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Tanglewood Moms: From Facebook group to online businesses

🕐 5 min read

Tanglewood Moms

Est. 2011, 2015

www.tanglewoodmoms.com

www.facebook.com/TanglewoodMoms

For most people, the idea and pursuit of owning one successful business can be a lifetime of work, but 43-year-old Victoria Wise is on her seventh entrepreneurial venture. But she hopes she’s found her flagship in Tanglewood Moms.

Everything began when Wise started the Tanglewood Moms Facebook group six years ago. Wise and her husband of 10 years, William Robert “Billy Bob” Wise, have four children – Rowan, 9, Lollie, 8, and twins Griffin and Graham, 6. In 2011, she started the group as an online space for women and mothers to go to for discussion, advice, support, recommendations and community.

But by 2015 Wise had turned Tanglewood Moms into a business venture with the addition of her website – tanglewoodmoms.com – complete with online business directory and blog. By the end of 2015, the private Facebook group had grown to 2,300 members. Today membership is just over 8,000.

AN ENTREPRENEUR AT HEART

Wise is a 1996 graduate of Texas Christian University with a degree in radio, television and film, and she says she got the entrepreneurial “bug” after starting her first business in 1999.

Over the next 16 years, Wise would start and sell six companies with focuses from jewelry to children’s wear and social media marketing before launching Tanglewood Moms as a business.

“I’m naturally just a hard worker. I love building businesses,” Wise said. “It’s what drives me to be my best; to me it doesn’t feel like work.”

Taking no money from investors, she starts her businesses with what money she and any co-founders have on hand.

She started Tanglewood Moms with only $100, and the company turned a profit the first month of between $2,000 and $2,500 thanks to its online business directory.

With options of $87 and $297 per month for listings in the business directory and newsletter, Wise says her prices are meant to fit businesses of all budgets as she emphasizes supporting local businesses.

In fact, Tanglewood Moms has even begun donating to local nonprofits to invest in the community with its Tanglewood Moms Gives Back Initiative. Wise started the initiative in June and has the online community choose one nonprofit to support each month.

August’s recipient was the Center for Transforming Lives, which had requested preschool supplies. Tanglewood Moms had various drop-off locations for the supplies around town.

As time went on, Wise analyzed what she has developed with Tanglewood Moms. The need for the online sisterhood and the growth it was experiencing, coupled with Wise’s entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge, led her to develop more services for her Fort Worth community and to acknowledge the potential need for similar spaces in other cities.

With this in mind, she created the umbrella brand Madeworthy. Under that umbrella is a magazine, an online marketplace for artists and an online friendship matching service. Now that her three new services have launched, Wise hopes to have at least one Madeworthy franchise opened by the end of 2017 and would like to have a total of 3 to 5 by the end of 2018.

The bi-monthly Madeworthy Magazine and online Madeworthy Marketplace – madeworthymarket.com – began on Sept. 1, along with People Like Us/People Like You (PLU) woman-to-woman friendship matching service.

All coincided with the relaunch of the Tanglewood Moms website, which features a new home video that showcases popular areas around Fort Worth, tabs for the new services and more.

MADEWORTHY MAGAZINE

Before publishing a magazine, Wise met with TCU’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Michael Sherrod, to get his advice. With his encouragement, Wise on July 1 began reaching out to businesses for ads in the publication. By the second week of July, Wise says, she knew it was going to come to fruition.

Sent out bi-monthly, the first 10,000 copies of each Madeworthy Magazine issue will be free – 7,500 going to a set mailing list and 2,500 on display around Fort Worth. An e-edition of each issue will be available online for free.

Printed on thicker, matte paper, the magazine is meant to be something for the whole family, offering a tear-out list of family-friendly activities. One article per issue will be printed in Spanish with the translation available online to encourage families to learn a second language and also appeal to native speakers.

The magazine will be printed and delivered by Fort Worth-based Cockrell Enovation. Some major sponsors for Madeworthy Magazine include Dr. Steven Camp, TCU Athletics, Frost Bank, ArtSpace111 and The Shops at Clearfork.

MADEWORTHY MARKETPLACE

Madeworthy Marketplace is intended to be a place for local artists to showcase and sell their products online. It will be co-managed by Regan Hall, daughter of New York Times best-selling author Ron Hall, who will be one of the marketplace’s featured artists.

The idea for the marketplace came after Wise read and was moved by Ron Hall’s book, Same Kind of Different as Me.

“I knew I wanted to do something to support the local arts with Regan. We also knew we wanted to have a socially conscious business and use the platform to give back to Fort Worth,” Wise said. “We have been talking about starting an artist representation business for about a year and a half, but the timing was not right until now.”

Wise’s goal is to have 12 local artists take part in the marketplace to start. Artists pay no fee to take showcase their work and keep 75 percent of all sales. Twenty percent is taken as a management fee, and 5 percent goes to Tanglewood Moms Gives Back.

MADEWORTHY PLU

With online options for dating and friendship such as Tinder and Bumble, it was only a matter of time before more specialized connection programs came into play. Wise says the idea for a woman-to-woman local friendship application came about from a conversation with a friend two years ago. But at that time, Tanglewood Moms wasn’t ready to support that service.

Now, however, with the constant growth and increasing revenue streams, Wise is offering People Like You (PLU), a friendship matching program that connects women through shared experiences.

Unlike similar programs that work on a more global scale, PLU serves the smaller, focused community of women in Fort Worth. There will be a $5 monthly charge for PLU.

The process is simple. Interested women can set up profiles using a drop-down menu and multiple-choice questionnaire about themselves and what they’re looking for. Then PLU’s algorithm will match each woman to PLU community groups – of which there will be 20 to 30 – and their top individual matches. Matches will refresh daily as more people join PLU.

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