We caught up with Fridababy CEO, Chelsea Hirschhorn, just after having her second baby, to get the scoop on Fridababy’s fuss stopping products and all the pains of parenthood they help make a lot easier and more humorous. Fridababy provides smart solutions for baby problems big and small by arming parents with the simple tools to get the job done so they can get back to the fun stuff.
My FridaBaby story…
I practiced law in NY before moving to Miami with my husband (CMO of Burger King; based in Miami), after our wedding, in 2010. The move was a total gut-check – as all of our friends and family are in NY, and I was totally one of those “I’m never leaving the city” people.
I became the Director of Ancillary Revenue and Associate Counsel for the Miami Marlins, starting their non-baseball revenue department at the new ballpark. The founder of Fridababy is a neighbor of ours in Miami Beach and after my son was born she asked if I’d be interested in taking over the day-to-day operations of the company to help grow the portfolio of products beyond the NoseFrida, into a full toolkit of smart solutions for millennial parents.
It was quite the challenge, but the rest is history! A somewhat circuitous route to the baby world, but I never looked back and have never ever been happier. All of my professional experiences thus far have meaningfully contributed to my day-to-day running the Fridababy business; whether it’s negotiating licensing or manufacturing agreements with our trading partners, or designing new packaging that millennial parents will relate to.
When it comes to innovation, Miami is quite liberating and I became unhinged from a very tunnel-vision focus on what is considered the norm with designing new parenting products, and with respect to my career path.
What are 5 things every new mama should have in her baby kit?
I think the baby category is being steam rolled by forward thinking companies looking to make moms’ lives easier, but there’s a lot of noise and so, as a new mom, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice. I think narrowing it down to the “game changers” in each category becomes of pivotal importance! Hello NoseFrida! But taking the Fridababy lineup out of the equation, since we created the essential kit for every new mama from nose to toes, and all of the less glamorous in between, here’s my top non-Frida kit essentials:
1. Let’s start with what’s most important – keeping the “kit” organized! I use either a Life in Play tote organizer that takes the essentials from bag to bag easily, or the Roberta Roller Rabbit waterproof zipper pouches to keep all of my gear in one place for an easy transfer when I change bags. Those pouches keep all of the must-haves in one, easily accessible place. Plus, the pouches are super chic.
2. I always have MD Moms Sunscreen Wipes. They are a total necessity in Miami where 80% of the day, 365 days a year, is outside and the wipe application concept takes the struggle out of the sunscreen battle with a toddler.
3. OK, so it won’t fit in a “kit”, but the Baby Zen Yoyo collapsible stroller has made navigating the travel with a toddler (and now newborn!) situation totally manageable! We travel a lot and the portability, plus the fact that it goes in the overhead compartment is unrivaled – no more waiting for gate checked strollers.
4. Lollaland Lollacups. The black is our favorite and they’re the no-spill chic solution to the “which sippy cup” conundrum.
5. I know I said I’d leave the Fridababy lineup out, but a one-stop nail care solution is a must from day 1. The NailFrida set takes you from newborn to tween and beyond, and the safety spy hole means never having to worry about the inevitable clip of the skin.
Fridababy has a great sense of humor. You take unglamorous stressful situations with our little ones and offer solutions with a tongue in cheek twist. Do you feel like laughing and not taking things too seriously can be really important as a new mother?
Definitely! But it’s a lot easier said than done in some of the sticky situations we face as parents (i.e. it’s hard to laugh your way through 103 fever or a totally congested baby who can’t nurse!) That’s where Fridababy steps in. We try to take the guesswork out of it for new parents by bringing a sense of levity and relief to those situations when you need it most! It’s easy to laugh your way through messy meal times, but the real challenge is to navigate the more basic (sometimes more serious) stuff with a healthy dose of “it’s not always perfect” reality, while armed with confidence – that’s our forte!
