Emily Pearl Goodstein does it all. The 38-year-old Washingtonian is a co-contributor to three books, mom of a 19 month old, former photography business owner, board member of Fat Torah and Jewish Democratic Council of America and CEO and founder of Greater Good Strategy.
Can you give a brief overview of what you do?
The main thing that I do from a work perspective is that I run a digital marketing agency called Greater Good Strategy. We work mostly with nonprofits and many of our clients are Jewish organizations. We help organizations market themselves online and raise money online, whatever it takes an organization to thrive online is probably something we can help with. We have a team of 60 consultants and a pretty amazing client list. The other most time-consuming part of my life is that I have a 19-month-old baby. She’s really cute, her name is Edie and I consider Greater Good my first baby so she’s my second. I used to have a photography business and I specialized in photographing births but I have, unfortunately, had to scale it back since it wasn’t really sustainable with everything else going on in my life.
How did you conceive of the idea for the Greater Good Strategy?
I left my job working for someone else about seven years ago and I took on a handful of consulting projects just as a solo thing by myself. I found pretty early on that it would actually be a lot easier and I would be able to help clients more if I had a team of people that I could collaborate with. Also, although I think I can do everything, turns out I can’t and there’s a lot of things that other people are better at than me. About four years ago, I came up with the idea of wanting to start an agency and spent about eight months developing the concept and then Greater Good launched about 3.5 years ago as a direct extension of my own independent consulting practice. Since then, we’ve been growing really fast and I’m beyond proud of what we’re doing.
How did you get into the books you’ve worked on?
Beth Kanter is at the heart of the book project. She’s an author and a photographer and she’s written a good number of books and I was lucky enough to collaborate with her on three of them. The first two were cookbooks recreating food from different restaurants around Washington. The third was hidden places in Washington called “No Access DC.” I took the photos for the books. I’m super proud of them. It was a total adventure. The first book was the first time I ever worked on any type of print publication at all. It was definitely a big learning experience. The third one was completely different because we were going to hidden places in Washington. We went underneath some monuments, which was remarkable, just discovering places all around that folks don’t usually have an opportunity to go to. The location I will never forget is when we went to a parrot sanctuary in Poolesville and I discovered that I was very scared of birds, which I did not realize before. One kept landing on my camera backpack and showing some talons, which was intense.
My husband and I have an idea to do a book about dive bars, we would love to make that happen. The other idea we had was to do a book about buildings that used to be Pizza Huts, because they’re so distinguishable. The last thing is that I love to bake so maybe there’s some baked goods project in there somewhere.
What are the Jewish organizations that you are a part of?
I’m the first-ever board chair of Fat Torah. The organization’s goal is to reduce or eliminate size discrimination in the Jewish community. I’ve personally had experiences in the Jewish community where an organization presents itself as being so welcoming but it’s not welcoming at all from a size perspective or it assumes a level of ability that not everybody has. We just recruited our first class of board members. We’re about to move into a strategic planning process and get as established as we can.
The second organization, Jewish Democratic Council of America, I’m on the Next-Gen board. That work is really to help raise money for Jewish Democrats and trying to help folks that have socially progressive values be elected. On the Next-Gen Board, we are a group of people who are a little newer to this type of advocacy working to raise awareness on what the organization does and help make sure that the space is inclusive to the voices of all voters. It’s fun! I’m relatively new so I’m still learning on how to do things but it’s been exciting to see the way the organization chooses what candidates to endorse.
Do you have any advice for other working moms?
We are those people who got pregnant before the pandemic started and our baby was born before vaccines were a thing. Needless to say, it was not at all how we hoped things would go down. I have two pieces of advice: I ask for permission when someone’s pregnant if it’s OK to give them advice, and if they say yes then the two pieces of advice I have are: Spend as many dollars as you possibly can on a postpartum doula. The maximum amount of hours possible is my recommendation. The second thing is, have the Zoloft in your house already. Don’t wait until the baby is born and you’re two months in and experiencing postpartum depression anxiety. When you’re in the throes of it, it’s so hard to deal with getting the medication. People don’t talk about it and it’s a very rational thing I think to do.