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Starting A Postpartum Underwear Brand - Starter Story Feature

Do your goals of entrepreneurship seem like they’re out of reach? We’ve all felt that way at times which is why I was so excited to be featured on Starter Story. In my interview with Pat Walls, we discuss how I started Brief Transitions and why. I’m sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly about entrepreneurship and why I wouldn’t change it for the world.


I’d love for you to read the full interview here. I also talk about: 

  • How I went from an idea to a product
  • How my business has grown along the way
  • Tips and tricks to push through the hard times

There are few things that are truly essential after childbirth – mesh underwear is one of those things. That is why I wanted to make mesh underwear more available to women everywhere. For women having home births, for women whose hospitals don’t provide mesh underwear, and for women like myself – who just wanted my supply to last longer. 


If you’re ready to try them, use the Coupon Code: Undies 2021 for $2.00 off your purchase. You can redeem your code here.


And, as an extra bonus here’s a guide about ALL the things that everyone else ignores (or kindly forgets to mention) when you have a baby. Click here to read 10 Things I Learned After Giving Birth That No One Tells You!
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Maike Mancuso Coaching - An Interview with Maike Mancuso

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Maike Mancuso, owner of Maike Mancuso Coaching. Maike is a Certified Health Coach, Fitness and Yoga Instructor and Speaker. Her passion is to help individuals to create a healthy balanced lifestyle and elevate their quality of life.

Over the last few years she started focusing on Mamas-to-be and New Moms to support women in this unique transition with fitness, health and wellness programs. Maike is a mom of a little boy and gave birth to her second baby in January.

Tell us about your business. How do you help expecting or new moms?

I love to work one-on-one (in-person and now mainly virtually due to COVID) and offer a mix of personal training, health coaching, yoga and meditation for my mama-clients. All of the above have shown to be valuable components in the transition into motherhood and all carry their own power. I am very passionate about educating moms about core engagement, the importance of proper alignment in every day life and during workouts and much more, to empower women to feel confident and strong on a daily basis.

Every mom (to-be) can adjust her program with my support based on those components and find the right mix for each stage of pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

As an addition to my one-on-one session I also run weekly group classes stretching from Mindful Mama MeetUps, to pre and postnatal fitness classes and yoga sessions. 

To support and reach more Mamas, I am currently working on offering more on-demand services and well researched information that I share on my blog and social media.

Overall I am aiming to build a community of confident Moms and Moms-to-be, who feel good and healthy in their bodies and ready to take on motherhood and so much more.

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

Aren't we all beautifully different and unique? I honestly don't know how to answer that question. What comes to mind are all things I hope are not just unique to me: like wanting the best for my family and clients, hoping to thrive in all of my rolls and responsibilities, and being able to raise respectful and loving children all while building a vibrant business. Again, I dearly hope I am not alone with that approach.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Finding the right balance, I would say. My family is my #1 priority, yet following my passion and doing what I love gives me energy and purpose and fills me with joy. In the last months during COVID it was tricky to find the balance between working from home and continuing to offer services, being their for my family and taking care of myself during my own pregnancy.

Also, I have high expectations towards myself and my work. It can be a stretch. Luckily I've learned to put boundaries and structures into place that help me recover that balance whenever my schedule gets too crazy. This remains a working progress - balance is something I sometimes have to lose to than reset and regain.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

That is a trick question. You are asking me to share something publicly that I 'would never share in public'? Well, I am not sure there is a piece of information that would fit this criteria.

Being open and honest about the 'messy' stuff often is what connects us with others and what makes us human and relatable. My best answer (and I would totally share this in public), is that I create a lot of content for my own sake, because I need structure and community to stay accountable. I need reminders and I certainly fall of the wagon.

If I could follow all of the great advice and tips I put out there, that would be amazing. But just like everyone else, I fall in and out of 'good routines', life gets 'messy', and I slack on my meals or workouts or simply don't feel like meditating.  As a result, I feel agitated and overwhelmed, till my husband reminds me to do what he just read in my last post on IG.

