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#2 It was never about the blankets.
I started a business after having my first baby. This is why.
I think I am a natural storyteller, but for the 7 years since the inception of koko’s nest I have struggled to explain to anyone — most of all, myself — how an attorney and Harvard grad who studied government started a knit baby blanket brand.
The truth is, it was never about the blanket. It was about me choosing to build my family on my own terms, but refusing to disappear. It was about prioritizing what I knew (so deeply at a cellular level) I wanted my motherhood experience to be.
I thought I’d go back in time to that decision and spell out exactly why I left the restraints of working for an employer and started this brand. Many people who start their own businesses speak in broad strokes, but I think the details matter:
My first baby wouldn’t feed from a bottle and I couldn't handle the anxiety of wondering if my child was hungry while I was at work. As a first-time mother, I felt an immense level of anxiety about making sure that my baby was sufficiently nourished.
I loved and cherished breastfeeding. By contrast, breast pumps simply didn’t work for me; only my baby had the keys to my liquid gold.
I learned that having reliable, quality childcare didn’t actually lesson my responsibilities and related stresses of caregiving or motherhood. In fact, it just shifted them after-hours. And often in concentrated form.
Jumping off of a career track felt like jumping off a cruise ship into uncharted waters of anonymity and loneliness. Starting a business gave me a life preserver to hold on to.
I wanted to experience unhurried weekdays out in the world, with my baby. Like, a neighborhood coffeeshop at 10am on a Tuesday morning. And the local public library’s story time on Thursday mornings. Frivolous, you say? Only if you hate joy.
Becoming a mother gave me a creative force and a feeling of returning home that I could not ignore. I wanted to build something of my own.
So there’s my secret: it was never really about the knit blankets. It was about creating and building something that would be my companion in motherhood — something that would house my creative energy and give me a platform in the public square while I stayed true to my mothering instincts.
And it turns out, when you listen to your instincts, you sometimes put nice things out into the world. If you know of any other female-founded brands that have a similar origin story, I’d really love to hear.