In Part 1 of this blog post, we met Helen Anderson, who invented Milkies in 2007 and has worked to improve Milkies — and how women experience their postpartum lives — ever since. Helen has used her experiences as a mother of two boys to help others, and is very passionate about her invention. Here in Part 2 of our interview with her we discuss what other business owners can learn from her experience as an entrepreneur.
Please read on for advice Helen has for working mothers and entrepreneurs.
What advice would you give to moms/entrepreneurs/inventors?
Get out there and talk about your product. Talk to people, ask a lot of questions and be a good listener. Hone your pitch on others. When you really need to describe your product over and over, you’ve then done it enough times to be comfortable with it. Get out there.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it all again?
I’d love to have been more confident in the beginning. I didn’t follow my own advice. I learned the hard way. It was hard talking about a breastfeeding product with CAD designers, and interviewers. I was uncomfortable and would sometimes avoid talking about the details of the product. I should have just been out there: cringe about it or not, we are going to talk about breasts and nipples.
What motivates you?
I see opportunities to improve the lives of moms. There’s education and products that can help solve problems for moms. I think that if we are in a position to make those changes for other moms because we’ve been there, that’s an obligation that we have to each other.
Who inspires you and why?
My kids. When I look at them I just feel like I could do anything. I guess it’s like that for any mom. There are things you do because kids are watching, that we might not do otherwise. Take risks, follow your dreams. As women in America, we have so many opportunities that other women don’t have. We can run a business, network, develop our own products. I feel like we need to do that for everyone who can’t. It’s important that we take advantage of our opportunities.
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
I really feel grateful for the opportunity to be able to talk to moms about breastfeeding and supply these products. I get to meet a lot of great people (like you, Christi). Moms: keep up the good work! If you have ideas and want to develop a product, reach out to your network and talk to your friends. Send me an email! The mommy entrepreneur community is very supportive. We nurture each other. We succeed together, so when new people come into the community, I feel like there isn’t a lot of competitive nature. We’re supportive of new ideas and new people. I want you to feel safe if you have ideas to develop a product.
You can reach Helen at: