Coming out of her own marriage, Erin Williamson, 39, of Seattle, realized that because she did not have equal income in her marriage, she did not share equal power. So she set out not only to change her own financial autonomy, but committed to ensuring that women around the globe also have equal access to financial capital — typically for work they are already doing, but are not paid for.
“Direct access to money can mean power, freedom, choice, and for those being oppressed by domestic violence, a woman’s access to money can mean life,” the mom of two told me. Erin is the founder of Pier Coffee, a cold-brew coffee company that buys 100 percent of its beans from women-owned farms. She is also the founder of Engendered International, a non-profit organization that provides certification to companies that prove they are committed to gender-equality, akin to free trade or organic certifications. Qualifications include:
- Percentage of supply-chain workers who are women
- Percentage of supply-chain companies owned by women
- Work within countries that do not place legal restrictions on economic opportunities for women and advocacy to change laws in countries that do
- Proof of payment directly to female workers along a supply-chain
- Charitable donations or support of organizations fighting against domestic violence
- Wage parity between men and women in the companies along a supply chain
- Proof of investment in education and training for women and girls
In this Like a Mother interview, Kickass Single Mom Grant winner Erin Williamson shares with me:
- How she launched her cold-brew coffee company Pier Coffee in her laundry room, and why she committed to only buying coffee beans from women-owned farms.
- Her advice to moms who feel broke, lost and no idea how to launch their own passion company.
- Where she found the energy to launch a non-profit at the same time she struggled to grow a new business.
- What Erin learned about money, power and romance through her marriage, divorce and single motherhood.
- How she feels about men and dating today.
- Where she finds her support network.
Other Kickass Single Mom Grant winners:
Jennifer Little, founder of the Little Hands Book Bank in Texas.
Shawnta Creech went from homeless to culinary school graduate with a salad dressing business in the works.
Sheri Hopkins started Black San Diego. “I wanted my daughters to grow up seeing strong leaders who looked like them.”
A doula for low-income new mothers. “I wasn’t going to let a corporation tell me what my dream was.”
Are you a kickass single mom? About the $1,000 monthly grant:
Every month I give $1,000 to a single mom committed to building a positive life for herself, her family and contributing to the world in a productive way.
The Kickass Single Mom Grant supports endeavors that show promise for success — whether it is a career, business, nonprofit, charitable, creative or family project that is already underway and could use a financial boost.
This might include paying for formal education that will advance your career (or launch a new career!) that makes you happy and proud, propels you to financial independence and makes you a great role model for your children and others whose lives you touch.
You might seek to use this money to build your dream business — one that lights your passion, contributes to the world in a positive way.
Maybe you have a volunteer or nonprofit project that is blossoming.
Perhaps it is a personal project that you want to describe to me.
One part of this grant is to support incredible single women doing amazing things.
The other part is to highlight incredible single moms to inspire and uplift others who may not see in themselves what is possible.
No income maximum (or requirement). All nationalities welcome. Winners are announced the first of every month.
Read the full transcript of the interview with Erin Williamson:
Emma: Hey, hey, hey, my favorite time of the month is when I give away my Kick Ass Single Mom Grant, and if you’re not familiar, this is just my own personal money that I give away to a mom who I think is awesome. It might be that she has an incredible business that she has built. Maybe she’s active in her community in a way. Maybe she is just building something meaningful and small. It doesn’t have to be big and public. This is just some woman that I personally think is really cool and I want to help tell her story. It’s $1,000 but really what I’ve learned in the seven or eight months I’ve been doing this now, it’s telling the story. It’s telling the story here on this podcast, on my blog, on social media. That’s where the real power happens because the woman is telling her story and that’s powerful. Then the story gets shared and it amplifies, and this is how social change happens.
