Nupoor Peter and Vinnie Shah 8.10.14

baby mantrababy mantra founders

babymantra.com

BCM: How did you come to develop and launch Baby Mantra?

BM: Growing up, our mom created skincare products for us that were made from natural ingredients she found at home and in the kitchen. It was such a fond memory for the two of us, and instilled in us an early appreciation for natural and organic products.

After Nupoor’s first daughter was born 8 years ago, we noticed a gap in the baby care market. The space was saturated with synthetic products that smelled good or were “on-trend”, but we were hard-pressed to find a line of products that were formulated with pure, safe and efficacious ingredients that Nupoor felt comfortable using on her daughter.

We began to revisit our mom’s style of using natural ingredients found in the home and began to develop our own baby skincare products.  Over the years, we experimented with different formulations so that we could have products that were both natural and smelled appealing, and tested our hand-crafted products on both Nupoor’s daughters. About three years ago, we began sampling to other moms in our area, particularly moms that had children at the same schools as Nupoor’s two children. We received honest feedback and such a positive response that we decided to launch Baby Mantra!  To this day, developing and delivering the highest quality products using earth friendly, natural ingredients is part of our core brand DNA.

BCM: Both of you have a great dynamic of working together. What are each of your strengths? 

NP: Our strengths and skills are complementary to each other so we often find that we balance the brand and each other. While I focus on product development and operations, Vinnie spearheads marketing and packaging. We are both involved in overall branding and sales. We have taught each other so much over the years that we often take over for the other when one of us is in need of a vacation or time away. It works out quite nicely!

baby mantra founders and childrenBCM: Being sisters, how do you separate sister time and work time? 

BM: Family is very important to the two of us and it pervades our business life entirely. The fact that we are sisters helps us when we have disagreements on certain issues.  There have been times when we have sought counsel from our mom and have always been amazed at her ability even today to help us reach the right solution. In the end, we are sisters and we both consider ourselves lucky to be able to have our sister and best friend as a business partner and we wouldn’t change that for the world.

BCM: Tell us more about Baby Mantra.  In what ways is Baby Mantra different from other organic skin care lines?

BM: The biggest difference by far is that every Baby Mantra product is NPA certified – a natural certification that is extremely stringent and certifies that not only are the ingredients natural, but also that the methodology used to extract them is earth-friendly. We believe in full transparency and consumers can see all of the ingredients on the back of each product packaging.

BCM: What advice do you have for other moms who want to launch a business?

NP: There is nothing more exciting and rewarding than starting a business. My advice is to have patience. Having a family and running a company is super labor-intensive and it’s OK to grow the business at your own pace.

VP:  The best piece of advice I can give to other moms is to plan ahead, but always expect the unexpected! As a mom and a businesswoman, it’s important to be adaptable. 

Now for the individual questions…

Nupoor Peter, mom to 2 girls ages 8 and 6nupoor peter baby mantra

BCM: How did your life change when you became a mom?

NP: It’s been eight years now since I first became a mom and I honestly cannot imagine my life before children. I am much less self-consumed. Having your little girls depend on you for everything helps put some of your own personal drama in perspective. In addition, being a mom inspired my current business and provided me with the right vision to develop products I would be proud of and comfortable using on my own children. 

BCM: What has/have been your most memorable moment(s) as a mom?

NP: There are many – Walking with my girls to school. When I pick them up from school and they run towards me for a hug. The “I love you, Mommy” moments, and that hand-squeeze crossing the street are the best.

BCM: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood. Any advice for new moms?

NP: I think the biggest challenge for me has been trying to do it all. When I look back I laugh to think that I expected to keep everything neat and tidy, laundry done, dishes away, work done, meals cooked, floors clean, homework done, activities for the kids, oh – and go to the gym, do my hair, makeup, and look presentable all the time. But, that does not stop me from still trying to keep it all together.

BCM: The Baby Mantra products work so well on our sensitive babies–we can’t wait to see what’s next! Any hints?  

