Hi! I’m Sophie, a New Yorker in London, mother of 2 and founder of Mamamade – we’re a direct-to-consumer brand specialising in infant and toddler nutrition, with a focus on supporting parents. What started from my home kitchen in 2019 is now a community of 40,000 – all of us sharing the highs and lows and offering a listening ear for everything life throws at us.
Very surreal – this isn’t at all the path I thought I’d take! I came here to do a masters/PhD and thought for sure I’d end up back in New York (or Paris, where I was living before coming to London). I absolutely hated London when I came here, so the fact that I’m still here (and happily!) nearly 8 years later feels very bizarre.
It grew quite organically out of my own need. I found the transition to parenthood extremely difficult – I felt like I lost myself entirely. Physically I wasn’t at home in my own skin, and emotionally I was very under-supported. And no one was talking about how hard parenting could be. When it came time to start introducing solids, I really felt like enough was enough. I was back at work, and I couldn’t believe that the only options available to parents like me were to cook everything from scratch or else rely on long-life products. I started to make some food from my kitchen and then sell it over Instagram, and the rest is history!
I do think that being a woman in business is hard, in general – and being a mother presents another set of challenges, mostly on my time. I have to work very hard to get into a good ‘flow’, only to have a natural cut-off time to focus on my kids and helping them at the end of their day. It can be very frustrating, because I see other businesses that launched at a similar time enjoy a very different level of success. But I am working on not comparing, not only because everyone has their own path, but also in recognition of the fact that I couldn’t possibly run this business without being a mother!
Thank you – it was so amazing to see how the community came together to support Mamamade’s mission and invest in our future together. Mamamade is about bringing together parents who are happy to share the highs and share in the lows – because there are a lot of both. Parenting can be so lonely – particularly now – and a lot of social media can feel like a highlights reel, with everyone else doing things perfectly. It can feel like everyone is doing things right apart from you. And the best part is we speak to parents all day every day who feel seen, accepted and reassured by their parenting journeys because of Mamamade, and that’s really what this is all about.
It’s taken some time for me to find something that works for me, and I’ve finally found a rhythm that ensures I get time for myself but also my children.
I start my day at 6am. I journal (usually just a 3-page brain dump), get a bit of movement in and make sure I drink water. Sometimes my daughter will join me – depends on her sleep! Then I spend time with my two children, getting them ready for the day before doing the school run. Depending on the day I’ll work from home or go into the office with the team for 9 or 9.30.
I then get home for 6ish, and it’s straight to dinner/bath/bedtime! I might do a bit more work in the evening once my kids are asleep, but I always try to start winding down at around 8.30 and am in bed with a book (and no screens!) early, by 9.30.
It sounds very dull but I’ve had way too many periods of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, and so far being this disciplined (during the week, at least!) really seems to help.
I still can’t get over how wildly different my two children are. Oddly, I actually feel I am a better mother now that I have two, and I also enjoy motherhood more with two. I really didn’t expect to say this. I struggled a lot to bond with my first. Nothing came naturally and in those early days I really regretted becoming a mother. With my second I finally experienced that ‘love at first sight’, heart exploding moment – and it was a huge learning experience for me. I’m so much more patient, understanding, and empathetic now. Maybe it took a pandemic and a horrible second birth to get here, but I’m glad we did!
There was a point in my life when I thought I’d become a professional flute player. I studied at one of the top conservatories in New York and committed my weekends (all day, every day) to studying flute and music theory. I learned a lot about dedication to a craft, consistency, and work ethic. I haven’t played in years, but I’d love it if one of my children showed an interest!
My family has always prioritised buying quality clothes that can be passed down and shared . Growing up with two sisters and a very fashionable mother, aunt and grandmother meant we were always – and I mean always – sharing clothes and getting hand-me-downs. I loved it. I had the best collection of shoes and bags from my Granny!
We were raised to prioritise quality and workmanship, and respect that by giving clothes as many leases on life as possible. It’s an ethos I’m trying to instill in Liba now – to look after our belongings, and then think of who might enjoy the items now that they no longer fit.
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