As soon as I met Stephanie, founder of Rivertown Mamas, I knew I was meeting someone that was an enthusiastic and caring resource for expecting and new moms. Her knowledge and passion for providing education and unique classes (including a reflective writing course for moms to capture their journey) combine to make a destination where moms are sure to get the info they need. We asked Stephanie a few questions about Rivertown Mamas and how she manages to run a successful business while being a mom:
How long ago did you start Rivertown Mamas and what inspired you?
The idea for the business started about 3 years ago. I was working with moms as a lactation counselor and was leading a new moms’ group out of my house, and at the same time started looking for classes to take with my infant daughter. I couldn’t find many of the types of classes I’d taken with my older daughters in Brooklyn, so I decided to open a space devoted to new moms where I could also offer classes for babies and toddlers. It has expanded in ways I hadn’t expected, and now we’re offering several classes just for moms.
What types of classes do you offer? Do you also offer private classes?
We now offer a wide variety of classes for moms and moms-to-be. We have quite a few yoga classes — prenatal, postnatal, baby yoga, toddler yoga, and a class just for moms — plus music, sign language, infant massage, and a tummy time class. We also offer a reflective writing class for moms, along with our much-loved Random Retreat every Friday — it’s a gathering just for moms that’s designed to be thought-provoking, creativity-sparking, energy-restoring time spent amongst other fabulous women. It’s hard to describe, but incredibly awesome! And I also teach breastfeeding classes, both group and private.
Is there one piece of baby gear that you recommend a new mom that wants to breastfeed have on hand?
As vague as it sounds, a comfortable place to sit. There are so many great products you can buy to help support you while you breastfeed, but if you don’t have a comfortable place to sit it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. I also think a breastfeeding cover-up is essential. Nursing in public can be difficult in so many ways, and having a cover-up that stays put is key.
What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your kids, your husband, your home and your business?
Every day is different. Since I work primarily with newborns, my schedule usually isn’t solidified until a day or two in advance, and often I’ll see a new mom the same day she calls. Dividing time between work and family is incredibly challenging. I try to see clients while my kids are in school so that I can focus on them after school, and then I spend a couple of hours every night working after they go to bed — answering emails, updating my website, etc.
Do you have any advice to a mom that wants to start her own business?
Go for it! So many people thought I was crazy to start this business when I had young kids, but I love my work and think it’s great for my girls to see me energized by it. Having reliable childcare is of utmost importance, though — I couldn’t survive without my awesome sitter!
And I am excited to announce that I will be partnering with Stephanie to bring a Baby Gear 101 workshop to Rivertown Mamas May 10th. If you are in the NY or CT area you can register here to come see me and talk about how to choose the baby gear right for your family! It is going to be interactive, fun, full of tips and you get a goodie bag!
Thanks Stephanie for being such a valuable resource and giving us a little peek into your world!