Thank you for joining me in this part of my activist journey. Today I am with somebody I’m very excited to talk to, Erin Williamson. She is a Seattle mom of two, and coming out of her divorce she launched a business. Big deal, right? Pier Coffee. It’s cold brewed coffee out of Seattle. But, here’s what’s really special, and by the way, I don’t know these people usually. I don’t know anything about Erin except what her little bit of her application, so I’m learning along with you. Her business is committed to only buying coffee beans from women owned farms. Only women owned farms. Then she is taking this to the next level and she has started a nonprofit called Engender International, that aims to help women get paid for the work that they already do.
Hello! This is so singing my song. If I lived closer, Erin and I would be totally hanging out all the time. So Erin, thank you so much for joining me and thank you for the work that you’re doing.
Erin: Well thank you for being here, I’m really excited and I’m very honored to be part of this larger community that you’re building. It’s a really great thing.
Emma: It is. So, I want you to take me back. I want to hear your single mom story. This is what, four or five years in the process now? Take me back. You’re coming out of a marriage, you’ve got two kids. What does your life look like?
Erin: It was a disaster. I recognize now, sort of looking back, how much at that time I cried, how little sleep I got, how I had these kind of gerbils of anxiety and fear running around in my brain. It’s only now that some of that stuff has changed or is going away that I realize that wasn’t a normal way to live.
So, I was a single mom. It happened pretty quickly and I had no money. Two kids who were not yet in school and I could not figure out the child care versus income sort of, juggle.
Emma: Right. Did you have a career at that time?
Erin: I did. I worked in non-profits for many years, and I actually owned, with my ex-husband, a small coffee shop.
Emma: Got it.
Erin: So, those are the connections. Many women, although I was actively involved and working, I was also not the higher income earner.
Emma: Right, and that’s interesting, and that you had a business together so that always makes things complicated. Right? So, you owned it together, but why were you the lower income earner? Those things get really complicated. How broke were you when you were coming out of this marriage?
Erin: Borrowing money from my parents, broke. Really worried about the impact of legal fees and what that was going to mean. Making, sometimes, day to day decisions about which bills to pay and how to do it and how to move everything forward. So, about as broke as you can get I think.
Emma: Okay. You had the job at the nonprofit and then what happened to the coffee business?
Erin: My ex-husband got the coffee business. He kind of moved on with that, and then eventually he sold it and has gone on with other things. So, I had to do something on my own.
Emma: Okay, so you told me that you started this, it’s called Pier Coffee, and it was in your laundry room. Tell me what was the idea. What was the seed of the idea and what did this look like? And what did your laundry room look like?
Erin: When I owned the coffee shop with my husband, cold brew coffee was kind of just emerging on the scene, it was just kind of coming out. I heard these rumors that it was going to become something over time. When we divorced and he had the shop, I was trying to think what could I take from that experience if I wasn’t taking the business itself or money from it. What can you assign value, even when it doesn’t seem like there is anything? So, I took the idea and converted my laundry room into a fully functioning food processing center. There was regulations required and inspections required but it was really 90 square feet, and I got incredibly lucky because I happened to have a laundry room with a floor drain. That was the thing. You look around and you’re like, what do I have that I can make something with? And that’s all I had, was this floor drain.
Emma: Nothing but a hope and a dream and a floor drain.
Erin: But it was about as small time as– I made coffee in plastic buckets. I cold brewed it in buckets.
Emma: Alright, for people who don’t know what cold brew is, just briefly explain it.
Erin: Cold brew is a little bit like sun tea in the sense that you make coffee with cold water instead of hot, and you use time instead of heat, to extract the flavor and the caffeine from the beans. It sits out for 20-24 hours and the result is that you’ve got this very concentrated, very caffeine and full and rich coffee. It tends to be a little bit smoother and easier to drink.
Emma: You had this idea, and then you’re brewing it, but are you bottling it? Are you wholesaling it? What was the business model?
Erin: At the beginning, the business model was to be a milkman, essentially. I bottled it in 32-ounce jars, with the intention that people would dose it out themselves. I had this kick-started process– Unofficially kick-started process where my friends and family just bought a coffee subscription from me and I drove around to their house every week and left big jars of coffee on their doorstep, at the paid me.