NP: We have a couple exciting launches like Diaper Rash Cream and a Sunscreen Lotion coming down the pipeline!

nupoor peter and kids baby mantra founderBCM: How do you manage your work/life balance?

NP:  Every day is a challenge on its own especially with a growing business and two young kids.  One small thing can flip my entire day upside down, but I try to prioritize as best I can and stay laser focused on the tasks at hand.  A wonderful and supportive husband like mine is also key to my work / life balance!

BCM: What are your favorite activities to do with your children? Any fun family “must do” activities you can recommend to other moms?

NP: One of my favorite “mommy and me” activities is dancing. We blast all kinds of music and dance silly around the house. Another favorite is baking. I have a sweet tooth and I have passed that on to my children.

FUN FACTS: 


I’M TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH...A good night’s sleep. There’s nothing better!  

MY BIGGEST INFLUENCE IS…My mother and my husband. They are both very positive people and always focus on the bright side of things, which helps me get through tough times.

MY FAVORITE DRUGSTORE BUY IS… lip gloss and coconut water    

MY GUILTY PLEASE IS…sadly, The Real Housewives 

MY FAVORITE NYC ACTIVITY IS…Taking the kids to Central Park. There is so much to explore there, it never gets old.

MY FAVORITE COLOR IS…Blue

MY FAVORITE NYC RESTAURANT IS…This changes every month but right now it is Candle 79 on the Upper East Side. If you thought vegan food is not for you, this place will change your mind.

 

Vinnie ShaH, MOM TO A 13 MONTH OLD DAUGHTER vinnie shah baby mantra co founder

BCM: How did your life change when you became a mom?

VS: Becoming a mom is a major adjustment! My life and priorities completely changed because I was now responsible for shaping a child’s life. It truly is an amazing experience.

BCM: What has/have been your most memorable moment(s) as a mom?

VS: Some of my most memorable moments as a mom include diaper changing duty at restaurants, breastfeeding in public places, etc.  There are so many funny stories, but at the end of the day I am very happy and blessed to be a mom!

BCM: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood. Any advice for new moms?

VS: My biggest challenge in the beginning of motherhood was learning how to be more patient and understanding. Also, it’s important to strive for balance in one’s life. Having a child is the greatest thing in the world but it is not always easy, so make sure to always make time for you. I love my “me time”. 

BCM: The line is perfect for our sensitive babies–we can’t wait to see what’s next! Any hints?

VS: Yes, we are working on a number of exciting initiatives, social events, and healthy products for moms-to-be and babies! Our NPA-certified Diaper Rash Cream will be coming out this year and we are in the process of developing a Sunscreen Lotion! We are also seeing great interest in our Mantra Mommies events that we have initiated in the Chicago and NY areas.  

vinnie shah baby mantra and daughterBCM: How do you manage your work/life balance? 

VS: I wear several hats throughout the day and it is difficult at times to juggle many things at the same time, but prioritizing and making a to-do list early in the morning and following it throughout the day, has really helped. I also have a very supportive husband who helps with many things and has taught me not to sweat the small stuff!

BCM: What are your favorite activities to do with your children?  Any fun family “must do” activities you can recommend to other moms?

VS: Some of my favorite activities are those that make my daughter laugh! I love taking my daughter to different parks in Chicago and playing with her. Some “must do” activities for moms would be to take long walks around the neighborhood, go to local museums/parks/events, and reading books to your little one.

 

FUN FACTS: 


I’M TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH... Instagram and keeping up with social media trends    

MY BIGGEST INFLUENCE IS…My mother.  My mom is my hero and is always there for me. She gives me the best advice.

MY FAVORITE DRUGSTORE BUY IS…  lately, Baby Wipes!       

MY GUILTY PLEASE IS…Watching Housewives on Bravo and reading gossip magazine while shopping for groceries

MY FAVORITE CHICAGO ACTIVITIES ARE…Strolling through different parks (especially during the summertime), walking around the city, and going to the public library!

MY FAVORITE COLOR IS…TURQUOISE

MY FAVORITE CHICAGO RESTAURANT IS…Native Foods Cafe.  They have the best gluten-free and vegan food!