Any parent knows that finding a trustworthy, reliable babysitter can be a challenge. Well, parents, meet your new BFF: Wyndy!
Born out of need, Wyndy is a mobile app created by Birminghamians Tommy and Ginger Mayfield in 2015 that makes finding, booking and paying background-checked babysitters a snap! In a world where Uber reins supreme, and you can hire anyone to do any job with the touch of a button on your phone, creating an app seemed the obvious solution. The idea came to fruition when Tommy was working at a local law firm, and Ginger was earning her master’s degree at night — all while raising two children.
“We’ve definitely been humbled by the positive response, but not necessarily surprised,” Tommy tells us. “As the parents of young children, we were keenly aware of the challenges parents face when it came to finding trustworthy sitters. Through our own experience, as well as through conducting focus groups and interviews with both parents and college students early on, we felt confident we could build a platform that parents and college sitters would benefit from and enjoy.”
The platform was built by parents for parents, to ease a pain point. While Wyndy is designed to alleviate the struggle of hiring a babysitter (texting your list of go-tos, calling friends for their list of recommendations, etc.), they also work to strengthen families by supporting college students and building communities while providing greater flexibility for parents. “We want to empower parents to do more within their community or their jobs or their relationships. We wanted to empower students to make their own money,” shares Lauren Mabry Cater, Wyndy’s Marketing Director.
“The most rewarding part of launching Wyndy has been seeing how the app has positively impacted the lives of our users and empowered them in ways we didn’t foresee when we launched,” says Tommy. “We’ve heard stories of parents who were about to accept job offers they had previously turned down because, with Wyndy, they could now effectively manage their childcare needs. We’ve also heard from students who were on the verge of withdrawing from school for financial reasons but were able to stay enrolled because of the extra income they were able to earn through Wyndy.”
“It is interesting because while I’m an early adopter, I will say when I first heard of Uber, I was like, ‘That’s crazy! No one’s going to get into other people’s cars!’ But, of course, less than a year later I was like ‘When is Uber going to come to Birmingham?” So I think just as with Uber, you have to teach people that there’s an easier, safe, convenient way to do things that also helps the community. Wyndy is really unique because we’re a babysitting platform, but we only have college babysitters. All of our sitters are background-checked, vetted, college students,” Lauren told us in this SB FACES of Birmingham interview.
Wyndy sets itself apart by using full-time undergraduate and graduate students from Wyndy-approved campuses. Each sitter undergoes a thorough application process and must pass a background check. Parents can post jobs to the job board and see which Wyndys are interested, or they can offer a job directly to their list of favorite Wyndys. Parents can select and search for Wyndys based on their school, major or affiliation with certain organizations to find a person who will fit well within their family. The minimum pay is $12 per hour and the typical job ranges from $13 to $20 per hour and all payments are made through the app. Parents can rate Wyndys, add them to their list of My Wyndys and share recommendations with friends. Jobs can be booked in advance or last-minute — the bookings happen two weeks out and two days out. Find the answers to more frequently asked questions here.
Wyndy is currently available to parents and students in Tuscaloosa, Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee; and Charlottesville, Virginia. “Each of our cities is different because the campuses are different. Most cities have multiple colleges to pull from,” Lauren explains. “We are focusing on being part of the communities and building trust — these are your children, and we understand how important it is to create that level of trust.”
Tommy and Ginger continue to use Wyndy and while a Wyndy sitter is at home with their kids, you can find the young couple taking advantage of Birmingham’s great food scene. “If we’re looking for something casual, you’ll typically find us at Taco Mama or Urban Cookhouse. For special occasions, we like to grab a drink at Freddy’s Wine Bar and then enjoy dinner at Bottega Cafe,” Tommy tells us.
To learn more about Wyndy, or to find your next sitter, visit getwyndy.com.
You have the sitter covered, now where are you going out to eat? Check out Birmingham’s newest restaurants HERE!