WHOA MAMA! Meet the Moms behind Mama Lana Box

What does a pregnant woman crave more than a dozen red velvet cupcakes? To be pampered. Meet Mama Lana, the latest in monthly subscription boxes specifically for moms-to-be. Here we chat with Anna and Lauren about their philosophy and passion for supporting fellow mompreneurs.

Meet Anna and Lauren, Co-Founders of Mama Lana

Q: What sparked the idea of Mama Lana Box?
A: Lauren: Over the holidays last year, we were sitting together around the breakfast table in Carpinteria, California, talking about our dreams.  Anna had been trained as doula (a birth coach) and wanted a way to share her expertise and passion for pregnancy with mamas that were too far away for her to personally visit.  I’m in business school – and at that point, I’d fallen in love with small, entrepreneurial, women-owned businesses, and hoped to learn how to support them.

Anna: As we gabbed, there must have been magic in the air along with the smells of cinnamon buns — because we came up with Mama Lana!

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Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced when developing Mama Lana?
A: Anna: One major challenge is creating a box that reflects the individual and diverse experience of each expecting mama.  Because each pregnancy is different, not all mamas-to-be need the same products.  However, there are some similarities: all mamas want to feel loved and inspired not only for the good work that they are doing (growing a whole new human life!), but also for the incredible transformation that they are undergoing, as a person.  All mamas also deserve touches of luxury and extravagance — pregnancy is not for sissies!  We have curated our boxes to reflect these shared experiences.

Lauren: A second major challenge is that pregnancy is so personal, and there are many different philosophies and beliefs about it.  Expecting mamas and their partners are very passionate about their pregnancy beliefs!  It is essential to us that our boxes respect all of the choices that the mamas and their partners have decided is best for them and their baby.

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Q: What are the guidelines you follow when choosing products to include?
A: Lauren: First, our products must be top notch. We never settle for second-best.  Our boxes are not paid advertisements or filled with teensy samples.  Our Council of Experts, led by Anna, carefully choose the highest quality, most luscious product for our mamas, formulated for that month of pregnancy.

Anna: We also want to make sure that our products are good for the world, as well as the mama.  After all, we want to make sure that the world is in great shape for the new babies coming into it!  We look for skin care products that are organic, natural, and responsible, such as Bella B.  We also love products that give back — especially to other mamas, such as Global Girlfriends. We also donate a percentage of each box to Madre, a nonprofit that advances women’s human rights internationally. We believe that when you help mothers, you help the world!

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Q: Who are your dream clients?
A: Anna: Any pregnant mama out there! We have worked hard to create a well-rounded box that we hope appeals to all tastes. Our boxes nourish and celebrate the “whole pregnant woman”, and we pride ourselves on the fact that we are not tailored to a certain “type” of mama-to-be. Pregnancy is a transformational time, and it unifies all women who go through it. Our boxes are meant to honor every journey, and honor every woman walking the path of pregnancy.

Lauren: Totally agree there. We also love the idea of others celebrating mama – and have found that all sorts of folks love gifting our boxes to pregnant women. Whether it’s the mama-to-be’s partner, sibling, mother, auntie, best friend, work acquaintance, or grandparent, we’ve seen it all. This box is designed to be a rockin’ gift from anyone to a pregnant woman/new mama.

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Q: Do you try and support fellow momprenuers? If so, what have been you favorite products and why?
A: Lauren: We love momprenuers!  Given a choice, we will choose mompreneurs over any other.  We think that mamas are the smartest, most innovative people around, and one of the great joys of building Mama Lana has been meeting all these amazing companies run by mamas.  Additionally, no one understands the needs of our pregnant mamas-to-be like mamas themselves.  For example, we love Knocked Up Nails, the brainchild of “The Funtrepreneur” Ashley Judge, because only a mama who had experienced the joys — and the less-than-joys — of pregnancy would be able to create such slyly clever names for preggo nail polish colors.  Vosges Haut-Chocolat brings a sense of style and elegance to their sweets, inspired by the founder’s creative experiences as a mama.

