FOUNDER OF Peanut, A MEET-UP APP FOR MUMS
Forget twee pastel flowers and outdated web forums – with its welcoming ‘Hey Mama’ emblazoned in red block letters on a millennial pink background, Peanut is doing for new mothers what Tinder has done for singletons. ‘Peanut isn’t about mums, it’s about women,’ says Michelle Kennedy, who was working as deputy CEO of the dating app Badoo before launching Peanut in 2O17. ‘Women are so many different things – the word “mum” can be so reductive.’ A friendship app linking new mums was inspired by the birth of her son Finn, now four, and that particular brand of ‘isolation and loneliness’ new motherhood can bring.
Peanut now has 5OO,OOO users and Kennedy says her own experience highlights why the tech scene needs diversity. ‘Different viewpoints showcase where the opportunities are, whether it’s a problem that you’ve experienced directly or just an alternative take on something,’ she says. ‘Look at something like The Modist [the modest fashion platform] – that’s a great example of a different vantage point spotting a real need.’ At Peanut, she goes out of her way to hire women. ‘If young girls can only be what they can see, then I need to find that female engineer.’
Her advice to would-be founders is to develop a thick skin. ‘There were many knockbacks. Try to understand everything. Don’t let anyone blind you with science or out-geek you.’
Grey, white and blue coat,£699; white shirt, £1O9; and blue jeans, £175, all POLO RALPH LAUREN.All jewellery, Michelle’s ownAnne-Marie, Sharmadean, Louise, Michelle and Tobi are all styled in new-seasonPOLO RALPH LAUREN.HAIR: Mark Francome Painter at CLM Hair and Make-upusing Davines. MAKE-UP:Anita Keeling at One Represents using Nars Cosmetics. NAILS:Emma Welsh at Frank Agency using Leighton Denny ExpertNails. SET DESIGN:Rainbow Calvert English.TAILOR: Michael Hunt