Mom Leaves Behind Finance Industry Job to Create Innovative Nursing Clip

Written by SocialMedia22 Published in

Being a mom alone is already one of the toughest jobs in the world, so I admire the moms who add "mom'preneur" to the list of supermom strengths. As moms take care of their kids and face all the day-to-day parenting issues that arise, they also come up with amazing business ideas.

Melissa LaHann is a Chicago mom who was inspired to create a product that would help other moms after she struggled while nursing her newborn. Her LatchPal invention is so creative and the perfect tool to help new moms. This super mom even donates her products to moms of NICU babies, courtesy of The Little Bear Foundation.

I sat down to interview Melissa and found out all about this inspiring mom CEO.

Q: What is LatchPal?

A: LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip designed to hold up a mother’s shirt while nursing. It turns any shirt into a breastfeeding top eliminating the need to buy pricey nursing clothing that often lacks style. Not only does LatchPal eliminate shirt repositioning and feeding disruptions but it also helps a mother nurse hands-fee and in greater comfort to maximize milk flow.

Q: What inspired you to create LatchPal?

A: As a new mother, I was helplessly in love and at the same time overwhelmed by my new responsibilities as a mother. There were a lot of demands and I didn’t have enough hands, especially when it came to breastfeeding. I struggled to hold my squirmy newborn, clumsily adjust my nursing bra, and simultaneously hold up my shirt; I needed a better solution, so I created LatchPal!

Q: What else can LatchPal be used for?

A: LatchPal is a multi-use solution that can also be used as a nursing reminder clip once your baby’s belly is full; it’s also great for hands-free pumping because it holds a mom’s shirt above the flange, keeping it stain free. Once your child graduates from breastfeeding, LatchPal can be used to secure apparel during potty-training.

Q: What was your background before this business venture?

A:  I’ve always placed tremendous value on personal and professional development. I graduated from The University of Wisconsin with a BBA in Finance, achieved an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School, and ultimately enjoyed a wonderful career in the financial service industry. I had the pleasure of working for some iconic companies and great leaders who influenced my knowledge of finance, leadership, and what it takes to be successful.  

Q: What was it like to start a new business? Where did you start first?  (Design, prototype, etc.?)

A: Ironically, “starting a business” is very similar to “starting a family”. Both are immensely rewarding, require you to learn new skills, demand a lot of time, and require steadfast passion. Happy Fig began with a simple idea and an insatiable desire to bring it to fruition.  I made several prototypes by hand, with a variety of materials, used LatchPal, and reworked the design until I was satisfied.  As a product owner, it was important for me to understand the advantage of the chosen materials and assembly from start to finish.

Q: As a Chic CEO, what is your favorite quote or words to live by?

A:  I have a few:

1) Everything will take longer than you expect it to.

2) Don’t waste mental energy worrying about things you can’t control.

Q: What motivates you to succeed?

A:  My family and friends motivate, support, and inspire me. When I fall, they help me up. When I succeed, they encourage me to become better.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for other women or mom entrepreneurs trying to launch a new product?

A:  Take your time and maintain authentic relationships with people you trust and respect.

Q: What are some of your top tips for getting retailers interested in your product? 

A:  Product visibility is of the utmost importance. Participation in trade shows and social media is essential.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

A: While it’s always important to put your best foot forward, perfectionism can be a business’s worst enemy. Success often hinges on one’s ability to be agile in a quick changing environment; it’s important to tackle the task at hand, do you best, and move on.

Q: Is there any piece of business advice you would tell your past self that you are aware of now?

A: I’ve been extremely satisfied with the progression of our business, I wouldn’t do anything differently.

Q: On a more personal note, what does your family do for fun?

A: We’re an urban family; we love walking to the park, restaurants, festivals, sporting events, and exploring all the family-friendly offerings in Chicago!

Q: What can you attribute your success to as a Chic CEO?

A: There’s a lot to be said for “surrounding yourself with people who lift you higher.” None of this would’ve been possible without the support of my family, friends, and a commitment to hard work, integrity, life-long learning, and treating people with mutual kindness and respect. 

Q: What is the best part about being an inventor?

A: As a product creator, you have the unique opportunity to build emotional connections with your customers and make their lives better! It’s been extremely gratifying to receive emails from nursing mothers whose lives have been made easier with LatchPal. Little did I know that product creation would offer such an emotional return!

Q: What are the top three most important qualities that women CEOs must have in order to succeed? 

A:

1) Vision

2) Passion

3) Trusted Relationships

Q: What is your best piece of advice to others who have an idea for a new product, want to start a business or currently are launching their own business?

A: Connect with someone you respect, who’s been able to achieve what you’d like to.

Q: Where can we learn more about or buy LatchPal?

A: You can learn more about our Nursing Clip and purchase it here: www.LatchPal.com.

You can also find LatchPal at Amazon.com, Etsy.com, and local retailers. You can find a retailer near you, under the “Wholesaler” link on our website.

Q: What are your social media links?

A:

Twitter: @LatchPal

Instagram: @LatchPal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LatchPal

 

Written by Tasha Mayberry, President of Social Media 22

Tasha Mayberry is the Co-Founder and President of Social Media 22, a boutique PR and marketing firm that has worked with over 100 brands – the majority being women-owned businesses. She has helped companies grow from a ship-out-of-the-garage-type company to having its own warehouse and being sold in 4000 stores world-wide; win product awards, gain thousands of Facebook fans, continuously get mentioned on TV, in magazines and more. Tasha is also the Editor-in-Chief of Best in Baby Biz & Kids (BIBB) Magazine - a new digital platform that curates the most creative and innovative products in the baby and kids industry and featuring editorials on how these businesses were created (many stories from mom business owners).  Visit www.socialmedia22.com and www.bestinbabybiz.com for more.

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