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As I write this, my 2-year-old daughter is standing precariously on her highchair (and I am squawking on repeat: Please get down from there, Hazel!). With closed eyes and grinning lips, she is waving her hands, air-conducting the theme song to Llama Llama which is blaring out of the television across the room. It’s loud, maybe a little dangerous, and also absolutely joyful around here. As a working single mom, I understand the well-known proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” pretty well. And I love a good deep dive into the world of mompreneurs and all their inventions.
Especially with Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s a great time to check out some of the products, brands, businesses, and empires that fearless, talented mothers have made (and continue to make!) in the home and grocery industry. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes, I find it hard to balance just making dinner and keeping a toddler safe. Again, Hazel, PLEASE get down off that highchair!
East Fork Pottery was founded by Alex Matisse, Connie Matisse, and John Vigeland. In addition to making great pottery, Alex and Connie also happen to make cute kids together. The pottery has a loyal following and tends to sell out. But new colors are introduced fairly often, so be ready.
Buy: The Mug, $38 at East Fork Pottery
Zoe Zilian and her husband, James, produce some of the most elegant use-it-any-and-all-the-time kitchen and tabletop pottery out there. Their iconic white stoneware pottery is hand thrown in Vermont and most of the pieces are oven, microwave, and dishwasher-safe (that fact was my first clue that this brand was mom-owned). Each item delivers in both form and function- smart, practical, and gorgeous. Plates, bowls, mugs, vases, crocks, you name it.
Buy: Farmer’s Pitcher, $58 at Farmhouse Pottery
The uber-popular greeting cards might be the first things that come to mind when you think about Rifle Paper Co., but the brand also has some pretty awesome kitchen accessories. Anna Bond, a former freelance illustrator and current mom of three young boys, founded and owns Rifle Paper Co. with her husband, Nathan. In addition to their fabulous stationery, check out their kitchen towels, recipe tins, weekly meal planners, and insulated drinkware.
Nana Quagraine, the founder of 54Kibo, was inspired to start the contemporary African design brand after the birth of her twins. While hosting a Ghanian Naming Ceremony in Brooklyn with her husband, she felt “a sense of urgency to build 54kibo, to share the beauty of the African diaspora with my children and the world.”
Neffi Walker is a mother of five, business owner, and the principal designer of The Black Home. She uses daring pops of color against dark tones and approaches design in an unforgettable way. The brushed gold dipped flatware is nothing short of divine, but also of note are the sleek soy coconut wax blend hand-poured candles.
Justina Blakeney is a design legend known for her boho aesthetic and dedication to helping you “bring the good vibes home.” In addition to creating her own original designs, she curates a creative collection of goods from around the world on her Jungalow site, with a special focus on showcasing art from an international group of female artists. Because Mother’s Day is around the corner, check out this Justina Blakeney art print.
Pawena Thimaporn hand-makes planters, mugs, pitchers, vases, and bowls that consistently sell out. In addition to making the strikingly beautiful items at Parwena Studio, she works in the design industry and is the mom of two boys.
The Lewis co-founders, Liz and Lizzy, have five children between their two families. They also make great placemats, cocktail napkins, and all sorts of inspired baby and kid gifts and wares. Their style is childlike, but not childish: a fine line to walk, but they do it skillfully.
Why should adults get to have the only fancy glasses on the table? Oh, right, because kids spill and break everything. Luckily, Lindsey Laurain, a mother (who had three boys under age 3 at one point), inventor, and founder of EZPZ made something awesome so even the tiniest guests can clink glasses in a table-wide cheers!. My daughter used this silicone non-slip-non-tip cup when she was transitioning away from bottles; now, it’s her toddler mocktail glass (for sparkling water and juice).
Robin Oloyede, the founder and CEO of Colorfull Plates, started her melamine plate company to keep kids excited about mealtime. While looking for an astronaut-themed plate for her son, Oloyede found a major hole in the children’s plate offerings — there was a lack of representation of brown-skinned scientists, athletes, and other role models. So, she set out to create a tableware company “with diverse characters that portray children seeing themselves doing things they imagine.”
Samantha Barnes, former middle school teacher, mom of two, and founder of Raddish, knows how to engage and educate kiddos about food and cooking from an early age. Each monthly cooking box kit includes recipes, a kitchen tool, grocery lists, skill cards, and other fun cooking club collectibles. As Barnes says, “The kitchen is the tastiest place to learn.”
Elizabeth Granados had a baby girl and found herself needing a soft, non-toxic, easy-to-wipe rug to fit into her new-mom life. In response to this search, she started her “high-function meets high-fashion” home decor business. The designer of the popular Little Nomad mat, Sophia Vincent Guy, is also a mom of two! In addition to being underfoot with play and kitchen mats, House of Noa has moved up to the tabletop. Check out their table and place mats.
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
Mom, model, author, entrepreneur … what does Chrissy Teigen NOT do? She now has her own line of cookware that is both beautiful and functional, not to mention some gem-status cookbooks.
The founder of Kitchn’s all-time favorite spatula company, Samantha Rose, sure did Get It Right with the design of her nonstick, silicone, high-heat-resistant essential GIR line. She’s now got 50 products, a sister coffee brand, and three kids! If you find yourself cooking or baking with a little sous, check out the very kid-friendly mini spatula.
