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Delphine Carter knows first-hand the tough task of balancing work with motherhood. As a single mother, Delphine is a crusader for moms everywhere, most evident in her business, Boulo. Through her company, Delphine is exposing an untapped workforce for companies looking to hire while also providing an outlet for mothers yearning to exercise the professional skills they’ve worked so hard to acquire. Boulo identifies and connects companies with qualified talent — talent that comes in the form of strong leadership skills, exceptional organization know-how and unmatched perseverance, all qualities that are hallmarks of a hard-working mom. We’re thrilled to spotlight Delphine as our newest FACE of Birmingham! 

Delphine Carter of Boulo

Meet Delphine Carter, founder of Boulo and our newest FACE of Birmingham!

What prompted you to create Boulo? Describe the service and what it offers.

We were founded because we realized there are a lot of women in our community who are mothers, and they feel like they have to choose between their career and being involved with their kids. We felt like this should not be the case. So what Boulo does is match these women (mothers who manage to get three kids to eight places — that kind) with businesses that can use their skills. We connect professional women who are looking for part-time contracting positions with companies that need projects accomplished or are looking for specific expertise.

What have the clients been saying about the service?

It’s been so good! We have about 450 women on the platform, and we’ve placed 72 positions in the past year. I speak at different places and tell everyone about what we’re doing, and the very first thing I get is either, “I wish I had that when my kids were young,” or “I need that mom voice in my office. I need that expertise.”

Delphine at work

Delphine is thrilled that Boulo has about 450 women on the platform and that they’ve placed 72 positions in the past year.

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Why do you think it took so long for a service like this to come about?

What often happens is women (mothers) who are in this situation have a very generalist résumé, or they have volunteer experience instead of work experience. LinkedIn, Indeed or Monster, they all onboard people the same exact way. So if you have a résumé that looks different, that has strengths in different industries or different roles, or if you volunteered and gained some amazing training through it and led these big teams and did fundraising, it doesn’t accommodate these women’s histories. So we’re building our own onboarding process to match résumés that look a little bit different. Just because the work was free doesn’t mean you didn’t get valuable experience.

As a mother, what’s your take on the concept of work/life balance?

I don’t think it’s achievable, and I think it’s defined by the person. What works for me is not going to work for someone else. What I want to do is help women find what that looks like for them. For example, if you want to work 30 hours, then let’s find a job where your talents can contribute to a company for 30 hours. If you only want 10 hours, maybe you just need that taste of a project — something to keep your mind busy on something else. I think work/life balance is defined by the moment and defined by the person. Some days you choose and you feel good about it, and some days you don’t have that choice and it’s tough.

How do you think society can do better at not having such rigid boxes for women (career-wise) after they have children?

I think a lot of companies measure a person’s production based on the hours spent inside the walls. If companies could be more intentional about putting goals in place, actual metrics with key performance indicators and objectives, then it should not matter when you do the work – you just have to get your work done. I think if we could structure things in that sense, then I think we could have fathers who are more involved with their children and women who can accommodate both work and children.

Delphine Carter- Birmingham FACES

Delphine believes the work/life balance is defined by each individual.

Where is Boulo looking to grow?

We started off in Birmingham. We have job opportunities that have come through from other places through word of mouth and also women who have come to us through word of mouth. So, we are looking in the next year to expand to two new metro areas. We’re targeting mid-size cities because of their low cost of living, highly educated women and growing economies.

How do you see the platform growing and evolving as more people start to use it?

For us, it’s technology. How we match companies and women is high touch right now because it’s matching your innate strengths with your ‘heart skills.’ We’re building a technology platform that will be able to scale that matching and make it much easier for companies to find the right person, not just the right history. For example, if someone is looking for a project manager, then you want someone who’s a linear thinker — someone who’s creative maybe isn’t the best fit. Data analytics — surprisingly, people who like to knit are incredibly good at data analytics. It’s all about the emotional intelligence factor.

Boulo's Delphine Carter

Mothers who may have more volunteer experience than work experience can rest assured. “We’re building our own onboarding process to match résumés that look a little bit different. Just because the work was free doesn’t mean you didn’t get valuable experience,” Delphine tells us.

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself through starting Boulo?

I’ve learned that imposter syndrome is a real thing. You never see yourself as you actually appear to others. I’ve realized that we’re so hard on ourselves. I’ve realized that sometimes your head really just gets in the way of your success.

Shifting gears, describe your perfect night out in Birmingham. What would you do and who would you see?

I would go to Automatic Seafood. I absolutely love sitting at their oyster bar and testing all the oysters. The atmosphere is just wonderful. I work hard, and I don’t get to see my friends as much as I would like, so I would have all those friends that you text back and forth and say, “We have to hang out,” but never do. Our calendars would magically align. I have two kids, and I’m a single mom, and I work – so I stay busy!

Boulo Soultions- Delphine Carter

“Quiet the voices on the outside and listen to your intuition,” Delphine suggests to other burgeoning female entrepreneurs.

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What’s the best piece of advice you would give to other women looking to start a business?

Listen to your intuition. Quiet the voices on the outside and listen to your intuition. Sara Blakely from Spanx, she didn’t tell anybody about Spanx for the first year of its existence because a dream in its infancy is the most vulnerable. People love you and want to make sure you’re safe, but they’ll tell you, “Oh, don’t do that. It’s so risky.” Just trust your intuition and drive toward that result.

Aside from faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?

My running shoes, books and my paddleboard. I love being outside. That is where I collect myself and just relax. I’ll take my paddleboard out to Oak Mountain and just float for a while and think. And I love running.

Thank you to Delphine for the work you do on behalf of all women. And a special thanks to Eric & Jamie Photography for the great photos!

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