Sascha Mayer on how disruptive design can impact lives

How can design solve real world problems?

And how can you use the knowledge and skills you have, to create something brand new on your terms?

Today we’ll be talking with Sascha Mayer about how disruptive design can impact lives.

Sascha is the CEO and co-founder of Mamava, a company on a mission to create a healthier society through infrastructure and support for breastfeeding.

She is a mom to two, now, teenage children. But when she was breastfeeding her first and discovered the challenges mothers faced trying to breastfeed after returning to work, she realised she had to do something about it.

The story is fantastic. One of, as they call themselves, reluctant entrepreneurs.

We hear about how external factors can really push something into motion.

The complexity of selling something that no one knows what it is. But something that is literally needed – everywhere.

And about how breastfeeding is truly a complicated cultural conversation.

There are some fantastic learnings and take aways in this chat – so definitely get stuck in.

If you’re keen to find out more about Mamava, check them out here.

So grab that favourite beverage. Or throw on those running shoes. And here is an inspiring chat with Sascha.

And please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review and subscribe.

00:00:02:04 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving light around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:56:18
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed. Hello and welcome to episode 47 of TIE Unearthed today. Sascha Mayer is with us and we’ll be talking about how disruptive design can impact lives. Sascha is the CEO and co-founder of mum of a company on a mission to create a healthier society through infrastructure and support for breastfeeding.

00:00:57:13 – 00:01:30:21
Philippa White
Mayor is a mum of two now teenage children, but when she was breastfeeding her first and discovered the challenges mothers face trying to breastfeed after returning to work, she realized she had to do something about it. The story is fantastic. One of, as they call themselves, reluctant entrepreneurs. We hear about how the idea came about, what it looked like at the beginning, and then how it went from an incubated idea at a design studio to a real flourishing company with an exciting future, and then all the bits in between.

00:01:31:10 – 00:01:53:14
Philippa White
I, of course, was super interested to understand about the cultural differences and inequalities faced around the U.S., where they are based, and her thoughts on expansion. It’s really interesting to hear what she says. A super insightful conversation. So throw on those running shoes or grab that favorite beverage. And here is Sascha. Sascha, it’s lovely to have you with us today.

00:01:53:14 – 00:01:55:06
Philippa White
Thank you so much for joining me.

00:01:55:24 – 00:01:57:19
Sascha Mayer
Thank you for having me. I’m excited.

00:01:58:00 – 00:02:01:12
Philippa White
I am, too. Now tell me, where are you? Where are you sitting right now?

00:02:02:01 – 00:02:08:24
Sascha Mayer
I am in Burlington, Vermont. And it’s there’s still snow on the ground, even though it’s March 15th.

00:02:09:20 – 00:02:12:23
Philippa White
I do see a lot of sun coming through the window, though. So it looks sunny.

00:02:13:06 – 00:02:17:00
Sascha Mayer
Relatively speaking. It’s sunny, but maybe probably not compared to where you are.

00:02:17:03 – 00:02:31:13
Philippa White
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Today it is particularly hot, probably sort of close to 30 degrees. So I mean, the grass is always greener, right? So yeah, I can’t go snowboarding, which I haven’t done since I was 15, which I would really like to do.

00:02:31:13 – 00:02:33:24
Sascha Mayer
So I did get to ski this weekend, so.

00:02:34:07 – 00:02:45:04
Philippa White
Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly. Well, to that point, just tell us a little bit about you and your background and yeah. Bring you to life for sure. Listeners.

00:02:45:15 – 00:03:12:14
Sascha Mayer
Yeah. I am the co-founder and CEO of Mom of four and we are a company that its mission is to create a healthier society through infrastructure and support for breastfeeding and it came about because as a new mom, I wanted to breastfeed my kids and I worked for a design studio where I also had to travel and go to back to work pretty shortly after.

