— Kerry Schrader
Her Story of Success…
In 2014, mother/daughter duo Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons realized there was something ineffective about the way we network at events. Out of their frustrations, the pair came up with the idea for Mixtroz, a highly customizable tool for that increases attendee engagement and collects data for event hosts and sponsors. In less than five years, Mixtroz has revolutionized the way companies and individuals approach events.
Because of Mixtroz, Ashlee and Kerry were invited to join Alabama’s prestigious Velocity Accelerator, won the Birmingham Rise of the Rest pitch competition led by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, and even starred in an episode of A+E’s “Rooster and Butch.” In 2018, Ashlee and Kerry became just the 37th and 38th black women to ever close a million dollar round of funding. The company has also been featured by Forbes, Inc., The New York Times, Business Insider and more.
In this episode…
Kerry and Ashlee break down how Mixtroz works, where it is today and where they hope it’s going (3:25). Since people often tend to focus on their mother-daughter relationship, they explain how they’ve made their partnership work and how having family in your business can be a helpful asset (10:12). Though they recognize that entrepreneurship tends to be a sport for the elite — a fact which they see as a major problem — they also know what it’s like to have to live off of your savings while trying to grow a business, and they share some relatable stories about making financial sacrifices along the way (12:10).
Before starting Mixtroz, Kerry and Ashlee both built successful careers that they then left behind to start their company (18:00). Ashlee shares how her mom went from working at McDonald’s to doing HR for large companies, and she describes how growing up with a hardworking mom shaped her own life in significant ways (24:23). The pair also offers practical advice about how they make time to give back to the community and still live life fully outside of Mixtroz (46:03). Ashlee and Kerry have both had their share of difficulties since starting their company, and they open up about dealing with depression, learning to avoid comparison and battling breast cancer all while building a business (50:48).