Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin McCaffrey Crespo, Founder of Thrive Doula Services, located in Columbus, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Thrive Doula Services provides prenatal education and birth planning, hands-on birth doula support, and lactation and infant feeding consultations. I love working with clients transitioning to parenthood and working with birthing folks with a wide spectrum of backgrounds. I support hospitals, birth centers, and home births.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a nurse practitioner by training and a doula by choice. I have been fascinated by birth ever since I was a young child. After graduating from Georgetown University with my bachelor’s and then Master’s degrees in nursing, I worked for 15 years as a family nurse practitioner providing primary care to patients across the lifespan, from prenatal care to pediatrics to adult medicine. I have spent the entirety of my career working with patients from vulnerable populations and am passionate about healthcare access, quality, and justice. My background in healthcare gives me a unique insight into both the lifesaving technologies available to birthing people and their babies and also into the ways the system often lets families down.
After the pandemic birth of my fourth baby, I made the decision to pursue my true passion: supporting families in childbirth and the early stages of parenthood. In my role as a doula, I serve as a trusted source of support and comfort during labor and birth. I am excellent at interpreting medical lingo and cutting through the noise during stressful situations so that birthing people have the information and confidence they need to make the right decisions for their bodies and babies. I am also a Certified Lactation Consultant and meet with new parents in their homes to troubleshoot any breast/chest feeding issues that arise, plan for returning to work, and customize feeding solutions to each family’s needs.
I believe that all people benefit from doula support during labor and birth, and I am committed to doing my part to increase doula access. I welcome clients from all backgrounds and am particularly honored to work with people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, or who otherwise have complicated relationships with the healthcare system. I am a good listener, a clear communicator, and a tireless advocate for my patients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting started! Making the leap from a steady, predictable schedule and income to the unknown of starting a business was daunting. Getting all the boring things (like starting an LLC, meeting with a lawyer, opening bank accounts, etc.) handled and realizing I was capable of getting this off the ground felt like a huge accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It can be lonely! I don’t have any employees yet, so it can be a little isolating.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research and assemble a great support team. You don’t have to be an expert in business creation, accounting, marketing, etc.—consult with professionals and save yourself time and headaches.
- Network! I’ve been so energized by the connections I’ve made with other small business owners in the birth and parenting space. It is so wonderful to have other people to bounce ideas off of, and incredibly life-affirming to meet others who genuinely want to lift you up and support your work.
- Have goals, but also allow yourself room to adapt. Sometimes your situation will look very different in 3 or 6 months than you planned, and one of the great things about operating a small business is that it allows you to be nimble. Keep working towards growth, but allow yourself to pivot or rest as you need to!
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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