Megan Gardner - CEO

Megan Gardner is the CEO of Plum District — the #1 daily deal site for moms. As the daily deal space continues to grow, Plum District continues to leverage the tremendous power of moms in ecommerce and most importantly as ambassadors in their communities. As a woman entrepreneur herself, Megan has helped revolutionize the way Plum District does business — not just with vendors but also with the sales team. Plum District ultimately provides a platform for influential moms in their communities to become entrepreneurs – while ultimately maintaining their status as CEOs of the household. Plum District thrives under the assumption that everyone has an interest in the success of women-led businesses — everyone. Megan is a thought-leader on woman entrepreneurship not only within the Plum District fold but also in the business world at large. In April she was asked to sit on a panel at the Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy Conference and speak on behalf of women entrepreneurs. She has been interviewed by Fox News Channel, Technorati, Fast Company, The San Francisco Examiner, and Forbes. Follow @mgardnernd on Twitter!

Homepage: http://www.plumdistrict.com


three generations of women

Plum District Thinks Pink

Raising awareness about a disease that touches all of us

three generations of women

It’s hard to believe October is already in full swing. Fall, to me, is all about colors – the leaves are changing, orange and black inspired Jack-O-Lanterns are everywhere you turn, and pink ribbons are proudly displayed all over the city in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. From charity runs to pink ties to billboards, the “Think Pink” logo and what it stands for reminds us all of the brave women who have battled this serious disease.

The Plum District family believes it is very important to take a moment to acknowledge and reflect on an illness that has affected all of us in some way or another; whether you have gone through treatment yourself, or have seen your mother, sister, aunt, grandma, teacher, cousin, or best friend go through it.

I saw the devastating effects of breast cancer when my Great Aunt Eva passed away when I was 11 years old. She was diagnosed in her 50s and passed away when she was only 64. She was my mom’s favorite aunt and one of the happiest people I have ever known. Even in sickness, she always knew how to make others smile and feel important. She left us far too soon and I miss her dearly.

Although great strides have been made in cancer research since Aunt Eva passed away, there is so much more we need to do in the race to find a cure. So what can you do? Raise awareness, educate yourself, and – most importantly – get regular mammograms. If you have gone through treatment, it is important to remember you are not alone. As women, it is important to support and talk to each other. Communication is a powerful tool!

Feel free to share your story with Plum District. I would love to hear about your experiences and what you have been doing to raise awareness.

For more information check out www.breastcancer.org.

A fabulous fall

A fabulous note from Plum District’s CEO

You conquered the back-to-school rush, so we're helping you give yourself a fabulous fall

A fabulous fall

With summer ending, most moms’ attentions are focused (where else?) on their kids. Sometimes I think my life as a startup CEO is busy, but at this time of year, mom’s job as “Chief Everything Officer” really hits a new level of hectic. The rush of finishing up summer activities and winding down vacations led right into preparing for back-to-school: shopping … clothes … school supplies … haircuts … doctors’ appointments … and more. Now, school is finally here. Before you get caught up in the routines of carpool and after-school activities and sports and playdates, we’d like to help you think about someone you’ve probably been ignoring — yourself!

Plum District is really excited to celebrate the coming of autumn with a whole week of deals, from Sept. 12 – 18, focused on pampering yourself and making your day a little easier. During Fall Into Fabulous week, you’ll find great deals on ways to treat yourself, including spas, salons, yoga classes, and clothing boutiques, to name a few. Nationally, we’ll be offering discounts on Ice, Cilea, JustFabulous shoes, Beyond the Rack, WorldwideFlowers.com, and more.

You deserve to make fall a fabulous time. You’ve planned and prepared for everyone else, Chief Everything Officer. It’s time to take a moment for yourself!

Rebrand Launch Page Peel

Why I Love Shopping at Plum District

It’s true — I’m a heavy Plum District shopper.  I buy at least one deal every week.  I can’t help myself.  In fact, it’s one of the best parts of my job.  What’s not to love about getting a great deal, learning about a new vendor or service in your local area and learning more about the Plum District business.  This is truly combining work and personal!

Recently, I purchased three training sessions from Gardie Jackson Fitness. Unfortunately, the large quantities of yummy marshmellow, cornflake holiday cookies have permanently settled on my thighs and it was time to bring in a professional.  Gardie was amazing–showed up at my door early on a Friday morning.  He was full of what seemed like boundless energy.  I, on the other hand, was happy that I was able to get out of bed, didn’t call and cancel the night before as I was tempted to do, and remembered to brush my teeth.

Over the next hour, he encouraged and pushed me through a number of exercises in the middle of my living room.  At the end of the session, I felt better about my thighs and thrilled that I was up and ready to take on the day!  In between my squats and rows, I learned that Gardie has had a great experience with the clients that he met through his Plum District offering and he wants to run another deal with us.  I like to do mystery shopping when I buy the deals and not tell vendors that I work for the company.  I am always pleased that they have such great feedback and they get a kick out of later learning that I’m the CEO.

