Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tess Olson, Founder and CEO of Thrive Fourth Trimester Support, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a virtual postpartum doula. My clients are first-time moms who are pregnant and looking for support (emotional, practical, and informational) before and after they have their babies. I work with moms prenatally and then follow them for six weeks after their baby is born. We work together in one-on-one sessions where I assign them some work to help them get better prepared for their baby, and they have access to a community of other moms for life and me.

The fourth trimester, or the first three months after you have your baby, is unique and filled with some of the highest highs you will ever experience. There are also a lot of challenges that come with being a new parent, and I want to do everything I can to make that transition easier for new moms.

Tell us about yourself

Ten of my friends (yes, you read that right!) all had babies within one year of each other. I was third in line and really enjoyed supporting and helping my other girlfriends get prepared before their babies were born. I was creating checklists, testing out different postpartum and newborn care products, and then recommending the best ones to my friends. I was organizing meal trains for them and buying them the things no one wants to buy off your baby registry (hello adult sized diapers) so that they would have an easier transition into motherhood.

Interestingly enough, I didn't know what a postpartum doula was when I had my son in April of 2021. After helping multiple friends as they prepared to welcome their baby home, I learned that it was actually something that I could do for a living. I was working in corporate, and it never felt like a good fit. I could do it, but I never felt overly fulfilled in what I was doing. So in September of 2021, I took a three-day-long postpartum doula training and quit my corporate job in December and have never looked back.

What motivates me each day is the gratification I get from seeing new parents practice and grow their parenting skills. Seeing the transformation from when their baby is just born to when we wrap up our time together is wonderful to witness, and I feel so honored to be a part of parents' journeys through the ups and downs of new parenthood.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is choosing to start my own business as a first-time mom myself when my son was only eight months old. It meant taking a risk and a lot of hard work, but I know it's my life calling to serve new families as they adjust to being parents for the first time.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is imposter syndrome and loneliness. I'm a very social person, and so when you're a one-woman shop, it can be isolating at times.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Take the risk. You will always wonder if you don't at least try it.
  2. Take care of yourself and your needs, so you can better serve others. You cannot fill from an empty cup.
  3. If your goal is to serve others, then don't doubt yourself or what you're offering. Being willing to help people is the single best thing a person can do in the world.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Some people ask what the difference between a nanny and a postpartum doula is, so I've outlined it below. A nanny is focused on providing care for the baby/child(ren). A postpartum doula's main priority is on the birthing person/parents' overall wellbeing. While we do spend time with the baby so that parents can get a break, we are there to provide informational, emotional, and practical support to parents. We are also trained to look out for potential mental health concerns and refer out to specialists if something arises that is out of scope for us. Postpartum doulas also act as a "Google filter" so that new parents do not find themselves in the great abyss that is the internet when searching for answers or solutions to the various situations that pop up when caring for a newborn. We are constantly checking in on how the birthing person is doing -- mentally, physically, and emotionally which is not the type of care that nannies provide to the families they work with.

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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