Finding good mom friends is kind of like dating. That was the idea Michelle Kennedy had in mind when she founded Peanut, a free app for moms to connect with other moms. Peanut has organized a series of events in Miami this month.
“We launched two years ago, and the concept came from my personal experience. I was working in the dating industry, so I knew how romantic relationships could engage with tech,” says Kennedy, who is based in London and worked at the dating app Badoo and helped launched Bumble.
“I had my little boy, and the older he got, it became increasingly apparent that I really needed to find a community of women who were going through the same thing as me. But how do you find these women? There were these cool tech products, but we didn’t have them for motherhood. I wanted to hang out with other moms who I would also be friends with in real life.”
Peanut operates exactly the way you’d expect for a dating app. You fill out your profile, which includes information such as your neighborhood, a bio, photos, ages of your children or your due date, interests like fashion or fitness, and other defining factors, such as job and education. Then you begin the swiping process. The app presents the profile of another mom. If you swipe up, you wave at her. Swipe down and you save her for later. If you both wave at each other, you can begin a chat conversation.
Finding common interests outside of having kids is at the heart of Peanut. “There’s a weird artificial commonality about being moms. Motherhood is sort of the same — it’s a common thread, but we are all so different. We all have different views and think about things in different ways. I want to be able to speak to another mom and talk about stuff not having to do with my son, like rubbish TV I’m watching and what’s going on at work,” says Kennedy, who has a 5-year-old and is expecting her second child in June.
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“The way I see women using Peanut, so much of the conversation is not about children and more about the women. There are lots of conversations around going back to work and sharing experiences about childcare or asking about working from home. There’s lots of stuff about relationships.”
Though the app has been available nationwide for a couple of years, Kennedy decided to do a special launch in Miami this spring because she saw a great response from the mamas of the Magic City. Last week, she and her crew threw a party at Soho House. They plan to partner with Miami Moms Blog, a parenting website, for a future event, and Miami-based Peanut users will also host their own get-togethers. Moms can find out about these happenings on the Miami group feeds in the Peanut app.
“Our vision for Miami is that when you are going through a life change that relates to motherhood, you have a resource in Peanut," Kennedy says. "We want to be the front of the line for women so they don’t feel like they are doing it on their own. Peanut is a safe place for you to hang out with your friends and have conversations.”
Peanut is available in the App Store and Google Play.