Feb 212014
 

At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

 

This week, we are sharing a company called The New Mummy Company created by, Maria Robertson….

 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?

I have always been self employed since I started in the baby industry almost 14 years ago as a maternity nurse as we are known in the UK. I didn’t ever think of myself an entrepreneur back then and I still don’t if I am honest. However since moving to Canada things have grown exponentially. I didn’t expect things to grow as fast or as quickly as they have but I am delighted with the response and the demand. I have had to react to the demand for my services by growing a team to work with me and hiring an assistant to help me run the office. All this in under 2 years so it’s been a whirlwind but I wouldn’t change a thing. 

 

How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?

Probably one word sums this up, SLEEP! It’s really all new parents want is sleep but it’s also something that both parents and baby need. Sleep is so vital to our overall well being and health. Assisting new and many not so new families get a good nights sleep is definitely how I feel I help them most. Supporting new parents in whatever aspect they feel they need the support is how we work, so many parents ask for my consultancy services and much of that surrounds creating good habits in the early days and other parents look to hire our night nannies so that they can sleep well overnight while we take care of the baby and all the nursery duties overnight. However we support the family always seems to come back to sleep. 

     

    What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?

    My families that I work with each and every day are the ones who inspire me the most. I love what I do and to be able to do what I enjoy is an immense pleasure and gift. I continually hear from past clients that their babies and now children are doing so well, eating well, sleeping well and that is what inspires me to continue helping parents.  So as long as there are babies being born I see myself working with new parents and their babies. 

     

    What are some exciting new developments for your business?

     Ooh that’s a great question. We have so many plans for next year to continue to grow with the demand for our services. However we have just recently launched a new peer support service for moms suffering from post partum depression.  www.postpartumpeersupport.ca  We have the most wonderful lady who will be our counselor and she herself was a two time survivor of PPD. I am so lucky to have Sandra join our team and the families who will have her support them will be getting a really sincere, warm and comforting person who has been through PPD. We are expanding many of the services that we currently offer and I am very excited about expanding our services so that we can offer even more to our clients. The other thing that will be live very soon is our shopping page. I have sourced the most essential products that new parents will use over and over again and put them on my website for sale. After working in the baby industry for so long I know the products that work and the products that I repeatedly find myself recommending for my clients so now they are all in one place. Previously we had to visit many stores before we could source everything that I was recommending to my clients but not any more. 

     

    The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?

    First –  Follow your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who has anything negative to say or imply about your dream, when you hear them say what if, how will you pay your bills, who do you think you are then don’t listen, follow your dreams. Only you know what your dream is, so dream big and then follow that dream. 

     

    Second –  Seek support and guidance. Get all the help that you can. Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help and assistance. Having support and advice from those in similar businesses will be invaluable as you can learn so from them, even from their mistakes. Women in business are truly a great support to other women in business and there is so much that you can learn from those who have been in business for many years. I have yet to meet another woman who doesn’t want to share her experience to help another woman starting her business. 

    

     

    Some more information about Maria:

    My favorite part about The New Mummy Company is… knowing we made a difference in a family’s life. Helping them find their way in their parenting journey and seeing the difference we made in their lives for the better. ­­­­­­

    When parents find out what I do, they often say:  “I wish I had known about you when I had my babies”

    In my free time, I love to… I honestly don’t have a lot of free time as if I was to say I did then I would get caught out by those that know me best. I am a workaholic and I readily admit it. However I do try to walk our golden retriever Jock everyday with my husband. It is my new years resolution to make more time for myself so that I can finally start that yoga class.  

    The last book I read was… all I ever read are parenting and baby books. I have many books waiting to be read on my kindle but who knows when I will have the time to read them. 

    I’m dreaming of…  ­­­­­­­­a cruise for my 10th wedding anniversary this August….

     

    More Help Mama Posts:

     L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones

     Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together

     LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)

     Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there

    Jan 242014
     

    At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

    We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

     

    This week, we are sharing a company called Zipadee-Zip created by a Mom, Stephanie Parker….

     

    Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?

    It all started with no sleep! Our daughter Charlotte had slept wonderfully while swaddled until she started rolling and we had to ditch the swaddle for safety reasons. I would have swaddled her until I had to teach her future husband how to swaddle her if I could have because of how well she slept! No such luck though because not only did she start rolling, but she stopped sleeping well in her swaddle. I had to find a solution to save the sanity of our home!

     

    Right around the time when we all stopped sleeping, I was faced with the reality of going back to work for financial reasons. Like many moms out there, I searched for any possible way to afford to stay at home with our little girl. It was the greatest prayer of my heart! My sweet husband even offered to get a second job to be able to keep me at home with her.

