Julie Nguyen supports working moms through fostering a community in Crunchmoms

7 min read
Nada ElSharkawy

Julie Nguyen is a woman on a mission to change the world. She is an ambitious working woman and mom who has worked with global brands, across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia for over ten years. She has helped several brands with their marketing and digital transformation. She is also the founder of Crunchmoms. After becoming a mom, her ambition grew bigger and bolder with the new challenges of caring for a child. She takes us through her journey as a mother and entrepreneur, explaining how Crunchmoms helps entrepreneurs and working moms in the region. Her work of encouraging women in the MENA region continues to evolve and we were lucky enough to tell her story, and get inspired by tips to help females starting their own journey as entrepreneurs too.

Meet Julie, avid supporter of working moms

The experience of becoming a mother has reshaped my life and career ambitions.

Julie Nguyen Crunchmoms headshot working moms

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Julie is a Vietnamese Texan American that has lived as an expat for more than ten years in Dubai and Amsterdam. Julie is married and is blessed with a two-year-old son. In our interview with her, she reveals how her life as a working mom does not revolve solely around work or motherhood. She enjoys traveling when it’s possible and, as a temporary solution, she enjoys staycations along with learning golf, weight training, and staying active outdoors.

She studied economics and business administration at the University of Texas at Austin, and has a Business Foundations Certification from the McCombs School of Business. Moreover, she received further executive business education from Hult International Business School, and studied digital transformation and leadership at Vlerick Business School.

It is important to highlight how Julie’s success is interrelated with her education and work experience as well as highly dependent on her ability to adapt anywhere she is. The passion she has for education boosted her desire to educate others about her journey, the possibilities and opportunities they can reach if they go the extra mile for their entrepreneurship journey. She explains:

My education, upbringing and interests have greatly contributed to my career and inspired my entrepreneurial journey. Everything I have learned in my corporate roles in the last ten years continues to guide me in my work today.

Julie has worked for Arcadis for quite some time. With Arcadis, Julie has worked in regional and global marketing and communication positions, and most recently was part of the global digital transformation and innovation team based in the headquarters. Prior to Arcadis, she worked at Edelman, Ogilvy and a proptech start-up.

Julie is an active member and speaker within the startup community, and empowering women and building a community of innovators and entrepreneurs is her specialty.

Crunchmoms: A community and professional networking platform

Since gathering more than ten years of experience in branding, marketing and digital transformation along the way with proven expertise in markets across the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, Julie has become a powerhouse of knowledge and inspiration. She decided to use this energy and knowledge towards a beautiful cause in a new chapter of her life; Crunchmoms.

In this new chapter, Julie started a new venture and founded Crunchmoms, a community and networking platform for ambitious moms to boost their careers. Together with Crunchmoms’ incredible team, an impressive community of working moms that have achieved a lot in their careers while juggling the role of motherhood was built digitally in the MENA region until things open up again. The ideation and concept took place during the pandemic in 2020 while she was working full-time and had a one-year-old baby. The project itself went live in late-2020 with the brand Crunchmoms, and has actively engaged with the community online and offline via co-working, inspiring talks and networking events.

Despite being a newly created initiative, Crunchmoms achieved a great milestone thanks to their amazing marketing and need for a change. Crunchmoms received an invitation into the startup program at the Web Summit and was selected out of 2,000 startups to pitch to the president of Y Combinator, the best startup accelerator in the world!

The path towards success has been seemingly quite smooth, as it appears that hundreds of working women already engage with Crunchmoms. Julie wishes to inspire us with the most valuable lesson she learned since she started by saying:

Everything takes time and there’s a reason for it. Good things and decisions need to be well thought out - building teams, building products, creating a brand, and forming partnerships. It can be done, but don’t expect it to be easy.

Inspiring working moms in the region

working moms entrepreneurs gathering networking

According to a study by OECD about entrepreneurship, the gender gap in the MENA region is the greatest in the world, with around 12% of adult women and 31% of adult men working as entrepreneurs.

Julie is one of the amazing working moms that are trying to motivate and provide support to mothers wanting to become entrepreneurs in the region. She provided us with many pieces of advice. From her own experience, she recommends building a multi-disciplinary team with a growth mindset, and investing in relationships too. To test as much as you can, and build small but always think big. Also, don’t forget to make new connections and network constantly - find mentors, have an advisor and pick a close partner and friend you can always count on.

It goes without saying that there have been many challenges in her journey, especially since her launch was deep within the pandemic. The pandemic, the fact that she is a new mom, and working full time whilst starting a new venture define her 2020 challenges. However, as she kept her mind focused on the next achievements, Crunchmoms’ plans for indulging in this community succeeded, and she and her team dedicated their time to Crunchmoms and family and decided to de-prioritize anything else.

The most inspiring and fueling aspect of Crunchmoms and Julie’s journey is meeting other moms. Getting this gratitude from these working moms for helping them find clarity, confidence, and feeling good about themselves and their careers again after having kids is Julie’s payoff. It energizes her and makes it all worth it!

To all the women across the globe

Julie is no different than many women who try to support entrepreneurs and working moms. Julie Nguyen is the modern-day business leader: innovation and marketing professional by day, an entrepreneur by night, and a mom and wife 24/7. Following Julie’s steps and guidance can be a great way of starting your own entrepreneurship experience and becoming a working mom. Follow your passion - it will turn your life upside down. Make your child the reason you want to live up to their expectations by doing what you want and like to do and not follow the path of income dependency. As Eileen Fisher advised all women before,

Life-fulfilling work is never about the money - when you feel true passion for something you instinctively find ways to nurture it.

With that been said, we wish all the amazing and working moms out there in the MENA region and across the globe a Happy Mother’s Day!

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