00:03:13:01 – 00:03:34:08
Sascha Mayer
I had my children at three months and I needed to use a breast pump and the only place to do that privately, it’s a pretty complicated set up when you’re using a breast pump was often a restroom or a bathroom. So essentially making food for a new human in a place which you’re supposed to be actually doing the opposite.

00:03:35:07 – 00:04:08:16
Sascha Mayer
So the the idea was I worked for our design studio, so we really believe that the design could be used to solve real world problems. And we thought, why don’t we figure out how to make a freestanding lactation suite that would be both easy for employers and for facilities, people to install and for moms to access and have it be designed specifically for that one function that people had pretty much been ignoring.

00:04:08:16 – 00:04:14:19
Sascha Mayer
It was kind of a secret that women were actually doing this all over the country. So that’s where it all started.

00:04:14:23 – 00:04:28:15
Philippa White
Tell us a little bit about before that moment. So you you were working with Michael, you were working at the design studio. And this was something that kind of just maybe explained to our listeners sort of even before or before.

00:04:29:00 – 00:04:56:01
Sascha Mayer
Our starting way back. I think I’ve always been sort of have the activist mindset wanting to solve problems out in the world. And I went to the University of Vermont, which is based here in Burlington. And the day after I graduated, I started working for then Congressman Bernie Sanders, who is now our esteemed and eccentric and very progressive senator.

00:04:56:13 – 00:05:28:23
Sascha Mayer
And did a couple years working there and then realized that probably the private sector was more where it was going to be the place for me to make an impact. And I found a wonderful design studio led by a man named Michael Jagger, who was doing work actually very much in the youth sports industry. Anchor client was Burton Snowboards, who was based here, and from the reputation of the work we did there, we grew our client base to be all over the world, frankly.

00:05:28:23 – 00:05:45:07
Sascha Mayer
And we were young, nobody was married, nobody had kids. And then eventually, of course, you grow up and we all started having families. There was actually a baby boom of eight people, had children all in one year long ago.

00:05:45:07 – 00:05:46:10
Philippa White
Are we talking about that?

00:05:46:10 – 00:06:19:02
Sascha Mayer
All right. So this was yeah, my youngest is 16. So this is, you know, 18 years ago. But this all started. What was great about the design studio about Michael is that he really welcomed the idea of incubating other ideas within the business. And so my co-founder and I were colleagues at the design studio had both experienced this challenge of needing to travel and find a place to use a breast pump.

00:06:19:02 – 00:06:51:07
Sascha Mayer
And so we actually had a design charrette where people proposed new concepts to solve real world problems. And I proposed this idea of a freestanding lactation suite, and they were really supportive. It was interesting because it allowed us as entrepreneurs this opportunity to work, you know, getting paid for our day job. As I was a strategist at the studio while incubating a new business and of course, many people do not have that safety net.

00:06:51:07 – 00:07:13:16
Sascha Mayer
So that was really exciting. At the same time, it was a slow going because the client work always did have to come first and there were literally years where we were touching the mama of our project and then we come back to it or something would propel us forward and the pluses and minuses with that. But definitely it was a privilege to be able to do that with that job totally.

00:07:13:16 – 00:07:35:01
Philippa White
And I just one of the things that we talk a lot about with Ty, in fact, I had a conversation with somebody about it yesterday. You know, you often hear one people waiting for that perfect brief from a client or feeling like they’re sort of siloed within whatever it is that they’re working on. And they don’t feel like they have the freedom to sort of do more within their business.

00:07:35:12 – 00:08:00:08
Philippa White
And I just I just think this is such a beautiful example of, okay, you weren’t doing this for another client. You were creating this kind of incubation idea within the design studio. But what an extraordinary thing to be able to do. And it’s we talk a lot about entrepreneurialism, so you see a challenge and then you use whatever you have the resources within where you’re at to then find a solution to that challenge.

