What has been your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?
I cried on my husband’s shoulder that day I set out to make the first Maeband in 2012. I was incapable, inexperienced, and terrified to fail. I did NOT want to do this, but I also couldn’t deny that overwhelming power that woke me up at 4:30 am, urging me to start this company and make Maebands available for all pregnant women.
I was pregnant with my 4th child, Maely (who the Maeband is named after), and wanted nothing more than to continue wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans throughout my pregnancy. I tried every type of belly band I could find, but nothing worked the way I expected. I knew exactly what I needed, but it didn’t exist. My mom is a seamstress, so I gave her my design and asked her to make me one. As soon as I used it, I quickly realized it was the most stylish and comfortable way to transform my regular jeans into maternity jeans- and I knew other women would love it just as much as I did.
As we gave them to friends and family and sold them online, the feedback and reviews were even better than I expected. However, it took five years of frustrating setbacks, including being cheated out of thousands of dollars, before we were finally able to find a quality manufacturer. I wanted to give up so many times, but I couldn’t forget about that strong early morning prompting I had to do this.
My persistence paid off because after finding our supplier and listing them on Amazon, Maebands ranked the #1 best seller in the belly bands category in less than a year! They have only continued to gain rapid popularity among pregnant women and fashion bloggers. (We have even been told men are stealing them from their wives before buying their own!) I’m definitely not the only one that wants to stay in my favorite jeans!
What is your passion and mission in life?
Little did I know, Maeband would become so much more than just a maternity product for women.
I have always been passionate about volunteering and giving back to those in need and now our #MaebandGivesBack program has made it even more possible. In fact, I still haven’t taken one dollar from this business for my own personal use, but have donated over $15,000 to non-profits and GoFundMe campaigns. Every year our company chooses a new non-profit to support by giving a $1 from each sale. This year we are supporting the JaydenDeLuca Foundation and last year we supported the Mitchell’s Journey Foundation. We also donate to GoFundMe accounts and other charities each week, sharing and posting about them on all our social media accounts. We love supporting and helping people and are hoping to inspire that in others!
Maeband has also allowed me to not only inspire pregnant women to keep wearing what they love, but to also encourage them to keep doing what they love.
In 2002, I was told I had to give up my favorite clothes and take it easy during my first pregnancy. It wasn’t until my 4th pregnancy in 2012 that I realized that was a load of $#&@! I decided I would keep wearing my regular clothes (using my Maeband!) and continue running right up until the day before I delivered. It made a difference! The whole pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery was easier than any of my others! And being able to continue wearing my regular pants was a huge confidence boost; my regular pants just looked and felt better on me than any maternity ones. I’m now pregnant with my 5th child- still in my regular pants and still doing what I love doing- crossfit, yoga, weight lifting, and anything else I want to do.
GONE ARE THE DAYS OF PREGNANCY RESTRICTIONS. Women want to keep wearing what they’ve always worn and keep doing what they’ve always done! I’m hoping to inspire and encourage that with my brand.
As part of our mission we are also hoping to bring more women on board to help us uplift, encourage, support and inspire other women. We are looking for women that we can highlight on this Empower section of our blog – women who have a unique story, have triumphed over adversity, or are just determined to not let others tell them pregnancy has to stop them from doing (and wearing) what they love! We want to help empower all women to find their own strength within themselves by banding together and sharing our influential and extraordinary stories with each other.
How can we continue to follow your story and learn more about you?
You can subscribe and follow the Maeband Blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. You can also follow me personally on Facebook or Instagram.
Maeband is excited to inspire and encourage all moms to succeed by helping them through our Scholarship for Mom’s. A new mom is picked every semester to receive the Maeband Scholarship. You can read HERE who is eligible and how you can apply.