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WHM: Suzanne Price Owner and Founder of Sprout San Francisco

By lindsay

March is Women’s History Month.  BCB salutes the MANY women throughout history who have gotten us to this point today.  But, throughout March 2021 we are celebrating and sharing MOMS who are making history RIGHT NOW.  As we know, moms are basically super human, super heroes.  We tackle so much at once, are the queens of multitasking and at the end of the day—we are almost always putting others’ best interests ahead of our own.  So as we look to the future, we want you to meet some incredible women, all of who are making sure brighter days lie ahead for all.

 

Name: Suzanne Price

Age: 43

Kid(s) and Ages: Hannah (11) and Amber (9)

Where do you live? San Francisco

TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO MAKE HISTORY RIGHT NOW.

I own a small chain of baby stores called Sprout San Francisco as well as an e-commerce site www.sproutsanfrancisco.com. Our physical locations are in Brooklyn, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Santa Monica, Palo Alto, Marin County, and San Francisco. We sell everything you need for an infant up to a 6 year old all highly vetted to make sure it is made from the safest materials, from organic cotton clothing to wooden toys and from natural personal care to organic mattresses.

I don’t know if it will make history, but I am doing my best to educate parents about the toxic chemicals in consumer products so that they will demand better from the companies they buy from. One great example of this is BPA in baby bottles. Once moms become aware that Bisphenol-A was a dangerous, hormone disrupting chemical, they demanded baby bottles free from BPA. Manufacturers stopped producing plastic bottles made with BPA and the federal government finally followed along and banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012.

There is still, however, BPA lining many canned drinks and food. There are also other bisphenols, such as BPF and BPS that have replaced BPA in some products labeled “BPA-free”. These bisphenols are suspected by scientists to be just as bad, if not worse, hormone disruptors as BPA. This is just one example of harmful chemicals looking in consumer products that the average consumer may not be aware of. I am trying to share with my customers what I have learned from the scientific organizations that I partner with. I hope that in the not too long change, this will create a demand for better products and companies will change their behavior.

WHO ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN YOU KNOW?

I rely heavily for the information I use at Sprout on an incredible organization called Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. Collectively, the women that run this organization inspire me every time I speak to them. In terms of influence, they have lead the charge on many initiatives that have change laws and our children’s health forever. For example, they got phthalates, another group of endocrine disrupting chemicals, banned from plastic toys. They also got the state of California to mandate ingredient disclosure in cleaning products and disclosure of toxic chemicals in fragrances. Having two young daughters, I am so grateful for BCPP’s work to lower their exposure to chemicals that could lead to breast cancer later in life.

THE THEME OF WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2021 IS:  REFUSING TO BE SILENCED.  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DOES IT PLAY OUT IN YOUR EVERY DAY LIFE?

In the age of instagram, it seems that the cutest products and the best images get the most attention. It is hard to get a meaningful message across. Of course the products that we sell are adorable as well as safe, but it becomes tempting to focus more on the adorable than on the message. I constantly remind myself that my real job is to tell people something that they may not want to hear, like how bad those weekly manicures are for you when you’re pregnant. I fear that sometimes people may be turned off to the message and not want to shop at Sprout. However, this is the whole reason I am doing what I am doing, to educate and protect our children, so I have to take that risk.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE TODAY?  HOW WILL YOU HELP IMPACT AND CHANGE THIS FOR WOMEN IN THE FUTURE THROUGH YOUR WORK AND/OR PERSONAL LIFE?

I think that women today are pressured to “do it all” more than ever before. The success of tech start ups has led to a culture that values working around the clock and never taking time off. We are meant to be constantly available and immediately responsive. Those women who are lucky enough to have kept their jobs, even with kids home from school for this past year, are now meant to manage their children’s zoom school and make lunches while working at the same time. Add to that the proliferation of instagram influencers showing us their perfect homes and perfect bodies, and there is no way we can keep up. I don’t have a great solution, but I do always remind people to “do what you can do” when it comes the organic lifestyle. Small changes still make a difference and are still worthwhile. Having a new baby is overwhelming so we try to do the research so a new mom doesn’t have to and can just trust what we have in the store. That’s my very small part in trying to take away one thing off of a mom’s very long to do list.

IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ONE WOMAN THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I recently watched the Netflix movie about Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self made millionaire, who happens to have been African American. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the story before. She was amazing. She created a hair care product that she saw a need for in her community and grew it into a huge business. She had tremendous obstacles in her way and managed to overcome them. I would love to ask her how she kept herself moving forward when it seemed impossible.

WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW OR LEARN ABOUT YOU?

Despite how public facing my role can sometimes be at Sprout, I really am an introvert. I can’t lie, hanging out at home in my sweatpants with my family most nights of this pandemic has not been all bad. I love to see my friends, but I would take a long dinner with one friend catching up over dinner and a bottle of wine over a big party any day.

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO BALANCE BEING A MOM, WORKING AND HELPING TO CHANGE THE WORLD ?  IS THERE SUCH THING AS BALANCE?

I just want to point out that no one asks men this question, ever. It just shows how society still expects women to bear the burden of raising the kids. What men do, even the most involved dads, is do the best they can and don’t constantly wonder if they are doing enough. So that is what I try to do too. Sometimes I don’t have time to plan the perfect birthday party or help the kids make valentines, and my kids need to understand. Hopefully, they see that I am doing something I am passionate about and that means something to them as well. I tell them I love them all the time and I prioritize the things that are most important to them. That means that sometimes things get missed at work as well. It’s a constant game of prioritization.

WHAT IS ONE SILVER LINING THAT HAS COME OUT OF THE PANDEMIC?

Life has slowed down. It has given us so much more family time with no commuting and no social engagements. We eat dinner together every night, and sometimes even have time for an “evening activity” as we call them, either a movie or game night. I think many people realize that all of the running around we were doing (like to 10 kid activities per week) wasn’t healthy, and I hope that some of this slower lifestyle sticks around even after we aren’t forced to stay home.

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT THE PANDEMIC WILL CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR WOMEN?

Unfortunately, it seems that many women either lost their jobs during the pandemic, such as those in the service industry, or left their jobs because nobody was home to watch their kids with schools closed. I fear that women have taken a huge step backwards in their careers and that it will take a long time to come back from that.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD LIKE TO OFFER OTHER WOMEN ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?

Honestly, I think one of the best things I’ve done as a parent is to step back and let my kids play on their own without interfering. Of course some of that has come from necessity since I was building my business, mostly from home, as they were growing up. It has paid off though. Throughout this pandemic, they do such a great job of playing with each other or on their own, without any devices to occupy their time. A little bit of boredom can go a long way. It will make them have to be creative and to work through problems on their own.

RAPID FIRE……

Last show you binged: Reign on Netflix, about Mary Queen of Scots. I like when I can watch a show that makes me feel like I’m learning something historical, even if it’s completely made up.

Last book you read: The Underground Railroad, a novel by Colson Whitehead. I couldn’t put it down.

Go-To Family Dinner: Ground Turkey Meatballs. I sneak spinach inside and bake them so I can then go do something else while they’re cooking.

Favorite Beverage: Green tea. That’s what I switch to and drink all day after it’s been too much coffee.

Favorite Take out: Indian food. That’s always been my comfort food after spending a grad school summer in Nepal and falling in love with the food.

Favorite Dessert: A great cabernet

Summer or Winter? Summer. It’s basically never summer in San Francisco, so having grown up in New York, I really miss it!

Dream Vacation: All my friends and family together on a beach in Hawaii

#1 Beauty Product you can’t live without: I really try to use as few products on myself as possible, but my favorite personal care product is Napinol. It’s basically like an all organic Aquafor, except not made from petroleum of course. MY daughter has extremely dry skin and this product has been a life saver.

App you can’t live without on your phone: Email. I know that isn’t interesting, but having email on my phone allows me to keep an eye on the business from wherever I am. Then I can try to be there for my kids as much as possible without missing something important in the business.

Stay tuned as we feature Moms Making History RIGHT NOW every day in the month of March.   Follow us on Instagram and Facebook  for more.   Do you know someone we should be talking to?  Email us to let us know at info@bumpclubandbeyond.com.  You can also meet more Moms We Love, right here. 

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