00:08:00:08 – 00:08:21:11
Philippa White
And like you say, if you can do that while still getting paid by, you know, by your company and then if your company can benefit from that, okay. It was a process. Obviously, it took a lot longer than you probably all imagined it would. But still, isn’t that wonderful that this was incubated from within the design studio? Obviously, Michael’s still involved, but then next stage, which will get to, you know, this is this is a flourishing business.

00:08:21:11 – 00:08:27:13
Philippa White
I mean, it’s just yeah, people should you should write a I don’t know if you have have you written a book? You should read book that.

00:08:27:16 – 00:08:50:08
Sascha Mayer
Right. It’s been outlined many times. It says The Entrepreneurial Journey. I think some folks might read it and say, you can you could not have made this up. Yeah, but yeah. And I think the the all of the things that we knew how to do it as a design, say to write a great brief, create a great brand, name it, have a design for the brand.

00:08:50:08 – 00:09:19:11
Sascha Mayer
We have all of that literally before we had a product because we really did not do industrial or architectural design. So we tried to, but then of course, the fabrication of a space is a whole different set of expertize than we had in-house. And, you know, ultimately we took our amazing brief to an external resource who helped to design actually the first product.

00:09:19:16 – 00:09:35:01
Sascha Mayer
But that took a while for us to figure out that we couldn’t do it on our own. But I do think that the vision we put forward for those people who helped us early on as brand people, as communicators, you know, helped them understand it and get excited about it.

00:09:35:01 – 00:09:53:07
Philippa White
So talk to us about that moment because obviously you had incubated this idea within the design studio. You know, as you said, it took a while because you had to do your day job and then you kind of every once in a while kind of tap into Mama Vine and then you sort of get distracted and then months would pass and you’re, oh, shoot, mama, you sort of go back.

00:09:53:07 – 00:10:03:01
Philippa White
So what was the catalyst? What what what was that moment when you suddenly stopped working at a design studio and focused all of your time on about what happened?

00:10:03:01 – 00:10:21:12
Sascha Mayer
Yeah, so a couple of catalysts. The first was, frankly, as I said, my the idea kind of came in in 2006 and gelled for me when I had my second kid. And I was just I guess nobody what else is going to solve this? I’ve got to figure it out myself. You know, they’re sort of the ornery thing.

00:10:21:12 – 00:10:22:05
Sascha Mayer
And but.

00:10:22:05 – 00:10:23:12
Philippa White
Really, it was.

00:10:23:14 – 00:10:57:00
Sascha Mayer
Culture catching up and the legislation that had been passed in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Within that, there was a new, more robust mandate that employers of hourly employees had to provide the break time and a place other than a restroom for people to use their breast pumps. And so the business case was made because compliance, at least in the States, is a major factor because we are such a litigious society.

00:10:57:09 – 00:11:05:13
Sascha Mayer
So at that point we kind of got serious, developed a prototype that we put into our local airport. It got a ton of attention.

00:11:05:15 – 00:11:06:00
Philippa White
Wow.

00:11:06:00 – 00:11:07:00
Sascha Mayer
That’s a contract.

00:11:07:13 – 00:11:09:00
Philippa White
That’s a place to do it.

00:11:09:00 – 00:11:31:05
Sascha Mayer
Yeah. Yeah. We had a it’s a very small community, so we had a relationship with the director of the airport, put it in on a handshake. We got the local paper to pick it up. It was a good net paper. It went national and international. And then we sort of said, Well, we have something here. Literally thousands of media impressions on this one little gesture.

00:11:31:05 – 00:11:57:09
Sascha Mayer
We also kind of knew that as brand people, that PR is your friend and couple of years from there, there are some challenges around manufacturing and resourcing. And then we actually raised our first very small round of funding and I think it was around maybe $500,000 to actually hire our first employees in 2015, 2016, and have been growing every year since then.

00:11:57:12 – 00:11:58:01
Sascha Mayer
Wow.