Emma: Oh that’s so interesting.
Erin: That was the start.
Erin: It was amazing. It was amazing. Again, it’s one of those things in hindsight I realize, okay, people were doing this because the like the coffee, but also to support me. It was–
Emma: It was pity.
Erin: Yeah, it was pity, but you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to take it.
Emma: Right? Humility is part of this process. You can’t be proud. You cannot be proud.
Emma: But you had your full-time job at the non-profit all the while?
Erin: No, so I was kind of hustling on the side to do whatever I could. So, I did side work for nonprofits. I worked at a photographer for a while. It was kind of like anything that I could piece together that wasn’t full time 9-5, daycare requirement kind of work.
Emma: Because you were trying to be home with the kids full-time?
Erin: In part that, and in part, I just couldn’t make the economics work to get the full-time kind of commitment that so many child care facilities require. You’ve got to write the check for the whole thing. I could figure out how to pay a babysitter hourly, I couldn’t figure out how to have the full-time pseudo-school type facility.
Emma: Right. Right. That was, what? Four or five years ago now, when you started. What does the business look like today?
Erin: Now we are partnered with a beer brewing company, we’re in a 15,000 square foot facility, we’re distributed in two states, find us in Whole Foods in the Pacific Northwest, we’re in cans, I no longer drive it around in my car. There’s employees to do the work. I mean, it’s shockingly different.
Emma: You’re making a living now?
Erin: I am making a living now. Although, I will say for every small business owner I know sometimes that feels like going to be possible for years, and years, and years. Sometimes I’m still biting my nails. It’s just part of the growth trajectory that we’re still on. But, I’m doing it.
Emma: You are doing it. Can I ask what are your sales this year?
Erin: This year I think we’re going to have about a quarter million dollars in sales.
Emma: That is amazing.
Erin: It’s very different than out of the back of my car.
Emma: You’re paying yourself a salary?
Erin: Yep, I’m paying myself– it’s not what I want to be paying myself long-term, but I see the growth in the plan.
Emma: That’s incredible. But all along though, you have committed to only buying beans from women owned farms. Where did the idea come from?
Erin: Well, I think the idea came from my own experience. It wasn’t just, you start a business and it’s not just– You get income, but you get this other thing. I got confidence or self-value. The difference of somebody paying me for my work, me putting it in the bank account, and even in the early years, when it went immediately away to pay a late bill, it made me feel like more of a whole person. Like more capable of taking care of my kids.
Emma: Opposed to what? Opposed to depending on a man?
Erin: Opposed to depending on a man.
Emma: The longer I do this work, the more passionate I am about everyone, every human being needs to work, and every human being needs to have their own money.
Tell me about your experience with that. It sounds like you were in a long marriage, you had a business with him, that adds a whole other layer of stuff. Tell me about that dynamic opposed to even those early days, when things were so scrappy and all you had was a hole in the floor? Opposed to today, when you have this viable commercial production. What was that dynamic in the marriage, where you’re told that your money is my money, and it doesn’t matter who earns it because we’re family? All this bullshit that I think we tell women that keep us dependent and down, opposed to making your own money. Putting it in the bank. Doing what you want and growing something really magical. Tell me about your experience with that.
Erin: So, I think I had one of those experiences where I thought I had a lot more control than I did. I was married to somebody who, I didn’t think cared about money. We were pretty cool, we were all going to be cool. But, I didn’t have any control. I mean, when it came down to it, it wasn’t mine to direct. It wasn’t even ours to direct. It was his to direct. There was this sense that I was the one, I might have been working hard for the family, I wasn’t taking care of the family. That was kind of like the man’s job.
Emma: How did that play out? Give me an example, in hindsight you see where you thought you had it controlled but you didn’t. Or you found that you that you didn’t and you found yourself frustrated, or scared.
Erin: Sure. Oh yeah, scared was a big one. I think when somebody else has control in a marriage and even in the financial part, the person without control receives all the blame. So that was what happened for me. The financial decisions, if they didn’t work out right, were mine to own. I couldn’t control the input but I had to take responsibility for the output.
