We wanted to take a look at family and Motherhood in a different way. We think Jenna and Kellie are the perfect example of making Motherhood a priority and building the family you dream of. They adopted their two kids as best friends. They have known each other for years, worked together and lived as roommates but with Olivers adoption they officially became a family. They live and work together in New York City and raise their amazing kids. Jenna and Kellie founded their company, Gotham Group, to provide a well curated consistent voice in the social media world. Here’s their story.
Lisa & Liz
Kellie: Before becoming a mom, I was a talent booker for MTVNetworks for their Country Music channel. Along with Jenna (and Liz), I was a partner in Black Sheep Social Media Group. After selling Black Sheep, my son, Oliver arrived and I tried being a stay at home mom for a couple of months, but then, Jenna and I started another company called Gotham Group, LLC.
Jenna: I’m originally from San Antonio, Texas, went to Vanderbilt University and am a computer nerd. I worked briefly in celeb PR before starting a social media agency that focused on helping celebs manage their social media channels. Along with Kellie and Liz (shout out!!!) we grew it to be a pretty big operation and sold it to IPG and Rogers & Cowan a few years ago. That was all pre-children. When I was young enough and had enough energy to keep up with Hollywood!
Kellie: Oliver is unique in the way he loves to make people laugh. He will do pretty much anything if he thinks it will get a laugh. He loves it when people smile and are happy. He has so much empathy, that if he sees someone sad, he will do what he can to comfort that person.
Lucy was born Dec. 29, 2016 and even though she hasn’t been around very long, she has such a sweetness that just exudes from her. She’s curious and loves to smile.
Jenna: I have a 4 year old boy, Ollie, and a 6 week old girl, Lucy. They’re both so different and truly the great loves of my life.
Ollie is vibrant, smart, active, funny and as my friend Jillian says, “full of life.” He is obsessed with snakes, dinos and can beat anyone at The Nightmare Before Christmas trivial pursuit. He loves the Marilyn Manson remake of “This is Halloween” which seems like a parenting win to me.
Lucy is still tiny so her interests are unknown aside from eating, sleeping and the occasional crying. If only she would sleep through the night!
Kellie: My greatest challenge has been balancing between me time and kid’s time. Kid’s time always wins and I don’t recharge my battery as often as I should.
Jenna: It’s definitely balancing motherhood and work. Being the bread winner and trying to be an all encompassing mom is tough. I feel like I’m constantly having to pick between putting food on the table metaphorically by making money and physically as in actually cooking my kids dinner.
Kellie: My lowest point, was trying to conceive. I went through IVF 5 times and suffered a miscarriage. My BFF, Jenna, helped me to get through it. She helped me to get my head around adoption and we decided to be unconventional and adopt together. I don’t know why I ever had any doubts as it is single handedly, the best thing I have ever done in my life.
Jenna: The low point was when Ollie was really young. His other mom, Kellie, was his primary caregiver as I spent so much time working. As such he rarely wanted anything to do with me. He liked me alright, but sought comfort from her, wanted her to help him and generally preferred her over me. It was really tough. The few hours I had to spend with him were spent trying to coax him into letting me help him vs Kellie.
But as he grew up and started being able to understand that I have to go to work we were able to bond in a way I didn’t know was possible. We started having really meaningful experiences, started communicating about how and why I wasn’t there all of the time and became legit BFF.
Kellie: Most of my friends are all going through the same challenges as we are and it’s nice to know we aren’t alone. Everyone is willing to pitch in and help the others when they need something. Since Lucy has joined the family, so many of our friends had taken Ollie for playdates to give us a little break (and him!)
Jenna: All of my friends are working moms and have similar situations. We use each other as a support group and keep reminding each other that it gets better.
Kellie: The best part about being a Mom is the unconditional love you get from your babies. They don’t care what you look like or how your breath smells (at least while they are still little!). They just want to know that you are there for them and the hugs and kisses and I love you’s for no reason are priceless.
Jenna: Hugs and kisses and endless love from my babies.
Jenna Menking and Kellie Robinson successfully created, built and sold one of the world’s largest celebrity social media management companies to industry leading PR firm, Rogers & Cowan. They went on to found Gotham Group to fill the white space in the creative marketing world on the principal that every company deserves a well-curated, consistent voice in the national media landscape.