Milkface Nursingwear Inc

What's new and on my mind at milkface

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shotguns or Lasers?

Over the past few years we have used the shotgun approach to sharing our thoughts and ideas and promotions over the new, social media of the internet. This blog, Facebook, Youtube, e-newsletters, Twitter and others I can't even remember. Truth is, as we tried to do it all we put out material less frequently and of lesser quality. Milkface has never been a place for the masses. We serve a very small niche of the population. Shotguns won't work anymore.

This will be our last blog post. We feel that by thrying to share "the word" about breastfeeding and babywearing to all, we are missing opportunities the give important information to those who want and need it. We have long left Twitter (without any announcement) as we felt that there was just too much "noise" there and our messages were being lost in the hoarde.

Moving on, we have decided to increase our use of facebook to get out messages on what's making news in the babywearing and breastfeeding worlds as well as promotions in store. Facebook sems to be a great way to get immediate news out to you while allowing you to share your thoughts - which we encourage. Visit us at our facebook page and become a fan today! In addition, we will continue our twice-monthly email newsletters that we continue to get great feedback on. If you're not receiving our emails, head over to and enter your email address in the field at the top of the page and that's it!

Thanks to all who have followed us here and to those who took the time to share with us your thoughts and opinions. Let's continue our relationship, just in a different venue.

Signing off,
The Milkface Mama

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It was bound to happen...

It happened a while ago. A mom was in store with her newborn babe in a car seat carrier. Mom was rushed and moving from one area of the store to another. Baby was peacefully enjoying mom's voice and the milkface decor. There was a crash followed by the baby's cries. The baby had fallen from the car seat and was on the floor. This unfortunate event happens more than we think, but often in the privacy of one's own home, not in front of an audience of other moms and an IBCLC. What would people say? What would they think?

No doubt, mom was feeling embarrassed. Judged. In a moment none of that mattered though, she went into immediate mom mode and responded to her child with soothing words, comfort food in the form of breastmilk and an inspection that only a mom could do - looking for anything that was different than the last time her eyes looked upon her child. Visibly, all was OK. The baby returned to a peaceful state in less than five minutes but mom was in a state that would take longer to calm. The others who were witness to, or aware of the event, came to the aid of their fellow mom in her time of need. Words of assurance were shared. Empathetic responses offered. This mom learned that this horrible thing that had happened - that she blamed herself for - was actually not that uncommon.

Has every mother dropped her baby? No, but it is say to say that many children have found themselves in harm's way as mom or dad was busy, distracted or just in a rush. This mom learned a lot on this day. She'll make mistakes. She'll be forgiven. She be supported. It will be OK in the end.

Days later, mom called the store to offer her thanks and to let us all know that, to ease her mind, a doctor's visit followed the event and the baby was fine. Baby won't ever remember that day at milkface. Mom will never forget.

If you've had a day like this mom, or if your day is yet to come, don't get down on yourself. You're not a bad parent and you're not alone. Be brave to start the conversation with your other mom friends and you'll find we've all had that day in some degree.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Use of Social Media by Formula Companies

Annie, at has been looking deeply into the issue of Nestle's use of social media to reach new moms. She has asked for input on the question "How should Neslte use social media?" We thought we'd add our thoughts. Read them below.

From Mr. Milkface
I believe that Nestle will act in its own best interests and on behalf of shareholders who demand a return on their investments. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known to those who choose to educate themselves, but among those benefits you won't find the word profit. Nestle chooses to associate itself with breastfeeding because it is the socially acceptable thing to do. They continue to violate the WHO code because it is profitable. Their motives are apparent. Their actions reprehensible.

As seen with the H1N1 issue, people will believe some outrageous claims when it comes to health. If they read it, it must be true. The motives for the claim (profit) are rarely considered when judging the veracity of the claim. The qualifications of the claimant aren't scrutinized. If the claim was on a professional looking website it is taken as gospel and a paypal transaction is completed.

Now the good news... I am a publisher, a blogger, a reporter and a marketing department with global reach. Fortunately, the same social media the formula companies employ to get their word out can be used against them. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, et al allow those of us with no marketing budget to face off on even terms with massive corporations with equally massive marketing budgets. Our comments appear side-by-side with theirs, all around the world. The biggest challenge in this face off is to ensure those who are passionate about educating the benefits of breastfeeding remain passion free in their posts. Logic and consistent messaging will win over new moms seeking answers. Passionate rants make us look like the lunatic fringe. The marketing departments of Nestle understand this too well. For those who want nothing more than to educate new moms of the benefits of breastfeeding, this is one time we need to be just like the formula companies.

You got to know when to fold 'em.

The City of Ottawa and OC Transpo will start enforcing a rule that requires you to fold strollers on the bus starting April 2010.( )

A year ago the city was left in distress when a transit strike forced us all to seek alternative ways to get around this great city - or stay home. In fall they eliminated a number of popular routes forcing riders to transfer when they used to ride direct. Recently they threatened to remove the student savings benefit from those who were too old - you know, those who lost their jobs and were looking to better themselves by improving their education. Just weeks ago they announced a rate increase for all riders. Now they want to make it harder for new moms. Were OC Transpo not a monopoly, their treatment of their customers would put them out of business.

While we advocate the use of carriers we recognize the value of strollers in certain situations. We'll let OC Transpo know how we feel about their planned treatment of new moms and so should you.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Anniversary

We have passed the 1st anniversary of our winning of the LIVE 88.5 Pimp My Biz marketing prize. We have detailed a great deal of our experiences, especially the early events, here in our blog. Now, 12 months later, we have a review of our overall experience.

