Amanda Cole and Olivia Leon from Yummy Mummy & Pretzl Talk Building a Business in the ‘burbs
In and around NYC, entrepreneur and mom-fluencer Amanda Cole is known for her groundbreaking business, Yummy Mummy. With a focus on breastfeeding and support for moms during their journey, Yummy Mummy is a well-known and well-respected fixture on the Upper East Side. But, now, Amanda and partner, Olivia Leon, are taking it to the Westchester suburbs, launching a new venture that’s redefining another major parenting landscape: kids activities.
“It’s OpenTable for kids activities,” Amanda says of Pretzl, her latest launch which hit the Westchester suburbs in May. Once signed up, parents can search hundreds of activities, classes, events and more, all filtered to match their unique needs–think precise location, days of the week, kids’ ages and desired activities. To date, more than 300 kids activities providers, vendors, and programs have joined Pretzl, and that number continues to grow by the week.
“We wanted to be a one-stop shop,” Olivia explains, highlighting the meteoric growth of Pretzl in the Westchester suburbs. “We needed a comprehensive list of what’s out there. If a parent searches for ‘swim classes’ and one school pops up, that’s not helpful. Or if you search your zip code and there’s nothing listed, that’s also not helpful.”
With hundreds of providers, though, that’s never an issue. Even a quick search of the site and it’s clear the options are limitless. Families can enroll in long-term, short-term or even one-off events and activities, all happening locally in the Westchester suburbs. “Maybe my daughter loves taekwondo and I want to see where next-level classes are offered–that’s easy to search on Pretzl. Or, maybe, she takes hip-hop on Thursdays at 5:00 and I want to find something my son can do nearby. That’s easy to search, too.” And once you’ve signed your kids up for a class or activity, a simple click syncs their new schedule to your calendar.
The next step? “We’re looking to grow and expand regionally,” Olivia adds. “We just wanted to get it right in the Westchester suburbs first. Westchester seemed like the perfect market–it’s big, there are tons of families, tons of kids activities and tons of stand-out class providers.” Amanda calls Westchester “home,” and lives locally with her ten-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. Olivia holds down the fort in Manhattan and, with a five-year-old, knows the challenges of scheduling all too well.
“That’s how Pretzl was born,” she explains. “Amanda and I were commiserating one day. We’re busy working moms and she was in the process of planning her son’s birthday party–at the same place she’s hosted it for the last three years.” It’s a common problem, she explains, for families in the city and suburbia. “She wanted to do something different, but she didn’t know where to look, how to compare venues or, even, where to start. She knew she wanted food, cake and favors provided–somewhere she could just show up and write a check.” But, at the end of a busy workday after dinner time, homework and bed, it was always too late to dig in and start searching. We kept saying, ‘why is it so difficult?’”
“At the same time,” Olivia adds, “I was looking for a class for my son–something after school. Again, I didn’t know where to start. He’d aged out of another program and I was lost. I had no clue what was good, what was worth the money, anything. Really, there’s NO app for this?” That, she explains, was the first step towards the Pretzl launch.
“We want to help parents untangle themselves from this often-confusing, always-time consuming chore,” Amanda says. “Something that really shouldn’t be a chore at all. It should be fun–what does my child want to do and how can I help them enjoy it? It shouldn’t be a painful or painstaking task. Now, with Pretzl, it’s not.”
Looking into fall, Pretzl–aptly named because “pretzels are always present when kids are having fun,” Olivia explains–is gearing up for tons of great fall classes, clubs, teams, activities and events. Additionally, they’re still offering several end-of-summer day camps and drop-in classes. “Some parents book way in advance and some wait until the last minutes,” she says. “Mine, admittedly, falls into that ‘last minute’ category. Either way, though, we can help parents figure out what they want to do.”
Ready to discover the Westchester suburbs (and beyond)? Get in touch now!
Olivia Leon (interview/image)