I first heard the backstory about Bumble when I listened to an episode of the How I Built This podcast with Whitney Wolfe.
I won’t rehash it for you, but I will say I related deeply to Whitney’s story for a number of reasons. Ultimately, she didn’t get crushed under the weight of an onslaught of online hatred. She took the hit emotionally, but her drive didn’t die.
Most of all, I related to the way she saw the world: it can be a cruel and judgemental place (especially to women and marginalized groups) but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be. Whitney used her experience as fuel to create something that is charting the course to radically change that way people connect.
After I heard her interview on the podcast I thought: yeah, that’s how I feel and what I want to do. I related to her vision and her rejection of the status-quo way people treat each other.
So I started following Bumble on social media, and watched closely what they did on the PR and marketing fronts. My background is in PR and marketing, and I was immediately impressed and quickly realized that they walked the talk and did things differently. Few examples: they banned guns in users profile pics after the Parkland shooting and partnered with the L.A. Clippers on a campaign promoting gender equality.
They take risks, maintain their belief in making IRL connections despite scaling massively (they place a lot of importance on activating at a grassroots level) and speak to their audience in a way that empowers them.
If you know nothing about the brand, read this letter from Whitney Wolfe about the Bumble philosophy and you might start to understand why I feel so strongly about Bumble.
I remember I had a sticky note on my cork board in my first apartment that said “email Bumble about being an ambassador.” I eventually took the note down when I moved. From my research, I knew they had something called the “Queen Bee” program in the US, but I figured it was a long shot.
With all of that being said, in April 2018 I found out that Bumble had created a Canadian Instagram page. I was excited, to say the least.
I found an email address for the Canadian market lead. There were no job postings or calls for resumes. I just figured “you don’t ask, you don’t get,” so I may as well just sincerely show my cards. I sent her the email below.
I got an email back from someone at Bumble HQ later that day, and had a conference call later that week. I explained where I was from and why Winnipeg as a market was awesome and unique. I talked about the potential to promote the Bizz and BFF verticals in Winnipeg because most people in the city still think of Bumble as just a dating app, but I knew from experience it represents much more than that.
I remember I took a call with the head of field marketing (for Bumble as a whole) while I was at the library downtown and as soon as it ended I started crying because I couldn’t believe any of this was happening.
After some back and forth with Bumble, I plucked up the courage to talk to my boss to see if there was a way I could keep working in my position and also work for Bumble. It was funny actually because my boss and I both listen to The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, and a few weeks prior Whitney Wolfe had been his guest. He understood it was important to me, and we worked something out.
So now I’m the Community Marketing Manager for Bumble in Winnipeg.
BEING ABLE TO TYPE THAT IS SO SURREAL AND I STILL HAVE ZERO CHILL ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
I am so proud to represent a company that stands for equality, kindness, safety, respect and inclusivity. It’s more than an app – it’s a movement. And I feel so fortunate to be able to bring this brand to Winnipeg.
I could write some whole big thing about how dreams come true to those who work blah blah blah but believing in yourself is the key to manifesting some next level stuff in my opinion. Before, I would have never sent that email because I didn’t think I deserved to work for a company I admired like Bumble. It’s cheesy, but self-love and acceptance can move mountains within you — I can truly say that from personal experience.
Also, don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Oh, and download the app, of course.