Mama Shaker: Tash, from Coastermatic to Corporate Life

For first-time mom Tash, the birth of her son seemed like the right time to pass the torch to another mompreneur-in-the-making. Within days of welcoming his arrival, Tash signed over her other “baby” Coastermatic to its new owner Megan, and began settling into her next chapter.

“With Remi coming, it was becoming clear that I needed to move on from Coastermatic and let it go,” she says.

Timing was everything, as she had been working on projects with Megan, a mom of two “bitten by the entrepreneurial bug” who “already knows the business intimately and loves it.”

“It’s really exciting that something I made can give someone that opportunity, and that I can pass this thing on, that I loved really dearly, to somebody who’s really excited about it, and can use it to expand her skillset and grow,” Tash says.

Transitions have been a way of life for Tash since she left grad school where Coastermatic was incubated with a friend, and became a product designer at a large tech company two years ago.

“At this stage in my career it’s a really good fit and a good spot. It’s really nice to have maternity leave and health insurance,” she adds.

Tash has found the lessons she learned from running her own business and “thinking about everything that goes into making a product and bringing it to market” to be “hugely beneficial” working in the tech world.

“I have much greater empathy for all the other people I work with, and understanding the roles that they have and their responsibilities,” she says.

Tash believes “going back to into a corporate workplace with a more holistic toolset” makes her better at her job, and wouldn’t have happened without the experience she developed in grad school and while running her own business.

Transitioning into Motherhood

As for motherhood, Tash has eased into it with the same pragmatism she applied in her evolution from entrepreneurship to corporate life.

“I’d heard from friends that there’s not a lot of getting things done once the baby comes,” she says. “That was helpful to hear since I’m definitely a to-do list person. It’s been kind of nice to take the pressure off and not worry about all the things that need to get done.”

While Tash admits it took a few weeks to “relax into it,” she now feels like she and Remi are “getting into a groove.”

“Sleeping would be good,” she adds.

Whether she’s being peppered with questions from inquiring friends considering their own journey into parenthood, or speaking to aspiring entrepreneurs, her insights could easily apply to both.

“We didn’t know answers to any of these questions the day before he was born,” she says.

Fortunately for Tash, her start-up experience is coming in handy in more ways than one.

Why Breaking All the Rules is Best for the Moment

While I’ve become accustomed to my weekend ritual of writing about a Mama Maker or Mama Shaker during nap time, this was one of those weekends where life had other plans — in the best way possible.

Life with our 2.5 year old is giving us the full colors of the rainbow. One minute he’s falling into a puddle of tears and resistance, the next he’s all hugs and I love you’s. It is both the hardest time and the most wonderful time, all in one.

I started the weekend with full determination to psych myself up for potty training. But after reading one book that felt like too much pressure, and another that felt just right, we carved out our own little rhythm.

After a little bit of potty talk over coffee and lego videos, we continued on with our Saturday morning music class, complete with full drum set encore, and walk to the grocery store afterwards. Inside, the ordinary became the extraordinary in the eyes of my fire truck-loving toddler.

We spotted three “real life firefighters” who my son admired from a couple of feet away. They pointed out that his yellow rain boots were the same color as their truck outside, and he lit up with anticipation. Afterwards, one of the firefighters chased after us to hand my son a sticker. Day officially made.

The rest of the day consisted of mutual naps, lots of potty “reminders,” bribery, and hovering near tile and hardwood. My germaphobe self had to confront the realities of a very natural thing in the eyes of a curious toddler. We put in a few good hours of practice, and then ultimately gave ourselves “the night off,” breaking all the rules of potty training books.

Dinner out as the three of us felt extra special, even though it ran a lot later than we intended. Seeing your toddler through the eyes of admiring strangers saying how well behaved he is definitely made us feel like there’s light at the end of this very tiring tunnel.

Mac & cheese, french fries and cheeseburgers never tasted so good after 8 p.m. We were treated to our own live performance on the ride home, as my son sang B-I-N-G-O and Itsy Bitsy Spider at an hour that would normally be reserved for bedtime.

My third trimester’s sleep was not surprisingly interrupted and I lay awake thinking about the logistics of the road ahead with our new baby. It feels like his older brother is well aware of his impending independence by putting on his own pants for the first time or climbing up on a step stool to help himself to a banana.

Our little firecracker continued on with his showering of affection and big boy behavior at my parents’ house, and told us all how he loved us over his second or third peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the day.

I felt pampered myself by resting my growing belly while listening to inspiring sound bites from a future Mama Shaker, getting a surprise Facetime call from my college besties and their babies, followed by a sunny patio visit with two of my longest-running local girlfriends.

The weekend wrapped with a quick walk with my overly fluffy labradoodle in pre-sunset light, more hugs from my energetic toddler for myself and the baby, and a cobbling together of dinner amidst the chaos of a very messy house. Knowing full well that tomorrow morning I will get back on the train, and have a moment of working mama independence, I wanted to soak up all that life.

Mama Maker: Veronica of Maia Moda

Trying to nurse her 5-month-old in a dress, while attending a wedding, inspired management consultant Veronica to do something she had always wanted to do, and start her own business.

“Once you have a child, it really zeros in on what’s important in life. What do I want my legacy to be and what do I want to spend my time on?” she says, describing what ultimately led her to bring the idea to fruition when her son was one year old.

“You go through so many changes as a new mom,” said Veronica. “One of the things you want to keep is some of yourself. Part of that is your ‘pre-mommyhood’ style. You don’t want to have it give it up, and why should you?”

“In today’s world, we have innovation all over the place. There’s no reason your nursing clothes shouldn’t have the look you want,” she says.

Veronica is tapping into virtual mom’s groups, along with NYC’s Garment District and burgeoning community of women entrepreneurs, to help propel her line of American-made breastfeeding-friendly apparel, Maia Moda.

She’s even been accepted into the 2018 class of Project Entrepreneur, started by Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, in partnership with UBS.

How This Mompreneur Makes it Work

For Veronica, it’s the blend of motherhood and running her own business that makes it all possible. She says her holistic approach now leads to more open and passionate conversations.

“I never used to talk to people that much about my work because it was very separate,” she says. “Now I feel like the two worlds collide a lot more. Because of my business, I’m super excited about it so I’m happy to talk about it.”

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As a mom of two now, Veronica has figured out a schedule that allows her to spend part of her week on the business, supported by a nanny for her baby and daycare for her oldest. She appreciates having dedicated days of the week for focusing on Maia Moda.

Women Helping Women Succeed

Veronica is encouraged by the changes she’s seeing around the culture of breastfeeding with “celebrities showing off their bumps and looking fabulous” and people posting “brealfies” (aka breastfeeding selfies).

“Women are feeling much more comfortable breastfeeding in public. We’re here to support that and to make that lifestyle work a little better through the clothes you wear.”

This also means Maia Moda clothes are washable, stain-resistant, wrinkle-free and “classic, but in line with the trends of today,” says Veronica.

“We want you to be really happy because there are enough things on your mind,” she says, noting she can be reached anytime, and welcomes feedback and requests.

While you can shop directly on the Maia Moda Web site, I decided to do so on Amazon so I could test-drive the Maia Top on my 7-months-pregnant belly.

As you can see, the flowing style can work all the way from baby bump to breastfeeding:

To read about more mompreneurs who are passionate about changing the culture of breastfeeding, check out Mama Maker: Sascha from Mamava and Mama Shaker: Jennifer Jordan from Aeroflow Healthcare.