Moms are superheroes. Don’t ever mistake dirty hair, wrinkled clothes or a messy house for a lack of drive. They’ve got bigger fish to fry—like raising tiny humans to be happy, healthy adults. And when faced with common parenting woes, they don’t break the wheel, they reinvent it. Behind almost every one of your favorite baby brands, there’s a mom whose kid inspired her to change the game. Need proof? Take a look at some of the most cult-worthy brands and the empowering women behind them.
Known for its innovative and non-toxic skincare products, California Baby has been a staple in the baby space for more than 20 years. At the root of the company is a mom who wanted more from the products she was using on her young children. “I was a first-time mom and shocked and angry to find dangerous carcinogens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances in my son’s baby shampoo labeled as ‘natural,’” the mom tells The Bump. “That led me on a journey to find—and ultimately create—a natural, non-toxic alternative.” It ultimately kickstarted the development of the company’s first product, the California Baby Calming Shampoo & Body Wash, which is still an all-time parent favorite. The line has since expanded to include body wash, diaper rash cream, sunscreen and more.
Back in 2016, one couple set out on a mission to create affordable, eco-friendly diapers made without any harmful chemicals. It lead to the creation of ABBY&FINN, a diaper subscription service that lets parents choose the size, design and frequency of their order. “We created ABBY&FINN to provide parents with an affordable and flexible diaper subscription offering high quality products, while helping mitigate diaper waste and eliminating diaper need through our built-in giveback,” says co-founder Amanda Little. To date, they’ve honored their promise. The diaper subscription service is 30 percent more affordable than other chlorine-free brands, and for every box sold the company donates diapers to families in need. “With the dollars saved and the convenience of delivering our diapers and wipes to your door, we hope to make parents' lives a little easier and give families more time to spend creating memorable experiences.”
Launched by Vogue alums Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia, Maisonette serves as an exclusive one-stop shop for children’s apparel, accessories and toys. But before it became a beloved baby brand, it was simply an idea. “Shortly after Sylvana and I became moms, we realized there was a huge gap in the online children's market. We would spend hours and hours late into the night on dozens of children’s websites, searching for the things we needed for our kids,” Mendoza Roccia explains. “We realized that this market was incredibly fragmented and inefficient to shop, particularly in a world that offers an online one-stop-shop for almost everything else you need in your adult life.” So the pair left their day jobs at Vogue and set off on a mission to create the curated shopping solution for parents.
Wouldn’t you love to have homemade baby food without having to actually spend the time making it? Good news—you can (no really!). "Yumi was inspired by my early experiences in motherhood when I was so frustrated by the lack of nutritious options for babies and toddlers at the grocery store,” says co-founder and CEO Angela Sutherland. Yumi is a baby food service that delivers fresh, nutritious food, and provides information about each meal and how the ingredients were picked based off of the child’s development and milestones. “I hope our service reminds moms that good parenting is not correlated to their amount of suffering,” Sutherland says. “It's okay to have help, whether it's from your best friend, your neighbor or Yumi.”
aden + anais
Cotton muslin baby blankets are the norm in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in New York City, she couldn't find them anywhere. She was left to resort to fleece, flannel or heavy cotton—not ideal materials for swaddling. That’s when the idea for aden + anais was born. Its muslin swaddle blankets were an instant hit in the states, and have since been a newborn staple for many parents since the company’s launch in 2006. “Luckily for me, my hunch was right,” says Moya-Jones. “Although my swaddling days are long gone, I still believe muslin is the best fabric to wrap a baby in, and any product that serves multiple functions like a muslin swaddle is a product I wanted all mums to have access to. There is so much paraphernalia in a newborn's life that a product that serves many purposes is a must.”
Freshly Picked was born out of necessity when Susan Petersen found her son’s chubby feet wouldn’t fit into normal baby shoes. The mom came up with her own solution, and started DIY-ing moccasins for him to wear. Once others got a look at the super-unique kicks, they wanted it for their own kid. “People started asking where my son got his shoes, so I started making them and then selling them on Etsy and at craft shows. I couldn't keep up with the demand, and eventually Freshly Picked was born,” she says. The company is known by moms near and far, and has expanded to include kids’ clothing, chic diaper bags and more.
