A mom, business-owner, entrepreneur, creator, adventurer, and we think she's pretty darn stylish too (hint... she wears Jibs! ). Plus, like many of us, she's going through one heck of a journey in her life, doing her best to enjoy the zig-zagging....
Name: Pam Bell
Business Website: mymatterly.com
LET'S GET STARTED...
Natalie: SO HAPPY TO FEATURE YOU IN OUR JOURNEY BLOG!! A SOFT OPENING FOR YOU HERE… TELL US A LITTLE HIGHLIGHT OF THE JOURNEY YOU FIND YOURSELF ON RIGHT NOW.
Pam: Journey to freedom. In what exactly? I’m not sure… but I know I spent years feeling “stuck”. Like I was grasping to do whatever pleased everyone else and never felt free to make my own decisions and choices in life. The past 5 years have been a journey to quit self-doubt and allow myself to make decisions without getting approval or validation. It’s helping me gain confidence and trust in myself which is something I feel like I’ve been missing and I’m learning how capable I am in so many things!
SHE RUNS THIS TOWN!
Natalie: WE LOVE A GOOD REASON TO GET TOGETHER AND BE ACTIVE WITH OUR FRIEND (AND STRANGERS, AKA SOON-TO-BE-FRIENDS LOL) HENCE SO SO CURIOUS TO ALL THAT YOU’RE DOING WITH SHE RUNS THIS TOWN! WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START THIS?
Pam: I started SRTT as a new mom (originally called Moms RUN This Town) and I needed an outlet from stressful baby times and a way to get my pre-baby body back. I found other women in the same stage of life as I was in and the more women that joined, the more I knew this was something that was needed by women everywhere. As the group grew, we found women who still needed the same motivation and support, but that weren’t “moms” so we changed to a more inclusive SHE and 12 years later we have hundreds of chapters all over the world!
As women, it's so hard to find time for ourselves. We are the caretakers to children, manage households, hold down jobs, and usually – all three of these at once! It’s hard for us to take time for ourselves without feeling selfish, so SRTT was a way to offer that break to women and give them a source of motivation and a safe place to just be themselves at whatever level of fitness they were at. I could talk forever about how much this club means to me and what I’ve seen it do in others' lives, but I’d love for any woman looking for that extra level of support to find a local SRTT chapter near them and join us!
KEEP ON DREAMING ON
Natalie: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE EXPERIENCE SO FAR IN GOING FROM “LIGHT-BULB IDEA”, TO HAVING CHAPTERS WORLDWIDE? ANY CHALLENGES? ANY SURPRISING TURNOUTS?
Pam: It’s insane that this crazy dream I had of having chapters all over actually exists! I remember laying in my bed the night I came up with the concept and said “One day I’ll be at a race, and I’ll see another woman with an SRTT (MRTT) shirt on from some other city and state – and I’ll have an instant connection. At that point I’ll know we have made it” And the day that happened – I was on MARTA (transport in Atlanta) and saw a girl who I didn’t know rocking an SRTT shirt and I very timidly said “Are you in Moms RUN This Town?” and she said, “YES what chapter are YOU in?” It was surreal. And since then that situation has happened over and over to me and SO many other girls! Challenges? Yes. A bunch. But challenges are opportunities so we will just leave it at that 😉.
Life is hard enough as it is, we should all try to be the one bright spot in someone’s day, even if it’s just a simple compliment, a wave, or a smile.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE BORING
Natalie: I ALSO SEE THAT YOU’RE A BIT OF A MULTI-HYPHENATE KIND OF WOMAN, YOU PREFER KEEPING BUSY CONQUERING THE WORLD RATHER THAN TWIDDLING YOUR THUMBS, ARE WE RIGHT?! ON TOP OF RUNNING YOUR COMMUNITY, YOU ARE ALSO THE QUEEN-B SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT AT MATTERLY - NO WONDER THEIR MOTTO OF LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE BORING IS RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY! HOW DO YOU JUGGLE THIS ALL, AND A COUPLE OF CUTE KIDS TO BOOT?
Pam: At the end of 2020, during the very uncertain times of covid, I was approached with the opportunity to turn SRTT over to the hands of someone who was well-versed in women’s running. She directed a women’s race series, had just purchased a women’s athletic apparel company, and asked if I’d be interested in her taking over. I was very uncertain about the outcome of what Covid was going to do, a single mom of 2 kids who needed to find a more stable source of income, so after discussing it – we both decided it was a perfect fit and a smart move. I could finally breathe because I had someone knowledgeable help to lead and take over the wonderful group of women I had built over 10 years. But to your original question – no, I can’t sit still. I was ready for my “What’s next?” I posted on Facebook asking my friends what they thought I’d be good at in my next chapter of life. I felt they may see something I didn’t see in myself, and I was right! A former website client of mine (Yes, I owned a web design company before the running club!) told me I’d be PERFECT for a role she had for a startup division of a 60-year-old company. Social Media Coordinator for a direct-to-consumer home décor doormat company. Doormats. Doormats? Sounds boring right? But I’ve found that I LOVE DOORMATS!!! We all have them, and we all need them, so why not make them fun and exciting!!?? I could gush forever about my team, the parent company, and the quality of our mats… but I’ll try to keep it short. Life is too short to be boring. That’s for darn sure! And with Matterly I can use my creativity to find ways to showcase something stereotypically “boring” in a fun and exciting way. Plus it’s REALLY fun when people say “What do you do?” and I say “I design doormats” (although I do more as Creative Manager – but it’s just a fun conversation starter!). Anything but boring, that’s for sure! And juggling with kids? Well, let's just say I’ve had to bribe them into holding cameras for me or using their feet in reels, so they help take an active role in my job too! Fortunately for me, they are very easygoing kids and for that I’m thankful!