Emma: Yeah, it’s interesting how it shakes out in divorce too. Right? Like all the truths of the marriage come out in the divorce. Yeah, we’re cool, we don’t care about money, except, people sure as shit care about money when you’re divvying it up.
Erin: Exactly. Yeah. I just realized you have to control enough so that you can get to control the entire value chain. The whole thing. That doesn’t mean never sharing or not being generous or not commingling funds if that ever is right for you, but I think there has to be something separate that is yours. It’s not for your partner, it’s not for your kids, it’s yours.
Emma: Now that you have it, how are you and how is your life different?
Erin: I value my money more. I value money as it’s connected to work more.
Emma: What does that mean? You value money more and you value being connected to work?
Erin: I can see that it really is tied to freedom. For me, that meant freedom from a marriage, it means freedom to travel to try something new to take a risk. It also means freedom to relax a little bit. This sense that I know that I can figure it out. I’ve got money in the bank somehow and so that gives me this sense that if things are all going to fall apart, and it’s all on me, I can do it. I can figure this out.
Emma: Because you’re not dependent, right?
Erin: Because I’m not dependent. I’m not dependent. There is nobody else to second guess what I’m doing. I think that that frees up this entire huge part of my brain space. It frees up this idea that if I make a mistake, I’m just going to dive right back in and do it again. I don’t have to hash over that mistake, or be told that I’m terrible because I make a mistake, or carry anyone else’s, any other adult’s burden. I just get to try it, figure it out, dismantle it, and do it again if I have to.
Emma: Well, what I’m hearing you say is that you have no choice but to be financially independent, and it’s a wonderful opportunity. I mean, I cannot celebrate enough the opportunities that we have as women today in 2017 in the United States. It’s just, unprecedented in the history of mankind. We have these rights, which you are fully exercising, but you also– what comes with that is responsibility. There’s no room for playing victim, you just have to do it, and I see you doing that.
Back to why the women owned coffee farms. You saw the gender inequality even in your life and then stepping into your feminine power, and is that– Do I understand that you are just wanting to support that with other women, and other women in other parts of the world.
Erin: Absolutely. So, in coffee, and I think this is not unusual– In the US, women legally, and not everyone takes advantage of it, and not even everyone feels safe in their marriage enough to do some of this stuff, but women legally can have their own bank accounts, can own property in their own name, can direct how and when they use their money. It’s not true, either by law or by custom in a lot of the world, and particularly not in some of these coffee growing companies. So women are doing the work of farming and harvesting and processing the coffee and not getting paid for it. So it wasn’t like I’m– I’m not necessarily looking to support women who are not doing what they’re already doing. It’s just, this is their life. They’re already doing that work, they should be paid for that work. It’s not just getting paid for the work, it’s making sure that those women can control how they use that money.
Emma: What is that? What does that look like? In your business how do you make sure that this is happening? I think Guatemala is one of the countries where you source a lot of your product?
Erin: Right. So, the co-op we work with in Guatemala, you pay the co-op directly, they pay themselves wages, and then they take the profit and split it 50/50. 50 percent going directly into the pockets of the women who grow the coffee and 50 percent is directed to a community endeavor that’s voted on and implemented by the women in the co-op. This last year, the additional profit was directed to a women’s health center. They direct the whole thing, which I think is amazing.
Emma: Okay, so you have taken this another level and you have started a separate but related non-profit called Engender International. Tell me about that.
Erin: This is my newest project, and it’s still in the equivalent space of the laundry room. It’s taking that idea and expanding it out beyond coffee. The idea is eventually what will happen is that women in the US in particular can direct their buying habits by choosing products that are made– not just made by women, but can be guaranteed that the women who did that work are paid for that work. So, if you imagine you go to the grocery store and you see an organic stamp, or you see a non-GMO stamp or a fair trade stamp, we’re developing that same marker. If you go to the grocery store and you say I want to buy this brand of coffee, or this brand of flour, or this beer, or whatever it is, you know that the women who are involved in that process are paid for that.