We often have a laugh and I feel more encourage to get back on track and take care of myself. This all ties back in with an earlier questions of finding balance and setting boundaries and building structures. I want people to know that 'knowing better' doesn't always mean we 'do better'. I too need support and reminders and that is perfectly fine.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

Both of those roles very effortlessly capture my attention. Being a mom is amazing and I absolutely love how it has changed my life and myself - even on the messy days. And it has been a similar experience in my business.

Working for myself has been the best motivation and natural fuel to my creativity and productivity. It has been so rewarding to connect with my clients (many of who I now call friends and my community) and I am grateful for all I was able to learn in the process of moving to the US, starting from 0 and building up my business while growing my family.

In both positions I have a urge to step up and that feels good. It gives me so much energy in return for hard work, which is priceless

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

Where to start? My biggest tip would be to 'seek out community'. While we might be able to manage on our own, I believe it to be a relief to simple connect with other moms and build connections. Yes, there are great books and online resources and doctors, but sharing some thoughts or experiences with other women in a similar state of their life can be a blessing.

Building social connections for anyone has been proven to be beneficial for stress relief and so much more. During pregnancy and postpartum it can do the same and so much more.

How has motherhood changed you?

Massively. It is somewhat hard to put into words as it feels like a internal shift more than 'change'. Here are a few ways how I can describe the experience or shift. I feel more present on a daily basis, more excited about the little things in life. I often have a warm feeling of gratitude vibrating in my heart and at the same time I have more worries. It also feels much easier for me to focus and prioritize on what's really important.

On a personal level, it made me feel strong in a totally new way! The appreciation for my body and the beauty of the process has given me a new perspective on 'beauty' or on my 'body image' overall.

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

In short, meditation.

It is a great tool and go-to practice to center yourself and stay calm during overwhelming times. This is something I would recommend to anyone. Yet, as a mom and during pregnancy it can be a powerful tool to recharge your energy, patients and focus.

I am a big fan of short sessions (5 min) rather than long ones. I enjoyed my meditation practice during those stages, especially as many physical sensations felt foreign and my body felt foreign a times: hormones would take over and everything was 'new' and that's totally fine and absolutely expected, which didn't make it easier to cope with.

Meditation was like coming home. Reminding myself that inside, I am still myself and I can return to that comforting place at any time.

About Maike Mancuso

Maike Mancuso is originally from Germany, where postnatal care for mom and baby is extensive and organized. When she moved to the US and started teaching yoga and fitness classes Maike learned that the pre and postnatal care here was far from what is ideal.  She decided to fill that gap and build safe and fun programs for pregnant clients and new moms.

Find Maike Mancuso:

Website: https://www.maikemancuso.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maike_mancuso/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaikeMancusoCoaching/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maike-mancuso/
              

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Mabel's Labels - An Interview with Julie Cole

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel's Labels. Julie is a recovered lawyer and mom of six who has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition, and win countless entrepreneur awards. 

Julie is a serial entrepreneur, regular television contributor, published author, sought after speaker and emcee, digital influencer, and blogger.

Tell us about your business. How do you help expecting or new moms?

Frustrated by my children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, along with my co-founders, I knew we could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. From there, the idea for the product was born: the very best personalized waterproof name labels and tags that were equally cute and durable.

Mabel’s Labels started humbly out of a basement and has grown to be an award-winning, market-leading company loved by Moms and kids alike.

Today, Mabel’s Labels is the best-known brand of durable labels for families, and our growing line of products features baby bottle labels, allergy and medical alert products, sports labels, household labels and seasonal items. They’re extremely durable, they're laundry, dishwasher and microwave safe – and they’re 100% guaranteed.

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I started Mabel's Labels 17 years ago from a basement and it now does 12M in sales a year and employees 40 full-time team members. I also have six children which has made growing a business and a family a very interesting journey!

