A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

How to start a business—and still have time for the rest of your life

It’s Monday morning. As you semi-tearfully leave your babe(s) behind, you dream about running your own business that somehow leaves time for you to have it all—family time, a career and the ability to pursue your passions.


Then the doubts start creeping in your mind: Where would you even start? How much money would you have to put in? What about job security? Is it really possible? It is. I did it. Over the years I’ve had tons of business ideas, but never pulled the trigger until now. Finally, I felt inspired and passionate enough about a topic (bringing natural baby products, from Europe to the US market) to take the next step.

Here is what I have learned along the way on how to make it work:

1. Create a unique value proposition

What is something you are passionate about and knowledgable on? What is something you wish you had that is missing or hard to get? What is something that would make your life easier? These are countless questions that have led me to come up with new business ideas. When I was pregnant, I started researching new baby products like any new mom. After reading a study about New Zealand changing mattress materials and reducing SIDS by 70 percent, I started questioning materials in all things baby-related. I found it really difficult to get straightforward answers and found that European brands generally had higher quality standards. It was hard for me to buy them, so I decided to fill this niche and bring it to other U.S. moms. Voila—value proposition!

2. Research the competition

Start with an easy place: Google. Search for similar concepts and think about how you could provide something they can’t. Don’t just stop at Google. Scour message boards, social media and your local community for similar ideas or value propositions and then write out how your idea is different.

Prior to Peurobaby, I had an idea for a half-liter wine sampling business (my other passion as a certified sommelier and former wine blogger). Turns out there are a ton of other companies doing the exact same thing. I stopped and kept thinking.

3. Create customer avatars

Write out profiles for who your customers are. Be specific with a name, age and where they live. What are their goals and values? Where do they get information? What are their challenges and pain points? This will help provide direction to you in everything from website design, wording, marketing and more. It will also be the ground truth you come back to when dealing with difficult decisions.

4. Create your own entrepreneur network

You might feel as if you don’t know any other entrepreneurs, but you can start small. I talked to a friend and her husband who started their own boutique, and a friend with her own acupuncture studio. I reached out to friends of friends and then their friends to ask about building websites, warehouses, SEO, social media campaigns and more. Some of the advice was helpful, some wasn’t—but it helped me take the first steps such as setting up an LLC and helped me ask the right questions to take the next steps.

5. Just reach out

The best way to get started is to contact experts. If you have an idea that needs to be manufactured, do a simple Google search for manufacturers producing something similar enough and schedule a call. If your idea is around a service, contact a company that does something related and see if they are interested in partnering in some way. They won’t all be helpful, but they help you formulate your questions and figure out what next steps to take. I was first super intimidated by the import process and felt overwhelmed on where to start. For a while, I stalled while researching the process. Finally, I started just getting in touch with companies I was interested in working with—many of which already knew the next steps and helped me figure it out for those who didn’t.

6. Set goals

Set long, short and medium term goals. Then set goals within those goals. I sat and wrote down my long-term vision for Peurobaby: To be the premiere destination for high-quality, non-toxic baby items. My medium and short term goals were targeting a specific number of customers and sales. Then I set weekly goals of what I needed to do that week to get to the next place. Seeing these written down created a goal-oriented to-do list.

7. Ruthlessly prioritize

You are a mom. You have a career. You need to use your time VERY wisely. Anytime you find yourself doing something for your business, immediately try to match it to a goal. If you can’t, why are you doing it? Then follow the next two pieces of advice...

8. Figure out what you are good at

Find out what you’re GREAT at, good at, terrible at and your kryptonite. Only invest your actual time in the great and maybe sometimes the good and get help for everything else. For me, research and investigating products fell into the “great” category while SEO was taking me forever to ramp up on. I invested my time and prioritized the things I was great at myself and sought resources for other things.

A post shared by Motherly (@mother.ly) on

9. Get help

Find people who are good at your weaknesses. One of the brands I was carrying introduced me to a social media expert that taught a class on the subject at Stanford. Although working with him wasn’t free, I felt the investment to learn and the investment to my business would come back 10x—and I was right!

10. Invest everything back into the business

Don’t expect to profit right away... Or even soon. I went into my business with an explicit plan of taking every penny I made and investing it back into Peurobaby through marketing, inventory of new brands, launching exclusive products, giveaways and more. This is hard because it takes patience and requires continued investment into your current career, too.

11. Leverage your local community

Get involved with local businesses that can partner with you. They may not seem obvious at first, but think about your customer avatars and where they might go. For Peurobaby, I thought about local new moms and started speaking at events at yoga studios, pop-up shops at neighborhood block parties and talking to local moms.

