In honor of #NationalBossDay (10/16/21), let’s take a minute to shout out and celebrate all the #BossBabes who are out there in the world, forging their own paths and taking their skills and passions directly to the people that need and want them – starting with our own resident #baddie, Lauren Helling!
If you’ve ever wondered about the woman behind Hello Sitter and how the company was founded, read on.
Lauren grew up in a big family, with seven siblings and tons of foster babies. Her parents had big hearts, so Lauren basically entered this world surrounded by children of all ages. How fitting!
Originally from New Orleans, Lauren moved to New York City after Hurricane Katrina to study and pursue a career in acting. She also continued doing what came natural to her, and nannied for multiple families in Manhattan. When acting took her away, she never let her families down! She built a network of competent and engaging sitter-friends to refer out while she was off getting her face on TV.
Something that had become a necessity in her burgeoning career quickly grew to more, and an idea was born. Lauren realized through direct experience that there is a huge need in the childcare industry for parents looking for last-minute support – because life doesn’t always respect our plans, and parents sometimes need a minute…! What if she could turn her sitter network and experience into, say, an elite babysitting platform brimming with vetted, trusted and dynamic sitters in different locales – for the parents who need a minute? Why not take all of this inherent baby-rearing, childcare knowledge and experience she had and give it to the people who were waiting for it?
After 10 years of nannying and jet-setting, Lauren eventually moved back to New Orleans, dream in-hand. It was time to launch her idea! She started off with 5 vetted sitters the first month – then onboarded 20 more in the next few. Her idea became a business which grew rapidly through word-of-mouth. After a few years of success came the issue of scaling. How could she streamline the process of finding, scheduling, paying, and reviewing sitters? How could she get parents in direct access with a sitter in a safe and secure, timely way?
Do you remember that saying, “there’s an app for that,”? Well – Lauren had just started building that app that would solve her scaling problem and bring her services to other cities, when the New York-based app Hello Sitter went up for sale. Talk about synchronicity – it was almost identical to the one she was building, and already based in a city she loved and knew well! She bought the rights, merged her businesses, and allowed herself to think even bigger than she had ever allowed.
Hello Sitter was scheduled for a Miami and Chicago launch in May 2020 when Covid came along and put a bit of a wrench in things. But Lauren weathered the storm and is happy that things are moving forward again, and in FULL force! “Since Covid, there is a major nanny and babysitter shortage that many families and other babysitting agencies are experiencing. We are in the middle of hiring a few more recruiters to help us with finding and onboarding more trusted sitters.” Lauren has plans to open up in four new cities next year (including Miami this November). She is working hard to get things back up to speed and fulfill as many parent’s requests for drop-in or date-night sitters as possible.
Keep an eye on this space (and in your inbox if you’re a subscriber) for all the latest updates as we undergo these exciting expansions – and expect a few bits of advice from our resident Boss Babe herself, based on her current career as a traveling Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) and Sleep Consultant! Thanks so much Lauren, for all the hard work you do supporting our network of mom’s and dad’s and mini’s!