Q&A with Alison Chace, Founder of Pink Wisdom
What gave you the idea to start Pink Wisdom?
Empowering women is important to me, so in 2009, I founded Wake Up to a Break-Up, an online forum for the lovelorn, kind of the forerunner to Pink Wisdom. With both of these sites, I created a new medium that would steer women through the agony of breakups, with a blend of wisdom, humor, and expert guidance, and help them revitalize their love life.
What would you say is your mission?
The concept behind our site is that relationship struggles and heartbreak are cross-cultural and global. All women experience them, regardless of socio-economic status, age, religion, creed, color, or any other factor. We all fall in love and we can all break up, and it’s usually never easy, no matter who we are.
How do you get your message across?
Pink Wisdom is a video-based destination. All of our advice is presented by women who are experts in their field—from therapists to best-selling authors to dateologists to popular bloggers to matchmakers to gurus. Our video content will soon be translated as well, into Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic to truly share women’s experiences across the globe.
Were any other names in the running?
Nope, it was always Pink Wisdom. We’re currently thinking up names for a men’s section too, a place where male relationship experts can share their advice. This may seem ironic, since our focus is women offering advice to women. The Harvard Consulting Group that we used did a case study of Pink Wisdom and found that female college students would rather get advice from guys, not girls. Go figure.
Tell me about your background. How did you get started in the media world?
I wanted to be an actress my whole life. I grew up watching Barbara Walters and Jane Pauley of “The Today Show” obsessively, as well as “The Carol Burnett Show”—I thought she had the dream job. After graduating from UCLA, I wasn’t brave enough or rich enough to start auditioning, so I took a day job at Sprint doing door to door sales. My office happened to be right next to the Condé Nast offices, which appeared markedly more glamorous, at least from the outside. I ended up landing a sales position at Condé Net, their digital division. After a year, I was fired, which felt like the end of the world at the time! But I recovered and went on to iVillage, a way more exciting place. I was their seventh employee, and watched the company ride the wave of success in the early 2000s. iVIllage went on to become the largest women’s online network, offering one of the biggest IPOs in the dot.com world.
How did you get started in modeling and acting? Can you describe some of the projects you’ve done, magazine covers you’ve been on, commercials you’ve done, television shows, and/or movies? You’re a multitalent!
As an actress, I’ve done a bit of everything—magazine covers, TV, videos, voice-overs, infomercials, and commercials. In fact, you might remember me as that woman washing her hair with Herbal Essence, emerging from the bathroom murmuring, “yes, yes, YESSS!” That put me on the map.
You have so many skills; which would you say is your strongest?
My biggest strength is taking an idea and actually making it happen.
Did you think you’d end up in the web world?
My only brush with the web was about 20 years ago, when I was quoted in James Brady’s column saying, “Does anyone really know what the Internet is?” It was my first bit of fame. Second only to appearing on local television when I was in high school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What’s been the reaction to the site so far?
“It’s amazing that you created this!” is what I hear most.
Men have dating troubles too. Do men visit Pink Wisdom?
We have about 7,000 followers on twitter, and I’d say about half of them are men. While we don’t tend to get letters from men asking for advice, I do believe they’re tuned in to our site. In the same way I believe men read Cosmo to get what’s going on in the female mind, they visit Wake Up and Pink Wisdom.
Will you bring in male experts?
Yes! One of the greatest experts we currently have on Wake Up to a Break-Up is male, Dr. John Jacobs, author of the book All You Need is Love, and Other Myths in Marriage. His questions, and answers, are probably the most profound and helpful on the site. We’ll be filming videos of men in our next round. The name we’ve been tossing around is, “The Blue Room.”
What do you wish were different about the way men and women interact—and/or the way women react—and how do you hope Pink Wisdom can influence the dating game?
I suppose what I wish were different is that men and women would do enough individual work on themselves so that old family patterns don’t get replayed. A little introspection never hurt anybody.
It’s my wish that Pink Wisdom gives women the courage to believe in themselves, despite being rejected. I want to help women to feel their power, and help them clarify their desires. Being supported can do wonders for healing.
What’s your next big thing?
If I could wave a magic wand, I would go back to my childhood dream of becoming Carol Burnett. I can’t think of something I would enjoy more than having a recurring role on a hit show like hers. In the meantime, I do improv at the People’s Improv studio in NYC, and I create comedy videos for Will Farrell’s funnyordie.
In addition to all this, I have another website that’s in development called dingeronit.com. The idea was to create a contest for people creating video spoofs of commercials. I love comedy actors, I love female entrepreneurs, and I love the tech start-up world. They’re all super creative endeavors. What’s next for me probably involves a combination of those three things.
It’s worth mentioning, however, my biggest job is being a mom. I have two teenage sons whom I spend the majority of my time thinking about.