by Matt DeFaveri
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we interviewed the mothers of the Hey Now! Media team and have transcribed their answers into a delightful Q&A format. Lori Soble (mother of Hey Now! Media owner Matt Soble), Grace Brower (mother of Hey Now! Media owner Matt Brower), Amy DeFaveri (mother of Writer Matt DeFaveri) and Mary-Beth Muskin (mother of Hey Now! Media owner Anne Brower and Copy Editor Emily Muskin) all spoke to us, about their kids, careers, and what makes Hey Now! so special. We say unto them and you: Happy Mother’s Day, moms.
What kind of work do you do?
Lori Soble (LS): I’m an Occupational Therapist. My work has very little to do with branding or marketing, since I’m not involved in the business end of providing therapy.
Grace Brower (GB): For the past 26 years, we owned a laundromat. We just sold it at Christmas time.
Amy DeFaveri (AD): I’m involved in integrated marketing and communications.
Mary Beth Muskin (MM): I’m recently retired as director of counseling at the second largest high school in Nebraska. I’m still dabbling in all kinds of things: doing work with Anti-Defamation League, volunteering for Youth Emergency Services with homeless children, helping with get out the vote campaigns… I’m not a very good “sit still” person.
How did your child get involved in marketing and branding?
LS: I think Matt’s first branding experience was making T shirts and creating an image in his AZA BBYO chapter. He mostly learned about it in business school at Ohio University and from talking about it with his Dad.
GB: He just fell into it. He was always good at writing, but I never thought of him being interested in branding and logos.
AD: I think in high school, you had a keen interest in writing and storytelling and it was something you excelled at. I think you and I are similar in our creative process, and…what is it? Left brain? The creative side? I don’t know. That side.
MM: In 3rd grade Anne made an entire newspaper and wrote articles about everything going on in her and her siblings’s lives. At 10 years old she became a published writer. She has always done a form of marketing, art, and writing. She marketed her youth group in high school and has several published poems, and worked with an agency doing copy and learning about commercials and videos. Really everything she’s done has led up to this. Emily, was an intern for a local newspaper, wrote for her college paper, and has been editting her brother’s papers for years. (He’s grown into some great writing skills!)
In your own words, describe what you think Hey Now! Media does.
LS: I know Matt gives suggestions and strategies for growing the business and is involved in problem solving. Actually, in the beginning, I’m pretty sure business meetings with the Browers were a good excuse to get better dinners than he was getting at home.
GB: Hey Now! Media does branding and logos for any kind of company and they find what fits best for their clients. They tell Matt what they’re looking for and he and the other staffers execute that vision.
AD: I think that Hey Now! Media helps companies tell their story through their brand on a variety of different media platforms. I also think they have chosen a great freelance writer in Matthew DeFaveri (Author’s note: Ugh.).
MM: As an educator I know how hard it is to help people define themselves through their brand. We spend days and days coming up with one sentence revolving around our goals and visions. With Hey Now! you have people come in and sit down with you and flesh out an entire branding campaign quickly and efficiently. It’s incredible the amount of work they produce and the high level of quality they’re able to maintain.
Describe your perfect Mother’s Day.
LS: It would begin with my husband Scott getting up at 4 a.m. to let the dog out, and then again at 5 a.m. to feed her while I slept in. I would have brunch either at home or out with my children, my parents and in-laws and anyone else in the family who could join us. In the afternoon, a walk in the park, then grilling on the deck for dinner and a long bath at night.
GB: My perfect’s Mother’s Day is having both my children with their spouses or boyfriend and my husband and whatever other family I have, all to be with me.
AD: Being with my children. Plain and simple. Forever and ever.
MM: My perfect Mother’s Day is to have my children around me and probably to be out at our lake house.
Why should we celebrate Mother’s Day?
LS: Because every other day of the year is Kid’s Day.
GB: It’s just a day to make you feel special.
AD: We have to keep companies like Hallmark and 1-800-FLOWERS in business. It’s important for the American economy. An ancillary reason is the intense pain many mothers endure giving birth to their children. So, as payback for the intense pain caused by birthing children who eventually abandon you, we celebrate Mother’s Day.
MM: It’s just nice to spend time with family. My children have always spoiled me, whether at home or away they’ve always been very mindful of Mother’s Day.
What should your family do for you this Mother’s Day?
LS: Everything I said from the “perfect day” question.
GB: They’re doing exactly what I’d like them to do! They’re having a brunch for me and they’re cooking. Being together means more than the gifts.
AD: They should come down to Atlanta and hang out with me.
MM: To me it’s more about quality time than doing something for me. The fact my family remembers and are part of it makes it really special. That’s enough. A lot of people don’t have awesome children. I celebrate that mine are.
