New York City is not the most forgiving of places, with its egregious rent prices, competitive job market, and overall density.
Sometimes after a day in the city, all you need is a bit of good old-fashioned motherly advice — or simply, mum-time.
For those not lucky enough to be a subway ride away from home, 63-year-old Nina Keneally — a Bushwick-based mum of two grown sons, and founder of NeedAMom — will provide just that, for $US40 an hour.
“It’s an evolving process of what the business is really going to be,” Keneally tells Business Insider, but she’s quick to clarify that it will not translate into cleaning your bathroom or doing your laundry: “As any mother says, I’m not your maid.”
She’ll do just about everything else, from tweaking your résumé and keeping you company at your doctor’s appointment, to simply listening to you over a cup of coffee. “I’m not going to cook for you, but I’ll go to the supermarket with you and talk you through making your first big meal,” she explains.
The idea for NeedAMom emerged as she met more and more young people in her millennial-filled Brooklyn neighbourhood, Bushwick, where she and her husband moved to from Connecticut two years ago.
“I started to interact with young people in yoga, and met a lot of neighbours just walking my dog,” she says. “After a while, they started talking to me about things that were going on in their lives. They approached me in a vaguely maternal way. It looked like there was room for someone to be a personal mentor for these people — as opposed to a professional mentor — and just offer them some hard-earned wisdom and perspective.”
Her wisdom and perspective officially became a business in late October. The fee is $US40 an hour, but new clients pay $US30 for their first session.
While the company is still very much in its nascent stage, Keneally’s already been asked when she’s going to franchise it — others have asked if they can work for her.
“I need to take it a step at a time and make sure it’s a sound idea,” she explains. “And if this works in New York City and I decide to expand it, I would need to make sure I have a sound business plan and advisory team on hand.”
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