Kim Howell and Somi Javaid of Mamadoc
How did you start your business?
We started the business around the idea of a compression garment to help the pain of engorgement and weaning. The medication once available to help with lactation cessation has been pulled from the market due to side effects, so physicians currently recommend binding with Ace bandages, using cabbage leaves for pain relief or wearing several tight sports bras—not great options.
Our current product, Nox, provides a better option. We covered the elastic with bamboo, a very soft fabric that also has natural wicking capabilities. We also added pockets on the inside for customized breast icepacks.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
We came up with the idea for Mamadoc during a walk around the soccer field as our boys were practicing. Somi was weaning her third child at the time and told me about an idea for a compression garment. I suggested a few fun taglines, and as we laughed and joked about possible names for such a product, we realized that with our backgrounds we could make a good team. Somi is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and Kim’s background is in retail and pharmaceutical marketing.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Family was very involved in our start-up: Kim’s mom sewed our first prototype. Her cousin, Susan Young (Susan Young Designs) developed our logos and branding; another cousin, Monica Scalf wrote our copy. Somi’s brother-in-law, Jim Caruso, designed our website and helps with search engine optimization and IT. We found a local manufacturer to refine the designs and produce the products.
In addition, we have a SCORE mentor, and we are utilizing the great resources at Bad Girl Ventures.
What inspires you?
We are inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of this community. Everyone is incredibly helpful and truly wants us to succeed. Women in business in Cincinnati are very generous with their time, and ideas, and resources.
What’s next for you and your company?
We hope to add a few additional products to our mix this year. We are very excited about the response to our products from one of the largest maternity and pregnancy retailers in the country.
Interview by Robin Donovan