Shalom Life | July 22, 2014

Upping the 'Auntie'

Melanie Notkin is empowering women via SavvyAuntie.com.

By: Helen Hatzis

Published: March 26th, 2010 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Upping the 'Auntie'

Everyone and their mother are starting a blog or website these days but very few will receive the attention that the founder of SavvyAuntie.com is receiving.

Meet Melanie Notkin, a ‘savvy’ Canadian-born, New York-based marketing expert. Having launched her website – or ‘Family Site’ – in 2009, it has already been nominated for a Webby Award for Best Family/Parenting Site.

In a short amount of time, Notkin has become the voice for the approximately 45% of American women through age 44 (based on the 2006 US Census Report of Fertility) who do not have children of their own. And according to Notkin, the statistic in the Jewish community is greater. “Counterintuitive to fertility research, some women are not having children, for many reasons. For me it is circumstance. I have yet to meet that person who will be the father of my children,” said Notkin. Notkin also noted that Jewish women are more likely to have a bachelor’s or graduate degree, thus pushing the childbearing years to a later age.

For many women, it is a proactive choice to not have children and whatever the case, they are all valid reasons. The point is that most women have a child in their life whether by relation, by choice, friend-of-friend and so forth, who they love and adore. And this is where the concept was born. When Notkin became an aunt for the first time with her nephew, there were very few resources available for the cosmopolitan aunt. “Things seemed ‘Auntie Sadie’ when you thought about aunties,” said Notkin.

“My nieces and nephews are such an important part of my life. I love being and aunt, I wear it like a badge of honour.”

As Notkin stated, “There are many wonderful sites dedicated to moms and dads but there really wasn’t a place where women like me could feel at home. You feel a sense of trespassing because you are not a ‘mom.’” So with her 15-plus years of experience in corporate America learning about digital marketing communications (having worked at L’Oréal, gaining knowledge of the world wide web via New York Times online back in the late nineties, and having worked at American Express, which gave her insight into membership and loyalty), she garnered enough experience to put towards SavvyAuntie.com. From ‘go,’ SavvyAuntie.com was welcomed with open arms. Notkin officially launched July 9th, 2008 and within twenty-three minutes she received an email from a media buying agency for Hasbro. Two hours after that, an email from Sephora came through.

“It was what I needed, proof of concept that marketers understood that we buy toys for the children in our lives and we buy cosmetics for ourselves. And thankfully, over the one-and-a-half year plus, the site has received a lot of wonderful sponsors and media attention and for me, what is most rewarding is that so many women feel like there is a voice speaking for them. And that is a wonderful feeling.”

Above all, she is a positive voice for childless women who may be judged as being selfish and unworthy. “People make choices in life and they are all valid. Whether they consciously decide not to have children or physically cannot, there are reasons that should not be judged. Some of the world’s most famous ‘childless women’ like Oprah Winfrey and Mother Theresa have contributed tremendously to the wellbeing of children in general. So let’s empower childless women instead of putting them down.”

Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated TrendingWoody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Woody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict TrendingJake Gyllenhaal is Desperately Seeking Employment [VIDEO] Jake Gyllenhaal is Desperately Seeking Employment [VIDEO] Trending
 

Canadian Jews Provide Funding to Cheer Up Kids in Israeli Bomb Shelters

July 21, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Canadian Jews Provide Funding to Cheer Up Kids in Israeli Bomb Shelters

Organized by the Heseg Foundation, the next round of funding will go towards improving the quality of life of IDF soldiers

Read More

The Nosh Pit - Kosher Summer Recipes With Raspberries

July 21, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
The Nosh Pit - Kosher Summer Recipes With Raspberries

Nothing says summer like sweet and delicious raspberries! Add these kosher dishes to your next BBQ or picnic.

Read More

Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel

July 21, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel

The boy band has pulled out of their summer concerts due to Operation Protective Edge

Read More

Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated

July 21, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated

The Maroon 5 front man married his supermodel girlfriend, Behati Prinsloo, over the weekend.

Read More

Toronto's Camp AIM Invites You To Celebrate With Them on Tuesday

July 21, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Toronto's Camp AIM Invites You To Celebrate With Them on Tuesday

Camp AIM is dedicated to the therapy for special needs children, including Aspergers, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and many other neurological disorders.

Read More

Online anti-Semitism Runs Rampant in France

July 21, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Online anti-Semitism Runs Rampant in France

Moderators forced to sensor 95% of comments

Read More

Israeli Architect Designs Singapore Airport's Bio-Dome

July 21, 2014 | By Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
Israeli Architect Designs Singapore Airport's Bio-Dome

'Man of the World' Moshe Safdie embarks on his most ambitious project yet

Read More

Thousands Arrive for Pro-Israel Rally in London

July 21, 2014 | By Rina Zinman
Thousands Arrive for Pro-Israel Rally in London

Siren sounded in the British capital to show solidarity for Israelis living with rocket threat; demonstrators carry signs reading, 'Yes to hummus, no to Hamas'

Read More

More Headlines