00:11:58:01 – 00:12:04:22
Philippa White
Wow. And so again, they just that we can put this all into perspective for listeners. So well, who would that have been?

00:12:05:10 – 00:12:07:14
Sascha Mayer
So 2013 was the prototype.

00:12:07:18 – 00:12:08:03
Philippa White
Team.

00:12:08:09 – 00:12:34:05
Sascha Mayer
Still working full time for the design studio? 2015 we did the seed round of funding and that’s when I left about halfway through that year. And my co-founder Christine, who was in operations at Design Studio and is also our CEO at Mama, but she didn’t come over, I don’t think, till 2017. So kind of bridging. Yeah, look, we only had so much money to support the staffing of what we needed to do and and that came later.

00:12:34:08 – 00:12:55:14
Philippa White
Yeah. So maybe you can talk now, but I mean, because 2017 kind of now is starting to really build the team of see 2088. The pandemic has been within all of that time as well. But talk to us just what it looks like now, how you see the company, but also your role in society. I love how you talk about, you know, your motto nursing should be a right, not a privilege.

00:12:56:01 – 00:13:08:21
Philippa White
I think the cultural aspect I think is really interesting, which was, you know, you talked about that from when you set it up. Even at the beginning, you know, it was also a big driver. Maybe you can just sort of talk to us about that element of what? Yeah, you see.

00:13:08:21 – 00:13:32:00
Sascha Mayer
My I’m sure that was a key factor for me because we had experienced this baby boom at the design studio. And for instance, I had a colleague who worked in reception and she had a child two weeks after me. And even though the employer was supportive, it was just kind of balancing, you know, leaving the reception desk in order to go and use a breast pump, something more private.

00:13:32:00 – 00:13:52:24
Sascha Mayer
Whereas I had my own office where I could close the door and, you know, I would offer to cover her. But I was already taking my breaks to use my breast pump and just seeing that basically it was unsustainable for her because she did not have the infrastructure and support to do it. And I was able to keep on plugging away at it.

00:13:52:24 – 00:14:22:03
Sascha Mayer
And, you know, I even saw the outcome through who knows about these things? But my kid had a lot fewer days. Second daycare, ear infections, those kinds of things. And I have to think that perhaps while we were seeing the benefits of it in real time. So of course I knew this was happening everywhere. My husband is a middle school teacher and all of those colleagues he had were also not able to take that break time or have any privacy in the school environment.

00:14:22:12 – 00:14:46:23
Sascha Mayer
We had heard about nurses and other roles that are predominantly female who just would have the value set around wanting to breastfeed, but just it was impossible for them to do so. That was really a big driver for me again and believe in that design has the ability to solve these problems was it was definitely not rocket science as we started growing the business.

00:14:46:23 – 00:15:13:23
Sascha Mayer
One of the things that has been a blessing and a curse has been the massive need everywhere and the complexity of selling something that no one knows what it is to every different channel. So it reminded me we used to say, you know, even rocket scientists know they need Marble Bar because one of our first customers was Los Alamos National Laboratories.

00:15:14:03 – 00:15:45:16
Sascha Mayer
And they have maybe 20 units. They have a 40 acre campus. And it was a very funny sale because they basically we couldn’t install it and they couldn’t really tell us anything about where it was going. So it was it was for us amazing and inspiring. Oh, yeah. Of course, those people who are working, you know, they’re anywhere from scientists down to custodians who are in those facilities and then, you know, stadiums and convention centers and schools and all of them have different sales cycles.

00:15:45:16 – 00:15:57:18
Sascha Mayer
All of them have, you know, slightly different needs. And so as we grew the business, we wanted to say yes, and we still say yes mission wise to everything. But it’s easier said than done.

00:15:57:21 – 00:16:03:14
Philippa White
Yeah, that actually brings me to one of my next questions, because what have been some of the biggest surprises for you?