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

In the early days, it was managing a start-up while also providing an incredible ABA program for my son who is on the autism spectrum. Oh, and also his five siblings! The most difficult thing is making time for everything that needs to be done, learning how to prioritize and knowing when to take an opportunity and when to say no!

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

I have been very transparent about the realities of being a mom and entrepreneur. Now that I have teenagers, I am respectful of their privacy so if there are any teen related issues, I get their permission before sharing.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

It is the flexibility - but as I often tell anyone who will listen... flexibility does not get your work done for you! Sure, you can volunteer at the school or go to the park in the afternoon, but you will be on your laptop at midnight making up for it. That was the life I chose and I wouldn't have it any other way.

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

I know when you are in the thick of it, this can be difficult, but there are a few things:

You are the expert of your child. Take on what people share with you, read books, chat with friends - but you were given mama guts for a reason. Don't be afraid to use them.

Cut yourself some slack. If you have a newborn and are stressing about the toddler having too much screen time or your family has had cereal for dinner, that's OK! There are times we just have to get through the day. It won't last forever and your family won't get scurvy if they've had hot dogs three nights in a row!

Know your needs. If you need a break, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are managing just fine, don't let others tell you to take a break. Everyone has different tolerance levels. Know yours and honour them!

Perspective is my secret sauce. When life gives me lemons, I make a gin and tonic! :) Your perspective is the only thing you can try to control. Don't take life or your parenting too seriously. Lose the mommy guilt. I gave it up four kids ago. When I make a mistake, I apologize and try to do better the next time. That's enough. The kids are alright!

How has motherhood changed you?

I think I am essentially the same person I always was, just busier, tired but with way more mom friends!

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

Well, Mabel's Labels of course! There are so many great products, blogs and podcasts out there. I always try to support those created by MOMS!

About Julie Cole

Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards.

Cole is a serial entrepreneur, regular television contributor, published author, a sought after speaker and emcee and a digital influencer and blogger

Find Julie Cole here:

Website: https://mabelslabels.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram/com/mabelslabels
                    https://www.instagram.com/cole.julie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mabelslabels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mabelhood
              https://twitter.com/juliecole

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Launching Dreamy Mesh Underwear - Call Me CEO Feature

Are you thinking about starting your own business, or have you recently launched? I joined Camille Walker on her podcast, Call Me CEO. In this interview, Launching Dreamy Mesh Underwear, Camille and I discussed how I leveraged my 14 plus years of manufacturing at a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company to grow my own product-based business. I also talk about the ins and outs of creating, launching, and manufacturing! 


I’d love for you to listen to the full interview here. We also discuss: 

  • The process of making a business idea become a reality
  • Communication and establishing networking relationships
  • Reasons to Hire a business coach or consultant
  • Using different retail outlets for your product
  • Taking time for yourself as a working mom

There are few things that are truly essential after childbirth – mesh underwear is one of those things. That is why I wanted to make mesh underwear more available to women everywhere. For women having home births, for women whose hospitals don’t provide mesh underwear, and for women like myself – who just wanted my supply to last longer. 


If you’re ready to try them, use the Coupon Code: Undies 2021 for $2.00 off your purchase. You can redeem your code here.


And, as an extra bonus here’s a guide about ALL the things that everyone else ignores (or kindly forgets to mention) when you have a baby. Click here to read 10 Things I Learned After Giving Birth That No One Tells You!

Read more →

There's a Monster in My Closet - An Interview with Denise Gassner

A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.

Today I’m speaking with Denise Gassner, owner of There's a Monster in My Closet. Denise is a child sleep specialist and educator, that helps new or soon-to-be mamas understand sleep and how it develops over the first 5 years of life.

She is a scientist first and a sleep professional second, allowing her to disentangle the most trusted, most evidence-based information when it comes to developing sleep. This lets Denise focus on the most important aspects of each family’s values and environment and tailor a more proactive approach to sleep behaviour.