The prize was for $50,000 in marketing services. 10K in radio spots at LIVE 88.5FM here in Ottawa, 10K in the Metro News, 10K in graphics for the store and a vehicle wrap from K6 Media, 5K in web spots with and 15K in marketing consultancy with the Curam Group. We knew a new store was coming and wanted to save the radio, print and graphics for that purpose. All these companies came through, provided services as advertised and were great to work with. The remaining services, the web work, we were ready for immediately. It didn't quite work out that way.

Ottawakiosk, just weeks ago, started to run our classified-style ads. Banner work is still in the draft stage but should be up in a few days. The marketing/web consultancy service from the Curam Group has been a nightmare. After less than 3 hours of meetings, they have abandoned us and their commitment to the prize. Calls and emails do not get returned by Greg, the top dog and contest contact at Curam. Seriously unprofessional service.

Here's our dilemma. Should we be satisfied with a $35,000 win when $50,000 was advertised or should we expect more - the full array of services as announced? Imagine winning the lottery - say $2mil. You spend all day Sunday thinking about the win and how you'll improve yourself and those around you with the winnings. Now, on Monday when you go to cash in your ticket you learn that you were not the only winning number and you have to share money. A win is great but is now slightly tarnished now that you can't do all those things you planned.

Ho would you feel and what would you do? Let us know.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Our Anniversary

Written by Mr. Milkface...

Eight years ago today, my life changed in ways I could never imagine. In a Port Hope B&B, I exchanged marital vows with Britt and continued the journey that started many months earlier when we first met. It has been eight years of love, joy, laughs and hard work. In March, 2008 Britt and I wrote about our relationship as co-workers. Our words of some 18 months ago still ring true so I'll shre them again with you today.

Today's question - What's it like working with your partner?

Andy says:
Hi. My name is Andy and I work with my wife. I left a successful real estate practice with five years of award winning achievements, at the peak of a strong market to do so. Before we start 12 step treatment, I'll tell you why I went where others fear to go.

I have been working with my wife since the day I met her. Our relationship is natural and rewarding but to say it has been effortless would be delusional fantasy - it's been work. Life goals, family planning, household finances, and daily interactions all require effort. It often feels easy because we work well together, employing complimentary skill sets to achieve, and often surpass, our mutual and individual goals. There have been days when it was a challenge but I have never had a day when I woke up without being thankful that I have this job and that I work with the best partner anyone could ask for. When the opportunity to extend our working relationship into the conventional workplace became available it was an easy choice and one without regret. We are early in our new working relationship but it seems to be as fulfilling and rewarding as the one we started the day we met. I like working with my wife and look forward to where this new dynamic will take us.

Britt says:
Andy and I met when we were working together (and I imagine that's the same for many of you!) and in some ways, it feels like we've been working together ever since. Parenting our 3 girls is definitely a labour of love and we are partners in that.

Working together at Milkface was always part of our master plan. Andy's role was always a bit hazy (what will a man do with breastfeeding moms?!) but we're figuring it out. As the business has grown, we've discovered a need for concentration on things like marketing and expansion that Andy can do just as well, if not better, than I. I'm really grateful that we're growing a true family business and hope that the girls will join us in it in time.

Working together means there's never a true seperation of work and home - if one of us has a great idea at midnight, our business partner is right there to discuss it. On the flip side, when we have a rare night out, business talk is hard to shelve!

I would say that working with your spouse is a lot like being married to your spouse - wonderful, frustrating, enjoyable, maddening with lots of up and downs!

Later this week we have another anniversary but that story is far less joyous. Check back next week for all the details.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

H1N1 Trumps 2009 Breastfeeding Challenge

This weekend's Breastfeeding Challenge saw breastfeeding moms and their babes around the world achieve a simultaneous nursing session in the effort to raise awareness of the benefits of breatsfeeding and the rights of those who breastfeed in public. Reports from Ottawa and around the world show a significant decline in attendees this year, a fact that is believed to be attributable to the H1N1 virus and fears of infection at public gatherings. The Montreal Challenge was cancelled specifically for this reason.

We'd like to thank all who attended their local event and all those who were there in spirit and participating at their home our wherever they may have been. Milkface was a sponsor or donor to a number of Canadian Challenges and we were proud to be a part of these efforts. For organizers of 2010 Challenges, let us know how we can help and be a part of your event. Together we're making the world a better, healthier place.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's New?

What's new in the ages old practice of breastfeeding and babywearing? Surprisingly, quite a bit. We've recently returned from The All Baby and Child (ABC) Expo in Las Vegas, North America's largest convention of all things baby and child. We met with many of our existing suppliers (Boob, Medela, Bravado, Ergo, Beco, Nummies and more) and we're happy to see your favourite products will still be offered and some new products are coming soon as well. Some even shared some secret products that are in prototype development and we've been asked to comment and possibly test these products before they come to market and no, we can't talk about them!

In addition to new items from old friends, we came across some new items that we're excited to be bringing to milkface and you. Larrivo offers a great line of nursing camisoles and chemises that are being worn but some A-List celeb moms. You'll love the simple design and attractive prints offered by Larrivo. Watch the website for the arrival date. The Sleepy Wrap caught our eye too! Some might see it as just another stretchy wrap but it's use of french terry fabric makes it different and worthy of standing beside our other carriers. Lastly, a new portable nursing pillow from Huggabees will make nursing on the go easier for every mom. This purse-sized pillow slips over your hand, resting on your forearm giving your babe a comfortable place for a quick snack or a marathon feeding. It will take pressure off mom's arm too.

We're anxiously waiting for deliveries to arrive and will let you know about it when they do. Visit often.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,