     

    It was then that my prayer was answered in the form of a star shaped blanket that I sewed on my rickety old sewing machine from high school! In the research I did to determine why my daughter refused to sleep swaddle free, I discovered that her startle reflex was still coming into play and jolting her little arms, keeping her awake and preventing her ability to self-soothe. I created the Zipadee-Zip to give Charlotte the feeling of being enclosed (like she was in the swaddle) and a slight bit of resistance in the arms to help settle her startle reflex while still allowing for enough freedom to roll freely. My husband and I were floored when our daughter slept 12 hours the first night we tried our little Zipadee-Zip creation on her!

     

    In a leap of faith, we gathered up the last $700 that we had in savings and put together a website. When we first started www.sleepingbaby.com, we would pay for the fabric and I would sew them as I got orders to pay for them. Sleepingbaby.com was grown literally one Zipadee-Zip at a time with not a dime spent on advertising. In less than two years, by the grace of God, our little business has become a million dollar business. We are just so grateful to be able to provide other tired moms and dads and little ones out there with the gift of sleep!

    How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?

     At Sleepingbaby.com, we say that “Happy Sleep Makes a Happy Baby!” When our little ones are sleeping, so are their moms and dads!  I have found that I’m a much happier momma when I’ve gotten some rest and based on the feedback I get from our customers, so are they!

    What I didn’t realize when I invented the Zipadee-Zip was that it helps moms and dads with more than just the swaddle transition.

    The Zipadee-Zip Helps:

    • Prevent babies with eczema from scratching
    • Keeps those little hands warm at night
    • Keeps hands away from germs on planes, in grocery stores and in doctor’s offices
    • Teach a baby who hasn’t been swaddle to self-soothe more effectively= MORE SLEEP!
    • Prevent blankets from falling off during car, stroller and baby carrier rides as a baby can be buckled in while wearing it
    • Transition a baby from a Rock n’ Play sleeper to a crib

    What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?

    I’m daily inspired by the moms who face adversity and are able to overcome through faith, ingenuity, and sheer determination. It is so empowering. Last year we lost a baby to a pretty traumatic miscarriage and I was so blown away by the women who reached out to me with their stories and encouraging words via our Zipadee-Zip facebook page.   Those are the women I work so hard day in and day out for.

     

     

     

     

    What are some exciting new developments for your business?

     SleepingBaby.com is so excited to be coming out with a new product: The Flying Squirrel Zippy PJ!  When our customer’s little ones outgrow the Zipadee-Zip, they often ask if there is a Zipadee-Zip PJ so that they can continue using the Zipadee-Zip on their little ones.  We are now in the process of creating a Zipadee-Zip inspired Pajama called the Flying Squirrel!

     

    The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?

    FirstNever loose sight of where and why you started. Our love for God and family was the true beginning to Zipadee-Zip and when a business gets rolling, it’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations, challenges and struggles that a new business can bring but keeping focus on the important things truly helps put everything into perspective and makes those challenges much easier to tackle. 

     

    Second
    Always put the customer first. When you start a business, the most important key to your success comes from the customer: if they are happy they will tell others about their experience… especially when it comes to moms and their little ones!

    I have a special place in my heart for moms who struggle with sleep issues with their little ones so it’s always been important to me to answer any emails and messages as thoroughly and promptly as I can.

     

    Some more information about Stephanie:

    My favorite part about Zipadee-Zip is… getting to know the sweet moms and dads that are my customers and seeing pictures of their little ones in our little Zipadee-Zip creations. It makes me one proud Zippy momma!

    When parents find out what I do, they often say:  “Do you make adult versions!?”

    In my free time, I love to…  sing and act and paint. Very little of my left brain functions! I’m a big fan of anything creative! 😉

    The last book I read was… ‘Stuck’ by Jennie Allen

    I’m dreaming of…  when I can finally sleep on my stomach and back again! I’m due to have baby #2 in February… maybe I need to make myself a Zipadee-Zip! 😉

     

    Check back here tomorrow to enter a Zipadee-zip GIVEAWAY!

    More Help Mama Posts:

    L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones

    Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together

    LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)

    Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours

    X

    Dec 032013
     

    At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

    We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to …….yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

    This week, we are sharing a company called Simply Fun Families founded by Karen Peterson…

    Karen with art wall background
    Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?
    I am a happily married mother of 3 living in a small town north of Toronto, Ontario. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years and cannot imagine a more wonderful way to spend my life.

    This spring, my husband casually commented that I should consider developing various product offerings for families on the run who would like to fit some fun into their busy, everyday lives. He thought that perhaps some of the fun things that we do in our family, which have now become much loved traditions, might appeal to other parents searching to boost the fun factor in their own homes. That was the seed that germinated in my mind through the spring and summer.