00:16:03:19 – 00:16:36:03
Sascha Mayer
One of the biggest surprises more as a business owner and and CEO has really been about the energy it takes to care for your colleagues and coworkers. You talk about that emotional energy that women often take on. And I feel that there might be a different expectation of a company that is run by women, predominantly operated by women.

00:16:36:11 – 00:17:02:08
Sascha Mayer
And it has been more psychic energy than than I maybe thought, which is interesting because I you know, it’s a it’s a matriarchy here, not a patriarchy. We really believe that supporting our folks and as an entrepreneur just takes a bigger chunk of time maybe than I realized. And I do sometimes worry that it has to do with like if we have male leadership with those same expectations, be there.

00:17:02:10 – 00:17:09:08
Sascha Mayer
But I love it. We have very low turnover. We have I swear, you know, we all we have 50 employees.

00:17:09:20 – 00:17:11:01
Philippa White
And quite big.

00:17:11:07 – 00:17:37:09
Sascha Mayer
Yeah, big. Well, that includes a chunk of folks who work on manufacturing and, and for the first few years, it’s only been between 15 and 30 people. And we have about four babies born a year, two colleagues. It’s a baby boom type of place. Yeah. So it’s great. And so we give obviously in the US it’s a big deal because you know, we pay 100% for parental leave for men and women.

00:17:37:09 – 00:18:03:14
Sascha Mayer
And it’s it’s interesting as a small company we have four people that are our gone for that leave. You’re kind of putting our money where our mouth is, but also so beautiful to see that people are still, you know, growing families. And, you know, we have product users which is what we need, and models who work and put our website images and our collateral images.

00:18:03:14 – 00:18:05:18
Sascha Mayer
So we’re really lucky in that way.

00:18:05:19 – 00:18:39:11
Philippa White
Talk to us. Just, you know, I’m just curious about this is very much focused on the US rather than other countries. And I’m just interested to know cultural within the U.S. and also kind of why you are going externally, but also just within the U.S. How does it differ in certain regions? Does it differ culturally? What do you just I think when you deal with something like breastfeeding, it’s a funny one because it really does unearth a lot of traditions that unearths a lot of kind of just different nuances within a culture.

00:18:39:11 – 00:18:57:15
Philippa White
But I saw it when I was breastfeeding. I saw a huge stark contrast being here in Brazil versus when I would then be in Canada. And I’m just curious, because you’re seeing it on a on a level that’s interesting. What could you tell our listeners just about some of the interesting nuances that you see through this world?

00:18:57:16 – 00:19:21:18
Sascha Mayer
Yeah, absolutely. Really good question. It really interesting considering we’re in the US in you’re in Brazil right now. The it was very deliberate. We knew that this is a complicated cultural conversation per culture and sometimes even per in the printed in the states. Right. We have very high rates of breastfeeding in Vermont and very low in Mississippi, for instance.

00:19:22:04 – 00:19:45:24
Sascha Mayer
And we wanted to always come from a non-judgmental place because we understand that everybody has different circumstances, may have different abilities. Babies need different things. Parents need different things. And we never wanted to say that we could come into another culture and say that we could interpret it on their behalf. And cultures are so different across the world.

00:19:45:24 – 00:20:07:08
Sascha Mayer
You know, if you’re in Scandinavia and you have two years off, there’s kind of very little need for our pumping locations. For instance. Also, just on a practical level, as a new business, biting off more than you can chew to go into international, that this wasn’t that it wasn’t going to be the smart thing to do. But, you know, early on, you know, the social media is porous.

00:20:07:08 – 00:20:28:07
Sascha Mayer
Right. And the idea gets out there. We had a number of units. We still do in Miami so that a lot of those people are going to, you know, Latin America or elsewhere around the world and would see the product and sometimes pushback and on social media and say you’re trying to hide breastfeeding or put breastfeeding people in a box.