Sarah Kaeck, founder of Bee’s Wrap, found a sustainable, natural way to store food and cut back on single-use plastic. And the patterns are beautiful, to boot! The beeswax coated cotton wraps come in pre-cut sizes, rolls, and sandwich wraps with tie closures.
Catherine Choi founded SoYoung, her adult and kids’ lifestyle brand, after overcoming a serious heroin addiction and becoming a mother. Her super-chic lunch poche bags come in classy patterns that should really also come in dresses. SoYoung also makes the prettiest ice packs I’ve ever seen (who would have thought an ice pack could be this stylish?).
An Australian mama named Peita set out to find a better way to store fresh produce. Rather than suffocating them in plastic bags, she came up with The Swag — triple-layer cloth bags. They’ll keep your fruits and veggies fresher longer by protecting them in a breathable and hydrating environment.
Melissa Kieling started PackIt when she became a single mom of three. Inspired by complaints of warm blueberries in her kids’ school lunches, she set out to make a lunch bag with freezable gel built into its lining; this pursuit grew into a $14 million business! There are grownup iterations of the PackIt technology now, too. Check out the freezable wine and picnic coolers, too.
Kat Nouri also had an aha moment while packing her kids’ lunch. She realized that she could make a better, completely reusable zip-top bag … and she could help start a sustainability movement. A portion of each Stasher sale goes to a nonprofit dedicated to environmental preservation and rehabilitation. These silicone bags are heavy-duty, airtight, dishwasher-safe, freezer-friendly, microwave-ready, and some of them even stand up for easy filling.
Okay, here’s one more food storage bag solution. Kirsten Quigley’s eco-friendly brand, Lunchskins, offers more plastic alternatives to the common lunch-packing quandary. Quigley brings both reusable and single-use planet-friendly options to the market with her sealable paper sandwich bags and food-safe fabric Lunchskins.
Lily Cameron and her husband, Max, started Wild Minimalist to “make it easier for people to begin their journey towards a zero-waste lifestyle.” Housing a curated selection of vetted, sustainable products, Wild Minimalist is a one-stop-shop for “low-waste essentials for a happy home.”
Emily Fischer, the founder and soap maker from Flat Point Farm, makes liquid and bar soap, as well as hand creme, from raw goat’s milk. I believe it is the best soap around, and it’s actually the ONLY soap I buy for my house. Fischer is a third-generation farmer on Martha’s Vineyard island and mother to two amazing boys (who actually taught me how to milk a goat on a recent visit to the family farm). Everyone in the family is involved in the soap-making process — from hand-milking and feeding the goats to hand-crafting the soap in their solar-powered studio.
Sandee Ferman and her daughter Callie Milford created a vegan body and home care company to help folks “live a cleaner, greener lifestyle.” Their biodegradable, concentrated solid dishwashing soap comes in block form and can be used for cleaning duty all over the home.
Buy: Dish Block, $8.98 for a 6-ounce bar at No Tox Life
Sarah Paiji Yoo, the co-founder and CEO of Blueland, knows a thing or two about how to make eco-friendly cleaning supplies while drastically reducing packaging. When she became a new mom, Yoo set out on a mission to “make being eco easy with innovative products in reusable packaging that are convenient, effective, and affordable.” The general idea is that you can buy one bottle and refill it over and over again with Blueland tablets dissolved in your own tap water.
When Ymani Efunyale’s 2-year-old son had an asthma attack brought on by exposure to a household cleaning product, she decided to make a plant-based brand of all-purpose cleaners that would be effective, safe, and non-toxic. She also wanted to add non-traditional scents like Frankincense and Myrrh, Sandalwood, and Ocean Fresh to her Good Vibes Clean products because, as it says on the bottle, “Who Says Your Clean Has to Smell Like Lemons”?
Gail Becker has two sons with celiac disease — an autoimmune disease that makes people unable to process gluten. After trying — and failing — to make her kids a homemade gluten-free pizza crust, she quit her day job and dove head first into creating a business that could reliably produce great gluten-free, cauliflower-based, comfort foods.
Fond Bone Broth founder Alysa Seeland turned to bone broth when she needed to focus on wellness and alleviate digestive issues so she could be healthy enough to take care of her four sons. Her line of artisan bone broths come in eight different flavors and are blended to be good enough to sip.
Zach and Zoë Sweet Bee Farm
Summer and Kam Johnson founded a honey business after researching ways to combat their son’s serious seasonal allergies. After discovering that immunotherapy with local, raw honey significantly helped with Zach’s allergies, the couple (along with their two children) took the life-changing plunge to become full-time beekeepers.
Capital City Mambo Sauce
Arsha Jones, a Washington, D.C.-native, started Capital City Mambo Sauce with her husband, Charles, when they moved to the Maryland suburbs. She wanted to give her family “a real taste of D.C.,” so she made her own version of the sweet, sticky, tangy regional Mambo sauce and eventually that recipe grew into a family-owned company.