What did your child want to be growing up?
LS: A veterinarian. He’s the only kid I know who owned and read the National Audubon Society Field Guides To North American Insects & Spiders, Reptiles & Amphibians, and Mammals.
GB: Matt always wanted to be in a band. He liked playing drums, he took singing lessons. He was actually in a band for a while and one afternoon, he took all the lawn furniture off my deck and used it as a stage. Then he sent out 300 fliers and passed them out at school and a bunch of people came to see him play. My lawn filled up pretty fast. My basement was always rockin’ and rollin’ because I was the only one that would tolerate it.
AD: I don’t know that you ever wanted to be anything specific. I would definitely say not anything sports-related. You didn’t want to be that former Red Sox pitcher you liked so much. Jonathan Applebaum. Papelbon. Whatever.
MM: I don’t know either of them ever specifically talked about what they wanted to be, but I think they always knew that they could be anything they want to be. I mean I’m a counselor, come on. We were at a Creighton game one time and we were sitting with the guy who was the team doctor. He looked over at Annie at one point and asked if she wants to be a cheerleader when she grows up. She said, “Oh no, I want to be the team doctor!”. In 3rd grade they were asking the kids in Emily’s class what they wanted to be when they grew up. Emily’s friend said she wanted to work for a Barbie doll factory, while Emily responded “I want to be a women’s rights activist.”
Tell us an embarrassing story about your child.
LS: Matt loved catching huge frogs in their pond with his grandpa, and proudly showing them to his grossed out mom and grandma.
GB: The one that sticks out in my head was when Matt had a party in our back yard. He had a hot tub and there were about six girls in it. He climbed in with them and his friends were all trying to get in with them and he kept yelling at them to get out.
AD: When you were a baby, just a couple days old – I mean, we literally just brought you home – you peed on your brother. You marked your territory.
MM: I took Annie and Emily to the grocery store, which was not something I loved doing. I was always afraid they were going to get lost or stolen or something. Their dad loved sending them up and down the aisles to retrieve things and they loved doing it.
I was in charge of getting them there that day, so I divided the list in thirds and gave Annie a third and Emily a third. I’m in the middle of my list and Annie comes back with nothing. I go, “Annie, where’s your list?” And she had organized ALL the guys in the grocery store to do her shopping for her. Cute young guys are coming up to me left and right with items Annie asked them to pick out.
Meanwhile, Emily returns with her list, and she has price-shopped in every sense of the word. “I got this brand because it was cheaper than this brand but it was the same quality as this brand,” she said. She had not only gotten her own list, but she had analyzed each choice and made her decision on tons of different variables. They’re so different yet so close and so similar. It’s been an amazing thing to watch them grow into the adults they are.
LS: I’ve always been proud of how mature, self sufficient, and independent Matt has been, and that he’s always known where to find a party. Or if there wasn’t one, he made his own.
GB: Just how far Matt’s come since he started his business. He’s doing really well, he has just put everything together.
AD: Oh, that you’re hysterically funny. Your sense of humor, for sure.
MM: We live in Omaha, where you don’t have to brag. Everybody already knows. It’s a very small community. The kids are very well loved here and I think people are very aware of their beliefs and their commitment to Judaism and to others.
When a mother tells their child all she wants for Mother’s Day is their family’s love and affection, is she just being polite?
LS: Usually mother’s really don’t care about getting gifts from their children, so they might say that. What they really want to say is, “Don’t question me today”, “Don’t get into it with your siblings today”, “Wear what I want you to wear today,” and “Act happy to be with the family today.” That would be better than any gift.
GB: Hmm…yeah. The gifts are nice, but it’s still more important that we do what we can to all be together.
AD: Some might be. My gift is being with my children, but a free trip to Bali, a penthouse in Chicago on Michigan Avenue, unlimited financial support…your children’s love and affection is important, but I won’t care about that once I get the other stuff.
MM: No, she’s not because that has to come first. Everything else is gravy. Your kids are going to automatically remember you in some special way because their love came first.
“Dad jokes” are already a thing. Let’s make #momjokes happen. Tell us a good mom joke.
LS: I’m guessing it would involve sarcasm and include subjects like husbands sleeping on the couch, messy kid’s rooms, dog hair & accidents in the house, and lack of sleep.
GB: Oh jeez, I have no idea.
AD: Knock knock. Who’s there? Headache. Headache who? I’m glad your mom didn’t have a headache the day you were conceived.
MM: We have mom jokes! In our household, teasing each other about what you do is a form of love. My kids would very commonly say to me, “I don’t need you to be my counselor, I need you to be my mom.” Then I’d ask them, “And how does that make you feel?”