Last year in October, our CEO Divinity Matovu was traveling to Puerto Rico with her daughter, Nyah. As she walked by a children’s play area at JFK in the Jet Blue terminal, she saw a Mamava lactation suite and tweeted about the wonderful discovery. As an outspoken advocate for breastfeeding and an honorary member of the #breastisbest movement, Divinity was pleasantly surprised to see such an innovative product for nursing moms. Like all millennial moms of the digital age, she tweeted about it:
Introducing Brands We 💖
We are honored to launch a new initiative called “Brands We Love” where we will feature brands that we actually love. Brands that want to get their products/services in front of our audience of high-earning, highly educated women with children will have the opportunity to run ads on our website and blog and sponsor content across all our platforms including our newsletter.
We will clearly label sponsored, paid posts as “Sponsored” while other features will be “MBA Mama Approved.” Either way, we will highly curate the brands we feature. We most definitely will not feature brands whose values do not align with our own, so don’t fret— the delightful user experience and high quality content we publish will not be disrupted with annoying pop ups or irrelevant ads. We are especially excited to feature women-owned companies. We are excited to feature Mamava as our first MBA Mama Approved: Brands We 💖.
Founded by Christine Dodson & Sascha Mayer, Mamava is the first company to design a free standing, mobile lactation suite. Mamava's goal is to make breastfeeding more accessible for every mom, no matter her circumstance. Mamava’s recently launched app supports moms on the go by locating Mamava lactation suites and over 1200 other Mamava-vetted public lactation rooms. The app is available now for free on iTunes and in the Google Play Store.
Sascha graduated from UVM, with a Women’s Studies major. After graduation, she worked for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. She was a Brand Strategist for JDK Design (now Solidarity of Unbridled Labour) before becoming Mamava’s CEO.
Christine Dodson graduated from UNH, where she studied Business Administration. After graduating, she worked in advertising in New York, and then client services at JDK Design, where she is now Managing Director of Design at Solidarity of Unbridled Labour. Christine works part time at Mamava as Chief Operating Officer.
Check out our interview with the Mamava team:
What was the trigger or point in your life when you knew it was the right time to launch Mamava?
We recognized the challenges of breastfeeding when we returned to work at JDK Design (now Solidarity of Unbridled Labour) and faced the challenges of pumping on the go.
Although our employer was supportive of breast pumping during the work day, as a client-facing agency, our work often took us on the road and as a result we found ourselves pumping in airport bathrooms and the backseats of clients’ cars.
We began brainstorming the solution that would become Mamava. It was the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which mandates that employers must provide their employees lactation space (bathrooms are not permissible), that gave us the confidence to officially kick start the business.
What has been the most challenging aspect of running the business?
Mamava is the first company to design a free standing, mobile lactation suite. As the first to market with this product, it’s an educational process for buyers. What’s more is that not everyone is aware of the struggles to breastfeed on the go, or can directly empathize with it if they have never breastfed or pumped. In this way, we’re both providing a solution and raising awareness about this issue, which is inspiring and what drives us, and which definitely makes every sale unique and more complex. In addition to that, I bet all of us at the company would agree that manufacturing is also a world of its own and the complexities of production and shipping is something we’re learning more about every day.
What are the company’s core goals for the next 18 months?
Our goal is to make breastfeeding more accessible for every mom, no matter her circumstance. Thus, it’s our mission to get our brand out there — both with our physical suites, and with our brand presence and mobile app. The more mamas who know of us, the more mamas who will feel empowered to achieve their breastfeeding goals. While our suites provide space, our mobile app routes them to those spaces, and our very being as a brand is changing the conversation around pumping and breastfeeding — making it more optimistic, realistic and accessible.
What is Mamava’s business model?
As a start up we still rely on investors, but our business model stems from both pod sales and advertising. The pods themselves are incredible advertising spaces, and cater to a very targeted demographic. For the right brand, that’s an incredible opportunity, and a large part of what will help our business to sustain itself in the future.
Mamava lactation suites are either purchased directly or purchases through a brand sponsor. Our suites are always free to use as our aim is to make breastfeeding as accessible as possible.
How many users typically use Mamava stations in airports on a monthly basis?
Presently we don’t have stats about monthly usage, but it’s data we’ll soon be collecting through our new mobile app, which will enable us to demonstrate the demand and need.