long list of backups if anything happens again. And for the next owner of MFM, I have a huge list of applicants for the job if you decide to hire someone!
Thanks again everyone. On this Thanksgiving morning, I’m very grateful for the wonderful community of mommies that support MFM Vancouver.
October 9, 2009
I just found out that my previous hostess has quit on me, and I’m a little hooped. I work at my day job on Wednesdays, and can’t be at Movies for Mommies every screening. I’ve figured something out for this first week, but don’t know what I’ll do for the rest of the fall.
It’s a very easy job, and I pay for it. All you have to is turn up at the Rio by 11:45 to set things up, set out the stuff on the welcome table, then at noon, be ready when the doors are opened. You greet the mommies, hand out welcome kits to first-timers, get people to fill in the door prize forms. than at 12:30 pm, go to the front of the theatre, make the announcements, draw the door prize, then let the Rio staff know it’s time to start the film. Then come back to the front table, pack stuff up, and then you can go by 12:45. It’s just an hour and I pay you more than four times minimum wage.
It’s a perfect gig for a mom who’s kids are in school, or for anyone who likes babies. The screenings left this year are: October 28, November 11, 25, and December 9.
Can you help me out? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 24, 2009
I’m sorry for the blog silence lately. Work and home have both been very busy for me and I’m falling behind. There’s lots I planned to blog about, and I’ll try to catch up soon. But in the meantime, I have set a new price for Movies for Mommies Vancouver and I hope that will interest a buyer to take over the business before the end of the year.
You probably know that my MFM screenings are part of a national license of the MFM brand. Buying me out is contingent on being approved as a licensee by the Toronto office (well, it’s really just one person). But she trusts my judgment and anyone I pick will have no trouble getting approved. Anyhow, the price I set for the business included the license fee for the first year. But I’ve been doing some negotiating with the Toronto office, and have gotten her to agree to waive the license fee for the first year altogether. That lowers my original asking price by several thousand dollars.
So posted here now is a revised two-page summary of the sale. MFM Vancouver is a great business for a start-up mompreneur. It’s easy to run and fun to do, and if you put just a bit more effort in than I’ve done the past couple years, you can really make some money.
If you’re interested, please download this file and then contact me.
August 18, 2009
Have you heard all my news yet? Here’s what I put in the e-mail newsletter last Friday:
MOVIES FOR MOMMIES IS MOVING TO THE RIO THEATRE IN OCTOBER.
Yup, the Ridge will no longer be available to us after September, so I went looking for a new home, and The Rio Theatre has offered us a great place to continue our programming. This is a gorgeous, grand old theatre that has been redone and revived. It shows first run, mainstream films, it’s air conditioned, it has a super concession, and best of all is the location. It’s right at Commercial and Broadway.
Now I know parking isn’t perfect in that area, but there is street parking on many nearby streets. But the location is ideal for public transit. Not only do a bunch of bus routes, including the express 99 stop right there, but it’s right down from the Commercial/Broadway Skytrain stations, which means getting to and from downtown, Burnaby, Surrey and other eastern ‘burbs is now a piece of cake for mommies! And to beat the rush hour crunch of parking limits, schools and commuters, we’re going to start films a half hour earlier. Doors will open at 12 noon and films will start at 12:30 pm. Commercial Drive is a hotbed of great infant-friendly restaurants and coffee shops, so you can spend the day down there with baby every other Wednesday.
We’ll have our pick of their first-run films, and will also continue to bring in other films, just like we have done at the Ridge.
All this will happen as of the beginning of October, since the Ridge gave me until the end of September. So three more screenings at the Ridge remain, then the big move. I hope you’re excited about this. I know I am.
But I do have some more news, if you can stand just one more bit. I’ve been running Movies for Mommies in Vancouver since 2002, and the time has come for me to find a successor. If you’re looking for a part-time business that is fun, baby-friendly, easy to run and part of a great national network, why not buy MFM Vancouver from me? You’d be surprised how economical it is, and how with your enthusiasm, you can grow the business. Feel free to email me with any questions about the business, and please spread the word that I’m looking for a buyer.
So that’s the news. I’ve had a few mommies enquiring about buying the business, so I’m optimistic that someone will take over and keep MFM ticking along. I really am excited about the move to the Rio, and will start making big press noise next month.
Got questions? Feel free to comment and ask.
May 22, 2009
I’ve run Movies for Mommies for seven years now, and for nearly every week of those seven years I’ve written an e-newsletter. In each e-newsletter I write pithy, funny, revealing, helpful, or goofy stories about being a mom, being a working mom, dealing with my family, understanding my generational place in the world, living in Vancouver, raising a family, being a consultant, and other fun stuff. I’ve written about moments I’m proud of, like when my baby learned to walk or I completed my triathlon, and moments I’m not so proud of, like when I forgot to register my kid for baseball and he almost didn’t get to play or when I got old — um, make that older.
For years mommies who read my e-newsletter tell me they keep reading it long past when they have kids young enough to come to the Movies, and they say it’s because they like to read what I write. So after seven years, I’ve decided it’s time to start blogging.
I can’t promise I’ll be any good at this. Well, I know I can write — I do that for a living. But can I keep this up on a regular basis? I hope so. I’ll try to blog at least a few times a week. I’ll keep it as personal as my e-newsletter has always been, but I’ll also bring MFM news as I have it, because I hope that everyone who has read my e-newsletter over the years will drop in here to read this blog.
But now, it’s a beautiful, sunny day in Vancouver. The kids just left for school with hubby, the house is mine, and I’m going to — well, I’m going to do some client work. But then later I might go for a bike ride. Because it’s sunny. And I can. And I need the exercize. Sunshine = bathing suit season, after all. But that’s a whole other blog post for another day. 😉