Where Motherhood and Inspiration Meet

When I became a mom, my professional priorities started to shift. My son Wolf was born in 2011 and when I heard from his preschool teacher that he may have sensory issues, I wanted to figure out what I could be doing at home to give him the tools (and toys) that would help him in situations that may be overwhelming. What I found in the market was completely depressing not to mention that it didn’t serve his needs. 

At the same time, many of my friends, colleagues and other parents at Wolf’s school were sharing stories about their kids and the challenges they were facing – from delays in social and emotional development to autism, anxiety,  ADHD, and sensory processing issues.

As a longtime editor, I wondered how the shopping experience could be more helpful, informative and “cool,” especially for parents whose kids may need some extra support. The market only served parents of typically developing children or children with learning differences and special needs—not both. I wondered what I could do in the kid’s space that was design-minded, inclusive, and compassionate. 

So, I brought together my editorial background with my passion for parenting and began curating products that are sold on therapy sites alongside items found in mainstream, upscale, and independent retailers. Each product is vetted by our team of parents, kids, childhood development and special needs experts and can be used as learning tools to support a child’s overall development. For example, we will feature modern indoor swings that look great in a play space or bedroom, but we will explain the benefits of the swing for typically developing kids as well as for children that need this kind of movement for their therapy. And when we suggest why a dollhouse makes a perfect gift, we explain how to play with them to enhance your child’s speech and language development, social /emotional development and academic skills.

I also reached out to my friends (and former colleagues) Gena and Billy Mann who were living in a neighboring town. They had been my go-to’s over the years when friends’ kids were diagnosed with challenges since they had lots of experience raising a son with autism. When I showed them what I was working on, they immediately wanted to get involved. Gena’s background as a photo editor (we worked together at Cosmogirl! after stints at Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine) and her hands-on experience and perspective in the special needs world, made her input essential. 

 

We knew we could fill this important void in the parenting space together—and in the fall of 2016, we started working on the site full-time. The challenges we faced in motherhood drove us to become entrepreneurs. Not only did we follow our passion for starting a business we believe in deeply but we also push ourselves outside of our comfort zone to utilize, develop and learn skills vastly different from the career paths we once pursued. We learn something new about our kids (or our friends’ kids) every day that we try to translate into story ideas to help our audience. Our goal is for parents to have a place to shop that makes them feel understood and inspired and excited about all the cool things we’ve curated to support the development of their one-of-a-kind children.

Our biggest lesson has been that if you are truly passionate about something, you can make it happen. You will find the time, no matter how stretched you think you already are. It’s also more work than any job you’ll have, but it’s so personally fulfilling to create something of your own.

Between us, we have a focus group of boys and girls from ages 2.5 to 14. For example, Gena’s daughter Lulu, age 9, wrote a beautiful essay for the site about having a brother with autism and how it makes her feel, and it has been the most successful story to date. Our kids are a constant source of inspiration. As they develop, learn new things and express themselves more clearly, we do too.

SOURCE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/break-the-future/2017/05/12/where-motherhood-and-inspiration-meet/#2c7ce1003505

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