After seeing the false representation of motherhood in everyday advertising while on maternity leave with her second child, JMU alumna Katherine Wintsch (’99) decided to do something about it.
She launched The Mom Complex, a consulting organization that helps other companies support mothers with products and services that are created with them in mind. In March, Wintsch released her book, “Slay Like A Mother,” which acts as a guide for moms to help eradicate their self-doubt.
Wintsch majored in marketing at JMU and transferred her 15 years of experience in the field to her own entrepreneurial venture. The company has mostly worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Chobani and Pinterest to help moms who are employees and customers by making their lives easier with new marketing for products, smarter ways to shop and more.
Wintsch’s passion for marketing began in high school, and, at JMU, she learned about the different pillars of business through the course CoB 300: Integrative Business. She said this course helped her immensely as an entrepreneur because it connected the different elements of business through a single project. In her sophomore year, she joined the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, where she met her friend Lisa Klein (’99) and now husband Richard Wintsch (’97).
Katherine said she considers The Mom Complex’s research methods unconventional compared to other companies’. Instead of focus groups, the company throws “opinion parties” in several countries that bring together mothers who already know each other to discuss different topics on motherhood. The company also uses digital tools, like apps, where moms can track certain aspects of their daily routines. Katherine said these research methods are intended to generate honest and raw responses to get more accurate data.
“My research has shown that we’re just working ourselves to the grind, trying to collect external signs of success so we can feel better about ourselves,” Katherine said. “I have seen the suffering that lives inside so many mothers when we don’t believe that we’re good enough.”
Before writing “Slay Like A Mother,” Katherine wrote posts for her blog, In All Honesty, which explores her personal experiences with modern motherhood. Klein said she found herself relating to these posts frequently, and when she found out Wintsch was writing a book, she was excited.
“I just overall think she’s an inspiration to so many moms and women that don’t feel their best, that don’t think they’re good enough,” Klein said. “I’m just super happy for her success and excited for what’s next for her.”
After being rejected for four years by 23 different publishers, Katherine received a book deal from Sourcebooks and began writing. She wrote the book in seven months, writing for nine hours a day, five days a week. Katherine said that the book itself is a self-help book to guide mothers through destroying the self-doubt that’s holding them back from being their best selves.
“Slay Like A Mother” has been recognized by The Today Show and Good Morning America, and it was named by Parade Magazine as “one of the top 10 life-changing self-help books of 2019.” Katherine said that she receives feedback from mothers around the world whom she’s personally impacted. Richard said he’s proud of how much of an impact Katherine has had on so many mothers’ lives.
“Her No. 1 goal is to help one mother at a time, and the fact that she can do that in her business at The Mom Complex is extremely fulfilling for her,” Richard said. “I’m glad she’s fulfilling her dreams and loving herself in the process.”
Currently, The Mom Complex is working on creating online learning modules that go beyond “Slay Like A Mother” to delve deeper into the work that needs to be done to turn self-doubt into self-compassion. Katherine said she’s proud of her work, and she’s excited about the future of the company.
“When I was living in The Village on campus, I never in a million years would’ve thought that this is what I would be doing,” Katherine said. “To me, it’s not about selling books; it’s about changing people’s lives.”
Contact Kamryn Koch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more coverage of JMU and Harrisonburg news, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.