Motherhood brings its share of cozy moments and love. It changes moms' perspective and you'll want to be in comfy wear especially during those early days. This is why Deeanne Akerson founded Kindred Bravely a maternity/loungewear line to make that time comfortable so you can focus on raising the little angels. Kindred Bravely is set to launch the one and only Smart Bra with a Breastfeeding Tracker App to help new moms.
We had a chance to interview Deeanne and asked about her story, how she started her business and the future of Kindred Bravely.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
Our origin story is one of personal need. We have two sons, and five years ago when my second was still breastfeeding, I really wanted a comfortable pair of nursing pajamas. After looking at all the stores nearby and searching online, I’d found a few options, but nothing was exactly what I needed. Since I knew I couldn’t be the only mom who craved comfy pajamas, I decided to design my own line of maternity and nursing clothes.
How did you come up with your business name?
“Kindred” comes from the sisterhood you join when you become a mother. “Bravely” is all about the quiet courage it takes to be a mom.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
We make maternity and breastfeeding bras, underwear, and loungewear for new and expectant moms, with a focus on comfort, functionality, and style. Our goal is to help moms find comfort and community – whether she gets a comfortable pair of new pajamas, reads a blog that reminds her how amazing she is, or finds support through a social post.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Pregnant and nursing moms often feel isolated, and we want them to know that they’re not alone. Yes, our bras and pajamas are super comfortable, and we know moms love how they feel in our clothes, but we focus more on making sure moms feel heard and understood. We try to make every touchpoint feel personal, whether it’s a welcome email, Facebook ad, or chat with Customer Care.
Our team is mostly work-from-home moms, and we’re able to connect with our customers in meaningful ways because we’ve been there. We’re passionate about supporting moms and encouraging them on their motherhood journey.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
Providing even more comfort and support for moms. We’re developing new products that will help moms feel amazing from the first trimester to the fourth – and beyond! We’re expanding our reach to more moms until we fulfill our mission of a comfortable nursing bra in every mom’s wardrobe – and eventually a comfortable bra in every woman’s wardrobe. The world has seen so much change recently – on top of all the other transitions new moms are already contending with – so we want to make sure we remain agile and attuned to doing everything we can to help moms find comfort and community.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Take at least one day of the weekend completely off. Delete your work email and apps from your phone if you must, but mentally unplug for at least 24 hours. If that makes you anxious, have someone else in the company checking in and give them permission to call or text you if there really is something urgent that needs your attention in those 24 hours.
Recognize and accept that it will take time to build anything you are working on. It’s not all going to get done right away. Pick the most important initiatives to push forward – the most important products, the most important services – and focus only on them. You can’t work on everything at once, and trying to do it all can lead to burnout and sloppy execution.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
I love the sentiment of “Better done than perfect.” My friends and family know me as someone who gets a lot of stuff done, and that’s partly because I don’t wait until I have something exactly perfect to get started – the pressure would be paralyzing! There’s nothing I love more than making small changes over and over in search of the optimal product or system. Just get it to 85% right, go for it, and be ready to adjust as you go to make it even better.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
In 2019, Kindred Bravely was named #20 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing, privately-held US companies. Kindred Bravely also won Shopify’s Build a Bigger Business Competition in 2017 as one of the eight fastest-growing online retailers on Shopify’s platform.
From Mom's Choice Awards to What to Expect to Lucie's List, Kindred Bravely’s clothes have consistently been recognized for their superior quality, innovative design, and attention to detail.
Above all, however, we’re happiest when we’re making a positive impact on women’s lives. Whether it’s helping moms find the comfortable and cute clothes they’ve been searching for, empowering female entrepreneurs through our partnership with Free the Girls, donating pumping bras to frontline health care workers, or hiring primarily work-from-home moms who are eager to make an impact, Kindred Bravely is dedicated to its mission of supporting women and building community.
Anything else you want to tell our readers?
In business, there's such a focus on numbers that it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we need to connect on a personal level. At Kindred Bravely, we refer to our customer as “her.” We constantly talk about “her” — what she needs, what she wants, what she doesn’t know she needs or wants yet, what would make her day or week. We discover her pain points and do something to make them better. We fall in love with our customer, so we are always thinking of new ways to make her day brighter. Products come and go, but if you consistently put your customer first and keep your focus on finding solutions for their pain points, you'll win every time.