After writing that post about baby basics (you can find it here), my awesome friend Rachael realized that she knew both me (duh) and Grace from Patemm and was kind enough to make the connection. I've gotten to know Grace a bit since then and I must say she's superlovely and totally impressive. Here's a mini interview we did:
1. What motivated you to develop patemm and how difficult was getting it up and running with 2 little ones?
Upon graduation from New York University, I bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco to discover a new city and to start a new life. My parents had done the same almost 50 years ago when they immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. You could say it is from them that I learned how to be entrepreneurial.
Prior to children, I spent nearly six years doing public relations, marketing, and branding for a San Francisco design firm. While I always wanted to have a family, I also wanted to return to the workforce but only on my own terms. Starting my own business seemed like the best way to accomplish both goals. The next challenge was to define what kind of business.
As is true for most parents, my children consumed my life, and what I discovered were all kinds of baby products that worked and many that didn't work. When my first child Patrick was born, I found the small rectangular shape of diaper changing pads frustrating because aligning him in the right position was always a challenge—particularly since he was a rather wiggly baby. Even more annoying was the design of the folding/rolling pad that had ties, buttons, or even Velcro®. I needed something simple that could fold easily - especially with one hand.
When my second child Emma was born, I, like most parents today, was always on the go and found my diaper bag overwhelming at times—especially for quick trips to the grocery store or a visit to the park. For these short jaunts, I only needed a few diapers, wipes, perhaps a change of clothes and a changing pad. Plus, I wanted something small and compact that I could throw in my car, handbag or even at the bottom of my stroller.
Emma was eighteen months old when I started to consider how to return to the work force. I was discussing ideas for businesses with my sister, when Emma needed a diaper change. My sister had been suggesting that a good business solves a problem. In the time it took to change Emma, I found my business venture: a round diaper changing pad.
Starting one's own business is never easy (especially with children) but having support and surrounding yourself with people who are much smarter than you makes it a bit easier. Also, hard work, dedication, and perseverance should always be part of the equation!
2. Which is your favorite pad and why?
I love all of our prints so it is hard to say which is my all time favorite. I do love our ma'ong/denim pad. It is a dark denim and after many washes, it looks like one's favorite pair of jeans. I also love our laminated cotton pads particularly our limited edition AMAZON print ( which is a Facebook exclusive available at www.facebook.com/patemmpad).
3. Avi and I love love love our patemm and so many other moms feel the same. your company must be growing by leaps and bounds! how do you do it all with 4 kids in tow?!? What keeps you motivated, centered, excited?
Raising a family and running your own business is challenging but completely do-able. I am blessed to have alot of support especially from my husband Marty and my parents. Since patemm is our family business, we prioritize what is most important which is raising our 4 great children: Patrick, 10, Emma, 8, Jack, 5, and Lucie 2.5. My family motivates me to work hard and to stay focused on our business.
Lucky for us, she's offered one special Love Life and Lollipops reader a free Patemm Pad. It is GOTS certified organic and the most practical thing I own! Just leave a comment below and give them a "like" on facebook (www.facebook.com/patemmpad) and I'll announce the winner next week! Also, she's been kind enough to offer all of us a 20% discount on her site with the discount code LLL at checkout!
Thank you Grace !