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A Workday With Mary Kay Ziniewicz of Bus Stop Mamas

Family. Business. Community. That’s what Bus Stop Mamas is all about. With those hefty themes in mind, how does Founder/CEO Mary Kay Ziniewicz find time for something like lunch? Short answer — she doesn’t. It takes flexibility, focus, and a lot of work to help connect stay-at-home moms (and dads) with temporary, part-time, or full-time work that fits into a hectic schedule. Mary Kay still carves out a little time for some good old fashion Netflix binges, though. From A.M. to P.M., here’s a peek inside a workday of the lead mama.




Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

My background is in branding and business development. I have extensive experience in advertising, branding, integrated marketing and promotions, and I contributed to many high-profile campaigns.

In 2002, my career shifted from ad agency to legal when I accepted a position with a local law firm as marketing director. It was in this role that I was able to write a marketing plan, execute it as written, and measure the results. Fortunately (for the firm and for me) the efforts delivered results — accelerating revenue growth, penetrating new markets, and developing programs and products that influenced how law firms marketed — and provided the law firm international acclaim. Eventually, I became CMO at a law firm.

For the past ten years, I ran a national consulting practice where most of my clients were law firms. I customize business development programs that simultaneously build internal and external awareness and trust — leveraging the Golden Rule — and everyone wins.

Bus Stop Mamas integrates everything I’ve learned over the years in my career, and it is so exciting because every day I am challenged to learn more — walking on waters I never imagined walking. The most amazing part of being the founder of Bus Stop Mamas is that I get to meet awesome moms every day and share what I am most proud of — being a mom!

What time do you rise and shine?

6:00 AM

What do you usually eat for breakfast?

Coffee. Recently cut out cream and sugar. 

What’s the first work-related task you tackle each morning?


What is your workspace setup?

I work everywhere and anywhere. I have a desk that is buried in stuff I feel like I need to keep out. I never work at my desk. I’m either at a cooperative workspace like Fueled Collective or WeWork, at my kitchen table, or sitting in my favorite living room chair — a Florence Knoll Womb chair. Isn’t that poetic? 🙂

What’s the most interesting/fun/meaningful thing on your desk?

A photo of my daughter. 

What’s one piece of tech you can’t live without?

My phone.

What do you need to get done before lunch to feel like you had a productive morning?

Lunch? It’s usually 6:00 p.m. when I think… what am I going to make for dinner?

What are you listening to these days?

We have an Alexa which allows me to listen to anything I feel like hearing: Rolling Stones, White Stripes, Violent Femmes, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus or The Smiths. Don’t judge me; I have a 14 year old!


What is your current TV obsession?

“Arrested Development” for Netflix binging or “The God Who Speaks” on Amazon.

What’s the last movie you saw and what would you rate it (out of five stars)?

We watched Flipped on New Year’s Day as a family. I give it a 5.


What book would we find on your nightstand?

“The War That Saved My Life,” (Kimberly Brubaker Bradley) “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” (Betty Smith) my Bible, and daily devotional.

Cats or dogs?

My daughter is allergic to everything.

The best part about living in Minnesota is…

The airport. Just kidding. I love the people and snow too.

How do you fend off the post-lunch lull?

No lunch or lulls here.

What do you use to stay organized during a hectic day?

Jodi Fulmer — my right-hand mama.

What’s a recent work-related challenge you had to conquer? Walk us through your process.

The challenges are many and daily. Financial forecasting is hot right now, and we have a team of superstars at Bus Stop Mamas. We approach our assumptions in a fun way. We take on the persona of our mama and of our business customer and really dive to identify reasonable expectations by person and market. We are used to working with nothing — zero money — so we are super resourceful. This year we have a budget. It is super exciting to be cooking with gas!

What’s one thing everyone could do to be more productive?

Set a timer on every task and commit to moving to the next task when the timer goes off.

What’s the last work-related thing you do every day?

Email and social media.

How do you decompress at the end of a long workday?

Eat dinner with my family.

What time do you usually hit the hay?

10:00 – 11:00 p.m.


If there’s a community thought leader or founder who you’d like to see featured in our “A Workday With…” series, contact us on Twitter @TECHdotMN or email with the subject line “A Workday With… Submission.”

Alex Skjong
Alex oversees the content produced for BETA, Twin Cities Startup Week, and When he’s not writing or editing, there’s a good chance he’s enjoying a refreshing brew and explaining the merits of heavy metal (of which there are many).