My Fridababy story….
I practiced law in New York before moving to Miami with my husband (CMO of Burger King - based in Miami) after our wedding in 2010. It was a total gut-check – as all of our friends and family are in NY, and I was totally one of those “Is there life beyond the city?” New Yorkers. I was the Director of Ancillary Revenue and Associate Counsel for the Miami Marlins when we bought a house on Miami Beach. The Swedish founder of Fridababy is our neighbor, and after my first son was born I was asked to take over the day-to-day operations of the business to help rebrand the company and grow the portfolio of products beyond the NoseFrida, into a full toolkit of smart solutions for millennial parents. Quite the challenge, but the rest is history!
A somewhat circuitous route to the baby world, but I've never looked back and never been happier. All of the professional experiences that I've had have meaningfully contributed to my day-to-day running Fridababy -whether it's negotiating licensing or manufacturing agreements with our trading partners, or designing new packaging that millennial parents will relate to.
When it comes to innovation, Miami is quite liberating. Without my “NY blinders” I became unhinged from a very tunnel-vision focus on what is considered “the norm” not only when it comes to designing new parenting products, but also with respect to my career.
How did you take the initial concept and execute it into a major brand that is so high in demand?
The Fridababy ethos is smart solutions for baby problems big and small – the joy we experience as parents of “having the answer” – and arming parents with the tools to do the deed and get on with the fun stuff is what we’re all about. The great success we’ve had is in part due to our incredibly loyal following of pediatric medical professionals, and of course those multitasking millennial parents who are looking for instant and natural relief to some pretty common problems! We aren’t afraid to push the envelope and talk about the less than Instagram-worthy reality of parenthood, and the challenges we face – usually at 3AM!
How have your children played a part in your business motivation and design? How have they helped you in your creative process?
When it comes to design & development, I can tie each of our new products to a very specific pain point that I’ve personally experienced navigating parenthood over the past three years. You can actually trace the age of my children through the products we’ve launched – particularly the one we’re about to unveil in just a few weeks!!
For example, we launched the MomWasher a few months after I gave birth and realized how awful that hospital bottle was! Our product development philosophy has never been to reinvent the wheel – we simply put millennial touches on pretty age-old practices that typically haven’t been innovated for years (bye bye – bulb syringe!). The NailFrida followed shortly thereafter and is a perfect example of how modern but simple improvements, like a spyhole to see the nail through the clipper, can be total game changers. My husband jokes that we’re going to end up with 5 kids just so I can maintain a pipeline of inspiration – necessity is truly the motherhood of invention.
Which classes have you found most beneficial to your children in NYC?
When we’re home in NYC we typically dive into the museum scene but a perennial favorite is really Chelsea Piers. From the carousel to the driving range, we can literally spend an entire afternoon there. The skateboard park is also a mesmerizing show for a 3-year old boy!
How do you make time for yourself and manage your busy schedule of two full-time jobs? how do you enjoy your personal time?
As a working mom, “me” time is elusive. It’s difficult to carve that out when the minutes and hours seem to literally melt away, but I find I’m a better mother, wife and C.E.O. when I do make the time – even if it’s just an early morning workout or a mid-week coffee date with my husband to connect uninterrupted. Everyone needs a refresh, and overcoming the working mom guilt around taking it is the most challenging part, but I know I’m a better version of myself after. It was important for me to end the search for the perfect daily “balance” – it doesn’t exist. Being honest about what makes me happy beyond my role as a mother is an ongoing challenge, but we all had meaningful identities before we were blessed with this new title, so it remains important to work on making time for that.
What are your favorite books for children?
We try to keep it fresh, and currently Hunter is loving the IGGY PECK ARCHITECT series. I love THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT and THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES – but we hung a few Lucite bookshelves right by his big boy bed so he’s now very involved in the nightly selection process despite my personal preferences. I could probably recite most of them with my eyes closed at this point (and sometimes do!)
What are your most useful kids products in addition to Fridababy products?
Let’s start with the most important – keeping all the STUFF organized on the go! I use either a Life in Play tote organizer that takes the essentials from bag to bag easily (ditched a traditional diaper bag a long time ago) or the Roberta Roller Rabbit waterproof zipper pouches to keep all of my gear in one place for an easy transfer when I change bags. I have one pattern for each kid, which keeps it all easily accessible wherever we go!
I always have MD Moms Sunscreen Wipes on me – they are a total necessity in Miami where most of their day 365 days a year is outside and the wipe application concept takes the struggle out of the sunscreen battle with a toddler.
The Baby Zen Yoyo collapsible stroller has made navigating the travel with toddler (and infant) situation totally manageable! We travel a lot, and the portability plus the fact that it goes in the overhead compartment is unrivaled – no more of the never ending wait for gate checked gear.
What is your best piece of advice for new moms?
Try not to be half of everything to everyone at the same time. When you're with your family - be there 110% - when you're with friends or at work - the same - you'll be a better parent, friend, wife, etc. and naturally more efficient as a result! If you’re out of the house in the office for most of the day, I find carving out the hours between 6-8 PM for your family incredibly important and I encourage my team (mostly young moms!) to do the same! Turn your phone off and unplug entirely. It’s an incredibly gratifying feeling to see how well kids respond to uninterrupted attention, particularly in the very “accessible” life we all live in today!