Hey, Girl aims to connect women over interests

August 24, 2021

By Katie Aldridge

After the loss of her son, Eron Johnson realized she should grab life while she had it — but when she asked friends to go try new things with her, they weren’t interested. So she launched Hey, Girl, a social activities app for women with the goal of connecting new friends over common interests.

Eron was a member of the spring 2021 cohort of Early Risers Academy, a 10-week business-building bootcamp powered by Launch Dayton partner Parallax Advanced Research. We recently caught up with Eron to learn more about her budding startup and her experience with the Early Risers Academy program.

Launch Dayton: How did your company start?

Eron: It started as an idea. I have friends, and I would go to them and say, “Let’s go to this concert, let’s go to this cooking class, let’s travel here.” They would say, “No, we’re not interested in that.” I realized I was missing out on so many things in life. Then it just clicked. I came up with this idea to connect women with like-minded interests.

Why this idea?

It wasn’t just me that had this need. I would occasionally see on Facebook friends posting things like, “Does anyone want to go do this?” or “Anybody want to go do that?” and there would be no comments. I would wonder if they were really going to do it. I’d never see them post anything pertaining to that, so I assume they didn’t do it.

It hit me a few years ago, with the loss of my son, how short life is and how important it is to do the things you want to do – on every level. This idea came to me after that.

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

I want to say yes and no. When I was a child, I didn’t know what entrepreneurial was, but I knew I wanted to do something creative. When I had children, I put that on the back burner and decided to do corporate America. The longer I was in that industry, the more it started to get on my nerves. Then, the desire to be an entrepreneur came back to me as my children got older. It was like ding! you are meant to be an entrepreneur in some way, shape, or form.

What identities do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?

Being out of the box. I became so comfortable with being the “weirdo” and just being authentically me. I am comfortable with speaking about things that no one in my circle understands, I’ve done that from a young age. I am able to think outside of the box when it comes to resolving issues. I feel like that definitely let me know that this is what is meant for me.

What is the biggest barrier you’ve faced in entrepreneurship?

I would say money. You have a set budget, so you think, “this is the way it’s going to go,” and you look up and realize that you’re out of money. Things happen or you may want to purchase a new program to do your entrepreneurial goals better, which is digging into a different budget.

Why do you love what do you?

I love people and helping people. I’ve been through so much, to where I just feel a need to help people. Whether that be through having fun or helping them get out of a bad situation, I’ll be there.

How did you get connected to the Launch Dayton community?

I was signed up for their newsletters for about two years. I was reading them for the fashion and stuff. One day, it popped in my head to open an email from them, and it was talking about the cohort. I was like, “let me do this, I’m going to do this.”

And how was your experience with Early Risers Academy?

I enjoyed it. It got me out of my comfort zone and is still getting me out of my comfort zone. I get so anxious about things being perfect, and the people running it are like, “calm down, not everything has to be perfect.” The community around it, the different ideas, and the people you meet really made it something I knew I needed to do. I loved it.

How can the Launch Dayton community support you?

Connections, whether it be through coding bootcamps, schools, or things of that nature. I need connections to help me build the app. I’m at what I call the “crawling” stage, and I want to be at the “running” stage. I would appreciate assistance through the tech community who knows the ins-and-outs of mobile apps, and also a mentor.

Have an idea to help Eron? Connect with her [email protected].