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BCB Celebrates Mom: Nell and Stephanie of Kibou

By lindsay

 

BCB celebrates mom EVERY DAY, but in May we BLOW OUT the celebration for Mother’s Day each and every year.  If you haven’t already, check out our Mother’s Day Gift Guide!  It’s filled with some of the best products from mom and women owned businesses.  We’ll be introducing you to the  amazing women behind these brands throughout the month of May.  If you have a mom founder we should meet, send us an email at info@bumpclubandbeyond.com

NAMES: Co-Founders Nell Shapiro and Stephanie Merks

COMPANY: Kibou or on Instagram @kiboubag

NELL SHAPIRO

KIDS (names/ages): Theo (5), Charlie (2)

WHERE DO YOU LIVE: New York

How did you start your business? 

When Theo was a baby, all I wanted was a compact bag that was hands-free. I dreamed of a fanny pack with a changing pad and wipes pocket, but there was nothing on the market! Recognizing that hole in the market, I set to work to create a deliberately minimal diaper bag solution.

What advice would you give to other moms looking to start a business?

I was afraid to share my idea because I thought someone would steal it. Then I was afraid to share it because I was afraid no one would like it. Neither one was true. Talk to everyone you can. Don’t be afraid to share your idea and listen–truly listen–to feedback. Survey your target market to understand their needs, their problems and what works for them inside and out. And then develop your product with that intel in mind.

How do you balance mom life and work life?  Is there even such a thing?

I’m not sure there’s a perfect balance, but I try my best to be fully present when it’s family time. I’m a work in progress for sure, but even if I work more than I’m free to be with my little guys, I try to be fully with them when I’m with them.

Favorite quote/Motto to live by?

Right now, I’m loving this one from Denzel Washington: “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

What is your karaoke song?

My karaoke song is Alone by Heart

What are you hoping to do to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?  Anything on your wish list?

It also happens to be my birthday, so my husband and I are going away for the weekend WITHOUT THE KIDS. I’m not a monster, I’ll be home with them in the afternoon 🙂 But I’ll get some nice QT with my main guy and then come home full of patience, love, and appreciation for whatever they bring my way.

What are five things you cannot live without?

What is the best part about motherhood?

Seeing my boys feel proud of themselves after trying really hard at something.

Funniest thing your kid has ever said or done?

These two boys crack me up all day, every day. It’s so hard to think of one single thing because they’re basically my favorite comedy show.

First thing you will do when the pandemic is over?

A huge feast of a dinner with tons of friends, followed by live music.

STEPHANIE MERKS

KIDS (names/ages): Theo (5) + Niko (2)

WHERE DO YOU LIVE: Amsterdam, Netherlands

How did you start your business?

Nell and I became friends when our oldest sons were 3 months old and went to the same music class. She shared her idea of the minimal diaper bag idea with me, and I totally fell in love with it and encouraged her to pursue it and make it a reality. Shortly thereafter, she asked me to come on as her partner to help her develop the product and be the creative arm of the company. I also have a graphic design studio that I run with my husband.

What advice would you give to other moms looking to start a business?

Do it! There is no better feeling than knowing that you’re a) spending your time away from the kids pursuing something you’re truly passionate about b) being able to make your own schedule and prioritize your kids in a way that being someone else’s employee doesn’t allow c) the reward of being able to not only provide for your family but also be a positive working-female role model to them.

How do you balance mom life and work life? 

Is there even such a thing? It’s SO hard! When you have your own business you are always on, there aren’t really days off. That’s why you have to take the daily moments you do get with your family to really be present and maximize the fun & memories you create with them.

Favorite quote/Motto to live by? 

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney

What is your theme song or karaoke song?

My husband and I always do a “Summer Lovin'” duet when we karaoke.

What are you hoping to do to celebrate Mother’s Day this year? 

I just want to drink my coffee without interruption and have some time to read a book, then obviously hang out with my kids.

How do you indulge for YOURSELF?

I love reading and watching reality TV to turn my mind off. I also really love long walks with a girlfriend, good for the body and the soul!

What is the best part about motherhood?

The unexpected stories that come out of my kids’ mouths, their creativity is astonishing to me!

Funniest thing your kid has ever said or done?

I love when my kids pronounce things wrong… I just never want to correct them. My son asks me to “do him a flavor” and my daughter always wants to “get comfsy.”

First thing you will do when the pandemic is over?

A girls trip with my best friends who I haven’t seen in person in a year and a half….No kids, no husband, no responsibility and lots of margaritas.

Check out the BCB Mother’s Day Gift Guide for tons of great ideas for Mother’s Day…and every day! PLUS, there are some amazing ways to WIN and discounts to be had.  If you’re not following @bumpclubandbeyond on Instagram, CLICK HERE and do that now…there are so many great prizes to win in celebration of Mother’s Day!  Make sure to check out Kibou’s website or follow them on Instagram

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