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Women Who Inspire

Kelly Singer & Paige Green Dunn | Founders, MOMentum

October 21, 2014

When Kelly Singer and Paige Green Dunn noticed that local moms had a lack of resources and opportunities when it came to spending time with their kids and getting time for themselves, the Seattle natives took it upon themselves to make some changes. Their goal was to bridge what moms wanted with what kids needed. With the idea of bringing fitness equipment to parks in the Greater Seattle area, Singer and Dunn created MOMentum.  With three locations already in Redmond, Auburn and Seattle, the duo is seeing their vision continue to grow with the launch of four additional parks in partnership with Trust for Public Land, Seattle Parks Department and Seattle Parks Foundation. 

How is MOMentum different from other playground/work out combinations?
Kelly: We spent almost a year being very thoughtful of the design, and researching equipment. We wanted to lay it out in a way that moms can be social, get a work out and still allow the kids to play. So the equipment is lined around the perimeter play area so regardless of what machine the mom is on, the child is always in sight.

What does it add to the dynamic of creating MOMentum by working as a duo compared to doing this alone?

Kelly: I think we each bring different strengths. Paige is the motherhood expert. She has an amazing blog that provides a ton of resources, some that she got from experts but most of it from her own personal experiences. She’s very open about sharing and I think that is very helpful – to hear a real perspective of what it is to be a mom. She understands at a deep level what moms need and want. I come from a fitness background and had a fitness studio – which is how Paige and I met. I was her trainer – and I worked a lot with women, so I feel like I bring an understanding of the struggles women encounter to be healthy and find the time to exercise. It was a perfect combination of talents and specialties. I have done a business on my own and it’s really challenging. Having a partner gives us an added benefit to balancing things out and bringing our individual strengths.

"Always be the dumbest person in the room. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. There is always something to learn."

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Kelly: I think for me it’s, ‘Always be the dumbest person in the room. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. There is always something to learn.

Paige: I remember when I was a little girl I was having a problem with a friend at school. My dad had me climb on his lap and shared with me, “This is what the golden rule is: ‘Always do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.’” It’s so basic. It’s been around – nothing new. But it’s so brilliant. My dad learned that from his dad and I taught that to my little boy. He then went on to share it with his friends and teachers. It’s a neat legacy. It does help out for every situation.  

People often wonder about the differences between how men and women lead. What are your thoughts on that? Is there a difference or something that people make up?
Kelly: Not exactly answering this question, but it relates. It’s kind of interesting when we put out the exercise equipment into parks – usually it’s the dads who are on the equipment first. We see them when we go back to visit the parks – they are always on them. It’s interesting to see how the dads see the benefit but how it was moms who did the initiative to do it. Overall, I like to think it’s something people make up. I think it’s based on the individual. I think women have much more on their plate and balance more; with more expected from them, with more of a bias towards them. 

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, said; “Only female business leaders get asked if they have nannies. Men aren’t asked: How do you do that? How do you do this? How do you balance both a career and family?” How accurate is this statement? 
Paige: I think you have a good point. Yes, I do get asked these questions, often. I think there are different expectations, certainly, but I also think it’s changing. I think there are a lot of stay-at-home dads now too, but I would say men probably don’t get asked how they manage it.

Kelly: A flip side of that though, to be completely honest – I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for my husband. He is the one that supports us and helps me achieve my goals. And vice versa. Sometimes men don’t, I feel, get the credit they deserve.  

Any advice for others on how they can better themselves and their relationships in a team work environment?
Paige: I think you hit on a very important word— that is team. I think if people are working as a team and that’s the mentality they have, you dodge a lot of competiveness. 

Kelly: I think a lot of issues that come up in work environments stem from communication – the lapses there. Just really understanding and taking the time to listen before you jump to conclusions, and asking a lot of questions. Making sure you like to get to the root cause of things. 


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