Being a new mom can be stressful; after experiencing that herself, Melissa sought out to help moms everywhere be comfortable while being able to easily feed their new additions.
- Where They Sell
“We know that [...] with ShipStation integrated with our shopping carts, we can keep up with any goals we set.”Melissa Wirt Founder & CEO
What’s the story behind the creation of Latched Mama?
After my first son was born in the Spring of 2014, I knew that I’d leave my career in real estate and stay at home. Starting my own company was on my bucket list and I figured it was good time to do it, but I was having a really hard time getting inspired by anything. I had my second son last December and he was really the inspiration for Latched Mama. Although I had what I like to refer to as “princess births” with amazing midwifery care and awesome postpartum support, it wasn’t lost on me that my fabulous experiences weren’t the norm. I wanted to help support new moms as best I could.
I spent a long time thinking about what brought me comfort and support as I transitioned to adding a new baby to the family. I loved to cuddle my youngest in the winter months but feeding him was always cold and cumbersome. Just the idea of getting dressed everyday with nursing in mind was daunting to me and I assumed the same was true for most new moms. In the summer with my first born, I wore store bought nursing tanks with another t-shirt over them and I was always so hot. With my second, I’d have to strip down to my tank top to feed him at the park while my toddler played and I was freezing cold. I figured that if we were going to encourage women to breastfeed with little postpartum support, someone really needed to bring affordable everyday nursing clothing to market. I really see my clothing as a way to offer support to new moms. It’s designed for ease and comfort and by someone who totally understands the bizarrely unique journey that we all go on with a new baby. I played around with some dress styles last Spring, but really launched in October with our first Facebook ad and a nursing hoodie.
What has it been like creating a relatively new business from scratch? Any advice to offer those wishing to do the same?
Simply put it is been exhausting. But the good “after a marathon when your legs are so sore that you can’t walk” exhausting. I didn’t really have a plan when we started and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I gave myself a spending limit, found a manufacturer and just went for it. I could have spent years testing manufactures or styles, but in my opinion the best way to test something is to try to sell it. The first few months, I would show up at new moms’ homes with a mini van full of clothes and my Square reader and ask for as much feedback as I could possibly process. I knew nothing about manufacturing and fashion so I knew that I needed to rely heavily on what I did know. I had spent ten years in new home sales and I knew that by being personable, approachable, and truly yourself people are more willing to embrace what you are trying to sell. I started an online presence and tried to get in front of as many moms as possible.
It was important to me to create a brand and a community and that’s what I really focused on at the start. Not having a manufacturing background, I knew that I was most likely going to make mistakes and that things were not going to be perfect out of the gates. Being fully transparent and taking the time and energy to build the online community has really helped us overcome any mistakes that we have made. My advice for those thinking about starting out is to identify and use your talents, ask for feedback and act on it, be present in your online community as much as possible, and just go for it!!
How has ShipStation helped you with your business?
I remember when my trial was ending and my ShipStation rep reached out to me. It was 3:00 in the afternoon during the peak of holiday shopping season and I was at the zoo with my boys. I had sent the morning’s 40+ orders out, processed a few exchanges and returns and was laughing and running around the zoo with the cutest little boys you’ve ever seen (I may be a little partial). I was truly living the “momprenuer’s” dream. Because of the rate at which we’re growing, those days and moments are far and few between but when they do happen, I truly have ShipStation to thank. I am currently still very much a one women show, but with ShipStation I really feel like I have a team behind me. Before we brought ShipStation on board I was a total mess. I would sometimes print postage from home, sometimes stand in line with the boys at the post office (nightmare), and there were even a couple Monday morning trips to the UPS store. Thinking about the amount of money and time wasted makes me sick (note the mistake part above). I can now pick, pack, and ship an order in less than 3 minutes. It is absolutely amazing how easy it makes the most important part of our business.
Latched Mama has been designed to be incredibly customer-centric and the fact that I can check at any moment to see where a package is or when it was sent is amazing. During the holidays I had a few orders delayed and stuck in various USPS hubs across the country. I had a handful of moms traveling to family member’s homes who were looking forward to the discretion that our clothes provide either while on the plane or while nursing in unfamiliar places. They were upset that their clothing hadn’t arrived. We were able to track their orders quickly and determine if they would arrive before they left for the holidays. On the orders that were questionable, I was able to quickly pull up their order, pack another package, send it directly to their relative’s home and include a return mailer for their original order. I know that sounds complicated and time consuming, but with ShipStation I could do all of that in minutes and offer a level of customer support and service that there is no way I could otherwise provide. My husband and I rarely take our eyes off of the daily grind, but when we do and when we allow ourselves to forecast and dream about the future of Latched Mama, order fulfillment and keeping pace is never an obstacle that comes up. We know that we can train anyone to use the program and that with ShipStation integrated with our shopping carts we can keep up with any goals we set.
What’s your favorite ShipStation feature?
Because we sell apparel and our orders vary in weight, I love being able to shop the various shipping methods available. In seconds I can see whether a flat rate, regional box, or just keeping the order packed in the poly mailer is the most cost effective option. I also love the international options and rate calculator!