12. Leverage a virtual community

Think about who your customers are online. Social media is a critical tool. Find bloggers, social influencers, Facebook groups and online message boards that are talking about the problem you are trying to solve and engage in conversations with them.

13. Don’t be afraid to fail

You will make mistakes. You will probably spend a little money that you didn’t need to spend or make a wrong choice. Don’t let it stop you or get in your way, just internalize and learn from it. At first, I spent way too much money researching the import process instead of just reaching out for free information. I also hired (and later fired) a web designer to help set up my online store, when I quickly realized how easy it was to do with Shopify. These were wastes of time and resources, but I didn’t let them stop me from taking the next step.

Above all, remember, you’ve got this, mama! ?

Join Motherly

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Sometimes inspiration just strikes.

Diana, our Motherly Experts Editor, had a moment just like that. The result was magic. "I was tucking my middle guy in, and he was all toddler-perfect... lost in a sea of blankets, so cute and little, and I just had this moment of, "wow, one day he is going to be a grown up, and someone else is going to love him..." And the rest is history :)" These poignant moments of motherhood touch the heart in immeasurable ways...balh able bla

After the tears have dried, this unique story, inspired by the overflow of love in a mother's heart, stays with you for a loooong time and is bound to resonate in your heart fas long as a mother's love remains for her child, long after they've left home. That's motherly. And, that's Motherly.

"To the person who falls in love with my son" went viral.

This video, more than the sum of its parts, has provided an overall experience that has transcended its concept, writing, execution, quality of craft—and heart.

• It has been viewed 26,387,039 times.


• It has reached 58,287,532 people.


• It has garnered 2,363,086 social engagements (comments, likes, and shares).


This video elevates what is in plain sight to something timeless, universal, and memorable. Bound to live in the heart of anyone who views it, this video is destined for legend in the parenting community online. Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

page7image17852992

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our unique sense of honesty and our authentic and emotional content connect with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.




Meet Motherly.
We are a community–driven lifestyle brand redefining motherhood. Motherly occupies a unique position in the media landscape, sitting at the intersection of parenting, lifestyle and women's interests to address her entire life and connect her more fully.

At Motherly we have a voice.

We are the only positive, encouraging parenting site reaching and influencing Millennial moms when they are looking for and absorbing more information, products and services than during any other life transition. How we think, act, and express ourselves is why we have built such a strong community of mamas.

Our community engages across all platforms, at Motherly, on Instagram and on Facebook, because mamas are on the move.

Motherly supports mamas through their entire parenthood journey, delivering women-centric content that addresses her whole lifestyle through thousands of articles, images, videos and classes each month with Mom-to-mom insights, inspiration and empowerment.

Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our approach to content and how it is presented crosses all platforms for a cohesive and truly branded aesthetic that is fresh, clear and direct, always light and enlightening.

With a unique sense of honesty, our authentic and emotional content connects with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.


FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

page7image17852992

Sources: Facebook Analytics 2018


The synergy of our compelling content, pure aesthetic and fully engaged community has afforded us staggering fan growth.

In October, 2017, we doubled down on our engagement strategy to reach our community with our innovative approach to content and realized a stunning fan growth of 442% over the following twelve months.



That "something" extra...

Through our social presence—encompassing concept, creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality and interactivity—women are encouraged and have the confidence to know, "I've got this". As savvy, digital natives, Millennial mamas take Motherly everywhere for information, inspiration, and empowerment—we are the brand that helps her redefine what it means to be motherly, every day.

Vacationing with a baby isn't for the faint of heart. But while it typically means more luggage (hello, travel-friendly bassinets, clothes for all seasons, and more diapers than you can shake a boarding pass at!), it's still possible to have a fun, memorable adventure with your little ones―especially with the right equipment.

Our favorite family vacation saver? The right baby carrier, like BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air. The breathable, mesh design is perfect for a variety of climates, while the supportive construction will help you stay comfortable while you trek across your favorite destination.

One of our favorite family-friendly locales? Los Angeles. That's why we teamed up with LA mama extraordinaire Magin Birrenkott to share the best places to play in La-La Land when you have little ones in tow.

DO

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Perfect for your little dinosaur lovers, the famous Tar Pits and art museum feature something for everyone. Take the tar pit tour to learn more about excavation, or simply let the little ones run around the park to see the variety of sculptures. The museum features a Fossil Lab, atrium, and even a 3D theater to learn more. "You can have lunch and play on the grassy areas around the tar pits and fossil areas, as well as grab a coffee and stroll through the different art exhibits around the park," Birrenkott recommends.

