Innovation That Matters

A stand-in mother for time-poor students

Work & Lifestyle

Pittsburgh-based Another Mother takes on basic tasks for busy young people.

For students and young professionals, transitioning into independent life can be an uphill struggle. Beyond the emotional wrench of leaving home, there are a host of practical conundrums to wrestle with: how to work the vacuum cleaner or best fold your clothes for instance. Inevitably, we’ve seen plenty of companies looking to help/capitalise on these young people. One is Precious Time, a personal assistant and errand-running concierge service, and the other is Pijon, a subscription service allowing parents to send regular care packages to their children at university.

These services each promise to lend a hand by assisting with certain aspects of student life, but now Pittsburgh-based company Another Mother is promising to offer a comprehensive service to support students and young professionals as they adjust to life away from home.

The service, set up and run by enterprising mother Ilene Scoratow, offers to help with laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, prescription pick-ups, and even provides gift baskets designed to help students through late night study sessions. It is this attention to the student’s emotional requirements that truly sets the service apart from its competitors — the website has a section dedicated to offering helpful housekeeping tips, for example.

Mrs Scoratow, who also has a day job teaching, had the idea when reading a book on entrepreneurship. All the advice suggested sticking to what you know when setting up a business, “So I thought about it: I like to teach and I like being a mom.”

The services themselves are affordable and not based on a subscription model – it’s USD 8 for grocery deliveries and USD 1.50 per pound of laundry – meaning Another Mother can be used even by cash-strapped students. Mrs Scoratow is currently catering to a regular clientele of around 40 people.

With smartphones driving uptake, personal assistance services are becoming increasingly popular with time-poor millennials. While it is currently only operating in Pittsburgh, could Another Mother be the blueprint for others to replicate?



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