How do you start your day?
Getting my three children ready for school.
Who inspires you?
My husband. He is the reason I became an entrepreneur. He owned his first business at 22 and is an incredible daily inspiration. We’ve been friends for 20 years, married 12. Plus he’s good for pep talks!
What would you tell yourself as a teenager?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve always been a big girl (tall and thick) and was hard on myself growing up because I thought I was fat. I was in different sports and even power lifted. I was a strong girl, not fat.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“We live on a tiny blue ball, rotating a massive sun, in a galaxy among millions of galaxies in a multi-verse…what are you worrying about?!”
What do you need to get you through each day?
Coffee and some fun!
What are you reading?
Alchemist (3rd time)…. “Fall 9 times, get up 10.”
Briefly describe your business and inspiration for it.
Moms Pump Here is the world’s biggest Nursing Room Locator App and online resource for moms to find, rate and share nursing room locations to breastfeed and breast pump. Created by moms for moms, we have thousands of locations in countries all over the world, where moms on the go can locate comfortable places to nurse or pump.
My business partner, Kim Harrison and I were inspired with the idea to start Moms Pump Here when Kim had a horrible experience breast pumping in a dirty bathroom at the Jacob Javitz Center in NY, attending a conference. Kim contacted me, a serial entrepreneur, about her experience and a thought that something should be done about it. We quickly realized, as breastfeeding moms, there was never a resource available to find places to nurse or breast pump. Both of us are moms of 3 children, each breastfed and breast pumped. They knew how difficult it was for women to find clean, safe places to nurse or pump because they experienced it firsthand.
We passionately believe that moms should have choices because every woman has the right to breastfeed in public or private places, anywhere she is allowed to be without discrimination or harassment. No one should be forced to pump or nurse in a dirty bathroom or parked car or shamed in public. If a mom wants to use a comfy private space to breastfeed or breast pump they can easily use the App to find a location.
How has your passion fueled your business?
I’m a mom of 3 and I know how hard it is to breastfeed and breast pump on the go. And, if a regular person will not eat or prepare a meal on a toilet why should a nursing mother?
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I became an entrepreneur when my husband and I started a digital media company, Blue Box Media, in 2003. We both were working 9 to 5s at the time. He has always been enterprising since he was a young boy. We still own Blue Box Media but once I got the taste of the entrepreneurial bug I didn’t look back. Since then I started 2 other companies in Miami (one is a charity), ERookie (www.entreprenuerrookie.com) a blog for start-up business advice and Moms Pump Here.
What was the tipping point for realizing you had a good business?
We conceptualized Moms Pump Here in 2012 but did not launch the company until January 2015. Moms were very active on our website and once we launched the Nursing Room Locator App in May 2015 it was a whole new ball game. Instead of our small team adding and researching nursing room locations now moms where adding locations daily. When we launched we had 500 locations. Now we have thousands because moms are invested in sharing where they have pumped or nursed.
What lessons have you learned along the way that you wish you would have known at the beginning of your start-up career?
A couple stick out:
What challenges did you face in the early days of being the Founder of your own business?
Balancing family and business. Especially when you have a 9 to 5 in the beginning. It’s taken some time but I think I have the routine down now!
What is the biggest mistake you have made in your business to date and how have you moved past it?
I think of mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. In a previous business I had to let go of 2 business partners (there were 4 of us). The other remaining partner and I have very similar business ethics but the other 2 did not and it was to the detriment of the business. She and I took on their tasks and for way too long. We should have nipped it in the bud sooner.
When self-doubt hits, what do you do?
Remind myself it will take time to get where I’m going…or I just take a walk with the kids or hiking to clear the mind. Always helps to have motivational content at your figure tips.
What is your biggest fear as an entrepreneur?
Not having a enough time.
Which books, articles, blogs have helped to shape your business and/or leadership style?
Books and lessons (read them all at least 3 or 4 x):
What has been your best strategy for selling your product or service and what have you learned along the way?
Make yourself part of the product marketing. Promote yourself and promote your product simultaneously.
How did your experiences in the corporate world prepare you for entrepreneurship, or not?
I learned that the CEO is just like the janitor. We are all human and going through this journey together. Your position does not intimidate me nor does not give me license to treat you poorly Respect everyone.
What do you do outside the office to help you stay creative/productive?
I love the outdoors and hugging trees (literally). I going hiking or spend time by the water. Especially living in NYC, I need to surround myself with nature to refocus on my intentions and gratitude.
What would you say to another woman who asked you if they should take the leap and start their own business?
Just do it. What are you waiting for?