00:20:28:07 – 00:20:58:07
Sascha Mayer
And it was really their interpretation because they might be coming from a culture where the dynamics around objectification in Brazil and what the body does, a woman’s body and what it’s used for is very different. Similarly, you know, you might think of frats where they actually have pretty low rates of breastfeeding as well, because there’s a different idea of of what a woman’s body is in her control and command and maybe getting back to a place where it’s, you know, functioning to do other things that’s more important than breastfeeding.

00:20:58:14 – 00:21:27:00
Sascha Mayer
So that’s been interesting for us to navigate. And the great thing is, one, the conversation has evolved, like we’re out there enough. The conversation about lactation support is out there enough that people don’t push back and the mothers or parents themselves actually do sort of the policing in those conversations. So somebody would say, you’re trying to hide breastfeeding.

00:21:27:00 – 00:21:33:09
Sascha Mayer
And you know what? I had my six children, I breastfed everywhere. And then another mom will jump on like I am an airline pilot.

00:21:33:14 – 00:21:34:06
Philippa White
I have to use.

00:21:34:07 – 00:22:03:21
Sascha Mayer
A breast pump, you know, or whatever, and then immediately shut down. So it would often be, frankly, moms who weren’t in the business of breastfeeding anymore, like maybe seventies or sixties moms and or men. And immediately, of course, when somebody who actually hasn’t breastfed before comments, they usually get shut down. I think they, you know, they want to be woke by saying, why do you why do women need to be hidden away?

00:22:03:21 – 00:22:07:01
Sascha Mayer
But they actually don’t understand the function of.

00:22:07:01 – 00:22:25:11
Philippa White
A just a big slugging something and. Yeah, exactly like one thing. One thing is breastfeeding. I mean, I know, I remember. It’s funny. Remember, this is too graphic for a podcast. Anyway, I’m going to say, you know, I remember being at an eye doctor’s appointment for my daughter because she had funny eye issues when she was just born.

00:22:25:18 – 00:22:46:06
Philippa White
And I remember being in this the waiting room, which is my first. So still getting used to this breastfeeding. But in Brazil actually it’s a lot you know, I would just take my boobs out and just breastfeed like very happily. But then, you know, she took her mouth off and suddenly like a belt was turning to the head and somebody who was sitting in front of me, you know, it’s kind of, oh my God, that’s soap, everything.

00:22:46:09 – 00:23:06:17
Philippa White
That kind of stuff is, you know, but how it I’m sorry, but like the breast pump and having that, you’re going to be sitting at your your desk at work where the you know, it’s all it’s like the most. You just you just feel like a cow, actually. And it’s just a lot nicer to just be able to be somewhere closed off.

00:23:06:17 – 00:23:29:18
Philippa White
And actually, interestingly, in Brazil, I don’t know if you know this, but in all of the shopping centers and the airports, there is a family room and there’s a really nice, beautiful chairs. I mean, it’s really posh, like really nice chairs. And you you, you know, there’s electric things. You can breast pump, you can breastfeed. There’s really there’s even somebody usually in there to assist you.

00:23:30:05 – 00:23:32:03
Sascha Mayer
Wow, that is great.

00:23:32:10 – 00:23:32:18
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:23:32:18 – 00:23:35:16
Sascha Mayer
So know like the pay is pretty good that way to.

00:23:35:16 – 00:23:48:10
Philippa White
In the airport there isn’t someone to assist you but in a lot of these shopping centers like there’s actually there’s a couple of people who work there and they’ll sort of give you a towel and they’ll sort of help you and they’ll sort of give you and there’s hot water. There’s a bath for the baby if if you need to.

00:23:49:07 – 00:24:11:19
Sascha Mayer
Wow, that’s ideal. I know. Yeah. For us, it’s sort of a patchwork. I always say, you know, the mission is infrastructure and support to make this society healthier. But the vision is lactation spaces anywhere a woman might go. And it’s not necessarily our pods like the ideal. It would be what you’re describing in Brazil, like the running water, the attendant and everything you might need.