Emma: And you have the initial funding for this? Tell me where that is in the process?
Erin: We again, it’s scrappy. Begged friends and family for money and the cobbled together money to put together the 501(c)(3) application for the IRS and start building the website and building kind of backend capabilities to be able to launch an online store. Now in the fundraising phase for actually developing the certification process itself, which is a much, much bigger endeavor.
Emma: That’s huge. It all comes down to money, right? Women don’t have safety, they don’t have sexual agency, they don’t have reproductive rights, they don’t have safety from abuse, they don’t have political power if we don’t have our own money. If we do not have money. That’s exactly what– And to your point, women are doing this work anyway in most of the world.
Erin: Absolutely. It’s true here too. It’s true here too. You look at domestic violence and the women who need to get out of those marriages don’t have the safety to use an ATM card and not get tracked. Or their husband’s give them an allowance. It’s hugely important. Not just kind of psychologically safe, but I think for physical safety as well.
Emma: Absolutely. I mean, there’s numbers like 97 percent, it’s really like 100 percent of domestic violence victims are also victims of financial abuse. We have got to say that so many times because we are still telling women it’s a choice. It’s a choice whether or not you want to have your own money. It is not a choice. It’s not a choice and it benefits no one when women work when mothers work it’s good for their sons and daughters. They both thrive. It’s good for women’s mental health. It’s good for their safety. And that is the pay gap, that is the pay gap in this country is women not getting education’s, investing in their careers, and dropping out. That’s why we have a pay gap. It’s not going to change until women just own this, and thank God there’s so much great research that’s supporting what you and I are saying right here. So, I can’t say it enough. If you listen to me a lot, you hear me say the same things over and over again, but I don’t care. I’m going to keep saying it until there’s zero pay gap.
Erin: I’m glad somebody’s saying it. It’s still such an important thing.
Emma: Oh my God, it’s beyond. We’re fetishizing the stay at home mom. I was supposed to have read The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan. I think it was on some women’s studies reading list when I was in college 20 years ago, I never read it. I read it recently and that was a landmark book because it was like, the stay at home mom thing is miserable for everybody. But it’s 2017 and we’re still like, it’s a fine choice if you don’t want to work and have your money. It’s not. What I’m hearing you say, not to take away from your success, but it sounds like so many women that I meet through this work, you probably felt like you were doing okay. You had a professional career, you had this business, but then you were forced into focusing on the value of your floor drain. Now you’re thriving and you’re doing these incredible, credible things.
Talk to the woman that’s at home listening to this and like, “Shit, I am stuck. I don’t even have a hole in my floor. I do not know what to do. I have nothing. I have nothing to offer. I can’t do this.” What’s your message for her?
Erin: Yes, you can. Step-by-step what I would do is if you feel– and I can’t emphasize enough, when I was delivering cold brew out of the back of my car, my car wouldn’t turn left. It turned off every time I turned left. So, I promise, you can go places from that. From anywhere you are. First thing I would do is sit down and just make a list of all the things that you know, that you think you know, that you’re good at, that you want to know and make that list of a minimum of 50 things. You might be sitting there thinking, I don’t know 50 things. I don’t have 50 things to offer. Yes, you do. Yes, absolutely, you do. Make that list and then start to comb it down to figure out where the intersection between your passion and something that’s reasonable to try and do, and then start with the smallest possible increment. Start to try to sell a product or a service that you’re connected to. Try to sell $50 worth, and all the sudden you’re going to be able– You’re going to see that it’s possible. Then you can go from there.
The other thing I think about business, in particular, is that you can’t do it unless you get out there and make every single mistake that’s possible to make. It’s not just small business, it’s all business is like that. All business is building on mistakes. So, you’re going to make them, but it’s vitally important that you make them because otherwise, you can’t grow. You can’t move forward unless you’ve burned the trail behind you.