Sure as the sky is blue, every parent with a newborn has a phone with dwindling storage space. The photo opportunities are endless and you have to capture them all. After all, nothing is quite as irresistible as a sleeping baby. Founder Gabriela Anggono agrees. “I truly believe there is something magical about sleeping babies,” she says. “I spent so much time watching my little ones sleeping in the crib, and one day I realized their sheets were acting as backdrops. It led me to want to reimagine their crib sheets in a way that added beauty and magic to those little moments.” She launched Rookie Humans to help moms and dads capture the magic of those fleeting moments with whimsical sheets that bring stories to life around baby. “I hope parents who use them find them delightful, and are able to capture sweet memories on them.”
Twin sisters Eleanor and Angel founded Loulou LOLLIPOP to create baby products that truly embrace form and function. “Eleanor's daughter Kinsley was teething at the time and we wanted to create something fun and safe for her to teeth on,” explains Angel. “We believe the early days of ‘newborn-hood’—with all its challenges and charms—are an especially important time for you to feel connected to your personal sense of style.” The twins “live for extra-special in both design and function,” and the brand is known for its bold pops of color. From silicone teething jewelry to cozy muslin blankets, all products are CPSC-, ASTM- and CPSIA- compliant and meet international safety standards.
Becoming a mom was in equal parts exhilarating and terrifying for Nasiba Adilova. She wanted to give her baby the very best and safest products on the market, but with such a massive selection to choose from, she didn’t know where to begin—which sparked her idea for The Tot. The online resource combines advice-driven articles from a network of experts with a retail platform where moms can shop safe, fashion-forward products for their babies and themselves. “I have had an incredible team of people from day one who I can rely on to help make my vision a reality,” says Adilova. “In both parenting and business, I value being able to get advice from people who have been there, done it, lived it and learned from it, but I also truly love taking risks and trusting my gut when it comes to making the big decisions.”
Elle Rowley made the first Solly Baby wrap in 2011 after the birth of her second child, Solomon (hence the name!). She wanted something comfortable and chic to wear that would meet her newborn’s needs, but also allow her to keep up with her toddler. After long nights experimenting with different fabrics and designs, Solly Baby was born. “After making a wrap for my second baby and experiencing the closeness and comfort, I was hooked,” Rowley says. “As hard as the postpartum period is, the relationship and connection developed with your baby is also pretty magical...I truly believe our wraps help nurture that connection in a way nothing else can. I look back on my ‘wrapping days’ with my three youngest and feel so grateful I had that time with them.”
Bumkins is a fun, baby feeding brand designed for millennial moms and dads. Its most buzzed about products include cute and quirky utensils, placemats and bibs to make mealtime memorable. Founded by mom Jakki Liberman, it provides functional products made with fun designs that also won’t harm the environment. “As a mother with two young children and a newborn, the idea of leaving my kids at home while I went to work was both emotional and daunting, so I began to develop eco-friendly baby products to fit my needs,” she says. “Bumkins has grown over the years, moving from a line of only fabric products into the world of silicone...Our goals are to make products that appeal to both kids and parents, and make parents’ lives easier so they can better enjoy time with their little ones.”
Sarah Wells Bags
Pumping moms are constantly lugging cargo around, and finding a bag that’s big enough to fit all the daily essentials and isn’t a total eyesore is no easy feat. Luckily, Sarah Wells offers moms some trendy options. "My company was born out of my own experience and need to carry a breast pump, and a dream that a pump bag can be stylish and functional,” explains Wells. Not only are the bags fashion-forward, but they’re made to withstand daily on-the-go wear and tear. The company has even expanded to include additional breastfeeding accessories, including hands-free pumping bras. “We've grown beyond innovative products to be a community of support for moms. My customers are incredible champions for each other!”
Published April 2019
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