I had a similar experience with Natasha Thomas of Urban Darling. We recently moved to a lovely, but very small house with even smaller closets.  In the last year, I’ve gone from wearing suits every day to trying my best to look fashionable and casual. Natasha provides wardrobe consultations and was a woman on a mission in my minuscule closet. She had me try on everything, gently forced me to part with some items that had never seen the light of day and came up with 30+ new outfits.  After a few hours with Natasha, I had a short list of some basics that I needed to buy and wonderful new combinations from closet. Now that is saving money!  I wore one of my new combos today and felt great!

Business look: Off white motorcycle cropped jacket, black slacks, green and cream printed blouse and Gucci heels

Business casual look: H&M cropped jacket, dark wash jeans, tan silk tank & Gucci heels

Thanks Natasha and Gardie — very much looking forward to our next session and thanks for the great feedback!

Mom the CEO (Chief Everything Officer)

These days, there isn’t a mother who’s not juggling an endless list of responsibilities. Besides “mom,” many of you take on the titles of “Mom the Social Coordinator,” “Mom the Professional,” “Mom the Nurse,” “Mom the Cheerleader,” and the list goes on and on. But in my opinion, one of the most important titles that moms hold is that of household Chief Financial Officer. You are not only buying for your children and for your home, but also for yourself. There are actually more than 50 million moms in the US, and on average moms are in charge of 85% of household spending. Did you know that, collectively, moms spend $2.1 trillion annually, and that number may reach $3 trillion by next year? Even so, recent studies show that nearly three quarters of you feel that advertisers don’t get you, or even worse, more than half of you simply feel ignored by advertisers (according to Marketing to Moms Coalition Survey 2010).

That’s where Plum District comes in. Plum District has been built on the idea that moms trust moms and moms get moms. Whether you are asking about the latest safety products for your kids or great deals on pampering yourself, you’re hearing it from your play groups, your mom network and through your mom discussion groups and social networks online. So it only makes sense that we’ve created a community of in-the-know moms to bring you daily deals on everything from restaurants and spas, to kids and family events, to hotels and weekend getaways and other great products and services.

Since we first launched in San Francisco back in May, we’ve been growing our service to reach the moms and families across the U.S. in Southern California, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, and more through our mom sales network. Even with our growth to over 20 cities, we’re still constantly hearing from moms who are asking for us to bring them Plum deals or from moms who want to join our sales team and help build out new local districts. Today we are sharing the news that we’ve received funding by Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers and General Catalyst Partners to do just that. Their investment of $8.5 million will allow us to expand our reach into more local districts such as Portland, Dallas, and Raleigh-Durham in the coming year.

In addition to this investment, we’re excited that Aileen Lee, partner at KPCB, will join our board of directors. Aileen brings to us a wealth of expertise and experience with well-known consumer brands like GAP and Odwalla, and digital and e-commerce companies like One Kings Lane and Shopkick. Not to mention, as a mom of three herself, Aileen has a special interest in Plum District and can identify with the many moms on our team and in our membership at Plum.

And last but not least, we’re thrilled to give you a preview of some great deals to come. Best Buy Geek Squad, Drugstore.com, and eBags.com will join our list of vendors for the first time in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout!

Thanks again to all of our members and team members at Plum District. We are excited about joining the Kleiner family and about the road ahead. The full press release is below.

Plum District Raises $8.5 Million in Funding Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 26, 2011 – Plum District, (www.PlumDistrict.com), the daily deal website devoted to savvy moms and their families, today announced that it has received $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation by General Catalyst Partners. KPCB partner, Aileen Lee, will also join the Plum District board.

Now spanning more than twenty metro areas or “Districts” in the U.S., including various cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Minneapolis, Plum District’s multi-level marketing sales approach– for moms, by moms–allows the company to bring members the best local and national deals on groceries, family outings, children’s classes, restaurants, spa treatments, fashion, travel, etc. The moms that make up Plum District’s sales force find highly targeted promotions and discounts for moms and families and also network within mom communities to build viral buzz and awareness.

“The early response from our members has far exceeded our expectations,” said Megan Gardner, Plum District CEO. “The investment by Kleiner Perkins and General Catalyst Partners will allow Plum District to grow our sales network of moms and meet the demand of our members by expanding our reach beyond the twenty districts we currently serve.”

Aileen Lee, KPCB partner, added, “We are excited about Plum District’s focus on the highly valuable consumer segment of moms and families. By leveraging their large and growing network of connected and trusted moms across the country, Plum District offers the best local services and national brands that are most relevant to moms.”