Anna: Lauren is spot on – mompreneurs are the best! I’d also add that mamas often have wisdom that has been passed down through generations of previous mamas, such as Raegan Moya-Jones, the founder of Aden + Anais. When Raegan shared traditions of swaddling babies in pure cotton muslin, originally from her native Australia, she gave us all beautiful cloth for our babies. And Solmate Socks was named after the founder’s mom, Sunny, who taught the founder how to knit when she was nine years old. Women’s wisdom is timeless, and mompreneurs have a beautiful way of harnessing that and sharing it with the world. At our core, we think mamas are so inspirational! (Can you tell we’re excited?)

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Q: What are a few pregnancy products you couldn’t live without?
A: Lauren: Well, I guess the cat’s out of the bag! My husband, Will, and I were blessed with a new pregnancy just about the same time that Anna and I were starting off with Mama Lana.  As the business grows, so does my belly!  I’m currently in my second trimester, feeling a lot better and amazed at how my belly grows every day (it seems like)! So hmmm…products…(1) In the first trimester, I was pretty sick — so I ate a lot of Preggie Pops.  A LOT of them.  Sometimes they were the only things that got me through meetings in law school. (2) Nowadays, since my belly is stretching, I really love Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Natural Stretch Oil.  It feels amazing against my stretching skin and helps to moisturize without leaving a strong scent (my nose is still pretty vocal these days). (3) Throughout my pregnancy, I have always drawn strength from Anna’s Blissful Birth Cards, which are enclosed in every box.  I love Anna for so many reasons, but even if she weren’t my sister, I would still get so much inspiration from the coaching, support, and love written into every card.  These days, my favorite card is probably the Turtle: “Slow and Steady” is the mama mantra.  Sometimes I feel like nine months lasts forever.  Anna’s Turtle card helps me remember that I’m doing good work, even if it feels like it’s taking a long time.

Anna: Can you believe I’m going to be an auntie? Lauren is just rocking it right now…growing a business and a baby FROM SCRATCH. Love you sis! OK – I’m a doula, so I love lots and lots of pregnancy products. But from my personal experience with my two pregnancies, a few stick out for sure! (1) BellyBars. I was so, so sick. I just felt like I had a perpetual stomach flu for three months. BellyBars were seriously some of the only things I could keep down. And I felt so happy knowing that I was getting some excellent nutrients for me and baby.  (2) Zutano hats. You know the ones – those incredibly soft ones with the little bear ears? Seriously, during my pregnancy I became a swooning softy at anything baby-adorbs, and Zutano’s infant hats topped them all. Seeing the teeny size of the hat made my baby seem more real to me – picturing his/her little noggin hanging out. And also, dressing up my child like a cute little animal was one of my main reasons for making babies. (3) Mother’s Special Blend Soap. Thank GOODNESS for this stuff. My skin was so sensitive, so itchy, and so prone to breakouts. Ugh. This soap smelled divine, and calmed and smoothed my skin. Sigh of relief.  (4) Purple Leaves Red Cherries. Seriously, this book is incredible. I recommend it it all of my doula clients. Once I had my babies, this was my go-to book for reflection and inspiration.

One Mama Lana Box is $59 and the full box service for all nine months of pregnancy is $459. Please visit Mama Lana for more information.

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GROOVY GIFTS FOR THE MOM TO BE

What do pregnant women want for Christmas? GLAMOUR! With the basketball bulge of a belly, a great holiday gift is something that injects maternity moxie to that nine month fashion challenge called “pregnancy.”  My BUMP IT UP gift guide is filled with stylish gear designed to make her look and feel great.     

1. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio

2. Spanx Power Mama Tights

3. Belli Pregnancy: Complexion Perfection Duo

4. Destination Maternity: Storksak Jools Diaper Bag

5. Kara Ross Drusy Resin Cuff

6. Ingrid & Isabel BellaBand

7. Hatch by Two Birds Wrap Dress

8. Mr. & Mrs: Labor & Delivery Survival Kit

9. Mama Mio Beat the Heat Bump It Up Pregnancy Style Kit

 

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MOMMY SWAP MEET

Why invest your hard earned cash in junior when you can swap?

Here’s what you do: Create a mommy swap meet. Call 8-10 new moms. Instruct them to bring ten new or “gently used” items in the following categories: clothing (no puke stains, please) toys, books, videos, dvds, carrying contraptions, sleepwear (including bedding)  feeding devices (these must be unused) and other useful baby and/or toddler paraphernalia. Break out the vino and  get swapping. Each mom gets to go through the line in accordance with how many items you bring. A festive lunch will follow. YOUR money is invested in a shiny, new bauble. As it should be.

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Some out of the box gift ideas for mom’s day

Speaking On behalf of groovy moms everywhere—we have worked hard all year and now it is time for family members to prove your devotion to us. No hint—no get…

VOSGES/BUMP IT UP : FOR THE PLUCKY PREGGO IN YOUR LIFE

Amy Tara Koch, Bump it Up and Vosges Chocolat

I teamed up with Chicago’s most famous chocolatier Katrina Markoff to create Mama’s Chocolat Gift Tower, a chocolate kit based on pregnancy cravings: spicy, fruity, savory.cheesy—it has it all. Style advice and a stash of the perfect chocolates

MORE CUPCAKES: A QUIRKY BREAKFAST IN BED

Cupcakes? For breakfast? Deconstruction is the name of foodie Patty Rothman’s game and she is a master at profiling intense flavors and Willy-Wonkifying them into savory cupcakes that skew more entrée than dessert. For Mom’s day she offers Breakfast in Bed squeezed into a delicious cupcake: Bacon/Maple, Cappuccino, Cinnamon roll, Passion. National delivery available!

MOM COUPONS

CHEAP & CHIC way to prove your love—free coupons good for room cleaning, breakfast in bed, dish washing, hugs and more!

GROOVY ACCESSORY: Sequin NYC Enamel Cuff Bracelet

Sequin NYC Enamel Cuffs

Peek at magazines and shops and it is easy to see that tis the season of the accessory. What’s hot? Attention grabbing cuffs that add a dash of flash to basic ensembles.

FULLY LOADED iPAD2 or iPOD TOUCH: W/ Stress Relieving Apps For Moms

Yoga App

Apps designed to make mom’s life less chaotic
myMeditation, $2.99
Yoga STRETCH, 99 cents
Grocery Gadget, $4.99
Red Laser, Free

WAIST WHITTLING SWIMSUIT: Miracle Body Swimsuit

MIRACLESUIT flamenco_red

There is an inimitable dread every mom feels about swimsuit shopping. Take the anxiety out of mom’s summer by proffering her a stylish suit designed with slimming and shaping technology to make her look 10 pounds thinner!

MAKE UP PALETTES: Bronzer? Check. Illuminating powder? Check. Gel liner? Berry stain lip glosses a plenty? Check.

smashbox mega palette

Get your glam on with this all-in-one kits used by red carpet fashionistas

STILA E! Red Carpet—Stunning Starlet, $25 /Glamour Goddess, $25

SMASHBOX Mega Palette, $59

THE PERFECT, GOES-WITH-EVERYTHING, BOYFRIEND CARDIGAN

Isabella Oliver Boyfriend Cardigan

The nautical sweater is the knit du jour for spring/summer. The length of this Isabella Oliver version makes it supremely versatile and  perfect for leggings, shorts, jeans or a dress
Isabella Oliver Breton Boyfriend Cardigan, $139

GET HER GLOW ON

The pure, anti-inflammatory ingredients in BELLI products exfoliate and keep skin uber hydrated.
Belli Head-to-toe Essential Kit, $100

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Huffington Post: Gifts to Delight the Most Hormonally Challenged Mom/Mom-To-Be

Check out the full story at The Huffington Post

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LE QUIRK C’EST CHIC!