    Now it seems that all my life experiences, and especially my passion for being a mother, have become intertwined in this very new and very exciting phase of life when I am starting my own business, Simply Fun Families. Over the past few weeks I have launched my first product offering, 25 Days of Christmas. It is a holiday themed activity kit for the whole family filled with all kinds of easy breezy fun.

    How do you feel your helping moms (and dads!) most?
    Simply Fun Families has grown out of my desire to create simple ways to carve out time with my own children while they are still young … time that we can enjoy each other in spite of the busy schedules that parents these days try so hard to juggle. Over the years, I have spent countless hours searching for fun family activities over the internet and in various books.

    My dream for Simply Fun Families is to inspire parents who are also trying so desperately to savour the years with their young children. I hope to offer products filled with simple ideas and activities that can be fit into our everyday lives. The key is that families can personalize these ideas and activities to suit their schedules and interests with ease, rather than spending excessive time searching for ideas themselves.

    What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?
    Certainly one of my biggest inspirations is Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Her memoir had a profound effect on how I see these fleeting years when my children are old enough to enjoy new experiences and family activities but still young enough to need my time, support, and guidance on a daily basis. I want to enjoy the ordinary days as we go through them, adding a bit of fun and carving out time to spend together as a family. My favourite quote from Katrina is prominently displayed in my home and it reminds me to pay attention to all that we have been blessed with …. “It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now — the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”

    Another wonderful inspiration through my parenting years has been Nathalie Prezeau, author of Toronto Fun Places. When my children were younger, I would plan theme weeks and then use her amazing book to select a “family day outing” that would match the theme. It certainly takes effort to research, plan and deliver a day full of fun at a new place that the family has never been … but oh the memories that we made! My children still recall many of the adventures we had at places that I would not have otherwise known about… places right in our own backyard! I am so grateful for this amazing book which is now so accessible as a website resource for parents.

    I love sharing the works of these inspiring women with friends, new parents, and just about anyone who has young children because Katrina and Nathalie have inspired me to live joyfully and mindfully in what is certainly the busiest time of my life.

    What are some exciting new developments for your business?
    Simply Fun Families is all about making memories with our children and sharing ideas for having fun along the way. Our first product offering is called 25 Days of Christmas. It is a boxed set that I hope will inspire parents to make time for family fun through the busy month of December as Christmas approaches. I have delivered this fun program for several years with my own family, and they LOVE it!! Over the years, I have worked on tailoring activities to suit our busiest days, and to make the most of our available weekend days for bigger adventures. The kit offers tips on how to deliver the daily activities with ease in spite of the busy pace we all find ourselves in during the holiday season. In my home, we have actually turned finding each day’s activity card into a daily mini treasure hunt! It is fantastic fun that literally requires only a few minutes each day to deliver.

    Each 25 Days of Christmas kit includes:
    • 35 cards containing simple, festive activities to choose from
    • 5 blank cards to personalize for your own family traditions
    • Dated envelopes for December 1st to 25th to keep you organized
    • Suggestions for organizing and delivering a month of holiday fun for your family!

    The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?
    My best advice is to surround yourself with people who care about you, inspire you, and have the experience and knowledge to support you in making your dream a reality. We all have our own areas of expertise, but we cannot be experts in everything. For me, seeking out the people who could fill in the pieces of the puzzle that were not my specialty has turned out to be not only educational, but also inspiring! I am so blessed to have found people to work with who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge, connections, and experience with me. It has made this path so much easier than it would have otherwise been.

    Also, many of my closest friends have jumped in with offers to help me get started, sharing their personal passions and gifts. A day building my 25 Days of Christmas kits is such a delight when I am doing it with a friend or two. Their encouragement and support really fills me up, and it helps me keep the home and family juggling act going!

    divider
    Some more information about Karen:

    My favorite part about Simply Fun Families is…that sharing my story has given me so many opportunities to reflect on how grateful I am for my life with my young family. As I look back, I realize that we have been building such wonderful family traditions all along, and I am so happy to share them and connect with other parents who have so much to share in return, particularly the incredible entrepreneurial women that I have met.

    When parents find out what I do, they often say: “That sounds like so much fun! Tell me more about it.” …. and I do!!

    In my free time, I love to… play cards and board games with family and friends, take time out for lunch or dinner with girlfriends, and read inspiring books. When I can find a bit more time in our busy schedule, I try very hard to rent a cottage for a quick family escape from all the busyness of our everyday lives.

    The last book I read was… Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I was gripped from beginning to end.

    I’m dreaming of… owning a cottage of our own, a retirement filled with travel adventures with my sweet hubby, and lots of grandchildren someday in the distant future.

