Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley knew they were on to something when their YouTube video of the two women riffing on female body hair did the opposite of turning off viewers.
"We were nervous the night we got together for the body hair (video). But that's the one that blew up," Hensley said during a recent phone interview. "Random women came out of the woodwork saying, 'Oh my god, I have to deal with this, too.' We were both like, there's the key."
Hensley and Smedley are the duo behind the hit YouTube series #IMOMSOHARD. Since posting their first clip last June, they have attracted nearly 25,000 subscribers on YouTube, while their Facebook page has garnered more than 575,000 likes.
Their discussions -- which start with a glass of wine or a mimosa -- have ranged from waxing poetic on Spanx to Game of Thrones and trying choose the right pair of pants. Fans have latched on to the relatable nature of Hensley and Smedley's often frank, and candid, observations and self-deprecation.
"I don't think either one of us could have predicted it would have the traction it did... We felt there was a need to tell moms it's OK not to be perfect and that was missing in the world," Hensley said. "In the beginning, it felt like a boulder rolling downhill because we didn't know how to handle the workload.
Hensley and Smedley tonight will bring their live show to the State Theatre in Easton.
"We try to blow off the top of this town and show that just because you're a mom, you can still be attractive and you can still wear funny clothes."
"We're going to try to blow off the top of this town and show that just because you're a mom, you can still be attractive and you can still wear funny clothes," Hensley said.
Hensley compared the show to "being at a giant party and Jen and I are hosting it." "Jen always (jokes) that it's not seeing 'Cats,' it's low stakes," she said. "We probably push the envelope more in our live show.
It takes about 10 hours to edit a single video, Smedley said. Their husbands are also present for the recordings, albeit offscreen helping with setup and what Jen called "a lot of the manual labor." "They've been so supportive in the whole process," Smedley said.
Hensley and Smedley said they continue to be surprised, and amazed, at the connection they have made with viewers, even when broaching a subject that may be embarrassing for some.
"We have one video story about me crapping my pants. The comments and the interaction on the Facebook page are incredible and hilarious," Smedley said. "People were telling me, 'Jen, you're not alone'."
Hensley recalled receiving a phone call at 4 a.m. from an elderly fan of the show, who was perplexed at why #IMOMSOHARD kept showing up on her newsfeed. "She goes, 'Listen, I love your videos and they're coming up on my page, but I don't want to see them all the time'," Hensley said. "I called her back (later that day) and helped changed her settings."
As for future videos, Hensley teased that the two longtime friends have not even scratched the surface. The two women are also in the midst of a development deal with Warner Brothers to turn "#IMOMSOHARD" into a television series.
"As our kids get older, they outsmart us," Hensley joked.
Asked to describe their own mothers, Hensley remarked, "My mom's one of those live-out-loud types, but she's always anticipating what's coming. Like, she couldn't wait to be a member of AARP," she said, in between laughter. "My mom is kind of a kooky character and I enjoy that because she's super lighthearted."
Smedley followed, "My mom put herself through medical school when she was 40; she's a real badass. She's super duper ladylike... Ten years ago, when I was in between jobs, she said, 'I'm going to help you out' and she sends me china."