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Brooke Markevicius of Allobee: “We choose how we use this time”

We choose how we use this time. We can be mad about it or we can use it as a time of growth. Take time to learn a new skill, write, start a new endeavor. We will come out of this stronger. We will be able to see the areas that we took for granted […]

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We choose how we use this time. We can be mad about it or we can use it as a time of growth. Take time to learn a new skill, write, start a new endeavor.

We will come out of this stronger. We will be able to see the areas that we took for granted and now we will act on them sooner. Take that trip, start that event, join a club, try new things, make new friends.


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.

As a part of our series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Markevicius, founder, CEO, technologist, and mother. Her fast-paced big tech career was challenged when she became a mother realizing the two worlds did not play well together. She ventured off on her own and started her own tech company with a foundation in the work flexibility that caregivers need: Allobee.

Allobee’s innovative project-management platform seamlessly handles the logistics of hiring, paying, and managing projects to completion, while its algorithm connects business owners to a vetted, underutilized workforce of experienced, professional women who have left the traditional 9 to 5. Brooke successfully curated the work/life balance with Allobee and continues to advocate for more flexible schedules within the workforce.

Brooke Markevicius has a Bachelors in History & Education from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Computer Information Systems from Boston University. She lives in Durham, NC with her two kids, Lily & Lukas, her husband and their two rescue dogs.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I grew up as the daughter of a teacher and a preacher. My worldview was serving others. I had no idea about the world of tech and entrepreneurship until I stumbled upon it after years of my career dots not connecting (or so I thought). When I was watching a video of how Microsoft was utilizing Tech for Good in low-income or third-world countries, I knew that I would similarly pursue a career in tech. I went back to grad school and got a Master of Science degree in computer information systems, which helped me land a job at Postmates and assist their Southeast region launch. After having my daughter, I became aware of my corporate job’s inflexible work environment and that led me to pursue entrepreneurship.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?

I always tell the story about my very first pitch for Allobee (then called MOMentum Market). I had just finished nursing my little guy after he went on an almost month-long nursing strike. I was pretty exhausted and hormonal from the nursing woes, but I believed in this idea so when I was asked to pitch at Seattle Startup Week’s “Future Founders” event, I said yes.

I had to find childcare, take the train to Seattle, take a pitching class and pitch my idea for the first time to a room of mostly men. I got asked to pitch first at the last minute, which made me incredibly nervous, but I showed up, walked on stage, and did great. That experience propelled me to pursue Allobee and after two years, we are growing in ways I could not have imagined.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This might be a cliché but my husband has been my greatest support. He believed in me before I believed in myself. He was there through my darkest times and waited for me to pull myself out. He did not push me or make me take a certain path, he let me be me and do what I needed, but it was so much easier because I knew I had him no matter what. He was the first one to believe in Allobee and has been my biggest cheerleader. He went 100% remote over a year before the pandemic so he could help more with the kids and we could get closer as a family.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?

The number one was definitely remote learning and navigating no childcare. Mom guilt is always a hard thing for working moms, but I have felt it on a whole different

Level this year. I literally have such little time in the day that I have to be extremely intentional about taking time with my kids and spouse. Another challenge has been to get creative with the same activities as they have been so limited this year with no museums, trips, etc. As a leader I know that I am not the only one dealing with this and I have had to pay attention to that and really show empathy to our team and experts.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

When we were in the early stages of lockdown, my husband and I had to make a schedule for working. I would usually take mornings and afternoons. We would switch off being in charge of the kids and an activity for them. It was not perfect but it did allow us to survive. As for mom guilt, I have had to take from 5–7 most days to completely be off my phone and enjoy time with my kids — true quality time.

Activities — we have spent more time in nature, more time using our imaginations and just spending time reading together.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

Allobee is thriving, and that success is bittersweet because it is due in part to the struggles women, caregivers, and small businesses have and are enduring during the pandemic. The onset of the pandemic was a tipping point for me — there was no choice but to be very focused and on a tight schedule. From March to June we had no childcare, and Allobee was taking off so I did not have the option to just stop and take time off. My husband, on the other hand, did have extra time on his hands and was focusing on meditation and yoga. I was quickly resentful and jealous of that time he was claiming. I re-read the book “Fair Play” by Eve Rodsky, where she talks about unicorn space and how it must be equal for partners, so I started claiming my unicorn space to read, write or meditate. Sure enough, things got better! Finding balance would have been a struggle even before the pandemic, but it created an opportunity for self-awareness and reflection that has made both the family and my business stronger.

Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?

Plan ahead. Re-assess the morning off. This question is the entire reason I founded Allobee: the life I desire and flexibility I need, (and that many women and caregivers need) did not fit into the traditional nine-to-five job. This became impossible to ignore when I became a mother. I wanted to be able to work a non-traditional schedule so I could actually see my children and my husband. I wanted to be able to take off time to be with my family or on vacation and then work longer hours when needed. I stopped seeing this as a problem with my work and instead as an opportunity to create the work I wanted.

Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?

  1. Get out of the house, find parks and hiking trails you can social distance on.
  2. Get used to being bored and having your kids get bored too
  3. Put your phone away and grab a book
  4. Get a hobby
  5. Great new rituals

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

It will end and we will be able to appreciate each other way more. We will not take in person connection for granted again.

There are amazing things happening in homes across the world during this time. Parents that usually traveled more are now home and get to spend more time with their kids. Moms are getting more support for the “second shift” in their households. More family dinners, more time to relax.

We will come out of this stronger. We will be able to see the areas that we took for granted and now we will act on them sooner. Take that trip, start that event, join a club, try new things, make new friends.

We choose how we use this time. We can be mad about it or we can use it as a time of growth. Take time to learn a new skill, write, start a new endeavor.

My dad always tells us to have fun in all we do in life, and I feel this pandemic is no different, we have to find the moments of fun. Cuddles, pillow fights, cookie making and more.

From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Send cards and snail mail packages! Everyone loves seeing something showing up on their door step, it always brings a smile. Also sending little video or voice messages to stay connected. Even just short ones through Loom or Social media, let people hear you and make that connection.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg In our society, we want instant gratification and want to see the fruits of our labor. Yet, sometimes it takes YEARS, and once I embraced that, I started to enjoy the journey more. I also started taking more risks as well as enjoying the present moments. We can be major change makers, but change does not need to happen overnight.

How can our readers follow you online?

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!


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