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Interviews


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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Teaching Mums - An Interview with Lulu Lincoln

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 Lulu Lincoln, owner of Teaching Mums, Ltd. Lulu provides support, coaching, and resources to mothers through pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Her motto of "Each Mum, Teach Mum, Reach Mum "alone shows her desire to reach every mother through every part of their journey.  Her main purpose is to fill each mother with confidence and support to create balance in business, motherhood, and connection.

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

I offer Professional 1:1 Coaching for mothers and I focus on motherhood, business, and education. I am passionate about connecting mums (expectant incl.) with their purpose and passion, whilst still enjoying being a full-time mum. For some mothers this could be returning to work or staying at home and building an income around that. Some mums want to upskill and retrain. This is where I come in. My coaching sessions help mothers to understand how to manage their priorities without negatively impacting their commitment to their homes. I offer resources and support...I work with each family until they no longer need me...then I know my job is done. 

What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?

I am a qualified teacher, coach and pregnancy counselor, as well as a mum, so my business is evidence and experience based. More than a third of mothers are having to give up work because of the cost of childcare. It is a privilege to be able to care for your family, but support has to be provided for mothers that would like the best of both worlds.

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

Time management, juggling priorities (well) - that's why I have created resources that work, but do not overwhelm.

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

The short-comings of my husband or children. I don't mind sharing my own, but not theirs, it's just not fair.

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

My favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner is being able to serve my family each (with joy) and help other  families, via online resources, tools and apps.

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

The best piece of advice that I was NEVER given is to be kind to yourself... your body, sleep as often as possible, journal, speak out loud about your desires, dreams, and issues. You are loved and powerful. This power is not stolen by our children, but it increases as we adapt to having a brand-new life. There will be  difficult days, but nothing compares to the joy you will feel when your child arrives, says your name, says thank you, I love you…the list is endless. My point is the good days do eventually outweigh the bad days. Decide before it gets tricky that you will never give up.

How has motherhood changed you?

Yes, I was so selfish before I became a mother. It has completely humbled me and made me grateful for everything that I have. I take it a day at a time. I live by my values, to the best of my ability, and teach my family to do the same. What a gift! 

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

(1) A journal. (2) A soft toy for baby. (3)A breast pump (if you decide to breast feed). (4) A memory box for keepsakes.(5) Re:Vitalise Podcast. (6) Pregnancy Birth and Beyond. (7) The 6-Figure Mompreneur. (8) Teaching Mums Ltd time block weekly calendar. 

About Lulu Lincoln

Lulu Lincoln is a mumpreneur (former teacher) and now homeschooling. Lulu is happily married, has 1 daughter and desires to expand her family. She has worked in education for almost 20 years. Lulu is a Christian, a keen linguist (German & Italian), bibliophile, writer and loves to spend time with her family. Motherhood can often be accompanied by loneliness and low confidence. Lulu support mothers through pregnancy, birth and beyond through coaching and resourcing. Her motto is Each Mum | Teach Mum | Reach Mum. From her experience and education, Lulu offers training, tailored coaching, and resources for mothers, as well as educational resources and coaching for children.

Find Lulu Lincoln here:

Website: www.teachingmums.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/officialteachingmums/

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Diversifying Playrooms One Toy (Or Book) At A Time With Avani Sarkar of {Modi Toys}

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 Avani Sarkar, co-founder of Modi Toys, who made the first-ever mantra-singing plush toys (super cute Ganesh and Hanuman plush toys you have seen on IG) inspired by their Indian culture. Her goal is to inspire appreciation for their culture onto future generations through these Indian toys, books and kits.

On Avani's website, their mission is clear " We want to create a (modi)fied version of what you and your kids already know and love. By introducing these toys at an early age, we hope to spark curiosity about their culture. The gift of knowledge may last a day, but the gift of wonder lasts forever." 

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for your little one or looking for ways to diversify your playroom,  check out these interactive Indian inspired interactive plush toys and books.  And now, onto the interview with Avani!

What does your business do? How do you help expecting or new moms

I focus on reaching out to moms-to-be and new moms by sharing my love for our toys and books and what the meaning is behind our products.  In turn, mothers love to share these gifts with their children because it allows them to be immersed in our Indian culture in a fun and subtle way.

Why did you start your business? 

I started this business to create the type of toys I wish I could give to my kids. I wanted to spark curiosity into my children and other children about their Indian roots.

Even our logo is steeped deep in meaning. The parentheses denote the need for inclusion. It means we’re inserting ourselves into toy bins and book shelves as early influencers in your children’s development. The 'namaste' symbol signifies the respect we teach our kids towards our elders, culture and faith.

What advice would you give to expecting or new moms?

My number one advice would be to just take it one day at a time. Listen to advice from experts but only take from it what you want -- make it your own. 

How has motherhood changed you (if at all)?

Of course. Both... the #momguilt and stretch marks, have now become a permanent part of who I am. 

About Avani Sarkar

Avani spent over 15 years accumulating B2B marketing and brand-building experience at various corporations before bringing her expertise to Modi Toys. She is the co-founder of Modi Toys and the makers of the first-ever mantra-singing plush toys inspired by their Indian culture. 

Find Modi Toys Here:

www.moditoys.com

https://www.instagram.com/moditoys/

https://www.facebook.com/ModiToysForTots/

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Breast Pumping At Work interview with Abbey Donnell, founder of Work & Mother

Today I’m speaking with Abbey Donnell, founder of Work & Mother, about pumping breast milk at work. Work & Mother provides a network of fully equipped lactation facilities that not only supports working mothers but makes it easy for employers to be in compliance with FLSA regulations. Pumping breast milk at work can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be!

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Pelvic Floor Recovery & The Paula Method with Michal Mehler, founder of Graceful Ease

This week's Mommin' It Business Series interview is with Michal Mehler, founder of Graceful Ease which helps women with pelvic floor recovery. Michal teaches childbirth education and postpartum classes for expecting and new mom and is experienced with the Paula Birth Method.
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