    With love and care,
    Lorena

    bird image only
    More Help Mama Posts:
    L’il Tights by Skights

    Dec 032013
     

    At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

    We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

    This week, we are sharing a company called LPH Illustrations founded by Laura Page-Hamelin…

    LPH Illustrations - Laura

    Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?
    I have always had entrepreneurial flair, it started as a young person and babysitting, I had quite the successful little referral system happening and was booked almost every weekend. Even during college I was planning my first business venture and left for Montreal the day after I graduated to pursue it. I dabbled in many different ventures before returning back to my one true love – art. I love illustrating, and I especially love doing it for the benefit of children. Then I discovered I also love writing! So double bonus.

    How do you feel your helping moms (and dads!) most?
    Any parent with a child who has a soother attachment will benefit from this book. They will love this book as a tool that helps their child rid of their soother in a positive and rewarding way instead of potentially hurting them emotionally in the process. Children actually get excited about the Soother Fairy coming, they look forward to putting it in the magic sac that comes with the book and they don’t turn back – because if they put another soother in their mouth, Susy will come back and take away their gift. There is a lot at stake for the child, motivation for them to keep soother free.

    What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?
    My girls are my motivation for sure. They are my pride and joy, they are my source of inspiration. They are definitely what makes me keep striving to grow my business. There is a pride associated personal achievement, something I want to teach my girls, and I would love to show them through demonstration.

    What are some exciting new developments for your business?
    Susy the Soother Fairy will be available for sale this December which is very exciting. I am going to be doing 3 book readings this December for my book and am hopefully teaming up with the Oakville Parent Child Centre in the new year to help them in fundraising for their centres. I am working on an App and ebook as well, and have coordinated with a local musician to create a song about Susy as well.
    book Susy and sac
    Also, my blog www.lphillustrations.blogspot.ca is getting a lot of traffic which is very exciting too! Most recently, I have been asked to guest blog as well, which is a huge step for anyone starting blogging. A lot of new and exciting things happening in a very short time, I really feel like I am following a path that fits my lifestyle and my goals, and it is all coming together really nicely.

    The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?
    First – being an entrepreneur means a lot of dedication and perseverance. Nothing happens overnight. The term overnight success is really just a term – the truth behind any successful entrepreneur is effort and consistency.
    Second – your first business may not be your last business. Most of the time it takes a few takes at finding your “true love” in entrepreneurship. But the fact of the matter is, if the passion is in you, you will make it happen.

    divider
    Some more information about Laura:

    My favorite part about LPH Illustrations is…the endless opportunities it has. This business has many different avenues for success, and that keeps it interesting.

    When parents find out what I do, they often say: “sounds like you are very passionate about what you do” – and they are 100% right.

    In my free time, I love to… play! We travel as a family, we ski, we cottage and we just plain love life.

    The last book I read was… the Hunger Game series – LOVED IT!

    I’m dreaming of… travelling with my family to far off places and seeing some of the most beautiful things the world has to offer!

    With love and care,
    Lorena

    bird image only
    More Help Mama Posts:
    L’il Tights by Skights
    Simply Fun Families

    Dec 032013
     

    The idea of a super mom always throws me for a loop. The other day, a fellow mom called me “super mom” after I gave her some more background on MommiesFirst and the leap of faith I recently took to leave a corporate job to start a box business for moms! I know she was giving me a compliment, but in my heart – I still feel like very much a failure. And in spending time talking to lots of moms – I know I’m not alone. Importantly, you are not alone!

    The truth is as moms we struggle to find balance. It seems in our pursuit of the title of Super Mom, we are always striving to give more, be more, and yes, do more. I found my desire to Super Mom peaked during both my babies’ first years. In my head I saw a cape flapping with the wind and some cool head gear that could effortlessly defeat nerves and sleep deprivation. But, in reality, I was falling apart and a breeze on any given day could have knocked me down from exhaustion and fear because I was trying to go at it alone. For some reason, I believed being Super Mom meant I had to come up with all the answers, I had to know everything from day one and, even worse, I had to do EVERYTHING all by my myself. As we all know – superheroes have friends to fight battles, especially the hardest ones.

    At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

    We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to …….yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

    The first great company I’d like to introduce is MamaViews. I’ve known the company since it launched and the founder, Melissa, is a wonderful mom of one (soon to be two!). When MamaViews launched in 2011, it was a review site dedicated to helping expecting parents research and find a great baby nurse or doula. Today they have expanded to provide reviews on lactation consultants and childbirth classes too. At its core, MamaViews is a site run by moms for moms to help make the process of finding support easier.

    With love and care,
    Lorena