The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a personal shopper to research the very best products on the market so all you’d have to do was hit “Buy Now”? Well, you can—and for free! Sisters Ashley LeSueur and Taylor Cannon and their cousin Linley Hutchinson are self-proclaimed Amazon Prime moms. The close-knit group of family members spent years swapping product recommendations, when they finally realized they could use their expertise for the greater good.
The Buy Guide pools their knowledge into one easy, shoppable place so you can swipe, see and buy it. “We’re all stay-at-home moms with zero experience running a business...but we’re really good shoppers,” they explain. They pick out the best products spanning wants, needs and everything in between. Find out how to make the most of their genius idea below.
Tell us about yourselves and where the idea for The Buy Guide came from?
They say there are two different types of moms: Pinterest Moms and Amazon Prime moms; we’re definitely the latter. We try to solve life's problems with free two-day shipping as much as possible—it’s the only way we know how to survive the struggles of running a household and raising kids. We have nine children between the three of us. Ashlee has three teenagers and lives in sunny California; Taylor has four kids under 9 years old in New York; and Linley has a 6- and 4-year-old in Salt Lake City.
We’re all stay-at-home moms with zero experience running a business...but we’re really good shoppers. From the most practical to the most beautiful, we love sharing our favorite finds to make shopping easier for others. We felt like real life was missing from social media and wanted to create a space to share and talk about the things we all shop for in real life: dish rags, sunscreen, cleaning products, educational toys for our kids—all the things needed to run a home and raise a family.
Walk us through The Buy Guide and how parents can find must-have products.
Behind the scenes of The Buy Guide there are a lot of deliveries (and returns) at each of our three houses. We really do try all the things we share to ensure we’re only recommending products that worked best for us. We talk through ideas and show each other products in between carpool pickups and diaper changes. We share the very best products on our Instagram stories so our followers can see why we love something, how we use it and why they might need it. Instagram stories are easily shoppable and we keep a catalog of our favorite products on our website. When you shop our site, you can rest assured knowing each item has been tested and approved by The Buy Guide team.
What are some of the most popular products you’ve shared?
Some top sellers have been our favorite fabric defuzzer that makes our Lululemon leggings as good as new, our kid's favorite paint markers that are so fun to color with (and washable), the lip mask that everyone is buzzing about and the veggie chopper that helped bring onions back to our kitchens. We never know what will be a big hit, and we try not to focus too much on that. We just share what we use and love, no matter the price point or how random it may seem.
What’s a product you wouldn’t have made it through your first year of parenting without?
This is a tough one because the list is so long, and we relied on far too many things to survive those first years. Pacifiers, sound machines, NoseFrida, swaddles, OxiClean, an entire wardrobe of “pajama clothes” and lots of caffeine, and honestly, we still barely survived.
But the most important thing to us was having a good breast pump. The three of us all tried to breastfeed our babies, and it was harder than we expected. Even if your baby is a great nurser and even if you have all the milk you could dream of—and aren’t you lucky if both of those are true!—the worst is when your baby won’t take a bottle. Pumping some bottles allowed dad, grandma and the sitter to help out with the exhausting feeding schedule. All moms, breastfeeding or formula feeding, need to find as many ways possible to get help from others.
How do you juggle work and family, especially when the two are so connected?
We don't do it alone and we aren’t afraid to ask for help. We have each other, we have supportive spouses, we have great childcare and we recently hired our first amazing employee. We still have too much to do and not enough hours in the day, and it’s not pretty. There are weeks when work takes priority and the kids must learn some independence, but then there are weeks when our kids need us and work has to take a backseat. Balance is a myth. We just make sure to do our best.
What’s your best advice for busy moms?
We have two things we remind ourselves and our friends of regularly:
- You must take care of yourself and prioritize your health and happiness. The moment you put yourself last is the moment you stop enjoying motherhood and start resenting all your responsibilities, including your spouse. Take a run, take a bubble bath, take a nap, take a class—whatever you need to do to feel like you and stay happy.
- Learn to say no and let things go. Know your capacity and don’t apologize for having limits and respecting them
Have any great mom hacks?
Every mom definitely needs to utilize Amazon Prime, dry shampoo and large sunglasses. Another favorite mom hack is simply saying “Alexa, play music!” It’s truly amazing how a three-minute dance party can turn your day around. It’s like a restart button which we usually need multiple times a day. Let your kids see you dance like nobody's watching, and teach them to do the same. It’s good for the soul.
What about epic parenting fails?
We’re human, so we are constantly failing. Just a few that come to mind are forgetting early dismissal at school; losing it on a mom-shamer; training the toddler how to smuggle food into the movie theater; accidentally teaching a naughty word; and the tooth fairy forgetting to come for weeks—this is a recurring problem.
We’ll go ahead and take ourselves out of the running for any parenting awards right now, but learning how to apologize, forgive and try again is one of the most important things we can teach our kids. Failing is just as important in families as it is in business. Failure is inevitable and success only comes to those who know what to do with it.
How has your platform grown in the past year?
Making friends on Instagram has helped us to grow the most. We reach out to accounts that we like, businesses we follow and fellow busy moms who we can relate to. We love when our followers tag us to share how much they’re loving one of our recommendations. Seeing the way women cheer on other women in this space has been inspiring, and we are eager to be those kind of women.
The Buy Guide community blows us away. Somehow, we have been lucky enough to connect with women who are open-hearted, supportive of each other and have the best ideas on the Internet. We put a lot into The Buy Guide, but we’ve also gotten back just as much in return. We truly look forward to hearing about your favorite stain remover or helping you solve your next shopping dilemma.
Published May 2019
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