WE LOVE THE EARTH
Natalie: VERY, VERY COOL THAT THESE PRETTY AND CHIC DOORMATS ARE ALSO EARTH-FRIENDLY AND ARE MADE FROM SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS. WE AT JIBS ARE ALSO HUGE ON SUSTAINABILITY! WHAT IMPACT DO YOU WISH TO MAKE WITH MATTERLY AND/OR YOUR OWN MARK ON THIS PLANET OF OURS?
Pam: Since working at Matterly, I’ve learned about the dangerous and harsh working conditions that traditional “coco mats'' are made under. These are the course-haired tan doormats you see practically everywhere. And did you know the conditions are so bad they aren’t even allowed to be produced in the US? Matterly mats are made with recycled water bottles on the top and recycled car tires on the rubber backing all very proudly made in America!! Our doormats last exponentially longer than other doormats which means less waste. We even have various other elements in our products that can be recycled again. We are also introducing a new program where we give a portion of our revenue to carbon removal companies that have been vetted by scientists from Carbon Direct. And in addition to all of that, our parent company also has a long-term goal of being carbon net zero and that’s something I’m very proud to be a part of.
Natalie: SO WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT HOME TAKING IN THE SIGHTS OF YOUR LOVELY DOORMATS OR RUNNING AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD, DO YOU OFTEN TRAVEL? WHAT’S YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT WEEKEND GETAWAY?
Pam: I love experiencing new places – unfortunately, I never had much opportunity to travel in the past, but now that the kiddos are getting older it’s easier to break away! My boyfriend has introduced me to scuba diving and while the original thought of it was somewhat terrifying, I’ve found myself “escaping” mentally under the sea. It’s an incredible experience and I love being able to share that with him! We had one big scuba diving trip last year to Bonaire, and I think there are many more in the future. For weekends we are typically around town hanging out with friends, but a perfect weekend getaway is escaping to a mountain or lake house. Or just anywhere a short flight or drive away!
I’m also a huge fan of just staying around town and hitting up as many thrift and antique stores as possible. I LOVE how new things pop up constantly and finding unique treasures for my home that make me smile. Quirky tchotchkes, local art, and interesting furnishings are a huge part of what makes me tick! And I’m thrilled that my mom, sister, and friends share this passion so I have people to geek out with when I find something cool!
YAY FOR CREATIVITY
Natalie: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF YOUR CAREER? SOMETHING THAT’S IMPACTED YOU? AN IMPACT THAT YOU’VE MADE?
Pam: I think my favorite part of my job is just to constantly find ways to be creative. I do social media for doormats and a lot of people would think, “How many ways can you take a photo of a doormat?” That’s when I get to really think hard and think outside the box! What props can I use? What features can I call out and how can I show that? What events happen at a door that I can capture? Where else can doormats go in a home? Omg, I’m excited just thinking about it haha. So that’s definitely my favorite part – just getting to be creative for something that doesn’t scream “fun”! I also love the marketing team I’m a part of!! Funny story… my daughter literally just said “What are you smiling at?” Apparently, I’m smiling as I’m typing this out – so that should say a lot about how much I love my job and my team!! Anyway, we are all different and have different strengths and qualities that honestly play so well off each other – but one thing we have in common – a very quirky sense of humor oh, and passion for doormats!
HAVE A NICE DAY
Natalie: THERE’S A REASON WE SNEAK “HAVE A NICE DAY” INTO OUR INSOLES. WE BELIEVE THAT IF YOU DO ONE SMALL GOOD DEED EVERY DAY, THAT CAN ADD UP TO SOME PRETTY MAJOR CHANGE. WHAT LITTLE (OR BIG) ACTIONS DO YOU TAKE IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TO BETTER THIS PLANET AND ITS PEOPLE?
Pam: This is the perfect chance to throw in a phrase my dad said when he was in recovery from bypass surgery gone wrong. “I can do more”. There’s a long backstory with this – but my dad was one of the biggest inspirations I had in my life and a HUGE part of what makes me ME. He was a giver and a doer and always finding ways to do more for others. He wrote this phrase during physical therapy one day conveying to the nurse he wanted to keep going in hopes to get stronger. At the time he was unable to speak due to a tracheotomy and couldn’t use words (a very frustrating thing for a man who would talk to a brick wall if it would stand there long enough!), but he wrote this in very rough handwriting to the nurse. It just was the perfect example of everything my dad was. Doing more doesn’t always have to mean spreading yourself thin as I’m learning. I feel like there are always little things you can do to better the world around you that you may not realize create a big impact. Whether it’s spreading the word about a local or small business you had a good experience with or sharing your knowledge and talents to those who can benefit from it. Choosing the right thing when it’s not always convenient or easy or always being aware and compassionate to others and their situations. Life is hard enough as it is, we should all try to be the one bright spot in someone’s day, even if it’s just a simple compliment, a wave, or a smile.