About Plum District

Plum District is a daily deal Web site geared towards smart, savvy moms. Each day, Plum District sends members a deal that relates to them and their busy lives – everything from spa treatments and restaurants to family outings and kids’ activities. Plum District is unique in that it is solely focused on moms and deals are sourced by moms that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable. For more information, visit www.PlumDistrict.com.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.

See the press release on Plum District.

Sharing Our Success: Donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters

As we wind down 2010, we wanted to share our success with a wonderful organization that I’m sure you all know — “Big Brothers Big Sisters”.  From now until the end of the year, you can contribute to Big Brothers Big Sisters  through Plum District.

As you know, everything we do is focused on families and children and we love the fact that Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers work to develop positive mentoring relationships in local communities.  Just as we are focused in growing your local community — they are too.

Happy Holidays and Stay Safe!

Weekly Cinema Refunds: Refund or Donate to Charity

We have recently learned that Weekly Cinema has closed it’s doors.  We are so sorry for the inconvenience that this may have caused you.

We would be happy to offer you a credit to your Plum District account for any unredeemed movie tickets.

–OR–

In the spirit of upcoming holiday season, we are also offering an option to donate this amount to the San Francisco Homeless Prenatal Program. For more than 20 years, HPP has provided poor and homeless San Francisco families the opportunity to end childhood poverty. We would be excited if you were interested in joining us in assisting this organization this holiday season. Please contact us at help@plumdistrict.com in order to initiate the credit or donation process

Once again we apologize for the inconvenience Weekly Cinema has caused.

What Possessed You to Take This Job?

I’ve been asked that question a number of times over the past few months and always have a quick response.  I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur–how could I say no to a group of angel investors that wanted me to run their company.  I knew in high school that I wanted to run my own company one day.  My father spend nearly 25 years working for the same company being the #3 guy behind the father and son team. He was wholly invested personally and emotionally but never shared in the upside but also wasn’t given full authority  to make decisions.  He always told me — work for yourself and you will be the leader you want to be every day.  After 25 years, he finally took his own advice and is loving his new role.

But back to why I took this job.  The first reason was as I mentioned–I always planned on doing it.  My husband and I have been saving money and testing out business ideas but hadn’t yet made the plunge.  The second reason is that there is no perfect time to take a risk.

Yes – quitting my job on short notice was not ideal (I’m still very apologetic to my former employer for the sudden departure — certainly not recommended — but necessary because I knew that every minute counted to get the business to market faster).

Yes – the hours are long.

Yes – I don’t make as much money as I did before.

Yes – we’ve set big goals for ourselves that some days look impossible.  However, there isn’t  day that I don’t jump out of bed and am excited to see what’s in my email box.  I can’t wait to hear what the team has to say about partnerships, deals and events that they have planned.  I work with an amazing team and believe 100% in what we are doing.  This is the best job that I have ever had in my life!

Modern Mom and Plum District Partner

I’m pleased to announce that that Plum District is partnering with Modern Mom as their exclusive daily deals provider–yet another solution to make your life easier as a Mom!

Modern Mom, run by Brooke Burke of “Dancing with the Stars” and Lisa Rosenblatt, a repeat entrepreneur, is an online magazine and community for the woman behind the mom. Now when you go to ModernMom.com, you can find not only smart and practical advice on topics such as parenting, finances, career, health, wellness, beauty, and entertainment, but you will also find fantastic shopping opportunities brought by Plum District. With one click, women can also access a worldwide network of moms who are ready to chat, ask questions and share their most clever tips and advice on active message boards. We are thrilled with this partnership to provide our Plum deals to Modern Mom and excited to be showcasing content from Modern Mom on Plum District.

Modern Mom Logo

By Moms, For Moms

I just returned from two weeks of travel visiting our local district nationwide and I think I have the best job in the world!  As I travel around the nation meeting with our District Representatives, I’m reminded about the power of “the mom”.  We have recruited hundreds of moms across the country to build Plum District in their local communities.  I love hearing their stories about their families and why they joined the Plum team.  These women are the core of our business — we are literally by moms, for moms.  They are sourcing the very best deals and building our subscribers while engaging parenting groups, local PR and non-profit organizations.  What’s amazing is that we’re basically paying these women to do what they doing anyway–spreading the word about the very best deals (both online and offline) and making their local communities a better place for their kids.  Many are looking for something to fill time and bring in extra dollars because their children are now back in school.  All have sales and marketing experience and are eager to start building their “plum” business.  In early September, we launched our affiliate program which is another way for local non-profits, schools and PTAs to earn money and partner with Plum District.  The response has been overwhelming and we already have 550+ affiliates signed up after a couple of weeks.  If you’re a mom and are looking to earn $$s–check out Plum District Jobs to learn more about our District Representative program.