Mama Mentors is powered by Lincoln. Learn more about our partnership here. To us, our partnerships with brands are about so much more than business. We carve out relationships with brands whose values reflect our own and those of our members, and work together to thoughtfully tell stories and create experiences that speak to moms’ real lives and real interests.
Through projects like this one, HeyMama endeavors to enhance the professional success of our members by bridging the gap between those who have already arrived and the ones who are still on their way. We hope this journey will keep us all moving forward, just like Lincoln.
Cinda Boomershine, the mom of two and founder of Cinda B, a chic tote, backpack, luggage, accessories, and cosmetic manufacturer, was watching her nanny blow bubbles in the garden with her two babies in 2015 when it suddenly hit her: something had to change.
“I was sitting on a work call and realized that I need to shift my priorities so that I could be the one blowing bubbles in the garden with them,” Boomershine told HeyMama. “I had built Cinda B around my kid-free life, and it no longer fit my life with kids. As I work to start my next venture, I am specifically structuring it to fit my mom life.”
Boomershine, who has a background in design and a masters in business, initially came up with the concept of Cinda B when she was unable to find a durable, functional, appealing bag at a reasonable price point in the market place. In its absence, she simply decided to make one herself.
“In the beginning it was just me and a contract sewer,” Boomershine explained. “We warehoused in and shipped everything from my guest bedroom. I was the designer, warehouse manager, shipper, accounting, sourcing agent, marketing department — I did everything. It was all-encompassing and exhausting, but it was also exhilarating.” From its humble beginnings, Boomershine was able to grow Cinda B into a team of roughly 20 full-time staffers and 100 contract sewers, she said, all “working in a headquarter with an attached warehouse and sewing facility.”
While Cinda B was Boomershine’s “first baby,” she explained, the decision to sell the company and simply act as a company consultant and advisor while simultaneously developing her own, new product concept, was an easy one. “While our kiddos are still young, they are my number one priority,” she said. “Work has to fit into the time they are at school and after they go to bed.”
And in the midst of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to shift her priorities drastically as a business owner and mom has been mirrored in Cinda B’s shift in manufacturing priorities. “Cinda B owns its own manufacturing facilities here in the states, so we quickly switched our production lines over from making bags to making personal protective equipment,” she said. “That has kept our workers working.”
Boomershine does admit that, as a result of necessary COVID-19 related shutdowns and other mandates meant to mitigate the spread of the virus, a number of the company’s retail stores have been forced to close. But once again, it is the freedom and courage to shift priorities, marketing efforts, and sales models that have helped the company stay afloat. “We are shifting all our sales and marketing from a wholesale model to direct-to-consumer,” Boomershine explained.
The swift shift required more of Boomershines expertise and dedication. “Prior to COVID, I didn’t have a usual work routine since I just consult,” she said. “Every day was different, but full. But once COVID hit, it was all hands on deck to switch manufacturing over and keep everyone safe and employed. My workload increased dramatically, and I had to become a full-time kindergarten teacher and full time first grade teacher. I didn’t sleep much last spring.”
But that day in the garden is still on Boomershine’s mind, which is one of the many reasons why she decided to become a Mama Mentor this year. In partnership with Lincoln, HeyMama has launched our 2020 Mama Mentors virtual program, a series of events that pair business-owning and working moms together to better learn, grow, and support one another in their personal and professional endeavors.
“I love the support and connection [Mama Mentors] gives,” she said, “and I need that more than ever now. It’s lonely at the top. Women need a network of other women doing the same thing so that they know they aren’t alone and that they have support.”
Boomershine plans to continue to offer that support to other entrepreneurial moms by sharing the lessons she has learned along the way, From finding and working with women investors instead of men, to finding ways to perfect time management skills, to simply being willing to shift priorities when necessary so your business works for you, and not the other way around, Boomershine knows, firsthand, that when given the opportunity to create a professional life that fits the life of a mom, women can and will thrive. Yes, even in the midst of a public health crisis.
“I think both the corporate world and women themselves need to be more flexible in terms of the balance working moms need,” she said. “I think women sell themselves short or sacrifice mom-time because they think they can’t do both in a big way.” Boomershine is proof that you can. When you want to, you can be the one blowing bubbles, too.