Tell us about your business? And how do you help expecting or new moms?

I offer a wide variety of resources and services that help new or soon to be mamas understand sleep and how it develops over the first 5 years of life. I focus on building trusted resources for moms (both free and paid) and offering education packages to help moms understand sleep developments (think of it like the wonder weeks of sleep). This lets moms know what to expect and also how to cope in a way that is both empowering and informed. 

I have one-on-one consulting packages targeted to parents ranging from expecting to having children up to 5 years of age. I also offer a series of educational workshops to provide the most foundational information regarding childhood sleep development. I have quick reference downloads, an active blog, and a website full of the most up-to-date Pediatric sleep science. And, I have a series of lovable sleepy time plush pals that represent the 5 stages of sleep development and come with my comprehensive eBook - Healthy Sleep, Healthy Start - to help new moms get off on the right foot.

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I am a scientist, an entrepreneur, and a mama of two. I have a PhD in Biology and Anthropology, teach at the University of British Columbia, and have been studying and teaching on various aspect of behaviour for nearly two decades. Upon becoming a mom myself, I became privy to the discombobulating world that is baby sleep. Like many others, I sifted through all the “how tos” to get myself and my family a few more zzzzzs, but I wanted more. I wanted to know “why”. I wanted to truly understand sleep and how such a natural state can feel anything but natural in the early years. It has been my mission to help families understand sleep from its core - how it functions, how it develops, and how we can help our children and ourselves to get the healthiest most restorative sleep possible, without rigid or prescriptive methods.

What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?

Time. Always time. I’m an educator, a mom of two and an entrepreneur. I wear all the hats in both my business and my household. I have big dreams that I feel like I’m just scraping away at half the time without major traction because there are not enough hours in the day. I’m also a workaholic so balance can be a challenge - I want to be my best self no matter what hat I’m wearing.

What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?

Sometimes I feel like a major poser because my kids are not perfect and their sleep I’m not perfect. And I’m super awkward and uncomfortable when it comes to posing Instagram images/videos (though maybe I’d share that because I feel like I’m definitely not alone on that front).

What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?

The two are so intertwined and I looooove learning. My background is in primatology and I see my kids as my little primates that I love to try and deconstruct - Their behaviour, their development, their thoughts and feelings and ways of viewing the world. It’s fascinating and it energizes me. I can’t help but look at them as a scientist and I adore finding creative ways to communicate everything I see to other mamas.

What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms? 

Sleep is not something that your baby can do well or poorly. It’s a behaviour like all other behaviours that takes time to learn, practice to hone, and patience as it develops. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” or a “wrong” to it, but if you’re struggling to find your sleep groove you do not just have to grin and bear it

How has motherhood changed you?

Motherhood hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always excelled at academics and work life. When I was on maternity leave, I felt like I lost my sense of self. I didn’t know how to be “good” at being a mom. Now I realize that I’m the best mom that I know how to be, and that may not look like how anyone else does it, but I have happy, healthy, loving children that are going to take this world by storm. And that’s something I can be proud of.

What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom? 

My Sleep Monster plushies! Eco-friendly, fair trade, sleepy time pals for the littles with access to jam packed, evidence informed sleep info for parents - a “what to expect” and “how to cope” gift to ease the transition and improve mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

About Denise Gassner

Denise Gassner has been researching aspects of behaviour for nearly two decades. She turned her attention to sleep after having her own little humans and becoming fascinated by how unnatural sleep can feel in those early years. Denise is driven to help make sleep less of a mystery for new parents and empower them to make informed decisions that adhere to their unique parenting styles. When not spilling about all things sleep, you can find her heading undergraduate classrooms at the University of British Columbia or hanging out with her husband, two kids, and their pup in beautiful Squamish BC.

Find Denise Gassner here:

Website: https://theresamonsterinmycloset.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sleep.monster/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresamonsterinmycloset

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-gassner-75405030/

 

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