Previously this year, we took a seat with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc., a fellow B Corporation and women-owned business committed to changing the culture of breastfeeding. Over the previous several years, Sascha and her co-founder Christine Dodson have actually built a successful, mission-driven company that promotes for and empowers females in society and in the work environment, and we are so honored to have had the chance to chat with Sascha as part of this interview series. Check out our discussion listed below:
KSV: Tell us a bit about your background, especially prior to co-founding Mamava. How do you feel that your pre-Mamava work experience prepared you for where you are now?
Sascha: Sure. I think theres a bit of a convergence in my background story in between excellent policy and style, because my really first task out of school was really working for Bernie Sanders in his congressional workplace. I was working for him really at the ground floor, responding to phones, doing some PR assistance, taking a trip the state. I discovered a lot from that experience around the significance of policy that really influences individualss lives..
After some time there, I got a task at JDK Design (now called Solidarity of Unbridled Labour), and type of worked my method into what was at that time an emerging field around brand method … So those two things kind of assembled to Mamava, because it was about using style to fix a real world issue. My co-founder Christine Dodson and I were lucky enough to be able to be entrepreneurs in the design studio, as we were thinking about Mamava and establishing the brand first and then gradually validating that we could produce an item that would solve a specific problem. When it came time for us to kind of head out on our own, we had such a strong running start with the background at the studio and the connections we made and much more so in that practice of brand technique..
KSV: At that minute when you and Christine decided to go out by yourself together, did you discover that you were navigating any kind of worry? Or existed outright conviction, like “this is the ideal thing for us to do and like now is the perfect time?”.
Sascha: We were really working on it for rather a very long time however when you breed these ideas while working within another organization that has client work, it sort of gets focused on when theres time. There might have been literally months and months that passed where we didnt do anything on Mamava and then, we d get a little bit of a break and put some energy behind it. At the time, there was legislation (The Fair Labor Standards Act) that was starting to appear that made business case for having spaces committed for lactation.
Whichs when this little idea sort of became, “Oh, we have an organization here that we believe that we could actually get funding for, and its not simply the best thing and an excellent idea to do, its really something that could fix an issue that individuals truly need and are going to be prepared to buy.”.
KSV: When Mamava first started, what services and products were you providing and how has that progressed?.
Sascha: It basically was a lactation pod prototype in the Burlington International Airport. And we put it in on a handshake due to the fact that we understood the director and we understood that there was a requirement there due to the fact that we were continuously taking a trip in and out of there for our organization with the style studio. That was it for a while, however we did realize pretty quickly that we wished to show scale for the idea and likewise allow mothers to find our units..
We came up with the Mamava App pretty not long after, and we understood that in order to show scale, we wanted to put other public lactation areas on it. There was sort of a double purpose of engaging the mom audience to participate in what we were doing and crowdsourcing other places..
What emerged extremely rapidly is that these rooms were needed anywhere mamas work or go, which is all over … We have systems in airplane hangers, and we have them in huge storage facility circulation. We required systems that were wheelchair available. We required units that had a smaller sized footprint that would really only be used for pumping and not a location where you d have a child and a stroller and you d really be breastfeeding.
And then we required to progress the app to kind of help us to manage gain access to. It became not just about mamas looking for, ranking their experience and finding lactation spaces, today we have innovation in the lactation systems that mothers can access by means of the app..
KSV: What was the greatest challenge that Mamava had to get rid of when developing the brand name and its worth to both moms and commercial consumers?.
Sascha: In the start there was a ton of education essential (especially for business clients). Because we had actually lived it ourselves, I think it worked to our advantage. And to be sincere with you, I believe Christine and I felt surprised that no one else had actually solved this problem prior to us..
There was likewise some education on our end around discussing the distinction between breastfeeding and pumping, and likewise not desiring anybody to seem like we were all about hiding this thing (lactation). It was about actually celebrating it and offering moms a choice. That was the biggest difficulty in the start..
KSV: Mamava has constantly been a strong supporter on the legal level for working mommies, but did you find that the pandemic has reinforced that level of advocacy? Do you discover that you are working with partners and stakeholders to help speed up a few of the (social or legislative) modifications to make life simpler for working mothers?
Sascha: Yeah. And its again, striking while the iron is hot and type of just turning that up. We have a collaborative collaboration with Medela, a breast pump company, and a program called New Moms Healthy Returns. And were being more front-footed about our outreach to policymakers because capacity and also in the business community. And then Christine is a board member of Lets Grow Kids and Im a board member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Once again, attempting to utilize the momentum we have, because – specifically in light of the pandemic – the requirement is so apparent.
KSV: Speaking of COVID-19, with all that has happened as an outcome, and with the manner in which running a service and simply service method in general has changed, what do you think success looks like in the next a number of years?
Sascha: I believe that success looks like more equity for all people and particularly females in the workplace, through both policies and just a rebalancing of what it indicates to work outside your house..
I think that success will be equity across the board, for whatever sort of parenting you do … and Im positive … I think that our business will continue to scale up as the economy recovers and ideally itll just be stabilized that you need to have adequate lactation accommodations because females are truly important. And without moms and dads, there is no economy and future.
Thank you so much, Sascha! You can find out more about Mamava, and the essential services and support theyre attending to mothers everywhere, here.
Previously this year, we sat down with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc., a fellow B Corporation and women-owned business dedicated to changing the culture of breastfeeding. Over the previous numerous years, Sascha and her co-founder Christine Dodson have constructed an effective, mission-driven company that promotes for and empowers ladies in society and in the workplace, and we are so honored to have had the opportunity to chat with Sascha as part of this interview series. Sascha: Sure. Sascha: It generally was a lactation pod model in the Burlington International Airport. Sascha: In the start there was a heap of education necessary (specifically for industrial consumers).