Sharing is caring.
It all started with sharing her homemade lactation cookies to someone who is a total stranger, but was in dire need of foods which will help increase her milk supply.
Dea Macachor-Mesa is the mom behind Mom’s Basket, her small home business which she started last year. Visit her Instagram feed and read actual testimonials of moms who have benefited through her yummy, healthy, lactation cookies.
I got her to answer some questions (thanks, Dea!) for us to know how she started and what does she plan to do with her blooming business.
Touringkitty (TK): Is Mom’s Basket your fulltime business? Any other ventures/jobs?
Mom’s Basket (MB): This is just my sideline. I’ve been working full time as a writer for a US-based website for almost three years now.
TK: Why the name Mom’s Basket? How did you start it?
MB: A few days after I gave birth, my mom came home from the wet market carrying a bag full of veggies and meat; she planned on making a lot of soup to help increase my milk supply. I remember the feeling of reassurance I got from seeing her come home with all those ingredients for me. That day came back to me while I was thinking of a name for the cookies. Okay, she actually used a green SM ecobag, but Mom’s Ecobag didn’t have the right ring to it, so Mom’s Basket it is.
I started baking my own lactation cookies when my daughter turned 6 months old. My milk supply dwindled as soon as she started eating solids. I always made extra for my sisters-in-law and a couple of close friends. One day, a mommy posted in the Breastfeeding Pinays Facebook group desperately asking for help on how to increase her supply for her premature baby who was still in the NICU. Since I had a lot of extra cookies that day, I offered to send her some. That mommy posted about the cookies on the BFP forum, and that day I got a lot of private messages asking me if I took orders. I replied to every one to say that I don’t and gave them the recipe instead. At that time, I could barely meet my work requirements because I was too busy with the baby. However, I thought of nothing else that night. I thought to myself, “Why not?” The very next day, I set up a Facebook page, did costing on the cookies, and messaged all of those moms back to say I was ready to take orders. They were some of my first customers. That was October last year.
TK: What products do you currently offer?
MB: I have classic oatmeal (P299), chocolate (P339) and chocolate chip (P339), and red velvet (P339). They come in packs of 28 pieces that are good for 1 week. I ship nationwide.
(My personal favorites are red velvet and chocolate chip!)
TK: Plan for the product for 2014? What should we watch out for?
MB: As far as my offerings go, these are probably it. My husband keeps telling me to expand to other baked products, but limiting my product list to just cookies means my production is more efficient, there’s less cleanup to do afterwards, and there are fewer ingredients to stock. I will probably come up with limited edition flavors every now and then because I like to experiment with new cookie recipes. Personally, I would like to be trained as a lactation peer counselor within the year. Majority of my customers are mothers like myself who have issues with their milk supply, and I would love to get the training to be able to support them and help them out as best as I can. I’m in the process of registering my business.
TK: How do you juggle motherhood and the business?
MB: I get by with a LOT of help from my family. My husband, my mother, and my siblings take turn watching over my baby girl so I can do some writing and bake cookies. I have no yaya, I don’t want to get one, so I have to rely on my family to help me.
Also, I have to prioritize, and at the end of the day, my baby is my #1 priority. Many times, I’ve had to postpone deliveries because I’m not able to bake or buy ingredients. It helps that my customers are all mothers and are very understanding. But I make it a rule to always, ALWAYS be honest with my customers if ever I won’t be able to deliver.
TK: Top three tips for breastfeeding working moms?
MB: 1. Don’t give up. Breastfeeding and working are not mutually exclusive. You can accomplish both if you’re determined to do it.
2. Get all the help you can get. Involve your husband in your breastfeeding journey so he can support you. Connect with other breastfeeding mothers so you can also get support from them.
3. Learn how to hand express.