For any new or many times over moms out there, you know the excitement (and necessity) behind a new innovative product for moms/babies. Mompreneur Sam Rudolph identified the struggle of finding the right -or any great breast pump. So, she created Babyation, the smart breast pump whose technology lives up to it’s millennial customers. She created the pump, along with her husband, Jared, specifically to help working moms return to work while still being able to conveniently breastfeed and pump.
We’re excited to chat with the inventor/working mom, Sam, and get a glimpse into her family life with Jared and their baby boy, Exton.
When and Why did you start Babyation?
Jared (my husband and business partner) and I were on vacation when I read an article in The New York Times discussing how outdated breast pump technology was. Although I wasn’t even pregnant yet, I saw my future flash before my eyes. I knew I always wanted to a) be a mom, b) breastfeed, and c) work, but I knew nothing about breast pumps. I was, quite frankly, horrified to read about them. When I finished the piece, I woke up Jared to vent, and in his half-asleep state, he said “I can build one.” I found out later he just wanted to end the conversation so we could go to brunch!
We love that you created this together! How is it working with your spouse?
We love it! It works very well for us, but it certainly wouldn’t be ideal for everyone. We met working together in college, and we’ve collaborated in our professional lives over the years, so it’s second nature at this point. We’ve always specialized on different sides of the same industry. Jared is always the technical guru, and I’m always focused on the business/content. We used to work in media, and now we work in parent tech, but our areas of expertise haven’t changed.
The trick is to stay in our own lanes, which is especially easy for me, because I am very clearly not an engineer! We also have this strong foundation of trust, which means we don’t have to dance around feedback or worry about politics. Our goals are incredibly aligned, and we know that when we disagree, we do so truly believing in the other person’s abilities and intentions. There’s no ulterior motive, other than wanting to bring the best product possible to market.
How do you create the elusive work-life balance while being a mom & running your own business?
I’m pretty sure no outside observer would say that I have balance! In fact, I think balance is impossible, because that implies that things need to be equal. The reality is that in any given day, it’s never going to be equal. Personally – and I say this only for me and my experience – I derive satisfaction when I’m a present parent and an engaged founder. Those are the priorities I have established for myself. And that means that other things don’t always happen. My house is often (read: constantly) messy. I do not practice as much self-care as I’d like. But those are trade-offs I’m more than willing to make in order to be a good mother (the way I define it, not by others’ standards!) and a successful businesswoman.
What’s one of your mom must haves (besides Babyation of course!)
I think the most important item a mom can have is a strong support group who is there for her without judgment. It can be a spouse, friends, family…but we all need someone who we can go to when things get difficult.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
The customer is always right!