Tell us about you and your business!
I am the founder and CEO of Babies4Babies, the luxury baby brand with a mission to reduce global child mortality. I’ve always believed in the power and potential of marginalized women and children, so everything I’ve done in my career has focused on increasing their global access to healthcare, education and economic opportunity. Babies4Babies is a for-profit social impact brand; our “buy one, save two” model empowers the customer to provide high impact, often life-saving medical treatments for two marginalized babies and mommies through their Babies4Babies purchase. Oh, and I just became a mommy myself! My newborn son, Theodore James, is by far mygreatest accomplishment.
Are you boot-strapped, side-hustling or funded? Are you currently or planning to raise funding?
We are boot-strapping. With strong and increasing sales of our first product and several new products in development the plan is to continue to hold equity until we can no longer afford it or an opportunity too good to pass up presents.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy. What is one hurdle that you had to overcome or are still battling?
Since getting to this safe place of having a steadily growing business, I worry about making sure I’m always pushing myself and the Babies4Babies brand in new and sometimes uncomfortable directions because stagnation is a fast road to nowhere. One mentor told me to handle my young company like a science project where I’m always testing, risking, changing and improving.
What are you looking to accomplish in the next few months and how can we help you get there?
I have an infant son (six weeks old today!) so the next few months are going to be both critical and challenging. I am beginning to find my balance as a new working mom, but I know I’m going to need support and mentorship from startup moms who have been in my shoes and survived to tell about it.
What keeps you motivated?
I love what I do and while sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day, it’s definitely not what I would consider “work.” Babies4Babies gives me the opportunity to build a business while making a positive impact on the world and being my own boss affords me the flexibility to raise my infant son. I couldn’t imagine a better set up and am motivated to keep living my dream job by continuing to grow the success of Babies4Babies.
We believe in honoring our mentors, role models and those who have supported us along our way to success. Tell us about someone special to you and how they positively influenced you.
I don’t say it enough, but my mother, who founded and ran a grassroots environmental organization when I was a child, was my first and most influential example of what a woman with a mission can accomplish. I watched her go from meetings in our small town living room all the way to Capitol Hill and while it seemed normal at the time, I now realize just how remarkable her accomplishments were for a single, working mom. If I am only half as tenacious as she, I know I can achieve my goals.
We’re an ambitious group. Share with us one of your biggest bucket list items.
Traveling the world aside (what I call my “bucket list” is a long list of countries to visit), what matters most to me in terms of my personal legacy is making a positive impact. Be that raising my son to be a good man or building a brand that helps ignite a culture of retail philanthropy (shopping to give back). I don’t care to have important titles or if anyone ever remembers my name, if I leave this place better than I found it, my bucket list is complete.
What one bit of advice do you have for the women of Ms. Tech and our entrepreneurial communities?
I founded my first company and had a baby in the same year (absolutely bananas!). But while it has been a little wild and overwhelming at times, I am so happy I did. My advice is to not put your future on hold – be that starting a business, starting a family, or both! The timing is never going to be right and new challenges are usually much less terrifying and infinitely more rewarding than you imagine.