00:24:11:22 – 00:24:13:10
Philippa White
Maybe that for your business.

00:24:13:20 – 00:24:17:03
Sascha Mayer
Yeah, well, what about some concepts like that? But because it’s.

00:24:17:03 – 00:24:47:24
Philippa White
Treating these women as human beings and I think that’s the thing. I think when we’re looking at the corporate world, for example, I mean, okay, we’ve got the the maternal wall and we’ve got all of these challenges, even just having children and the sort of the logistics and the juggling. And that’s a whole other conversation, but something that businesses really need to kind of wake up and realize, because I know so many of my good friends who are working because they had children, which in my mind just seems crazy because they just need to work for companies that understand that a bit of flexibility is all that’s needed.

00:24:47:24 – 00:25:03:18
Philippa White
We’re going to have such a terrain of incredible talent, but this is a thing. It’s sort of just think about what’s the basic needs of a mom and what do they need? And it just seems like a no brainer and fantastic that this is an option. More people just need to know about it.

00:25:03:18 – 00:25:26:11
Sascha Mayer
Yet it has such benefits broadly for culture in terms of health and the outcome in terms of maternal health are even more impactful than sort of child and infant. So it just, you know, again, an invisible problem because it was attached to the second gender. I guess so.

00:25:26:20 – 00:25:28:21
Philippa White
Right. Tell me, who inspires you?

00:25:29:00 – 00:25:59:20
Sascha Mayer
There are a number of women also who are in the entrepreneurial space. There is an app called Clue from a Danish entrepreneur Preneur and I think her name is Ida Tim. And it’s for her fertility and menstrual tracking app and it’s just great design. And I love again, it’s designed solving a problem. There is also a woman name, Kimberly SEALs Allers, and she has a has always had a business and an expertize around breastfeeding.

00:25:59:20 – 00:26:22:12
Sascha Mayer
But her focus now is more on black maternal health and her app is called Earth, and it enables reviews of health care providers for black and brown women so they can actually source the best health care providers when it comes to OB-GYNs and maternal health care. So yeah, those two come to mind.

00:26:22:12 – 00:26:23:10
Philippa White
Yeah, really.

00:26:23:16 – 00:26:45:24
Sascha Mayer
And I think in general, just anybody who’s a lifelong learner or my colleague and Michael Jagger, he’s just an amazing connector. And I’m like, yes, long learner and sharer. I would say my mother, who is actually 81, but she is a person who is, you know, still reading all the newspapers and sending me articles and reading books and stretching her mind every day, which is really, really something I admire.

00:26:46:04 – 00:26:46:15
Sascha Mayer
Yeah.

00:26:46:18 – 00:26:55:13
Philippa White
So we all need to do share. You hinted at it and I’m not sure if that’s something that you can talk about, but where do you see mum of five, ten years?

00:26:55:20 – 00:27:18:06
Sascha Mayer
So I think that because we are mom was an idea, it’s about support and infrastructure for breastfeeding. We have in the very early days we wanted to scale that idea. So we actually made an app, hired an intern to say, go look at any lactation space that might be listed on the Internet and create a spreadsheet that eventually went into an app.

00:27:18:06 – 00:27:41:10
Sascha Mayer
So it kind of showed our scale and allowed for us to not only have our public pod, maybe there were only 20 or 30 at the time that we did the app. But then, you know, now it probably has 5000 other lactation spaces that are both crowdsourced and that we keep up and can have moms fine. So it’s always been about an idea that could be broader than just the pods themselves.

00:27:41:17 – 00:28:14:24
Sascha Mayer
And we are working on a program that for the time being, we’re calling Mama Valley. And so it’s lactation experience and accommodation design. So where else can we create lactation services type of presence? And some of our clients are already asking for that. So for instance, we have campuses and they might have some of our pods, but they also might have some rooms and they want to create a more cohesive experience between the pods and the rooms.

