Two women’s tired eyes lock across the swings. One has blonde hair, a toddler, and a newborn.
The other… has blonde hair, a toddler and a newborn. Katie and Sarah are the only two adults in a drizzly playground in Barnes, south west London.
Both desperate for company, they strike up a conversation. Turns out they have even more in common than hair colour and offspring headcount.
Over a few chaotic Pizza Express lunches, Katie and Sarah tentatively start chatting about how there ought to be an easier way to make mum mates.
They scribble on scraps of paper, chat to a few people who know way more than they do about apps and wonder if they could possibly pull this off.
They come up with the name Mush after much brainstorming, because it’s what mums’ brains sometimes feel like, it’s what babies eat AND it’s an old slang term for friend. Some people think it stands for Mums Social Hub, but this is just a happy coincidence.
The app is launched. Largely thanks to Katie’s total shamelessness, hundreds of mums sign up in south west London… then thousands around London… then thousands and thousands and thousands further afield.
There are even Mushers in Australia. Woah. Turns out it was quite a good idea then.
Mush is now a bit of a thing, it seems. No more working in coffee shops while the babies are napping, Alex and Isabel officially join and the team (a team!) move into their first actual office – it has free fruit and everything.
Thousands of mums are downloading the app every day, and the most popular profile tags are “sleep-deprived” and “wine lover”.
Mush is making the news, with Katie and Sarah doing plenty of schmoozing to spread the word.
Mush is growing and growing – and has even caught the attention of The Duchess of Cambridge, who Katie and Sarah are invited to meet as part of the Heads Together mental health campaign.
That evening, everyone gets very drunk to celebrate.
Mush throw an extremely chaotic first birthday party at London Zoo (turns out it’s true that you should never work with animals and children…) and release this lovely video to celebrate, featuring real mums whose lives have been changed by Mush.
Katie and Sarah are invited to Buckingham Palace for more chat about maternal mental health. They catch up with their old pal Kate, along with Prince Harry.
Another office move! The ever-expanding Team Mush moves into a more permanent home at Huckletree West, and get an unexpectedly early new addition in the form of Sarah’s third baby, Noa, who’s born at just 29 weeks gestation. Thankfully, after a long stay in hospital, she’s absolutely fine.
Mush gets a book deal! The Mumsition: Your Friendly Companion To The First Year Of Motherhood, written by Isabel with regular puke breaks while deep in morning sickness with her second baby, is published to rave reviews.
Stacey Solomon and some other lovely friends of Mush come and chat about all things motherhood at the book launch.
Another new arrival – Katie welcomes her third daughter, Maggie, to the world.
She’s soon a regular fixture at team meetings (and team drinks…) and makes some valuable and charming contributions.
Katie and Sarah host their own Ted Talk! As part of TedXNHS, they tell the story of the app, and don’t cock it up even one tiny bit. Whoop.
Co-founder of Mush
Co-founder of Mush
Head of Content
Head of Community
Engineering Team Lead