You were back to work in just a few weeks after giving birth…. Superwoman. How has this played out for you and do you have any advice for other mamas heading back to work?
Parental leave is such a hot button topic these days (hello Marisa Mayer), but I think it’s important not to conflate the fight for paid leave with insisting that every mom handle her postpartum time the same way! It’s important as a mom, particularly in those first few months, to be honest with yourself about what makes you happy, and for me, going back to work right away and not disappearing from my team was one of those things. I love my job and I’m very comfortable with the fact that lounging around the house with my new baby all day wouldn’t “do it” for me. I navigate those waters carefully by hanging at home with the boys in the morning, then I head in to the office for a few hours, Hunter then comes for a post-school visit or I’ll bring the baby in for a few hours with me, and then I’ll go home in the afternoon. I’d so much prefer that schedule than disappearing for two months only to resurface and need until 9PM in the office every night catching up!
ADVICE? Working moms who aren’t afraid to ask for help truly can have it all, as long as they’re ready and willing to “lean in” professionally when necessary. End the search for a perfect daily balance, be honest with yourself about what makes you feel good outside of your (very important new title), and escape for some “me time,” even if it’s just for 30 minutes a week.
Any pinch me career moments?
Being featured alongside Chelsea Clinton, Jessica Alba and Alicia Keys among the “Most Inspiring Millennial Moms” as the “Baby Gadget Guru”; these women are really game changers in their own fields and to be included in that company was an incredible validation of the work we’re doing at Fridababy to help make parents’ lives easier.
Best career advice you have ever received?
Your work is going to fill a substantial part of your life. The only way to be truly satisfied is to do great work and to do that you have to really love what you do. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and put the work in to support it, success will follow. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking – you’ll know when you find it!
Where are you looking to take Fridababy in 5 years?
I’d like to be the go-to brand for ALL of the everyday parenting pain points. We already check that box for stuffy noses, gassy tummies, nail care, etc. but if you’re up at 3AM, I’d like Fridababy to be up with you in every capacity. In the short term, that means being on the forefront of innovation, but not just for innovation’s sake. We’re going to move the needle and address real needs, even if it’s in the less glamorous categories no one else wants to touch (hello MomWasher!)
Can you tell us more about the FeverFrida? My husband jokes that all I ever say is “does the baby have a fever? Where is the thermometer?” But with a newborn there is nothing scarier than your little one spiking a fever. So it seems like a dream to me. How does it work?
Yes! The new FeverFrida is a wearable Bluetooth smart thermometer for children. A small hydrogel patch keeps the FeverFrida in place under a child’s armpit throughout the day and/or night and will monitor fevers without parents needing to manually take temperatures every hour, allowing kids and parents to sleep peacefully. The integrated free smartphone app (available in both iTunes and Google Play) tracks temperature readings over time to create an annotated timeline with notes on when you last administered meds, and can email or text reminders for when the next dose is due based on weight and dosage calculators (no one keeps those box instructions handy!). The alert feature will notify sleeping parents of any temperature spikes and it’s the only cloud connected thermometer, which means you can check in on a sick baby from work or while you’re away from the house as long as someone near the baby (nanny or partner) has the app on and is within range of the child wearing the FeverFrida. We also partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital for in-app fever management information, including symptom trackers and medicine dosage calculators. It combines the best of a baby monitor with the unrivaled accuracy of a thermometer to ensure constant monitoring and peace of mind!
Tell us about the FridaBaby buy one give one program. Is this just like Toms? Who is receiving the products?
Exactly! Tom’s Shoes and their One for One program was the inspiration for our Buy One Give One mission. At Fridababy, we want to equip as many parents as we can with smart solutions for every sticky parenting situation. This program is designed to support those communities and organizations that service parents who may not be able to afford our tools. We select a partner at the beginning of each month (clinic, family practice, charitable organization, etc.), and for each product purchased on our website, we match with a donation to that group, supporting families in need, one stuffy nose or gassy tummy at a time!