Now that you’ve got the real gifts, invest in some quirky products for your friends and family!

 

Self-Inking WTF Stamper (WHAT THE F**K?), $10
The gift of self expression.

 

Knock Knock Pads (Best-Of Bundle), $19
Why have pedestrian post its when you can have humor!  Incite a chortle from the person you are about to enlist for help with these hilarious essentials.

 

Jonathan Adler Prozac Vase, $80
A humorous canister is a thing of greatness. This is the perfect home for MOMMY’S LITTLE HELPERs. Or,  q-tips.

 

Customized TISSUES by Kleenex, $5
Email a  picture of your husband, friend, etc, Makes getting a cold almost fun! LOVE THIS!!!! CUSTOMIZED SNOT RAG!!!

 

Wacky Bacon Bandages, $9
Funkify your boo-boo with bacon bandages.

 

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Gift Guide, Part 1: Beauty Babe

BumpitupGiftGuide-BeautyBabe

1. MAMA MIO mini kit, $37

Purists like moi (love the pun!) love Mama Mio’s luxe, omega filled skin care. An added bonus is the fact that there are no synthetic colors, parebens or irritating petrochemicals lurking so the products are safe for pregnancy and beyond. The kit offer a mini boob tube, Omega Shower cream, Omega Body Cream, Omega Balm, a candle and Tummy Rub Oil

2. Arcona, Four Your Eyes Only Kit, $85

Want to bid adieu to crows feet? Brighten exhausted eyes?  Arcona’s 4 piece kit targets wrinkles with cosmeceutical-grade ingredients, such as enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids which protect and deeply hydrate problem areas.

3. QVC, Smashbox Studio To Go Limited Edition Mega Palette, $59

Bronzer? Check. Illuminating powder? Check. Gel liner? Berry stain lip glosses a plenty? Check. Get your glam on with this all-in-onekit from Hollywood hotshot beauty brand Smashbox

4. BLISS Spa at Home Oxygen Blast , $84

Want to tap into some just-been to-South Beach radiance? The secret ingredient to glowing skin is oxygen. Bliss has taken its bestselling in-spa treatment and worked it into a kit for home use. $84

5. The Body Deli: Body Kit Set #1, $72

I despise beauty products that smell like a revolting marriage of bug repellant and GLADE. So, the fresh smelling THE BODY DELI, beauty products inspired by “living foods”, was right up my alley. The products incorporate raw, fresh, natural and organic ingredients, like organic yogurt, amino acids, fresh fruit and vegetables, and all-natural plant oils. All of the products are handmade in small batches and are so pure that pregnant women can enjoy them too.

STOCKING STUFFERS:

6. Soap and Paper Factory Perfume Solids, $18

Channel the tropics with this divinely fragrant perfume solids in lavendar, verbena, orange and more

7. MINIMERGENCY Kit for Her, $12

Designed for women by women, I love MS. & MRS’ stash of 16 emergency essentials (from breath mints and dental floss to earring backs) in a chic (can double as coin purse) gold metallic case.

8. Tide To Go, $5

A simple solution fo rlife’s unexpected spills

9. Jemma Kidd air kiss lipgloss duo, $9.99

Proffer a perfect pout with this natural looking duo of glosses

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GIFTS TO DELIGHT THE MOST HORMONALLY CHALLENGED MOM TO BE


PREGNANCY GIFT SET+ BUMP IT UP: TRANFORM YOUR PREGNANCY INTO THE ULTIMATE STYLE STATEMENT

MAMA MIO Bump it Up Pregnancy Style Kit, $60

The perfect bundle for you and your bundle to be: MAMA MIO + pregnancy style bible BUMP IT UP will keep you looking and feeling great during pregnancy. Pregnancy specific skincare products go that extra mile to ensure that products are free from all things toxic.