00:28:14:24 – 00:28:42:15
Sascha Mayer
And they want the pods and the rooms on the app and the way to access in a controlled manner. So our pods have the app that allows you actually to access them, and it just helps us kind of manage make sure that there aren’t folks who might be using the rooms for other things. So putting that same system on a room and then designing it, as you have described in Brazil, in an ideal situation which with all the bells and whistles.

00:28:42:15 – 00:28:49:20
Sascha Mayer
So yeah, we are starting to do that and develop the technology that can jump from our pods to rooms.

00:28:49:21 – 00:28:50:11
Philippa White
Wow.

00:28:50:16 – 00:29:09:24
Sascha Mayer
Which is great. And then whatever else, you know, if it’s like again, we’re an idea about being a parent on the go or breastfeeding on the go, you know, what else do parents need to be successful with that? So as a brand person, it’s like, is it bag and is it other types of accessories? Those kinds of questions we’re asking ourselves.

00:29:09:24 – 00:29:21:10
Philippa White
Exciting the world is your oyster. Yeah, yeah. It’s really exciting. Well, we’ve come to the end of the podcast, but I’m just wondering, what? Haven’t I asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners?

00:29:21:14 – 00:29:41:22
Sascha Mayer
I think a key lesson for me is sometimes progress over perfection has been a big one, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in like, Oh, I need it all to be aligned. I can’t, you know, share this until everything is locked in. And I think for me it’s bed share it, get your community involved.

00:29:42:06 – 00:30:01:24
Sascha Mayer
It will build momentum in that way. That’s that’s a big one to remind people of. And I think sometimes also we sometimes call ourselves the reluctant entrepreneurs because there’s been a bit about an ordinary ness, which is like, well, no one else is going to solve the problem. I guess we have to, you know, which is probably not the best attitude.

00:30:01:24 – 00:30:22:23
Sascha Mayer
But you know, my sister had a kids ten years after I did, and she was still grappling with the same problems. And that was a big motivator for me to leave the design studio and actually do this. The fact that no one else, you know, honestly, if somebody else had figured this out, it’d be like, great. I got plenty of other things I want to do with my life.

00:30:23:07 – 00:30:36:21
Sascha Mayer
But if you have that thing that you just know is a problem to be solved, then go after it because no one else is probably. What’s the Maya Angelou quote? We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Yeah, I think about that a lot.

00:30:36:21 – 00:30:58:11
Philippa White
So I’m sure a lot of people knowing more about your story and you being you and your team members being behind it are no doubt very grateful because that’s the thing. It does take people who have struggled with something to actually make something happen, and I think that’s a really good takeaway for everyone. It’s one don’t wait till it’s perfect, but also if you’re feeling something, you’re probably not the only one.

00:30:58:11 – 00:31:04:15
Philippa White
You probably a lot of other people who are feeling it too. And if it hasn’t been sorted out, you’re doing the world a favor. Do it.

00:31:04:20 – 00:31:05:02
Sascha Mayer
Yeah.

00:31:05:09 – 00:31:17:08
Philippa White
There’s a lot of people that need you so. Well, thank you for your time. Thank you so much for having this chat with me. I’m excited to get this out. I’m guessing for people to get in touch if they’re looking for this, which is simply be your website, I’m thinking.

00:31:17:13 – 00:31:21:18
Sascha Mayer
Sure. All of the all of the information and access points are on there.

00:31:21:24 – 00:31:23:23
Philippa White
Yes. Well, thank you so much.

00:31:24:05 – 00:31:30:02
Sascha Mayer
Yeah. Thanks for all the good work that you do, too, and for putting this platform out there for people to tell their stories.

00:31:30:02 – 00:31:32:11
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s great. Well, until next time.

00:31:32:18 – 00:31:34:23
Sascha Mayer
Thanks.

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