Emily built the company Lilac Pack from the ground up – a true “moms helping moms” company, providing care packages to support women in their postpartum period (the first 6-8 weeks after childbirth), with their personal recovery and to help them get their best start nursing.
It’s a time when the attention is so focused on their newborn that quite often a new mother doesn’t get the attention that they need. While they’re in the hospital, there may be fantastic support and tons of information, but it’s hard to take it all in, especially if you’re medicated or otherwise overwhelmed from childbirth.
Emily Lawrence, an engineer by trade, wanted to change this, so she brought her idea to an event called Give Back Hack.
“It was insane.”
An introvert by nature, she gathered her wits and pitched her idea to a crowd of strangers, only to be surprised by such a supportive environment. Over a single weekend, she was able to form a team and flush out her project.
“They pushed you to get out into the community… as in to put on your shoes and get on the ground and talk to people face-to-face to get their input on your idea.”
She was surprised at how much she accomplished over the weekend, but luckily her journey didn’t end there. She went on to SEA Change – an accelerator for social enterprises, which provided her a 14-week deep dive into building her business model, connecting with experts, and further validating her idea.
For Emily, it also gave her the opportunity to push herself to develop the social impact side of her business. As she puts it, it’s easy to put this off until later, but you’ll never get around to it — instead, start with your impact and it gives you direction and a standard to live up to.
So she built Lilac Pack as a social enterprise — in addition to the core product, they are a living wage company that provides child care support. (Child daycare often creates a job barrier… the cost is too high for low wage jobs.) The third aspect to their social mission is resource matching — they have a mommy map with locations of services for lactation consultants, doulas, and other similar services as an open directory of relevant services.
Now she’s up and running, and growing her business – learning how to tackle online marketing, and how to develop a presence on social media. I was so thankful that she shared some of her insight on the podcast.
When asked what surprises she’s had about starting a company, Emily responded:
“I thought it was going to be harder. It is hard, and just like being a mom, it is relentless. It does not let up, but if you have an idea, and if you are passionate about that idea people will get behind you.”
Having Emily on the podcast is such a joy – we journeyed with her during SEA Change while we were building Wild Tiger Tees, our t-shirt screen printing social enterprise employing youth experiencing homelessness. She was one of the first to utilize our services to print t-shirts to helped us pilot our program – and she continues to openly share her business insight with us, magnifying the impact that she makes. I love what she’s doing with Lilac Pack, and if you know anyone about to give birth, her packages make for beautiful gifts – so go out and support her wonderful venture!