My Girl Friday


Eamon Queeney

“If we’re supported in our professions, we tend to be happier in them.”
—Margaret ‘Austin’ Macfarlane, founder and CEO, My Girl Friday

Margaret ‘Austin’ Macfarlane was a seasoned nanny when she founded My Girl Friday. Her business is a matchmaking service of sorts for nannies and families in the Triangle—and provides support to both in the process. “What started in 2011 has been growing every year. We have 450 active clients in the area,” says Macfarlane, who began the endeavor while continuing to nanny on the side. “When I was a nanny, I worked for these incredible families that were very dynamic and busy in the Triangle,” she says. “I love the act of helping these families and being there for the kids, and we’re also able to give resources I didn’t have as a nanny.”            

What began as a one woman show has grown to a company with multiple employees, including Director of Recruitment, Leanne Wells. “I couldn’t do it without her,” Macfarlane says, “she’s a huge part of this agency. She’s intuitive, kind, thorough, and an excellent judge of character.”

While nannies are the largest portion of the business, My Girl Friday also places personal assistants, tutors, house managers, and chauffeurs. My Girl Friday provides everything from a sounding board for both nanny and family to sick day replacements, “providing an extra layer of security and commitment to the family,” says Macfarlane. There are also industry speaking events, cooking classes, and community building activities for nannies, a bonus that most in the field do not have access to. Macfarlane says their client base is diverse, but a favorite among physicians in the Raleigh area. “We pack in so much value that’s made us a favorite” says Macfarlane. “We began as an on-call system for families, but have grown to a close-knit network of high-quality caregivers.”

Each family is promised a one-year guarantee, and Macfarlane says that retention is their main focus. “At My Girl Friday, we support the nannies, but it benefits the families as well. We want to keep the nanny in the same place as long as possible because that’s what’s best for the kids.” —Catherine Currin