Moms Making It: Girl Tribe co-founders talk messy lives, expansion and the cease-and-desist letter from Taylor Swift

Photo courtesy of Girl Tribe
Carrie Barker and Sarah Baucom

This is the first piece of a series focusing on the working moms in the Queen City whose businesses or careers have an impact on the day-to-day lives of other women. Who else is better to start with than two women who created a brand that believes in the power of the babe, girl power, community over competition and of course, boy bands? Up first, the co-founders of Girl Tribe.

Former middle school classmates Sarah Baucom, an interior designer, and Carrie Barker, an architect, met up at a coffee shop in 2012 to chat about their lives, careers and dreams. By the end of their conversation — which lasted six hours — they realized they were both ready for career changes.

As a result of that conversation, Sarah’s focus on fashion would produce an e-commerce business and Carrie’s love for graphic design would transpire into a graphic design business. After working side by side for a few years, they utilized their shared passion for supporting other women and in 2014, Pink Social launched.

[Related: 7 Charlotte boutiques that are all about girl power]

In 2015, they held the first Girl Tribe Pop Up. Pink Social underwent a rebranding in 2017 and was renamed Girl Tribe. What started as a side hustle has become a T-shirt company, a pop-up series that allows small, female-owned businesses to showcase their own products, a full-fledged office with several employees, a storefront and an online women’s group with more than 16,000 members. Amidst the growth of Girl Tribe, Sarah, who has two girls ages 6 months and 4, and Carrie, who has a son age 3, both grew their families.


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CharlotteFive: Favorite Girl Tribe shirt?

SB: I love anything that says Girl Tribe on it. I’m seriously so proud of it. The Panthers line is really fun, but I think it says everything in those words.

CB: Right now I can’t get out of my grey unisex Girl Tribe shirt — it’s so comfy. We have fond memories of our first designs. One of our first was Shake it Off and we ended up with a cease-and-desist letter from Taylor Swift, so we have fond memories of that one. I think every year I have one favorite.

CharlotteFive: What does a typical morning at your house look like?

SB: Chaos. I get up with the baby and my husband makes sure everyone goes to bed. We’re incredibly 50/50, my husband is awesome and I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for him being so supportive. I get up with the baby first to give her that first bottle and for 30 minutes we just put on some music. I drink my coffee and it’s me and her until my 4-year-old wakes up. Every day my husband and I split up, I take one girl and he takes the other (because they go to different day cares) and then we flip at the end of the day, so whoever I took, I will pick up the other one.

CB: I am very lucky that we have kept my son on a good sleep schedule, so he will sleep until about 8 a.m. My husband and I get up at 7 a.m. and he goes downstairs to get the house ready for the day and either he or I will wake my son up. I take him to half-day school and I’m the one dropping him off. After I drop him off, I head straight into work at 8:30 a.m. I’m the first one in, which I usually like so I can check off a lot of things on my email.


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CharlotteFive: How do you manage your time between working, being a mom and taking time for yourself?

SB: It all kind of blends together. Sometimes I’ll take the day off to spend with my 4-year-old, which is a perk of owning your own business, but the con is that because of that I work overtime constantly. I even bring my kids into the office sometimes because they are so fun and I love for them to see what I do. I bring them with me if I can, and if I can’t — I’m a working parent and that’s okay, too. I never feel Mom guilt about that.

CB: That’s pretty much scheduled. I think Sarah and I are both getting better at taking moments during the day for ourselves when we need it. We’ve never felt guilty about working all of the time because that’s our passion and that’s who we are.

CharlotteFive: As entrepreneurs, did you feel pressured to not take time off when you had your children?

SB: For sure. Everything is going so fast right now. I had my daughter in June and we’ve had four major pop-ups this fall, we were signing the lease for our store, we were going through some big deals, we hosted Jeni from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, we had a lot of stuff going on. I definitely didn’t feel like I could take time off, but that was self-inflicted. I don’t think I missed out on anything. I brought her with me. I think a lot of career women feel that way, not just entrepreneurs.

[Related: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opens in South End Aug. 9. Here’s what you should order.]

CB: I think it was a choice. I was very intentional leading up to having him. I tried to prep everybody, but there’s no prepping when you have a baby, and he came a month early. And me personally, I don’t function well if I’m not working. I went back to work pretty much immediately.


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CharlotteFive: What advice do you have for other working moms who are juggling parenthood and the workforce?

SB: You just gotta be flexible. You gotta be able to roll with it because kids are different every day and work is different every day. Find things that you don’t like to do and try to outsource them elsewhere. I don’t like doing my hair so I will go get blow outs. If you can afford for someone to help around the house, then that’s helpful. Find the things that bring you joy in your life and outsource the things that don’t.

CB: To not look at it as a negative. There’s no perfect balance. Life isn’t always beautiful, it’s messy. And as long as you’re doing what fulfills you and gets you excited, then just go for it. I think women are redefining a new American dream. They’re figuring out what really makes them happy. Kids and husbands can be included, but that’s not the end all, be all.

CharlotteFive: If there is one thing you can teach your children from being a working mom, what is it?

SB: If I could teach my daughters one thing about being a working mom, it’s that I want them to know that working towards your dream life is the hardest, most fulfilling thing we can do in this world.  Everyone deserves to live their dreams.

CB:  Advice for my son would be the same for anybody. Figure out what kind of sets your heart on fire. You’re not going to figure it out overnight. I had a long journey but I think to stop listening to the noise and culture and just really figure out what your purpose is — it doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur, it doesn’t have to be what your parents say it is, you gotta figure out what’s meant for you.


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CharlotteFive: Who is another working mom in Charlotte that you admire?

SB: Gosh, there’s a ton of them. Erin McDermott. She just had her third kid, she’s such a rock star. Her kids and family are beautiful and she is so good at what she does. She’s so available to people and that’s also what makes her so successful. She gives her heart in everything that she does.

CB: Ooh! There’s a lot of them! I would say that I really admire Betsy Idilbi with Tech Talent South, she does a great job. Dina Cary with Milkful, she does a great job. Also, Lindsey Regan Thorne, she’s always beautiful, her house is always beautiful — she’s great.


  1. Interesting Taylor Swift can claim ownership to the phrase “Shake It Off” when there is a Mariah Carey song of the same name that predates Swift’s version by nearly a decade.


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