Emma: Right, and if you’re in that bad spot you’ve already made a whole bunch of mistakes, so just keep making them.
Erin: Yeah and then you learn from them. I would say think about the things out there that you would pay for, especially as a single mom. Especially if you’re sitting there thinking, “If I just had somebody– I want somebody to invent a car nanny service, that all they do is they just drive my kid from place to place when I can’t be there.” So, that’s something I would pay for. Think about what other people like you would shave off a few dollars and contribute towards your to-do. And people do.
Emma: Well, what I see that people do is– You know what I heard you do though? You listened. You listened when people were yapping about this thing called cold brew coffee. You listened to that. The other thing I want you to talk about is who do you surround yourself with? Who is your social support, your professional support?
Erin: I don’t know why it is, I don’t know a lot of other single moms, and I don’t know a lot of other women in business, so I’m pretty excited to expand those social networks. I think people that you know that have gone through similar things kind of help prop you up. What I have found is that the networks that we already have, even if they don’t get it all the time, people are pretty generous.
Emma: Oh yeah, talk about that. Give me a couple examples of how people were generous to you and surprised you.
Erin: People still are. I’m in this kind of– neighborhood families, many of them are still married, healthy marriages, stay at home moms, and I benefit from that in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of people kind of just, “Oh, send your kids over after school if you don’t have child care.” And the change for me was, I started to ask. I lost the shame or the anxiety of idea of, “Oh gosh, well I’ve got to show that I’m doing all this stuff myself.” Because, I’m not, and I can’t. I just started to ask, and people come through I think when you do that.
Emma: People like to help. It’s like, there’s a lot of science around that, it’s like the greatest feeling in the world is giving. And you’re giving somebody a gift when they legitimately help you, and you’re grateful, and it’s just this cycle of goodness. And you give back in your way, directly to that family or someone else, and it just all spirals up. Yes.
But, I want to talk about the peer thing again. Your peers are men in business and maybe married moms, but this is– but these are positive people–I really believe in the power of the people you surround yourselves with. Did you have to change the people you surrounded yourself in when you when you went through this life transition or was it people who were already in your life?
Erin: Many of them were already in my life, so there was continuity there and that feels good. I think what I don’t have is very many people who get it. This is no judgment, but full-time single parenting is different than single parenting when your spouse is gone for the week. I don’t have a lot of people that I can just go right to the shorthand with. I would like that. The thing is, I think that we’re all out there. There’s so many of us.
Emma: Are you in my Facebook group? There’s cool women there, yeah.
Emma: Yeah, we need to find you some cool single mom friends in Seattle. Oh, well one of the moms that, my last month’s single mom grant winner, she’s in Portland, Oregon. I know they’re not next to each other but yes, she’s cool.
Erin: Close enough.
Emma: Yeah, we’ll connect you guys.
Tell me what’s next for your business? What’s next for your nonprofit? And I want to know what’s next for you personally in your family and maybe romantically, or for you as a woman?
Erin: So what’s next for my business is we’re looking for like a way to do some brick and mortar. Real life, taking back the coffee shop idea.
Erin: I think that from a business sense too, the face to face interaction for sales is super key. So, if there’s a way to put a face to a product, it helps you sell your product. That’s where we’re going with that.
Engender, I think for Engender I’m taking what I’ve learned from Pier, which is, you can have these great ideas and humans overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in three years. Engender is on the three-year track, which feels really good. Putting all the nuts and bolts, and official legal structure in around a nonprofit that I want to be– have a national presence. We’re doing all of that long, slogging, ground work.
Emma: Well, hopefully, you’ll get some media out of this, and other media.
Erin: I would love that.
Emma: Give me a couple mistakes that you made in your business, where you really messed things up along this journey, but you learned from them.
Erin: Which kind? Because, I’ve got many, many, many–
Emma: Oh, whatever comes to mind.
