Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Silver, Co-Founder of NAPS™, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nurture by NAPS is our research-backed digital parenting platform that has been thoughtfully designed over the last year to relaunch in April 2023. Nurture helps parents thrive in every stage, from conception through preschool, via self-paced content, 1:1 consultations, and direct contact forums. Given the invaluable experience of the NAPS team, across 30+ nurses and specialists, we saw a tremendous opportunity to fill the void in the market and create an all-in-one digital platform for parents, providing them with everything they need to know (and use to empower themselves) about parenting at their fingertips. At this time, the main customers are parents of all kinds - expecting through toddlerhood and Grandparents (Grandparent Bootcamp is a hit)!
Tell us about yourself
We are friends and co-founders! I, Emily Silver, am a Nurse Practitioner and IBCLC. Jamie O'Day is a Registered Nurse and IBCLC. We are also both experienced moms to six girls combined. We met over ten years ago while working on Labor & Delivery at a busy Boston hospital. After hearing so many of our patients ask if we could go home with them, we decided to start a company. NAPS™ (Newborn & Parenting Support) was born in 2011. Fast forward to the present day, and we, plus a team of almost 40 Registered Nurses, a management and exec team, and full admin staff, have done nothing but grow to service parents everywhere. Beyond in-home care in MA, NAPS and Nurture by NAPS brings together real-life parenting advice with medical backgrounds.
Jamie, myself, and the team are motivated by seeing our solution to the below problem continue to gain steam. We recognized a gap in perinatal care in the US. There are the usual places one would go for parenting support, advice, and education: OBs, Pediatricians, Google, family, and/or friends. All are useful in some ways but also extremely lacking in other ways. A parent's support is fragmented (and sometimes very biased). The last thing a new parent wants to do is feel lost and have to seek different places and people for parenting advice. One provider helps with sleep; someone else talks about breastfeeding, another talks about milestones, a therapist helps with the pelvic floor, and the list goes on and on.
Rather than piecing parenting support together at the busiest and most vulnerable time, NAPS has all the experts in one place. Support is effective when consolidated in that if something is going on with sleep, feeding is usually a big clue of the overall story. We imagined a non-judgmental, non-biased, REAL parent with tons of personal and professional experience in the perinatal realm, and we built the platform to give access to that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
- Being moms of three girls, EACH. You knew we had to say it…we are moms, first and foremost. It makes us proud to know our girls will hear about what we did with our lives and careers one day and understand why. We prioritize our families and raise our kids with integrity and compassion. Which leads us to…
- Building a company and culture where the family really is first. Our growth is non-stop, and the women along the path with us also have small kids. We have each other's backs when the sick-from-school calls come in, or the flat tire happens between soccer practices. We know.
- Not taking no for an answer. Did we know how hard it is to build a service-based company in the parenting space? Did we stop when we heard continual no's or 'that's too hard'? Nope! We are here for the challenge and plan to have good laughs (and cries) along the way.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
- We had to balance growing a company with 6 pregnancies combined…enough said.
- Making the decision to grow. We could have stayed as the leading support service in MA. Our clients love us and the care we provide. Making the decision to hire a management and exec team and truly step outside our nursing degrees to build this business has been tough. We are invigorated daily.
- Embracing our mistakes. The stakes are high when you own and operate a business that has risk. We create a culture now of owning our mistakes and learning from them. It sounds cliché, but it's something we've had to really work through and adapt into our mentality and output. We are nurses. We didn't go to business school. Everything we have done, we had to figure out on our own, and sometimes the hard way. We used to say we would throw spaghetti at the wall to see what stick (to also show solidarity with our toddlers throwing actual spaghetti).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- What do you need vs. what do you want? Plan this out for today, the week, then increments that make sense for you – i.e., each quarter, trimester, and/or year. It helps to know where you're going to give purpose every day.
- Louder for the people in the back…surround yourself with people who have the purpose and the mission in their hearts too. They don't have to be aligned with everything you think or do – that's the beauty! A business is a living, breathing entity…let everyone make their mark and push and mold it into what it can be.
- It's harder than you think. If you love it, you'll feel more alive than you ever have. Listen to lots of podcasts (we love Mel Robbins, Unlocking Us, Alex Hermozi, and many other pods) and read articles...The more exposure and time you can take to think through your game plan, the better. Then when it's time to launch, REALLY go for it.
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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