When Agatha Achindu, founder of Yummy Spoonfuls, had her son, she started making healthy homemade baby food not just for him, but also for other families in her Atlanta community. A strong believer in the importance of fresh, nutritious, organic food, she eventually started her own line of frozen kids’ foods to make healthy eating more convenient and accessible to a much larger audience.
Catherine Smart and Jacqueline Grady Smith bonded over juggling life, kids, busy schedules, and “facing the Sunday scaries in the grocery line” trying to find quick yet delicious solutions to the familiar what’s-for-dinner-panic. They describe their meal-starting staples (like salad dressings, pestos, and sauces) as “your pantry’s secret weapon.”
Anita Shepherd came up with a yogurt alternative (to traditional dairy) that is made with Fair Trade Certified coconut milk and a custom-made blend of cultures. Her company, Anita’s Yogurt, has sold more than a million cups. Manufacturing happens in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn — the same place where she lives and raises her daughter.
When spice maker and owner of Curio Spice Co. Claire Cheney was a kid, she used to forage in the forest and grow herbs on a tiny plot in rural Maine each summer. Fast forward a couple decades, she’s now a mom running a benefit corporation out of Cambridge, Massachusetts specializing in rare and hard-to-find spices and signature spice blends.
Moms Rebecca Hennessy and Margaret Witham wanted to start a food business (after working together on an elementary school garden project) and, after a fortuitous run-in with “The Garlic Guy” (Don Womack) at a New Hampshire Farm and Food Conference, an idea took root: They started a garlic business!
Poorvi Patodia, founder & CEO of Biena Snacks, had a vision to bring the nutrient-rich chickpeas from her childhood to American snacking culture. As a busy mom of two, she wanted something protein- and-fiber-rich to fuel both her kids and herself as she bustled through the day. Starting with Roasted Chickpea Snacks and then branching out to Chickpea and Keto Puffs, Biena Snacks hits the plant-protein-on-the-go bullseye.
Sarah Clarke, founder of Freeyumm, was tired of seeing her son being left out of social snack time because of his food sensitivities. So, she got a dedicated bakery and started producing snacks totally free of the top 9 allergens. The foundation of the company is making delicious food inclusive and safe.
Denise Woodward was also inspired by her child’s severe food allergy diagnosis. She came up with Partake Foods, a line of cookies and baking mixes that are free from GMOs, preservatives, artificial flavors, and the top allergens. Crunchy-cookie-lover? More of a soft-baked snacker? Partake gives you both options, while also being vegan and gluten-free!
This mother-daughter-owned company was born out of a battle against breast cancer. Amelia Kirchoff developed the Macrobar in her home kitchen while fighting cancer. After winning the fight, Amelia and her daughter, Jola, made their bars a business and set out to spread the plant-based nutrition love.
When Julia Collins realized she was going to be a mom, she did some brainstorming around how to make the world a little better for her tiny human. This led her to create Moonshot Snacks, making climate-friendly snacks while helping other food companies do the same.
Snack time isn’t always salty and crunchy — sometimes it’s sweet and chewy. When Deborah Schimberg was traveling in Northern Guatemala with her family back in 1992, she learned a whole lot about chicle-production (chicle, the sap of the sapodilla trees, used to be the basis of the entire chewing gum industry before synthetic resins took over in the 1940s). Schimberg made her own chewing gum company in the U.S. committed to providing a sustainable source of income for chicle-producing communities abroad.
Maya Simler is a London-based chocolate-lover and mom of two boys. Convinced that “sweet does not have to mean unhealthy,” she and her husband, Dominic, set out to make dairy-free, nut-free, plastic-free, organic chocolate without refined sugar that they could feel good about feeding to their children. Their company, Play in Choc, makes some of the MOST FUN sweet treats around (yes, there are chocolates AND toys in each playful ToyChoc box).
Entrepreneur and mother, Jean Thompson, stepped up as owner and CEO of Seattle Chocolate Company after the original factory and company structure was destroyed by an earthquake. Thompson brought a fresh new look and energy to the business … and a new brand, jcoco chocolate.
Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started the very cool (get it?) mom-and-mom-owned business, Coolhaus in 2009. Now, they are well-known for their fun-flavored ice cream pints and sammies (and dairy-free options!). Just writing about this made me get up and run to the freezer to grab some!
The magic behind Handley Cellars is a mother-daughter team. Milla Handley and her daughter, Lulu McClellan, operate their winery in California’s Mendocino County with the mission to make wines that “reflect the soil and climate in which they were grown.” They have certified organic vineyards and pay extra attention to minimizing their environmental impact while maximizing employee workplace health.
Marlen Porter and her husband, Cameron, have a little boy named Miles, and they own and operate Amplify Wines. The wife-husband team bottled up their shared love of music and vino with their native-yeast-fermented line of wines.
Helena Price Hambrecht — together with her husband, Woody, and daughter, Sophie — wanted to make a new kind of alcohol that wasn’t packed with artificial flavors. Made with only real ingredients, the Haus apéritifs are oh-so easy to drink. I really love that they offer multiple recipes for cocktails with each specific flavor on the website.
Of course this list is just a starting point. Add more of your favorites in the comments below!