Meet A Mom — North County Tech Innovator — Maggie Slater!
If you don’t know her now, you will soon! Maggie Slater builds apps and other technology, and she also builds
smart business relationships. Maggie brings people together — not only through the tech tools her company creates
but also through her kindness and genuinely sweet nature. Read her interview with us and you’ll see what I mean!
A pleasure to sit and chat with — I enjoyed a frank and fun gab session with Maggie!
So, Maggie, let’s jump in first and chat about family and this place we love — North San Diego County! I know you have a big brood and have spent a good portion of the time raising children here. So, let’s begin with the kids…
How many children do you have?
I have six phenomenal children: Kylie, Alyssa, Jakob, Jackson, Noa and Mila.
Where in North County do you call home and for how long?
My family and I have lived in North County for the past thirteen years in San Marcos.
What’s the best part of living in North County?
I love that North County has absolutely the best environment for families and many family-oriented activities and businesses. No matter where the wind takes us in North County, there is always an event or activity that I am excited to participate in.
“My favorite mom-and-child activity is a family hike to the top of Double Peak followed by lunch in San Elijo Hills.”
It’s always fun for readers to learn about our guests’ favorite places to hang out in North County. Whether it’s the beach, a restaurant, a park… there’s always something to learn about a person from their responses to the next question. That said, I’m really looking forward to hearing about yours.
So, what is your favorite part of San Marcos and your favorite mom-and-child activity/place(s) to visit?
From our business owners, educators, city employees, chamber of commerce, and each and every person I have met, it’s absolutely the terrific people in San Marcos that truly make the environment wonderful. It’s difficult to pick just one, but my favorite mom-and-child activity is a family hike to the top of Double Peak followed by lunch in San Elijo Hills. Another favorite is boating and an outdoor lunch at Lake San Marcos.
I once made my living in the restaurant industry. So, I’m often curious what types of food and restaurant styles resonate with people I know.
Tell us, what’s your favorite restaurant in North County?
My family loves to try all the restaurants in North County, so we are constantly visiting new places! Lately, we’ve been exploring North City, which is right by Cal State San Marcos, since my kids and I are hooked on Wynston’s Ice Cream Co. Wynston’s is locally owned and operated by a very sweet San Marcos family as well, so it’s a bonus!
What’s your favorite flavor at Wynston’s Ice Cream Co.?
Another perk of this tasty ice cream store that sets it apart from its competitors is that they have flavors that are “always” and “sometimes” on the menu. Typically, I stick to the dairy-free option for health reasons, but I tried the absolute best flavor last week, cleverly titled, “There’s a turtle in my brownie.” This combination of creamy chocolate, smooth caramel, chewy bits of brownie and crunchy walnuts was the absolute best ice cream I have tasted in my entire life. The kids agreed, and rated it “a thirteen out of ten!”
What’s different about Wynston’s Ice Cream Co. when compared to a typical ice cream parlor?
Wynston’s Ice Cream Co. handmakes their ice cream using fine ingredients, but also produces it in small batches. I believe this is the reason that their flavors are fresh, consistent and always crowd-pleasers!
If you could pinpoint a special feature about this heavenly-sounding ice cream company what would it be?
The hometown feel at Wynston’s really makes this shop special…and I’m always greeted with a smile each time I visit!
“I consider myself a multipotentialite, and have others on my team that share that title.”
Our paths crossed through our individual business pursuits. When we first met, I had no clue of the depth of your tech industry knowledge or your passion for serving the needs of consumers and businesses through your smart applications. What struck me immediately, however, was an unconventional thoughtfulness. You bring your own brand of kindness to every business conversation we’ve had. Share with our readers how being yourself and following an inner determination built a thriving business!
First, tell us about your business, Aliferous Technology. Describe what your business does, when you founded your company and where you’re located.
Aliferous Technology is a software development company, but we also offer other technology services to large and small companies alike. Our business was founded in 2017 and is located in San Marcos, CA.
Is there a story connected to the company name? If so, can you explain what the inspiration was around choosing it?
“Aliferous” means “to have wings,” and the impetus behind the name was to give wings to the ideas of our internal team and the tremendous customers we proudly serve.
Fill us in on your staff and describe your leadership style.
Currently, I am privileged to manage onshore and offshore team members who are passionate about what they do. I am pleased to employ the concept of servant leadership, mentorship and inclusion, which are very important core values of mine, both personally and professionally.
Describe what it’s like to have a thriving new business in North County.
Having a thriving business in North County is incredibly rewarding, especially since it’s never lost on me that many businesses were affected by the pandemic. I try to always start each day with gratitude and take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, especially so that I can pass them on to my team.
What do you love most about being in business for yourself?
I love that Aliferous Technology allows me to work with customers in multiple industries at once. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had many interests. I consider myself a multipotentialite, and have others on my team who share that title.
How does running your own company compare to working for others?
Somehow, I thought that starting my own company would give me more free time, which, in hindsight is hilarious! While I work long hours, I do have the ability to schedule my time so that I can be there for nearly all of my children’s extracurricular activities, as well as schedule downtime with family, which alone makes being in business for myself worth every moment of hardship that this journey sometimes brings.
Enlighten us on the journey toward setting up your small business. How did you come up with the idea for your technology business?
After working primarily in small business environments during my professional career, I kept hitting ceilings – both as a younger person and also as a female in the industry. After years of this type of frustration, my best friend suggested that I take the leap to start my own company… and after six months of planning and consideration, I did just that!
What was it about the tech industry that appealed to you?
Going back to my childhood again, I have always been curious about technology, even when it was in its infancy! While I have to accept that I will not be able to acquire all the skills in our industry, I absolutely love learning, listening and participating in all things involving technology. I am most passionate about how technology can improve the daily lives of individuals and groups worldwide.
As I’ve tried my hand at a few different business opportunities in disparate realms, I learned a lot — about myself especially. With each failed or half-hearted attempt, I also knew an unspoken truth — I wasn’t pursuing my passion! If I were to offer up any advice to those looking to venture out into the land of self-employment, the first thing I would suggest is to find your passion first, then figure out a way to monetize it.
What are your suggestions for women/moms who wish they could find the time to put an idea to work and start their own business?
One silver lining about the pandemic is that it brought forth a lot of individuals’ ideas to create a product or provide a service that they had not been given the time to launch at that point. It’s such a beautiful thing to see so many new entrepreneurs reaching for their goals. I cheer on each and every one of them! One area in which I am lucky to support a lot of solopreneurs is through app development, and these individuals are wildly successful! For anyone considering starting their own business, I would definitely suggest research, planning and speaking to others in the industry you are looking to start a business. I would also suggest that each individual consider how work-life balance needs to work for them and their family before beginning. I think the best advice I can give is that once you take that leap, lead with your heart (while bringing your head along with you) so that no matter what industry you work in, you can always wake up each day with a mindset that drives forward and never looks back.
Have you encountered roadblocks as a woman when starting and building your business?
When I think back on my first job at age fourteen, I am surprised at how hard I worked that early on! The troublesome piece from age fourteen to even now, is that there are still occasions in which women are often underestimated, and funding is not anywhere equitable for woman-owned small businesses! I make sure to participate in WOSB events and stay up-to-date on how we can help women “get to even” in the ways in which they need the most equity.
What were the roadblocks and how did you not allow those difficulties to affect your progress or alter your course? Or, has opposition caused you to change course in some way?
Instead of harboring resentment or other negative feelings, I choose to convert that energy into drive so that I can support and assist women in the areas of technology and business strategy. I also am so lucky to see so many young people (in various industries), especially my children, who have such open minds around the importance of women’s equality – which is nothing short of thrilling!
What motivates you when you encounter challenges?
When I encounter challenges, drive and motivation come from the desire to serve others and also create a positive impact both in my community and industry. I’m hopeful that my children also see how important it is that I work hard for them since my family is my whole world!
“…My downtime is spent with my husband, children, siblings and parents… I’m so blessed with the world’s most incredible family. “
Hobbies seem to be a luxury among those in our midst who are building businesses from ground zero. Nevertheless, perhaps you’ve found interesting ways to flourish with designated time that is not dedicated to work?
Do you have any hobbies? If so, tell us how they allow you a little downtime and perspective to reflect on the busyness of life that must be your norm.
It’s not easy to find time for hobbies these days, so my downtime is spent with my husband, children, siblings and parents. I’m incredibly biased, but I’m so blessed with the world’s most incredible family. From visiting the beach, listening to music, playing board games, working out together, playing sports or enjoying terrific North County San Diego food, togetherness is what fills me up.
How do you juggle a business and motherhood?
Phew, this is a tough one! I think my family would describe me as a “work hard, play hard” type of gal. I work a lot, but I balance my workload with total downtime with the family. We also make sure to schedule vacations where there are little to no distractions and we’re not overplanned. Additionally, I make sure to schedule dates with my husband and kids so we have that special one-on-one time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
The best pieces of advice always come from my Mom. I don’t know how she’s remained gracious, wise and loving through nearly forty years of parenting, but she’s solid as a rock. She has always encouraged me to be wholly present in the moments with my children, because they fly by. I’m often moved to tears because I’m struck by the dichotomy between how lovely it is to watch the milestones as my children grow, but also long for the years when they were younger. I’m happy they still let me squeeze them and let me tell them all the time how madly in love with them I am.
How can our North County moms find out more about your company and the VIP Shop Local app?
In an effort to make it easy and direct for other North County Moms, please feel free to reach out to me directly: [email protected]
We offer so many products from VIPShopLocal.com — from a beautiful tool for survivors of sexual assault (on campuses and beyond) to everything in between. I would be happy to speak with you about your idea for an app, that supports your small business, and beyond.
I’m grateful to The North County Moms for this opportunity to be interviewed, and to your commitment to supporting moms in North County – your team is truly a force, and we are blessed to have you!
As expected, this was an enlightening and productive exchange! I hope you enjoyed this moment with Maggie as much as I did!