If you ask any parent what the top three baby items they pay the most for each month, I can guarantee diapers are on top of that list. Amanda and Lance decided they wanted to put a stop to the expensive diaper bill and launched, ABBY&FINN, a diaper subscription company that is built on giving back to families in need. I got the opportunity to chat with Amanda on her business, work-life balance, being a working mom and more.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Amanda and I’m a Colorado native. My husband, Lance, (also a co-founder of ABBY&FINN) is from New Zealand and we have two daughters, four and six years old. We love the outdoors and spend a lot of time in the nearby mountains. I enjoy skiing, hiking and playing tennis, eating salted chocolate ice cream and can do a great T-Rex impersonation!
Give us a rundown on the history behind your business and how it started:
ABBY&FINN started when my husband and I realized that we were spending over $180 a month with another diaper subscription company, which we thought was nuts! We wanted to use high-quality products that were free of harmful chemicals and gentle on our kids’ sensitive skin but didn’t think it needed to be so expensive. We also found that our girls regularly didn’t finish a diaper size when we bought in bulk, so we were left with a bunch of diapers that were too small and we couldn’t use. We wanted a subscription that actually grew with our kids with the ability to mix sizes in the same box at an affordable price. After diving into the world of diapers, we realized that 1 in 3 families in America struggles to simply afford diapers and that’s why our give back model is built into our business and is part of our name; FINN stands for Families IN Need.
As a working mom, what advice do you have for other working moms on work/life balance?
This is something I’m always working on. I try to remind myself to set work aside, put my phone away during family time and take a break. For me, I have found that I either need to be completely dedicated to family or work and not try to do both at the same time.
What has been your biggest challenge trying to achieve work/life balance?
Realizing that it is OK to take a break. There will always be an ongoing laundry list of things to get done, especially with a startup, but I have to manage my own expectations so I don’t get overwhelmed. I want to be able to maintain the excitement and positive energy needed to keep growing the business while being present for my family and ensuring we keep the fun and playfulness throughout life’s adventures.
What are your goals for your business/career?
In 2019 our goal is to donate one million diapers to families in need. As we grow, we plan to expand our product offerings to other adjacent categories. Our flexible, smart subscription model will continue to offer high quality, eco-friendly, affordable products with a built-in giveback.
What has your process been like starting and running a business as a mom?
It has been really fun and exciting! Five years ago as a stay at home mom with a background in sports marketing, I never would have imagined myself helping run a diaper company, and now I couldn’t imagine it any other way! Being a working parent means being flexible. It’s not always realistic to stop my workday when the kids get out of school. We’ve created a family friendly environment at the office and understand that some days it might be necessary to bring your child into work. We have some great homemade artwork decorating the walls!
What have been the biggest milestones and challenges of building a business?
Some of the biggest milestones to date have been exceeding the 3,000 subscriber mark as well as finding and establishing great relationships with our non-profit, partner organizations. In late April we are celebrating ABBY&FINN’s first birthday and it’s amazing to see the growth that’s happened in one year. It is truly fulfilling and inspiring to help families in need around the country.
There are many challenges to overcome when building a business, especially when we have so many ideas and plans for growth. Bringing on investors and securing funding is obviously an important part of the beginning phases, and we need to be diligent about focusing our strategies for tangible impact. We remind ourselves daily to be disciplined and smart about the tactics we implement while trying to build brand awareness and increase our subscriber base.
How did you handle those challenges?
Our team is small but mighty! We recognize the importance of surrounding ourselves with experienced professionals from a variety of backgrounds. By Leveraging the team’s expertise and network, we remain nimble yet efficient and are constantly communicating to ensure the decisions we make are best for the brand.
One piece of advice for new moms looking to start a business or jump back into the working world after having a baby.
I know I felt a little out of place re-entering the workplace after being out of it for several years. It’s important to remember and recognize that there are so many important qualities and skills you gain from just being a parent that can be applied to all sorts of professional roles. I would encourage any mom to listen to her heart, and take a risk! If you have an idea and the passion, follow that drive, and you will find your way.
What are your go-to apps/resources for managing your home and work?
Slack, Facebook Page, Dropbox, Instagram, Free Conference Call, Google Calendar, DoorDash, and Instacart. We’ve also relied on the Nest cam to keep an eye on our kids while we are home and they are napping, or on our dogs while we are away at the office!
Being a working mom, every day can get pretty busy. Walk us through what a typical workday looks like for you.
Being a family run startup, no two days are the same! One day I can be out sampling, running to the warehouse, brainstorming strategic plans, meeting our partner organizations, interacting with influencers, and/or connecting with customers. I do always make it a point to pick the kids up from school, so often times I try and finish up some work after dinner once the girls are in bed.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
After a long day, it is nice to set work aside and just be with my family and play with the kids. Sometimes I take the dogs for a run and get some fresh air. Running a startup with my husband, it can be difficult to take a break from work conversations – so we often play ping pong in the evening to mix it up and engage in some friendly competition!
What are your top 3 must-have mom essentials? This can be for you or baby.
A Yeti rambler to actually keep my coffee hot, exercise equipment at home like a Peloton so I can fit in a quick workout while the kids are napping, a variety of snack/energy bars in my purse for both kids and myself while on the go, and a pack of ABBY&FINN wipes in the car and purse because while my kids are out of diapers, they seem to always be sticky and there are endless messes to clean!