Jill Koziol is the cofounder of lifestyle brand Motherly.

Jill Koziol is the cofounder of lifestyle brand Motherly.

Motherly: Empowering Modern Moms

Jill Koziol

All too often, we hear stories about people reaching their breaking point, desperately in need of a break. But every now and then, there are those who, even in the face of exhaustion, find the motivation to embark on even greater adventures. Jill Koziol, a talented entrepreneur and mother of two toddlers, is one such person.

Koziol had already achieved significant success with her invention, SwingEase – a product that transformed regular playground swings into baby-friendly versions. It was a hit, selling in Babies “R” Us and even licensed by an outdoor adventure company. As a busy mother, she was ready to take a well-deserved break. But when an acquaintance and newspaper editor, Liz Tenety, approached her with an idea for a brand targeted at a new generation of mothers, Koziol couldn’t resist. She co-founded Motherly, a far more ambitious parenting business than she had ever imagined.

The “Aha Moment”

Liz and Koziol’s initial conversation in April 2015 was like falling in love, they say. Ideas flew back and forth, creating an electrifying energy. Together, they realized there was an untapped market for modern mothers, a white space waiting to be filled.

Koziol identified three essential drivers of change that would ensure the generational longevity of a business. First, millennials would be the first digitally native generation to become parents, influencing the expectations they had for online resources. Second, women of this generation would surpass men in education, leading to delayed motherhood and changed family dynamics. Lastly, millennials would be the most diverse generation, necessitating a woman-centered, evidence-based, and empowering approach to parenting content.

Challenges and Growth

As with any new venture, Motherly faced its fair share of challenges. The first, and perhaps most significant, was converting their existing audience of information-seeking and inspiration-seeking readers into active shoppers. Koziol identified the untapped potential for Motherly to become a trusted source for purchasing decisions made by mothers, who account for 85% of household purchasing. The challenge lay in shifting readers’ perception to recognize Motherly as not only a provider of valuable content but also a trustworthy marketplace.

The second challenge was keeping up with the rapidly evolving landscape of content consumption. Social media, artificial intelligence, and search engines were all changing the way modern moms accessed information. To stay relevant, Motherly needed a robust multi-platform approach to reach and engage its target audience.

Unveiling the Fun Side

As accomplished as Koziol is, there is still a fun and personal side to her. A little-known fact about her is that her entire family relocated to Park City, Utah, during the pandemic, without ever having visited the town beforehand. This leap of faith highlights her adventurous spirit and willingness to take risks.

Motherly is a testament to how an exhausted inventor can become invigorated by a brilliant idea. Through Koziol’s determination and Tenety’s vision, a brand emerged that empowered a new generation of mothers. By understanding the needs and expectations of modern moms, and by constantly adapting to the changing landscape of technology and media, Motherly continues to thrive.