#33: Hayley Nivelle, Founder of Ellie


ellie is an app to make the administrator’s job easier, and give parent group members what they deserve—a centralized place to connect and efficiently communicate with other parents, in a manner that gives them control over the content they consume. Hayley's moms groups have been an invaluable part of her journey as a mom, important for everything from birthday and holiday gift ideas to serious questions about baby development, sleep regressions, breastfeeding, weaning, illnesses, going back to work, and things to do.

UL: What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business? 

HN: I highly value authenticity, collaboration and commitment. I’ve found that you’re better off being authentic with everyone you work with from day one—whether it’s your co-workers, potential business partners, or users. Authenticity cuts out the noise and allows all stakeholders to focus on what matters. I love collaborating, and getting other people’s viewpoint and opinions. The other day, my colleague said, “I hope I didn’t challenge you too much on that point” and I said—never say that to me again! I want to be forced to defend my position, or to be convinced that another way is better. And that’s also why the app is so crucial for parents—it’s so important to crowd source info and learn how other people are doing things. Doesn’t mean you’ll change your mind, but more info never hurts. As for inclusion, I am very open minded and expect the same of those around me. Everyone is trying to do their best and that’s one of the core values of the ellie app. Parents come to our app for advice, community and to be lifted up. Parenting is much easier when you don’t do it alone. We don’t tolerate hurtful or derogatory comments on the app.

UL: Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

HN: I’m failing more now than I ever have before, but that’s because I’m taking more risks than ever before. Since founding the ellie app, I’m regularly failing, growing, failing, learning, failing, growing…but in the end, it’s always for the better. Learning how to run a development team, and an app has been full of challenges. I’ve rushed to release new features to our parents, only to discover we released bugs at the same time. It has forced me to slow down, take a step back and make better long-term decisions.

UL: What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

HN: ellie is an app for parenting groups as an alternative to Facebook. Anyone can download the app and create a group on it, customize topic for their group or join a group and share advice. We went live a few months ago and we’re looking to grow rapidly in 2019. There will be new groups popping up in cities across the country—from NYC to Kansas City to LA. We can’t wait to see everyone on the app!