Business 06 August 2017
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.
5 Min Read
Elizabeth Warren majorly called out "arrogant billionaire" Michael Bloomberg for his history of silencing women through NDAs and closed-door settlement negotiations. Sound familiar? Probably because we already have a president like that. At this point, Bloomberg may just spend the remainder of his (hopefully) ill-fated presidential campaign roasting on a spit over a fire sparked by the righteous anger of women. A lesser punishment than he deserves, if you ask me.
At last night's Democratic debate, Michael Bloomberg could barely stammer out an answer to a question on whether or not he would release any of his former accusers from their nondisclosure agreements. His unsatisfactory response was basically a halting list of what he has done for certain nondescript women in his time at City Hall and within his own company.
But that certainly wasn't enough for Elizabeth Warren, nor should it be, who perfectly rephrased his defense as, "I've been nice to some women." Michael Bloomberg is basically that weird, problematic Uncle that claims he can't be racist, "Because I have a Black friend." In a society where power is almost always in the hands of straight, white, cisgendered, men being "nice" to a lucky few is in no way a defense for benefiting from and building upon the systematic silencing of all marginalized communities, let alone women. Stop and frisk, anybody?
Here is a brief clip of the Warren v. Bloomberg exchange, which I highly recommend. It is absolutely (and hilariously) savage.
But let's talk about the deeper issues at hand here (other than Warren being an eloquent badass).
Michael Bloomberg has been sued multiple times, yet each time he was able to snake his way out of the problem with the help of his greatest and only superpower: cold, hard cash. Each time these allegations have come up, in Warren's words, he throws "a chunk of money at the table" and "forces the woman to wear a muzzle for the rest of her life."
As reported by Claire Lampen of The Cut, here are just a few of his prior indiscretions.
- Pregnancy discrimination—Bloomberg reportedly told a former employee of his to "kill it," in reference to her developing fetus.
- Sexual harassment—You could literally write a book on this subject (someone did), but for the sake of brevity...
"I'd like to do that piece of meat" - Michael Bloomberg in reference to various women at his company.
- Undermining #MeToo—Not only did he defend the accused, but he went on the disparage accusers every step of the way.
- Defaming transgender people—Though he claims to support trans rights, he has also been qupted multiple times as referring to trans women as "some guy wearing a dress."
Yeah... That's not a winning formula for me, Mike.
Furthermore, Warren points out the simple fact that if, as Bloomberg claims, these instances were simply big misunderstandings (He was just joking around!) then why go to all the trouble to cover them up? Does Michael Bloomberg think women can't take a joke? Or can we only surmise that the truth of these events are far darker and dirtier than we could even imagine?
Certain commentators have called Elizabeth Warren's debate presence "agressive," especially in regards to this instance but also continually throughout her entire campaign. If asking poignant questions to known abusers who are seeking to further their own political power is considered "aggressive," then I am here for it. Bring on the aggressive women, please and thank you.
Calling a woman aggressive for being confidant and direct is a gendered complaint. You don't see anyone whining that Bernie is "aggressive" when he goes off on a screaming tangent. Also, have you seen our president? He's basically the poster boy for political temper tantrums. But still, it's Warren that is deemed "aggressive," for honing in on the exact issues that need to be considered in this upcoming election.
This type of derisory label is another aspect of how our society silences women—much like Bloomberg and his NDAs. Because "silencing" is more than just putting a "muzzle" on someone. It's refusing to listen to a person's cries for help. It's disregarding what a woman has to say, because she's too "aggressive." It's taking away someone's power by refusing to truly hear their side of the story. Because if you aren't listening, responding, or even just respecting someone's words, they may well have said nothing at all.
"Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard." - Renecca Solnit
Nondiscolusure agreements are a legal gag for people who have experienced harassment and abuse at the hands of those above them.
Gretchen Carlson, possibly the most famous person subject to an NDA, is one of these people. Her story is so well-known that it has even been immortalized on film, in 2019's Bombshell. Yet she is still forced to maintain her silence. She cannot tell her side of the story even when Hollywood can. She was cajoled into her current position after facing harassment in her workplace. She didn't have the power then to do more than accept her fate. And now, she doesn't have the power to tell her story.
She was, and still is being, silenced.
After her experiences, Carlson was moved to fight for all women to have the power over their truths. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times she declared: "I want my voice back. I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs."
Carlson may still be tied to her NDA, but there are those who go a different route. Celeste Headlee, who wrote an op-ed on SWAAY about her experience, chose to break her nondisclosure agreement. Though doing so undoubtedly opened her up to numerous legal ramifications, she knew that she could no longer "sign away [her] right to justice."
Because that is what an NDA is all about, signing away a person's right to justice. Their story is their justice. Their NDA is a lock and key. Headlee may have broken through that lock, but she must face the consequences.
Neither Carlson nor Headlee are any less brave for how they have handled their journeys. They are both actively working to shift the cultural and political norms that led them here, and their work will, with hope and time, lead to real change. But they are just two drops in an ocean of women who are held hostage by their nondisclosure agreements, by men like Michael Bloomberg, and by a society that would rather silence them than let truth and justice be had.