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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?)
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.