The idea of setting up a moms network started like any other: through a simple conversation between two friends. Having just moved out to Los Angeles with her husband ShayCarl to start what is now the successful YouTube network Makers Studio, Colette Butler had spent the previous last couple of years filming YouTube episodes documenting her family’s adventures on Shaytards, her husband’s YouTube channel. Then presented with the idea by Maker Studios of being a part of a moms network, Colette talked with her sister-in-laws Carlie Butler and Kayli Butler, and within a month, both had quit their jobs and moved their families to L.A. to start the number one moms network on YouTube.
From periods to DIY makeovers to birth stories, The Moms View covers it all with polish, candor and relatability. Modeled after “The View,” these moms wanted each show to feel like viewers were sitting down to have a conversation among friends. Each episode is unscripted and focused on what viewers’ comments are requesting. While the moms definitely broach numerous topics about motherhood, their sole target audience is not just mothers.“I think our channel is by moms, but not always for moms. I think from day one we wanted our audience to be anybody. We just wanted it to be moms with views and to share what we do,” says Carlie. “I feel like we want to be there for moms but also be there for kids that maybe can’t go to their mom,” shares Kayli.
Since their start nine months ago, the girls have talked with guests such as GloZell, Jenna Marbles and John Fugelsang. With three to five moms on the couch each episode plus the show’s special guest, each show strikes a balance between hearing the moms’ personal stories and learning about issues that viewers can relate to such as cancer, child rearing, depression or bullying. While topics vary, the girls have a consistent post video approach of reading all of their viewers’ comments. “I think that’s the great thing about YouTube is that we do get instant feedback. We can tell right when we post a video we know exactly what they think about it and what they want to hear about next. It’s just amazing,” says Colette.
As a group, these moms met the challenges of starting a channel, building a fan base, and planning production schedules head on, but on an individual level each mom had to conquer their own challenges from learning social media, expressing themselves on camera or being comfortable sharing intimate and personal stories with the audience. “I think it’s a big step to put yourself out there with the talents that you want and then to put yourself out there with your flaws that you have as well,” says Carlie. “I also think that’s a blessing because you really start to realize your audience and the ways that you can help and improve their lives by just being who you are and sharing your flaws and insecurities.” While Carlie and Colette had previous experience with YouTube channels, the social media world was an entirely new experience for founding mom Kayli. “I learned everything when we started this,” Kayli says while laughing. “I didn’t have an email. I had never used an email. I never had a Facebook, Twitter or anything, so everything I learned with social media was through The Moms View. From both of these girls I’ve learned to open up, that it is okay to put yourself out there, be who you are, and be proud of that.”
With a dream guest list of Oprah, Katie Couric, Gwen Stefani and Ellen, The Moms View is continuing to grow. Their new shows are piloting this fall, and there is a growing group of moms signing up to share their talents and insight on the network. These modern moms find it possible to juggle between the moms network, their personal YouTube channels and motherhood with detailed scheduling, support from one another and including their kids in their videos — the best of both worlds. Aside from the time they spend making The Moms View, each mom has an individual channel that focuses on their specific talents and interests. For Kayli, her channel is about crafting, tutorials and cooking; for Carlie, the focus is on fitness, health and beauty; and for Colette, her channel is a little mix of everything: advice, videos of her singing and daily videos about her life. “All of our channels are really different, and they offer individual [content while] at the same time they support The Moms View,” says Carlie. “What we are trying to represent value wise for The Moms View is just women being who we are and hopefully helping someone along the way relate to modern everyday girls.”
While the network subscriber count continues to rise, these moms never lose sight of how far they have come and the audience that has made this all possible for them. “I feel like you can really accomplish anything,” says Colette. “I never thought that we would be here let alone doing it all together. It’s a dream of a dream that we never knew we had. Being able to work together as sisters and friends and make it our life, I just feel like it’s a dream.”
Photography by Melly Lee