Mom knows best, right? In the world of parenting, most definitely! These women have created six groundbreaking businesses that are making lives easier for parents all over the world.
Little Spoon believes your baby’s food should never be older than your baby. Makes perfect sense, but in reality the shelf-stable baby food that we get at the store is much older than the food that we’re giving our littles should be. Enter Little Spoon, the company that’s rapidly revolutionizing the baby food category. Their vision is to bring nutritious meals and snacks to babies and children everywhere through a convenient, direct-to-consumer subscription model.
Cofounder Michelle Muller states: "Having had three kids before 30, I know how hard it is to feed our babies healthy options without spending hours in the kitchen. Little Spoon will provide an alternative for new parents in 2017 by optimizing the health of your baby, but also leaving a lasting impact on your baby’s cognitive development, including their motor and speech skills, sense of smell, taste palette and general eating habits. Being a parent is hard enough. The one thing no parent should be asked to do is compromise the health of their child. With Little Spoon, parents now have the benefit of feeding their kids the freshest and healthiest food without taking precious time out of their day.”
Until recently, scheduling classes for your little one was just as challenging as doing your taxes. Booking things like baby yoga, art classes, and math tutoring was handled by a multiplicity of providers, requiring individual scheduling through phone calls (who has the time?) and paying by check (any idea where you last saw your checkbook?) Sawyer provides the solution for that dilemma; it is an online marketplace for parents to discover, book and manage local classes, camps, and activities for their toddlers.
"Sawyer has reimagined the way parents can access education by bringing all of the education providers online. Gone are the days of listservs, word-of-mouth marketing and checkbooks. Now, parents can easily discover, book and manage their child's next educational adventure through our seamless user-friendly platform!" - Marissa Alden, cofounder
When a friend or relative announces they’re having a baby, we jump to find the perfect gift. Finally, there’s a company that focuses on expectant moms and meeting their needs while pregnant. The Stork Bag is a reusable subscription bag (think BirchBox but for moms-to-be) curated to each contain 8-12 products to meet your trimester and postpartum needs. Once the expectant mom uses the goodies in the bag, she can continue to use said bag! Unlike other pregnancy subscription services on the market, all products in the Stork Bag are OBGYN-approved.
"The Stork Bag is revolutionizing parenting by redirecting the attention back on the expectant mother when it comes to prenatal gifting. We believe that more focus should be given to pampering moms during pregnancy, which is why we've enhanced the pregnancy shopping experience by creating trimester-specific, reusable care packages, " explains cofounder Ericka Perry.
Preparing for your baby has never been so easy! Gugu Guru is the customized baby registry website that uses style quizzes to curate a baby registry based on a parent's personal style and lifestyle. It is a game-changer for parents because no longer do they have to sift through 10,000 bottles, strollers and cribs, but can just take our style quizzes. After they do so, we suggest items based on their house, personal style, and car choices, among others. They are then able to find products that are custom-tailored to suit your tastes and living situation.
“Gugu Guru is revolutionizing parenting because the site is innovating the baby registry and overall product-selection experience, in a way that nobody has before. Parents can now cut through the noise and discover the best products for their families from across the web, in a way that is intuitive and fun, and not overwhelming,” says cofounder Monica Banks.
Hawk + Sloane
When your kid goes to the bathroom, do you even want to know? How about when the monsters come out of the closet as soon as you turn the lights out? Hawk + Sloane is an innovative company that has curated sprays for your littles to solve everyday problems.
Co-founders Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin state, "These days, parents are constantly on the go and many of them are tackling numerous responsibilities in a day. Each of our sprays were created for their own unique purpose, but all with the common goal of making parenthood a bit easier.
For example, Soothie Spray is an irritated-skin spray made with micronized silver. It works wonders and you get to avoid getting thick cream all over your hands. Many of our sprays are formulated with essential oils and they are all in travel-sized bottles, so you can easily throw them in your purse or carry-on. As parents ourselves, we are all for anything that helps make parenting easier!"
Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin
Once you become a parent, constantly preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family can be a challenge, with all the responsibilities you juggle in between. Daily Harvest solves these problems; it’s a subscription-based service that delivers clean superfoods that are ready in seconds. You'll never need to wonder what you’re making for a meal again, removing the unnecessary stress from our already exhausted mom-brains.
"As a New Yorker and a working mom, my mornings are filled with pure chaos and I know the last thing any parent wants to think about is chopping, prepping and dicing fruits and veggies! Daily Harvest was constructed on the premise that convenience doesn't have to mean compromise. We want healthy eating to be a no-brainer. That's why we introduced a health hack for parents, offering perfectly portioned, ready-to-heat soups and ready-to-blend smoothies, all filled with balanced, organic vegetables and fruits. Our mission is to provide parents with 'superfoods, super fast.' This is revolutionary for parents who want to put both their and their children's health first," describes founder Rachel Drori.
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.