Get Waisted
Moody Mamas leather crossover belt $28
This genius strip of leather offers the gift of proportion. Designed to help the preggo recreate the semblance of a waist, the Velcro allows for belting above or below the belly

Prep Work
Ms & Mrs Labor & Delivery SURVIVAL KIT
A witty childbirth toolbox brimming with essentials like stopwatch, pre-paid calling card, lip balm and disposable camera


Haute Stuff
HOTmilk Lingerie HER TANGLED WEB, $16 brief, ¾ cup nursing bra $33
“Pregnant” and “sexpot” are two words that are not co-mingled. That is, until you meet Zew Zealand  brand HOTmilk Lingerie. Combining support and sensuality, the brand offers alluring innerwear (bras are nursing bras) that taps into your inner minx
 


Mood Swing
Can’t sleep? Pissed at your hubby for the most minor infraction? Turn that moody frown upside down with KNOCK KNOCK’s hilarious spin on functional items

I CANT SLEEP JOURNAL
• THINGS YOU MUST DO TO MAKE ME HAPPY pad


Rosie Pope Madison Weekend Diaper Bag, $198
Between the spills, the puke and all around schlep factor, diaper bags take a beating. High style meets high function with Rosie Pope’s lightweight nubuck and leather Diaper Bag. The classically sporty bag (that can double as tote) comes with stroller straps, changing pad and washable lining. Make it an extra special gift by stuffing it with mommy must haves like Tide to GO, Pampers, and a makeup mini.


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BUMP IT UP Holiday Survival Kit for Moms-To-Be Giveaway–Ends Dec.16!

Giveaway is now closed! Check out my red hot giveaway: THE BUMP IT UP HOLIDAY SURVIVAL KIT FOR MOMS TO BE, VALUED AT  $306.

– ends Dec. 16 at Midnight

Sure, socks and gloves are nice. But, what does a mom to be  really want? Stuff to make her feel glam inside and out.
Amy Tara Koch Style Expert is offering one lucky pregnant woman the ultimate gift of primping and pampering.

Giveaway includes:

Signed Copy of Bump It Up, $18

PISH POSH Diaper Bag Organizer $40

Mama Mio OMega Body Oil, $35

Tide To Go Mini, $6.99

Belli Stretchmark Minimizing Cream, $49

Olay Regenerist Cream Cleanser, $6.85

Tasty Baby Organic Fruit Gummies, $2.99(Great for cravings! No fat, artificial colors or corn syrup!)

Invisibump by Invisibelt, $20

AHAVA Purifying Mud Soap, $8.50

Assets Marvelous Mama Maternity Tights, $18 (with zero compression)

HOT MILK Lingerie Sexy Boy Shorts and Top, $62.50 (can be used for nursing too!)

LAVANILA healthy kiss gift set, $35

To enter, leave a comment on my facebook page, Amy Tara Koch Style Expert (not under this post) saying why you,  pregnant buddy or family member deserves this! You may enter once a day until Dec 16.

For extra entries:
1. Like Amy Tara Koch Style Expert on Facebook
2. Tweet this message: Hope I win the Bump It Up Holiday Survival Mom to Be Kit Giveaway @amytarakoch #giveaway #contest #pregnancy PZ RT. Then leave a comment on my facebook page (Amy Tara Koch Style Expert), under the giveaway, telling me you did this.
3. Post the link to this contest (here’s the link) on your blog (and then leave a comment on my facebook page (Amy Tara Koch Style Expert) under the giveaway post with your link)
4. Sign up for my newsletter (it’s cool, I promise you). Link to sign up is here. Then leave a comment on my facebook page (Amy Tara Koch Style Expert), under the giveaway, telling me you did this.

Giveaway ends at midnight EST  on 12/16/2010. You must be a US Resident, residing in one of the 48 contiguous states. Amy Tara Koch reserves the right to pick the winner.

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