Edit to add as of 1/2020 – no longer in business
Last week two of our three writers had the opportunity to interview fellow military spouse and totally inspiring #momboss Lauren Lewis who built her own product and business from the ground up: Pure Pregnancy cookies. The cookies are a fiber-rich lemon treat that packs the punch of a full dose of Metamucil in every delicious serving. Anyone who has experienced the dual struggle of constipation and morning sickness can agree that a subtly delicious cookie that helps keep pregnancy more comfortable cannot get into out Amazon cart fast enough. They also tick a lot of boxes for discerning Moms: they are gluten free, GMO free, Vegan, Kosher, and low-sugar. Also we tried them and they are good. They are not overly sweet and a satisfyingly lemony.
Through her own experience Lauren saw a need in the market for pregnant women and was driven to fill void. She wanted to make a product that she herself wanted to have available. She formulated her own recipe, found suppliers, manufacturers, designed her own packaging, and navigated the ins and outs of selling on retail giant Amazon.
With lots of research, drive, and tenacity she had her cookies transformed from pipe dream to Amazon Prime within a year. A year! She told us that was a long time to wait but anyone who has tried to buy groceries with a toddler in tow can agree that accomplishing anything while raising a young family is challenging! So rolling out your own product for sale when you are a one woman business and occupy every position in the C-suite while managing parenthood sounds like Victory. We applaud you, Lauren. You are a military spouse that truly inspires us.
Below are some of Lauren’s responses to our many questions in her own words! Scroll to the end for a discount code on your first purchase of Pure Pregnancy cookies! Try them yourself, a baby shower, or maybe even a friend or spouse who isn’t pregnant but could use a delicious kickstart to their gastrointestinal motility 😀
Tell us about yourself:
My background is television. While my husband was stationed around the U.S., I was fortunate enough to move up the ladder in the tv news world. I ended up landing a dream job as a network producer when we lived in D.C. But, tv is a demanding career, and I was often away from my kids and family. I decided to leave the industry to be able to spend more time with my family. At the time it was such a tough decision, but if I hadn’t left television, I wouldn’t have started my own company.
Tell us about your timetable
When I was pregnant with my second son, I had such bad symptoms. I was both nauseous, and having digestive issues (common pregnancy symptoms) and I found no relief. I was nauseous and couldn’t stomach Metamucil, a commonly prescribed supplement to help digestive issues. I became frustrated with the lack of food options for pregnancy women, to take during pregnancy, that were both healthy and delicious, while also helping alleviate symptoms. So, I decided to create my own products. The company took me a year to build from the ground up.
What was you greatest challenge to setting up you business?
Building a company, especially a food company, takes time. This was my greatest challenge, because I wanted my products overnight. In my mind I knew exactly what I wanted, but there are a lot of steps to creating products. Especially for Pure Pregnancy, because I only allow the best ingredients to go into my products.
What is your long term plan?
We have new flavors and products that will be rolling out, and I hope to continue to grow and help pregnant women everywhere. It really is a joy to hear back from clients, and be told that my product helped them feel better during pregnancy. This is what I originally set out to do.
How do I balance working and being a mother?
Being a mother in general is tough, whether you stay at home or work. Right now I feel fortunate to be able to work from home, it allows me to see my kids more. The key to working from home with kids is being okay when things don’t go according to plan. I run a business for moms, while having a baby at home… so sometimes I’m going to have a screaming kid in the background when I’m on a conference call.
Who is your favorite #momboss inspiration:
Hands down, Jessica Alba. I think it’s so inspirational that she left her career in television, and started a completely new venture. I love that she’s focused on kids and families.
What is your favorite perk of military life:
Military life can be tough. All the goodbyes, time apart and constant changes. But, I will say, I love the fact that our family has been able to live in some of the top tourist destinations in the country. Exploring new parts of the U.S. has been amazing, and it’s not something everyone gets to do.
Do you have tips for other moms looking to start a business?
Come up with a business plan. Find mentors in the industry that you’re wanting to enter. Find funding, whether that be savings, friends and family, kickstarter campaign, grants for military spouses, etc. If it’s a product- come up with a prototype. Then find a manufacturer. These would be the first beginning steps for prospective business owners!