An Interview with Marie Maher of Lullaby Sitters

In this week’s Arck Spotlight, we interview Marie Maher, founder and owner of Lullaby Sitters LLC. Lullaby Sitters is a child care services startup that’s focused on connecting parents to sitters with “speed dating” events where parents meet a large number of sittings in a single event. Arck Interactive is acting as Lullaby Sitters technology partner and building out custom web and mobile platforms to supplement their in-person events and help parents connect with and book sitters. The service has recently launched in Indianapolis, IN and plans to roll-out in other cities in the next year.

  1. Tell us about your company and your role there.

I am the founder/owner of Lullaby Sitters LLC. We are an online networking community for parents and sitters. We help connect parents and sitters in the Indianapolis area via online and in person. We do so by hosting Speed Sitting events, think speed dating but for a sitter. We also offer expanded background checks to help during the decision making process.

  1. Could you tell us more about your site and its origins?

We just felt that there had to be an easier way to connect parents with childcare. The process can be a long one and we feel we have found a way to streamline decision making. We created a site that offers families and childcare providers the tools needed to make a connection, no extra functions that can seem overwhelming.

  1. What problems or challenges does your site attempt to solve?

Our site is very user friendly and simple. We only focus on connecting parents and sitters, no other services. Everything is pretty straightforward. Trying to find someone you trust to care for your child is stressful enough, and trying to find a job as a source of income can be time consuming. It takes just a few minutes to register and have a profile, you can begin your search right away.

  1. How has technology, and custom development in particular, allowed you to solve these problems or challenges?

We tried various pre made plugins for our site, but they just had extra functions that we didn’t need or we needed to add functions, and extra coding can bog down the site. Custom development allowed us to really customize the user experience. You have such a short amount of time to gain your customer base online. If the sign up process isn’t easy, they will leave your site. The customization of Lullaby’s site allows us to better retain our new users. Registration and user flow are now seamless.

  1. How would you describe your site’s members? Who are they and why are they coming to your site?

We have 2 user groups. Parents: Generally, in later 20s to early 40s looking for occasional or long term childcare. Sitters: Generally, in early 20s, usually college students, looking for extra income with a flexible schedule.

  1. What are a few major success stories?

We’ve been approached by a few local and 2 large businesses to help host our Speed Sitting events. We are starting to get recognized within the community as a resource for finding and connecting with childcare options.

Also, the site and our mission to make the connection process easier, works. We’ve gotten feedback from numerous families and sitters that they have found great connections and are very happy with the process.

  1. What do your members describe as the most important parts or features of your site?

Ease of the sign up process and ease of searching other profiles. With the site now geo coded, matches that are closer in proximity will appear first. That has really helped eliminate candidates that may not be worth contacting.

  1. How do you measure success?

By the amount of connections that are made via the site. When families and caregivers are connecting, then I know the site is working. Our user’s feedback has been vital in deciding what the user experience should look like. When connections are being made, then I know we’re doing something right.

  1. What’s on the horizon in the next year?

A mobile app and launching in other cities.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your hobbies and life outside of work.

I have 2 children ages 1 1/2 and 3, so they keep me pretty busy. We try to stay active as a family by going to parks, traveling, or braving a restaurant with two toddlers. I also love to cook, workout, and network. I’m pretty involved in my mom’s group (theCityMoms) and am also a part of a local entrepreneurial community (The Speakeasy). I truly enjoy meeting new people and collaborating with other business owners.

  1. Anything else you want to add?

I have been working on Lullaby for over 3 years. Finding the right people to work with has been the hardest part of this journey. You can’t build a business alone, but you also can’t do it with the wrong people. Working with Arck has allowed me to no longer worry about the functionality of the site. Together, we’ve created a site that is easy for users to navigate and also solve the problem of searching for childcare. Now I am able to focus on sales and marketing, and these are much more my strong suit. I feel confident we can expand Lullaby to other cities and truly become a resource for both parents and sitters.

 

Read more about the Lullaby Sitters platform on our case study.