It’s a big moment for any new venture: The phone finally rings.
In the new Netflix series “The Baby-Sitters Club,” the character Kristy Thomas anxiously waits for her old-school landline phone (purchased from Etsy as a “vintage” item) to light up with calls from potential customers. When it does, she barely knows what to say. “Good afternoon … Baby-Sitters Club,” she answers. And then the confidence sets in. “This is Kristy Thomas, president and founder, speaking.”
“The Baby-Sitters Club,” a modernized reboot of the widely popular book series by Ann M. Martin, was released for streaming over the holiday weekend. It follows the lives of Kristy and her friends — Claudia, Stacey and Mary-Ann — as they get their fledgling babysitting business off the ground.
Like many women business owners — including ones who have spoken to us through our 1,000+ Stories project — young Kristy starts her venture to fill a gap in her local marketplace. After her mother struggles to find someone to watch her younger child, Kristy forms a collective of reliable local babysitters who can be called and contracted for child-watching duties. And she conceives of a business model where, in addition to profiting individually, some proceeds are pooled to purchase toys, art supplies and more for future babysitting gigs.
True, the program is more about the teenage characters’ lives than their livelihood. But their business brings them together as much as their friendship — and so far, the show has been a hit with viewers and reviewers alike. It garnered a 100 percent rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and received accolades from critics at major outlets like The New York Times and Bustle.
It’s not yet clear whether the show will be renewed for a second season, but it should be little surprise that we at The Story Exchange are excited about a new offering that tells the tales of (albeit fictional) young women business owners.