How Bill and Giuliana Rancic created a judgment-free parenting app without trolling
Here's what you need to know about the new parenting app Pear.
Bill and Giuliana Rancic couldn't believe that there wasn't an app like Pear before they just went ahead and created it themselves.
The parents, business partners, reality stars and more have worked together in the past, but nothing has quite hit so close to home as Pear, their app and community "for parents, by parents," that launched this week.
The "Giuliana & Bill" stars watch their 5-year-old son Duke grow bigger each and every day, and they just couldn't find a place that was a "one-stop" catchall for information.
"There wasn't a place where we get vetted information, we could navigate easily, and where there was a forum for parents to communicate with each other like this," Bill told ABC News. "We have some amazing contributors, our IVF doctor, a child psychologist, a nutritionist, you name it."
Giuliana said she would surf the web all day and get conflicting information when it came to resources for her son.
"You didn't know how up to date the information was," she said. "In the world of parenting, there's these constant updates and new information and new material out there. We were just looking for something, a website, an app, something that had all the latest information. It just didn't exist. We were actually shocked!"
The dynamic duo have been working on the app for about a year, which is free to download and explore. There is also a VIPear program that comes with a $2.99 monthly fee, but unlocks a bevy of exclusive content like the Pear Podcast, hosted by Bill and Giuliana, which will launch soon.
The VIPear program also unlocks the forums, where - unlike other chat rooms and social media sites around the web - everyone has a profile and it's a judgement-free zone, Bill said.
"You can direct message them, you can follow them, they can follow you," Giuliana said. "Parents can lean on each other for advice and our experts will also be jumping in the forum, answering questions."
That safe forum full of people with good intentions, minus any trolling or venom, was really something Giuliana pushed for if they were going to move forward with this app.
"When you go on the Internet, there's a lot of mom and dad shaming, it's judgement and it was hard to get good information from these places," Bill explained. "That's why they have to be a VIPear. There's vetting that goes on and we have a little background on you, so it's not just anonymous people."
"The cool thing is it's for kids of all ages, so you enter your kid's age and the app grows with your child," Giuliana added. "Also what's really cool about the forum is you can speak to people all around the country and the world, but it also has 'near me' functionality. You can narrow down who you are asking questions to. So, if it's a beautiful Chicago day, I can narrow it down and ask question to people 10 miles away from where I live for great ideas for activities in the area."
Pear really hit home in the Rancic household this past week at around 1 a.m. of all times.
"I was struck in the jaw by something and was suddenly jolted out of a deep sleep and quickly realized it was Duke’s elbow ... he was having a dream or just rolling over or something," Giuliana said. "I ran down to the kitchen and got an ice pack to put on my face and then couldn’t fall asleep."
So, she got on Pear and "it got me thinking how the heck we’re going to get Duke, who is almost 6, to start sleeping in his own bed again because lately all he wants to do is sleep in mommy and daddy‘s room?"
"So a lightbulb went off in my head and I was like, 'Wait a second! I’m gonna pose that very question on Pear.' So, I quickly recorded what we’re calling a 'podcast on the fly,' and I asked other parents in the community to please share any advice they had for getting our son to sleep in his bed again," she explained.
For Bill and Giuliana, nothing is more important that the well-being of their son and this little anecdote basically "sums up why we created it!" Giuliana said.
This is just the latest project the married couple of 10 plus years has worked on together.
"From the restaurants to the Prosecco line we launched last year to this, we are just lucky. This is a passion project for us," Bill said. "We are able to better ourselves as parents and we hope people who become part of the Pear community are gonna be able to better themselves too, sharing best practices, even mistakes they've made. We'll go through it together."