Have a baby, start a business? Lulujo's founder on finding a new purpose at work

"There is no hump day or weekend, it’s just my life."

Have a baby, start a business? Lulujo's founder on finding a new purpose at work

Dawn Marie Pottier is the CEO and founder of lulujo – a Canadian brand that makes stylish and beautiful baby products like muslin blankets, turkish towels and wash cloths. Started when she was a new mom, Motherly talked to Dawn Marie about taking an idea to market, work-life integration and what 'motherly' means to her.

Was there a moment when you realized that you needed to start lulujo?

My first product was a sling carrier I made by hand just before going on vacation with my young family. It ended up being so helpful and necessary during that time, I thought I should make more of them for other mothers. When I returned home, I approached a local baby boutique who said they could sell it in their shop. In that instant, walking out of the store, I knew it would work and it was what I needed to do. That was how Lulujo started.


You've shared that you were inspired to start your own business while on maternity leave. What about the maternity leave time, particularly for working mothers, is so unique?

On maternity leave, you are alone a lot: middle of the night feedings, breastfeeding for hours during the day when others are off to work and school. It’s often just you and your baby. You think a lot. In Canada, we have a full year off, so I spent a lot of time thinking. I LOVED being on maternity leave – there was no noise.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Do what works for you. If you listen to yourself, usually things work out.

How has motherhood transformed your career? What’s your secret to integrating work and family?

Lulujo is not my work, it is just part of me. My children, my family, my friends, my co-workers are all intertwined with Lulujo. I never feel like I am “going to work.” There is no hump day or weekend, it’s just my life. Being a working mom, I’ve learned to multi-task very efficiently!

What keeps you inspired and excited every day?

It is all of the people who work with me. Starting your own business can be very lonely. I spent the first couple of years basically working alone, thinking full-time about the business, and just staying focused. It seems like at the exact time I needed help and could barely handle another moment working alone or in my head, this incredible group of people formed around me. The Lulujo team is made up of hard working, authentic, real people and they inspire me.

How do you come up with ideas for products and fabrics? Are they based on your own experiences?

I listen with my eyes and ears. Sometimes it is based on something I feel is beautiful or, like one of our prints, it could be inspired by a drawing my daughter made for me. There are several different people within Lulujo who have strong opinions and great ideas. I generally look to all of them, gather their opinions, listen, and then go from there.

What are your big dreams for lulujo?

I’m so fortunate to say, my big dreams for Lulujo have came true. Getting to the starting line is when the foundation has been built. Now that the foundation is solid, I believe as long as we stay focused, listen, and work as a tight team, we can do anything.

Who is your #momcrush?

I don’t have one – I crush on #allmoms

What does “Motherly” mean to you?

Motherly means compassionate, caring, and kind. Creating an environment for your children that makes them feel safe, protected, loved and allows kids to be kids. When your children know you are there for them no matter what, that is motherly.

This interview with Dawn Marie Pottier is part of the #MotherlyMakers series, featuring the women remaking our world.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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