Natalie Meagan is the owner and founder of a club of 26,000 individuals worldwide called The Crybaby Club™. Started in 2016 as an accident, Natalie has worked to bring a community of women, men, and gender-nonconforming people together with one common theme: strength in sensitivity.
We got to sit down with Natalie and discuss what the message behind her club is and how the city of Memphis has impacted their community.
Choose901: Are you originally from Memphis? If not, what brought you here?
Natalie: I’m actually from Covington. I moved to Memphis for many reasons. I always felt like I was part of Memphis because I lived on the outskirts. My husband has a job here. We moved here 7 or 8 years ago.
Choose901: Tell me about how the Crybaby Club got started.
Natalie: It was an accident. I say that, and a lot of people don’t believe me, but it’s 100% true. Everyone wanted to know my business plan and goals, but I didn’t have any of that. It started with a joke. I was having a panic attack one day after taking my kids to pre-k. While there, I noticed all of the other moms networking together and handing out business cards. I didn’t have a business card, because I didn’t work or have a degree. I came home feeling mom-guilt, and I began to panic about why my life was the way it was. I joked about making a business card that would say “call me at ‘cry all the time.’” So, I made the card and posted it on Instagram asking if people wanted me to send them a card, and 5 people wanted one. That’s when it started growing.
Choose901: After gaining followers, did you have anyone who discouraged you from continuing the club?
Natalie: There was one girl who said she didn’t see the appeal in what I was doing. She didn’t think it was productive for me to encourage people to be crying. She told me that it didn’t scream ‘strength’ to her. I realized she was missing what I was trying to do.
Choose901: What is the main message you want people to know about your club?
Natalie: Crying and being sensitive isn’t necessarily a weakness. It’s more of a way that you deal with things. Crying is very healthy and a natural reaction to sadness, stress, and intense emotions. It’s more of a “hey look at them, they’re crying and getting things done.” We are trying to encourage sensitivity as more of a strength, because it makes you more empathetic towards others when you’re sensitive. You understand how important it is for others to care about your feelings, so you naturally want to project that outward and feel that for other people. Also, self love and loving yourself no matter what. Life is hard.
Choose901: Regarding your pins, apparel and other things you sell, have you always been into designing and art? What was the first item you sold?
Natalie: I’ve always been creative. I wrote short stories and poetry as a kid. I drew and painted. I don’t have a background in art based on societal standards. I kind of had to learn as I went with this stuff, because it started as a joke. When people started wanting apparel and pins, I had to learn how to do that. The first item I launched was the ‘I may cry, but I still get things done” pin. We raised money for it, because people were asking us to make things. This all happened in March of 2016.
Choose901: Since you have thousands of individuals in this community worldwide, where is the craziest place one of the members live that you know of?
Natalie: Moldova! I didn’t know where it was. I had to look it up, and it’s next to the Ukraine. There are also a few members in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina.
Choose901: Have you ever had a meet up or Crybaby Club party?
Natalie: Yes! We had a meet up 2 years ago. I definitely want to do more in the future! The meet up was great. We had a great turnout, and everyone talked about their feelings and how they found the club. It was a really nice networking thing where you didn’t feel alone. It was a ton of people from different walks of life, but we were all united in the need to be understood and seen for who we are.
Choose901: Have you had much feedback on reaching men and boys in your club?
Natalie: 6% of my followers identify as men. I haven’t bridged that gap yet, but there is still plenty of time. I’m working on it at home as well with my husband and sons. We work on talking about what’s upsetting us. My husband is very supportive. He’s become really good at being helpful and sympathetic and nonjudgemental.
Choose901: What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through this large community?
Humility. No matter how many followers I have, I’m still just a person. I’m just trying my best. I make mistakes, and I’m not perfect. It actually helps having all of those followers. They’ll email or message me saying something really amazing about the club or me. It lifts me in times when I need it, and humbles me in other times. It shows what you can do when you tell your story.
Choose901: Would you like to expand your club to a storefront or are you happy with where you’re at now selling to individual stores?
Natalie: My goal is to expand where I’m carried. I think it would be cool to have a store, but I think keeping it where it is now is good. I’d love to have a studio office where people could come by and see some things upfront.
Choose901: How does the city of Memphis impact what you’re doing and the message behind your club?
Natalie: I feel like Memphis is the place to be. It’s up and coming, and people are investing in the community that is here. Also, this is where I was when I started the club. So, why not Memphis? This is where I’m at, and this is the community that I’ve built. There are a lot of people here who are rooting for me. I think that is really special.
Choose901: Do you have any upcoming pop-up shops or exciting news?
Natalie: I don’t have any here locally. I’m going to the Pinners Conference in Dallas. It’s September 13th and 14th. I also have a podcast that I recently launched called the Crybaby Podcast. It’s on pretty much anywhere you can listen to podcasts. There’s only so much my voice can do on Instagram. There are a lot of topics that I want to talk about on there.