In 2015, Myriam Sandler had a problem many moms face: Her baby daughter Nicole refused to eat solid foods. Spaghetti, soup, rice … she wouldn’t have any of it. “That was driving me crazy as a first-time mom and I was determined to find a solution,” recalls the Venezuelan-born Myriam, who grew up in Miami.
Fortunately, Myriam had an educational background in psychology and, prior to becoming a mom, had worked with kids that had ADD and ADHD. She eventually realized that baby Nicole likely had “texture sensitivities,” which makes some foods seem unappetizing. So she began to create play activities to help her daughter experience things that felt squishy, slimy, wet or rough. Through feeling the textures, Nicole became accustomed to the sensations and started eating.
“I felt like I had a parenting breakthrough,” Myriam says. This experience inspired her to record short videos of her sensory play activities to share with other parents on social media. What began as an experiment has developed into a booming social media and web presence, as herMothercould brand has attracted more than 640,000 followers on Instagram and 40,000 monthly visitors to her website, along with business partnerships and other opportunities.
Here’s how Myriam went from being a young learning mother to a full-time social media and web creator, promoting her growing, family-friendly brand across multiple online platforms.
Launching on social media
After creating her Mothercould websiteand a brief foray onto Instagram in 2016, Myriam paused content development to focus on her family. In late 2018, after giving birth to her second daughter Emma, she relaunched herMothercould brand on Instagram, featuring kids’ play activities and recipes. “There were no videos out there bringing play into food and activity recipes,” she recalls. “It just exploded and the feedback from other parents and educators was so rewarding. It inspired me to keep creating.”
Families were hungry for the fun, rainbow-colored activities Myriam posted. By August 2019, she had 100,000 Instagram followers. “I thought, let’s branch out and see what happens,” Myriam says. She established a presence onFacebook andTikTok, and began sharing some videos onYouTube and Google’s new short-form DIY video platform,Tangi.
Attracting business partnerships
Interest in Myriam’s content kept growing by leaps and bounds, as she brought together an online community of like-minded parents. For almost a year she rejected Instagram promotions that would come her way, waiting instead for the right moment to turn her hobby into a business. So she reached out to a food coloring brand she loves to use in her recipes. The brand jumped at the chance to sponsor her content. “Two weeks later, Nickelodeon Kids called,” Myriam recalls, asking her to create activities for the Nickelodeon Parents channel.
Myriam attributes her success to being authentic and not being shy — reaching out to companies she wanted to work with herself. “You get a lot of ‘nos’ before you get to a ‘yes,’” she explains. “For me, the Wilton partnership gave me the confidence to pursue more.” As her brand exposure increased, more businesses began approaching Myriam for customized content and sponsorships.
Creating a web hub
Though Myriam had originally considered Instagram her home base, the platform allows only one link on the user’s bio page. She realized she needed to create a links page on her website to invite her Instagram followers to learn more about Mothercould’s online shops and her other product-related “favorites.” Adding this landing page link on Instagram had an unexpected benefit. “My website went from almost no visitors to 40,000 monthly visitors overnight,” she says.
This traffic boost motivated Myriam to reevaluate her Mothercould website, which until recently was an afterthought to her social channels. She created a centralized hub from which she could link to all her social media properties. She began updating her blog with fresh content, appealing to visitors who want to read about activities and view printable recipes. “This was a real tipping point for me,” Myriam explains. “It helped with my SEO and getting more people to the website.”
Expanding the Mothercould brand
By 2021, Myriam signed with Digital Brand Architects, one of the first and largest digital creator agencies, to handle her business partnerships and other opportunities.Myriam offers this advice to other web creators who want to follow in her footsteps: "Find people that are doing something similar, reach out, introduce yourself, become friendly in the comments section, and share each other's content. That's how you start building relationships so that you can build your online presence."