Erin: I made mistakes early on where I thought I had to tell everyone the truth in business. What I mean is, when you’re out there hustling, nobody needs to know that your car turns off. Nobody needs to know that you’re making something in your laundry room. Your story is your story to own. It is as big and as beautiful, and as bold as you want it to be. I made the mistake of not selling it hard enough. Not believing in what I was doing enough. Thinking that I always had to sort of apologize for it. “Well, it’s just this little product. I just make it in my laundry room. I’m home with my kids.”
Emma: That’s a woman thing. Yeah, women. That’s a woman thing. Yes.
Erin: So that, I think, set me back.
Emma: And one- where did that come from, and two- how did you get over that? What was the moment when you were like, “Whoa, I need to turn that off.”
Erin: I don’t know where it came from. I should probably investigate that. I think you’re right though that it’s this thing we’re taught. We’re taught to apologize for taking up space.
Emma: Apologize for being ambitious, for wanting and liking money and success. Apologizing for taking time away from your precious children from a broken home.
Erin: Right? I think I turned it off though, I remember this one day, I went into this meeting, again a room full of men, and one of them looked at me and said, “Oh, Erin, you dressed up for us today.” I thought, “I did not dress up for you. I’m not wearing this for you.” And I think that was the shift, where I felt like, I am wearing this outfit because I look good, I’m in a business meeting and you all should be listening to me. That was the shift. I’m not doing this for anyone else.
Emma: I like it. Okay, so that’s what’s going on with your business. Next steps for Engender, you kind of told us, now you’re taking this to the next level. Tell me about with your family, your kids. You mentioned travel, do you want to talk about your romantic life, your personal life?
Erin: My kids are 11 and 8, and we’re this little unit. I am really enjoying my time with them. In a way, I didn’t as much– probably wrong thing to say. I like them more now than I did when they were younger. There is this ability to have, share experience, and share memories, and share conversations in a way that’s really fun. I want them to– I want to do stuff with them, which is kind of fun and new. I always liked them, I just think this is–
Emma: I know. I really have come to believe– my kids are seven and nine, but I just think different parents have different affinities for different ages.
Erin: That makes sense.
Emma: I really like my kids when they’re itty bitty, and I’m waiting for those feelings to return.
Erin: Romantically, I think there’s this process that you go through to where you have to– I like men. You know? And trying to figure out how you like people and enjoy their company and involve them in your life without letting them take over your life. I can’t see myself ever getting married again or anything like that. I do like the opportunity for conversation and perspective and sex. Those things are all important.
Emma: Yeah, I think we’re figuring it out. I mean, that’s it, right? When women have their own money, marriage is like, what? What? What? But, we’re paving a new path here, because there’s really one model, and that’s marriage. And that marriage comes with all the baggage that we’ve just been talking about for 40 minutes, so we’re really reinventing the wheel, and it’s hard. It’s hard on men, it’s hard on women, and it’s a very challenging moment. Then the sex is good, like, what do you do with that?
Erin: Yeah. Get more.
Emma: Oh my goodness, alright, so, what else? Anything else you want to leave us with?
Erin: I would just go back to when you were asking if I’m talking to somebody else who is where I was four or five years ago. It feels like it’s too simple to say. Just do it. Just do it. It doesn’t have to lead to a successful– whatever you’re trying to do doesn’t have to lead to success in the way that you think it’s going to lead to. Right? Try something, it doesn’t work like you think it might have worked like, but you’re going to open doors for yourself. So just, bust through them. See what’s on the other side. Over, and over, and over again. You’re going to move yourself forward, and it’s really a powerful thing.
Emma: That’s beautiful, thank you so much. Erin Williamson, so she is founder, CEO, I don’t even know what titles you go by, but I’m going to give you Founder and CEO and President of Pier Coffee.
Erin: I’ll take it.
Emma: She’s also founder and chair of the board, right, of engenderinternational.org
Where else? Where else can people find you?
Erin: They can find me on Instagram @erinnotworking and that’s what I do when I’m not at work.
Emma: Awesome. Alright, it’s been such a pleasure. Thank you.
Erin: Thank you.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.