Kindred Bravely Story

Kindred Bravely Story


(soft music) – I’m Deeanne Akerson, and I’m the founder of Kindred Bravely. I wasn’t always an
entrepreneur or business owner. I was a high school math
teacher for 11 years. But I found myself in a
situation a couple years ago that I realized I really needed
to do something about. I was nursing my second son, and the clothes that I was wearing just weren’t that comfortable. I realized I couldn’t be
the only person out there that wanted comfortable, functional, and stylish clothes for breastfeeding. And so, I made one set of pajamas, and shortly after that, a bra too. And it’s, well, it’s become a whole product line and company now, and we have a team of amazing mostly stay at home moms, like myself, that keep each other company late into the night as we work. And we have a vision that every breastfeeding mom could have a comfortable bra in her wardrobe, and so that’s why we started, and that’s what we’re about. Kindred Bravely is named for two things. “Kindred” is for the kindred
sisterhood that you belong to as soon as you become a mom. Really, as soon as you become pregnant. Like, you feel different, you
know something’s different, and that’s what binds us
together as moms and women. And the “Bravely” is because motherhood is kind of a daily act of bravery. You never know exactly what’s
going to be called on for you, and it’s not like the bold bravery, like in the movies kind of bravery. It’s the always there for your kids and it’s the silent bravery
of moms that we stand for. – Oh, you’re right! – When I get an idea for a new product, it’s usually because I
haven’t experienced one with one that hasn’t been perfect, and so I look at that item and I think, “What would make this great?” So, for example, pumping. I hated pumping when I was breastfeeding, and a comfortable pumping bra that would also work for breastfeeding was impossible for me to find. So, right now, I’m in the
process of designing one, and it takes, first you
have to have the idea, what you’re going to do to improve, how it’s going to function well. And then, I take that to my partners. I go to the factory and I say, “This is what’s currently being used, “but I need it to be
better in these ways,” and we get a prototype. Then, that comes back to me, and I find, I use real moms to test this, real moms that are having
the same real problems as me, and I mail them one and I say, “How does this work for you?” And then, based on their feedback, we create two, three,
five, sometimes eight different versions of something before we finally have something that is ready to go into production. So, running a business with having two preschool age boys, it’s been a challenge. And it’s not like perfectly
clean where I go to work, and then I’m not working. It kind of all flows together. My most productive hours are either nap time or after they’re asleep, which actually works out
well for coordinating with all my suppliers in Asia, because evenings is a
great time to talk to them. But, it can be hard too. Like, when I’m trying to
talk to the freight forwarder about a shipment coming
in and my three-year-old is having an epic tantrum
in the background. A lot of my work I try to do over email, so you can’t hear the
soundtrack to my life. And my kids join me in a lot of it. You know, sometimes they’re on my lap while I’m on a video call. My five-year-old thinks that everyone is in the business of
selling nursing bras, because that’s what he sees all the time. So, it’s totally normal for him, and it’s just a part of
the fabric of our life. We want every pregnant
or breastfeeding mother to have access to a comfortable
bra in her wardrobe, and we believe that
mothering is hard enough without having to worry
about your wardrobe, so we want that to be an easy choice. We also believe in encouraging
and supporting women in this journey, and we just want moms to be encouraged and know that they are doing an awesome
job with their kids. There’s a lot of ways to be a great mom, and you don’t have to be the perfect one. There’s a lot of pressure, and
I just want to encourage moms daily to know that you are enough, and I just want other
moms to be encouraged as they’re going through
this that they’re not alone.

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