With demanding college schedules filled with class, extracurriculars and friends, it can be difficult for students to find the time for a part-time gig. Vanderbilt University alumni Tommy Mayfield (‘03) and Ginger Mayfield (‘05) have honed in on a job that offers flexibility that suits even the most hectic schedule: babysitting.
Finding the perfect babysitting job is easier said than done. There’s an endless cycle of parents desperately calling sitters, only for the sitters to be unavailable. The parents are then forced to go back to square one. Not to mention, sitters often sit and wait for calls that never come.
Tommy and Ginger Mayfield experienced this first-hand. The couple had extremely hectic schedules when Tommy was working as a lawyer and Ginger was going back to school to get her master’s degree in the midst of raising their two young daughters.
They saw a need to make babysitting more accessible. In 2015, they sought out to create an app that did just that, calling it Wyndy.
“It’s just a real hassle to build a network of babysitters and then book one for a particular job. It seemed like you’re sending endless text messages and then trying to pay people was stopping by the ATM or having to scrounge around and find a checkbook. We felt like there had to be a better way, especially in a world where we’re so used to convenience,” said Tommy.
“We wanted to create a platform that empowers college students to apply for babysitting jobs and meet new families and get more connected in their community to make a place like Nashville feel more like home,” said Ginger.
Wyndy launched in Birmingham, AL in March of this year and made its way to Nashville on Oct. 15. Students at select universities (now including Vanderbilt) must fill out an application which includes basic information such as GPA, major and extracurriculars along with a short video.
Parents, on the other hand, are able to use this app to find their ideal babysitters. They can use filters to refine their search to look at sitters that their friends have used or check out the potential sitters’ ratings.
The couple hopes to leverage the technology to reshape the perception of babysitting jobs.
“Babysitting is not something you’d put on your resume historically, but we’re trying to build a platform where you know you can say to future employers, ‘I was in school full time and I made good grades and I was involved on campus, but I also was able to serve 100 different families in my community and maintain a five star rating.’ So that shows employers that you can manage your time and work with people, which are the two most important skills in any profession,” said Tommy.
The Mayfields attribute much of the app’s success to their Vanderbilt education. Tommy graduated as an English major in 2003, and Ginger graduated in 2005 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development.
“I think what’s amazing is that going to a place like Vanderbilt really allowed us to adapt. And also just having that academic background gave us the courage to pursue something that was a new arena for us: technology. We are so thankful for Vanderbilt and all it gave us, and we’re so excited that now there are Wyndys at Vanderbilt,” said Ginger.
Wyndy expanded to Memphis, TN; Chattanooga, TN; Charlottesville, VA and Mobile, AL on Nov. 15.