How mom of four Raegan Moya-Jones built aden + anais into a global empire

Motherly means strength. There is something about becoming a mother that brings out strength you never knew you had…because you’re gonna need it. 

How mom of four Raegan Moya-Jones built aden + anais into a global empire

Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.

Raegan Moya-Jones is one of those mamas.

A mother to four daughters, she is also founder and CEO of the wildly popular aden + anais brand.

We caught up with Raegan for our #LADYBOSS series to talk about how she took her dream from idea to reality—and how she makes it all work today.

The idea for her successful business was born in 2003 when she was pregnant with her first child.

Excited to carry on her Australian heritage tradition of swaddling her newborn in a muslin blanket, Raegan set out to find some she could stock up on—but came up empty handed. So, she created her own. (And—spoiler alert!—that panned out really well for her.)

With their versatility and modern design, aden + anais soft muslin blankets have been swaddling and comforting our little ones since 2006 when they made their U.S. debut. And now they’re a globally recognized baby brand sold in Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Nordstrom (to name a few) that have sold over 25 million in 65 countries over the past 10 years.

So how did Raegan build this empire? And how does she balance her mom/wife/CEO game? We chatted with her to get the scoop.

Thinking back to those early days of your company, how did you begin the process of deciding on a brand name?

Raegan Moya-Jones: I’d love to say that it was wildly creative, but here is the truth: aden is the name of my former business partner’s son, and anais is my first born daughter. The name was probably the easiest part!

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Once you had your name, what was your process to develop a logo, and all the other pieces that contribute to a brand?

Raegan Moya-Jones: My background is in sales. I didn’t have formal training in design or marketing communications, but what I did have was strong gut instincts, strong opinions and the ability to know when I needed help from an actual expert. Through my network, I was able to find the right people to pull that all together, so I could focus on the business.

What would you say captures people about a brand—what makes it memorable?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Brands have to have authenticity. And that’s a huge buzzword now, but you can’t fake it. It needs to come from a real place.

aden + anais came from my experience growing up in Australia, from my experiences with motherhood, from my kitchen table…I’m not saying every brand needs to be a story about bootstrapping and being an underdog,

I’m saying that the brand needs to feel like there is something real behind it.

When people hear “aden + anais” what do they say comes to mind?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Beauty and design and quality and comfort and simplicity and trust…these are simple swaddle blankets that have sold over 25 million in 65 countries over the past 10 years. You don’t get to that level without those elements.

What values did you focus on when building the aden + anais brand?

Raegan Moya-Jones: I really focused on making products that I would want in my own home: items that were high-quality and well-designed, items that would last, that fit my own aesthetic and weren’t typical baby goods.

When we launched, our designs were a departure from the traditional baby design aesthetic.

There was a very typical look to nursery items, and we threw that out the window and made products that I wanted in my home and hoped that other moms would respond the same way. We are making products that parents and caregivers are using on the little ones they love, and we take that seriously.

We value simplicity, and quality, and that trust that we’ve earned

over the past 10 years.

When developing a brand, what would you say is the most difficult part of the process?

Raegan Moya-Jones: The process is made a lot easier if you make sure you have the right people around you from the beginning. I knew I wasn’t a design or branding expert, so I didn’t pretend to be one. My strengths are my instinct, and my decision making, so I worked with people who were great at design and branding, and made sure I let them do their jobs.

Over the years, has the aden + anais brand undergone any changes or major overhauls?

Raegan Moya-Jones: We’ve certainly expanded as we grew beyond my kitchen table: we’re in 65 countries, I started with 4 SKUs and now we have over 2000 across a much wider breadth of products, and we have 4 global offices in addition to our head office in Brooklyn…but as a brand, we haven’t really had any major overhauls outside of one packaging refresh back in 2009 and we are working on another one for a 2017 launch.

From the trunk of your car to a brand with 100+ employees and a name that’s recognized worldwide, aden + anais is certainly a brand leader. Why do you think parents love the brand so much?

Raegan Moya-Jones: I think it’s because they know we care.

Everything I have done at aden + anais has been done first and foremost from the position of me as a mum, not a business person. I am maniacal about quality and customer service and being honest with all our customers.

You can’t fake that and I believe that our customers feel it and that is why they are so supportive of the brand.

How important would you say confidence is in running your own company?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Very. Starting a company can destroy your self-esteem if you’re not used to hearing “no,” to being rejected, to unexpected setbacks. From the very start, I believed that we were a 100 million dollar brand, and I’ve never wavered in that belief. People want to work with and for a leader who has strong convictions, who can make decisions, and that’s who I try to be for everyone at aden + anais.

How does being a mother affect the way you run your business?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Well, I’ve only ever been a mother who ran this business, so I can’t tell you how it would be different, because it never has been.

I do know that having four girls, two dogs and a lovely husband means that I need to be laser-focused: when I’m at work, I’m at work. And when I’m at home, I’m at home.

If I didn’t have the girls, maybe I would be the kind of person who spends her whole holiday checking her emails and taking conference calls, or staying at the office 20 hours a day, but I’m not: I’m the CEO at home and the office, and I’m always home for dinner.

Is there any one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring lady bosses?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Get in there. Nobody is going to make space for you; you have to do it yourself.

In many ways, I think I started my own company because being the boss was the only way for me to truly be taken seriously in business. We’re not all cut out for entrepreneurship, but we know that there is a long way to go with equality in the workplace.

In 2015, the World Economic Forum anticipated that the gender gap wouldn’t close until 2133. In other words, it won’t happen in my or my girls’ lifetime, which is unacceptable.

Find what you can do—for yourself, for other women, for our next generation— and do it.

It’s important not just for women, but for all of us, as humans to have a more equitable workplace.

What does “motherly” mean to you?

Raegan Moya-Jones: Strength. There is something about becoming a mother that brings out strength you never knew you had…because you’re gonna need it.

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These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.


Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.


Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.


Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.


Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.


Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.


Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.


Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.


Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.


Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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