Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Valerie Massoni, President of Body Belly Baby LLC., located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Body Belly Baby is an Education, Fitness, Nutrition & Wellness Maternity Center and digital platform. Our mission is to improve maternal health & address women's physical, emotional, and mental needs, and help them be "At their best prior, during, and after pregnancy" TM. We offer prenatal and postnatal fitness classes (prenatal yoga, prenatal pilates, mommy & baby postnatal classes) as well as prenatal educational classes (childbirth, CPR, Baby 101, breastfeeding) to help expecting women and also support OBGYNs to have healthier and happier patients. Our services are offered in person, virtually, and also in our on-demand library to be accessible anywhere, anytime to pregnant women and expecting parents. Our clients are primarily pregnant women and mothers of young children (under two years of age) and expecting and new parents.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from Harvard Business School and was expecting my first child during the second year of my MBA. I gave birth two months after I graduated. As I was a student, I was looking for prenatal classes to exercise. I was also looking for qualitative educational courses for my spouse and me. Unfortunately, there was not much available. When I gave birth, I felt that it was even worse as there was no support for new moms and very few activities to do with a baby. This is why and how I started Body Belly Baby: to meet the physical, mental, and educational needs of expecting women and parents, of new moms and new parents, and hold their hand during their maternity journey. Today, what motivates me even more, each day is not only to support pregnant women throughout their journey but also to provide accessible services to everyone. The US sadly experiences a shortage of OBGYNs, and access to prenatal care is not available in many counties. Pregnant women may not be able to attend a prenatal yoga or fitness class because they don't even have an OBGYN locally in their hometown. They may not find a childbirth education class because they are not offered in their hospital. And finally, maternal health really needs to be improved in our country. Physical activity during pregnancy (prenatal Yoga, Prenatal Pilates, and Prenatal Fitness, together with a good nutrition plan and physician care, are setting women off to a great start in pregnancy. By offering classes in person and virtually, as well as on-demand library courses, I am hoping now to fill in this gap and provide a solution to a concerning problem for women at a very important stage in their life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I built a supportive community in Miami, and Body Belly Baby has an established reputation for helping women during and after their pregnancy. Everywhere I walk in Miami, I run into a former client of Body Belly Baby, and the children have already grown so much. Many Body Belly Baby clients became friends, and their children are attending the same schools. Moms always have the fondest memory of their experience at Body Belly Baby and come back in their second and third pregnancies. This is the best!
I have also built a very strong reputation and credibility among the OBGYNs and Hospitals in Florida. Many doctors refer their patients as they trust Body Belly Baby to be the best Maternity Wellness and Education Center in Florida for their patients. Body Belly Baby is a trusted and legitimate center.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing as a business owner is to be solo and always find the energy to keep growing. It is also exciting for me to always help and educate women and parents in this journey. I have a solid network thanks to my academic background, and I also established a strong advisor network in the medical field ( from OBGYNs to pediatricians).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Study and equip yourself with the knowledge and education you need before you start. (I obtained all of my certifications in Pilates, Yoga, Childbirth, CPR, Nutrition, etc.) on top of my MBA. I also earned a Degree from Columbia Business School and MIT in digital platform and education.
- Surround yourself with a solid group of advisors and friends with shared values to guide you when you need them and also tell you when to slow down.
- Learn how to breathe and take care of yourself regularly... to step back and enjoy what you have already accomplished. One of my mentors told me ten years ago... Valerie, "Baby steps," and I always kept that present as Body Belly Baby has been growing!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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