Editor’s note: This is an edited version of the story Lucy Stange wrote while participating in a Whyography workshop. For tools and resources for writing and publishing your story, visit our Workshops page.
When she was a girl growing up in Mexico, Lucy Stange’s father made his opinion clear that the male members of their family were more valuable than the females. Lucy was determined to prove him wrong. When her entire family traveled to Nevada to harvest pine nuts during the summer, living in tents for three to four months at a time, Lucy worked side-by-side her dad and brothers. She’d often be the first to the field, sweating all day in the blazing sun, harvesting as much or more than the others. When she was a teen, Lucy got up the courage to confront her father about his oppressive ways, but nothing she said would change his mind. Women were to be submissive to their husbands, he said.
Lucy’s mom divorced her father and moved the family to Minnesota to pursue a new life. As the oldest of 10, Lucy took on a mothering role, caring for her siblings while their mom worked long hours cleaning houses. Eventually Lucy dropped out of school to help support the family and worked alongside her mom. Housecleaning became the official family business.
Lucy became the operations manager for the business. She created systems for client management and staffing. She managed sales and marketing and developed a knack for it. It was the height of the recession, and she made an important discovery. Stay-at-home parents were returning to work out of necessity, and it was causing stress in many households—as well as a greater need for outside help. She tweaked the company’s messaging to speak directly to this pain point, and it worked. In six years, Lucy grew annual sales to $1.5 million.
Though she was proud of helping build the family cleaning company, Lucy was ready to focus on her own family, so she left the business. She helped her ex-husband launch a successful construction company, creating the branding, website and marketing materials. She launched a photography business and gave clients advice for using the images online. Eventually Lucy realized she could build an entire business around the skills she honed marketing and growing the cleaning and construction businesses. In 2017, she launched My Social Drive, a company that specializes in branding, website development and online marketing.
Today, My Social Drive helps clients realize the kind of results Lucy got for her family businesses. She and her team are committed to becoming true partners to the clients they work with, but she is particularly passionate about standing beside and lifting up other women-owned businesses. That work directly connects to her values. Lucy believes everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed and she’s made it her mission to do whatever she can to help female founders reach their goals.
To learn about Lucy’s business, visit MySocialDrive.com.
Photo: Kylee Leonetti for My Founder Story