Behind Her Empire Podcast: Baby First Co-founder On Parenting, Business And Viral Videos
On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, hear from Sharon Rechter. She's the co-founder and president of First Media, a multiplatform content publisher dedicated to millennial women. First Media's videos bring in over 1.7 billion monthly views on social media and their BabyFirst TV cable network reaches over 60 million U.S. homes. Their social media brands — So Yummy, Blusher and Blossom — have an average of 50 million views for every video post on social media.
Rechter is full of anecdotes to illuminate her philosophy of life. We hear why she left her career as a lawyer, what it takes to make a video go viral on social media, why women need to talk more about money and how she juggles being an entrepreneur and a mother of four.
- Rechter says she doesn't try to avoid the things she's afraid of. She says she tries to imagine the worse-case scenario; If she can live with that scenario, then she knows her next move.
- When building her cable network, Rechter says she and her partner (and now husband) had a meager budget. They focused on developing content first, rather than attempting to create it. This strategy let them close a deal and launch the network three months later.
- Her first hire was a cable network veteran, because, she said, she felt her sales team didn't trust her. Hearing it from a veteran made the plan more palatable.
- Her company started to create content for women on the social platforms, and because, as Rechter says, they mastered the art and science of what makes a video shareable, their Baby First Facebook fans went from 174,000 to 150 million without the company having to spend anything to acquire customers.
- Rechter and Guy involve their children in business decisions and share both the ups and the downs. She said she believes if children only see a perfect relationship or a perfect life, they will feel too much pressure to be perfect. The goal is allowing the kids to see their parents fail and come out okay.
"My goal is not to look at what I don't have or what I could have better, but rather how do I win with the cards I was dealt." — Sharon Rechter
Sharon Rechter is the co-founder and president of First Media.
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It's almost 90 degrees outside in Los Angeles as lines of cars pull up to Dodger Stadium, home to a mass vaccination site that opened Friday.
"Please make sure that they're not under the sun in the cart," Edith Mirzaian is telling a volunteer as she directs the person to put ice packs on coolers that hold up to 20 COVID vaccines. Mirzaian is a USC associate professor of clinical pharmacy and an operational lead at one of California's largest vaccination sites.
Dodger Stadium alone — once the nation's largest COVID-19 testing site — is slated to vaccine up to 12,000 people each day, county and city health officials said this week. Officials plan to finish vaccinating some 500,000 health care and assisted care employees by the end of this month before opening appointments up to people 65 and older.
Mirzaian is desperately trying to make sure that the vaccines don't spoil.
"We have to be the guardians of the vaccine," she said.
Earlier this month, hundreds of vaccinations were lost after a refrigerator went out in Northern California, forcing the hospital to rush to give out hundreds of doses. Mirzaian's task tells a larger story of the difficult and often daunting logistical process required to roll out a vaccine that requires cold temperatures.
"You know they can't be warm so just keep an eye out," she gently reminds the volunteer.
The volunteers and staff from USC, the Los Angeles Fire Department and Core Laboratories prepared enough doses to vaccinate around 2,000 residents on Friday and they plan to increase capacity each day after.
Local health officials are holding the vaccination syringes in coolers after they leave the air-conditioned trailers. The coolers are then covered in ice packs and wheeled on carts to clinicians administering shots to health care workers and nursing home staff eligible under the state's vaccination plan.
"Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the City, County, and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible," said mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement announcing the plan.
Health officials around the world are racing against time as the virus mutates and poses greater dangers.
"We have a little bit of borrowed time here right now because these variants are not here in great numbers from what we can tell," said Susan Butler-Wu, an associate professor in clinical pathology at USC's Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Curbing the spread of the virus is a vital way to prevent mutant strains from developing, she said.
Mirzaian, who arrived at the site before it opened at 8 a.m., said that there were logistical challenges as volunteers scrambled to assemble what will likely be the hub of the region's vaccination efforts.
"It's challenging to make sure that everyone knows what the process is and what we're doing and what to tell the patients who receive the vaccines."
After a few hours, the procedure moved quicker.
Residents have to show identification and proof of employment before they're taken through a list of pre-screening questions and given the vaccine through their car window. They're required to then wait for 15 minutes while clinicians monitor them for side effects.
Mirzaian said the process took each car about an hour. While eligible residents can walk-in for vaccinations, she recommends they make appointments so that enough doses are made available each day.
"As long as people have their appointments, they will get in," she said. "We are ready. We are like an army ready to give vaccines."
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As part of the reorganization, Chief Strategy Officer Jared Grusd, who previously oversaw content, will become a strategic advisor to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.
As a casting director, Lacey Kaelani has a leading view on Hollywood's content pipeline. Based on what she's been seeing on her venture-backed casting platform, Casting Depot, prepare for a deluge of unscripted shows.
"It's all gonna be handheld videos where everything looks like a Zoom call," she said. "Dating shows, talk shows, food competition shows – that's what was cast and is going into production."
The Casting Depot launched its latest beta version on Friday, with a "six-figure" investment from global venture capital firm Antler. Its board includes leaders from companies including CAA, Airtime, iHeartMedia, WorkMarket and IAC.