Kidspace Children's Museum
Who says vacation can't also be educational? This incredible children's museum helps your little ones learn about everything from physics to biology―all through the power of play. Babies can face out in the Baby Carrier One so they'll have plenty to look at while staying snuggled up to you. Bigger kids will love experiencing the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Note: Several attractions feature water play, so pack a spare outfit for any kids who like to get messy.

Magin navigating a day out in LA with two little people and one free hand, thanks to the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears...and more! The LA Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world―all of which your kiddos will love to admire. The bird show and giraffe feedings are especially popular hits. "Make sure to plan the short trek to the giraffes between 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30. For $5 you get three branches and are able to feed them up close and personal!" Birrenkott says.

Move your little one to your back in the Baby Carrior One Air so they can get close to the action too. "We like to go at the very beginning since they can get full and sometimes walk away if there were too many people in front of you." After letting the kids run out their energy in the zoo, the Botanical Gardens make the perfect spot to relax and have lunch. "There's a beautiful grassy area that's quiet where you can set a blanket and enjoy the beautiful LA weather. And for us struggling tired mamas, there's a coffee shop that has the most amazing lattes and cappuccinos. Huge win."

SEE

The El Capitan Theatre

More than just a must-see on your tour of Hollywood, the El Capitan Theatre is an excellent spot for family memories. There are "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for families with younger children (AKA, no one will give you a dirty look if your kiddo wants to sing along...or just throws a tantrum mid-show), and all of the family-friendly movies feature something extra, whether it's live Disney cast members, gift bags, or extra effects like confetti. Check the website to find out what is showing during your trip.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If your kids are fans of Finding Dory, they're going to love the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. With everything from penguins to sea otters to sharks (not to mention millions of fish in every shape, size, color), there's something to catch the eye of everyone in your family. The aquarium also features seasonal festivals and events, so check the calendar during your visit to make sure you don't miss their best shows. As for your littlest family members, they'll enjoy a comfy ride through the aquarium in their carrier.

"Our weather is all over the place sometimes, but in the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air, he didn't get sweaty at all!" Birrenkott says. "Plus, after two days of activities, my back is in one piece. I can babywear him all the time now!"

Traveling Tikes
Forget something at home? Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica Boulevard is the perfect spot to scoop up any baby gear that didn't make it into your suitcase―including the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air for easier travel around town. One other store we love? KIDSLAND on Wilshire Boulevard.


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

This article is sponsored by BabyBjörn. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

If there's anything better than dressing your kids up in adorable holiday outfits, it's gotta be matching them.

We rounded up seven of our favorite looks for this season. 🎁

1. Classic Christmas for kids

Go crisp, clean, classic and Christmassy with a Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.

Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress, Feltman Brothers, $67.95

BUY

Classic Christmas made modern for mama

Match your cotton cutie in a crisp and modern shirtdress that can last you far beyond Christmas.

Kowtow Monologue Shirt Dress, Garmentory, $93.00

BUY

2. Nordic-themed sweater set

Get cozy + complimentary with black and red family sweaters that you can wear all winter long.

Oh Sno Happy Christmas Collection, Hanna Andersson, $68 - $92

BUY

3. Matchy matchy mommy

A super-affordable option for the matchy matchy mama.

Emmababy Mommy and Me Matching Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Dress + Princess Tulle Tutu Dress, $14.99

BUY

4. Mommy + me tutus

Tutus make everything, including the holidays, a bit more magical. Grab a matching set to enjoy a twirl with your girl.

Mommy and Me Tulle Tutus, Etsy, $110.00

BUY

5. The perfect plaid dress

Quick! This one is perfect, grab it fast.

Ruffle Trim Babydoll Dress for Toddler Girls, Old Navy, $20.00

BUY

Mama's plaid

Mama deserves ruffles and plaid, too.

Relaxed Plaid Twill Classic Shirt, $24.00, Old Navy

BUY

6. Best sweater set yet

Moms and sons can play match-up, too. Grab a sweater set you can return to the entire season.

Festivewear Sweater Sets, Boden, $55.00-$130.00

BUY

7. Big blue

Light up the night with Santa's sleigh and a sleek little number for mama.

Festive Big Applique Dress, Boden, $48.00

BUY

Blue for you, too

The perfect LBD (little blue dress).

Flippy Pencil Dress, Boden, $170.00

BUY

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.