Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder
Perhaps you saw our brand new Mom-to-Be curated gift box that’s now available in our online shop? If you did, you probably noticed that one of the main items contained in the gift box is The Everyday Mother baby tracking journal. Because it’s aesthetically beautiful, extremely useful, and also has a very inspirational backstory, I thought we’d go straight to the designer herself for an in-depth look at how The Everyday Mother came to be. Meet Jackie Mangiolino…
Tell us a little about yourself!
Well, hello there! I’m Jackie – a Long Island based wife, mother, designer, entrepreneur, coach, dog-chaser, poop-cleaner, and dreamer of….naps. Like many business owners, I ditched a rather corporate career in order to create a life, and business, that worked better for my family and I. My professional background, and Master’s Degree, is in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which is the psychology of people in business. For years, I worked with executives and future corporate leaders to hone their interpersonal skills and create a more productive, fulfilling work environment. Interesting stuff, right?
Very interesting, indeed, but not the most creative, and definitely not supportive of the work-life balance I needed. Enter: Sincerely, Jackie. All through college, graduate school, and my corporate career, I was honing my skillset as a stationer. I fell in love with wedding invitations during my own engagement, and spent years learning all I could about print methods, paper textures, etiquette, and typography. Sincerely, Jackie steadily grew, and in 2014 my husband and I made the decision for me to work full-time for Sincerely, Jackie. Since then I have worked with couples across the country to create fine wedding invitations – paper heirlooms – for them to start their lives together with. I have also opened a studio that hosts other creative businesses and continue use my I/O background through coaching and mentoring other business owners.
Life was going swimmingly well, and in 2016, when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, things went from wonderful, to terrifying, to completely life changing.
Tell us the story behind The Everyday Mother.
On May 26, 2016 my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Richard Peter. He weighed 2lbs 2oz, was 14 weeks early, and his birth literally saved my life. I developed HELLP Syndrome, an extremely rare, potentially fatal pregnancy complication that can only be cured by delivery. Our family spent 99 days in the NICU, it was there that The Everyday Mother was born.
The Everyday Mother is a beautifully printed baby log for tracking daily essentials – feeding, napping, diapers, and showers for mom (let’s be real!). When Richie was in the NICU, I had to keep meticulous notes on my pumping, which is when I discovered there was nothing on the market that I could use. Yes, there were apps, but I needed something I could bring to and from the hospital (where cell phone service was poor). Even more, I wanted it to be BEAUTIFUL, you know, to perk up the oh-so-glamorous task of pumping. This is when I first decided I needed to create something for myself and other NICU mothers. I created a simple template that I printed at home – as a designer, I made sure the template was as lovely to look at as it was to use. I gave the template to my lactation consultants and nurses, who then gave it to other NICU moms, and before I knew it, I was sitting in the pumping room next to a mother who had hole-punched my template and was telling me how much it helped her! After leaving the NICU, I had to track even more baby details, so I decided to expand the original template and make it into a beautiful, spiral bound notebook that ALL families could use. Enter, The Everyday Mother. Our first print run of The Everyday Mother sold out in a matter of weeks, and that’s when I knew I had really created something amazing for families.
What were your biggest challenges in becoming a new mom?
Aside from the unique medical challenges surrounding Richie’s birth, I had the same struggles as all other mothers. Eating, showering, surviving. Staying organized was huge for us, which is why The Everyday Mother became so important. Keeping track of the mundane things, like pumping, Richie’s bottles, naps, etc., really helped to free up a tiny bit of (desperately needed) space in my brain.
How is Baby M doing these days? What is he up to?
Richie continues to amaze us every day! He’s currently discovering solid foods, giggling up a storm, and trying to figure out how to befriend our dog (hint: it doesn’t involve tail-pulling). Even though he is technically ten months old, he is developmentally adjusted to seven months old (the three month difference is because he was three months premature). We will use his adjusted age until he is two years old.
He’ll always be considered a micro-preemie, even beyond the first two years. While that’s a little intimidating, I love seeing how he continues to beat the odds every day. We are so lucky that he has no severe lingering health issues. He’s right on target for his developmental goals, thanks to the team of medical professionals that we have helping us. The gratefulness I feel for Richie, and his incredible journey, is something I have a hard time putting words to.
In what ways do you think The Everyday Mother is most useful to new moms?
For me, the most powerful benefit of The Everyday Mother was that it relieved so much pressure from me, as the mother, and allowed my husband to really step in and share the load. Since mothers are often responsible for feeding baby (specifically, if breast feeding), it sort of snowballs and becomes the mother’s responsibility to remember when baby ate, pooped, got their gas medicine, napped, got a bath, etc. It is SO MUCH to have to remember and the pressure to remember such important things is overwhelming – especially when sleep deprived and recovering from, oh, you know, giving birth. The Everyday Mother allows all of that information to be logged neatly into a book that EVERYBODY can use. If I hopped in the shower and Richie started crying, my husband could easily look in the book to see the last time Richie ate/slept/got a fresh diaper without having to ask me anything. Now that I am back at work and we have Richie’s grandparents caring for him during the day, they use The Everyday Mother to write down feeds/naps/diapers. When I come home from work I can take a quick look at The Everyday Mother and known instantly how the day was and where to pick up – and the fact that the book is so beautifully designed makes it that much easier to use!
What are your future goals for The Everyday Mother and Sincerely Jackie Paper?
I would love for The Everyday Mother to be a staple in every household with a new baby. I want to help families enjoy the early stages with their new child, and I believe the simple organization provided by The Everyday Mother is one way to achieve that. It’s amazing to me that a smartly designed pen & paper solution for daily baby tracking has never been made before The Everyday Mother, and I am honored to be the one to fill that hole.
As for the future of Sincerely, Jackie? Simply, my goal is to continue working with couples to create their wedding invitations. However, I am not at all opposed to altering some back-end aspects of my business(es) in order to make sure they’re effective and sustainable.
Why did you decide to partner with M&G?
Partnering with Marigold & Grey was a no-brainer. On a personal level, Jamie and I share very similar business values, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. On a strategic level, I know that many people who purchase The Everyday Mother give it as part of a larger gift that they have to put together themselves. It seemed natural to take the guesswork out of the process and provide a curated gift all ready to go. And when it comes to curated, gorgeous gifts, who does it better than Marigold & Grey?!
Thank you Jackie for your extremely kind words and for taking the time to share your story with us! We’re thrilled to see where this collaboration takes both of our businesses and are honored to feature The Everyday Mother as this month’s Small Business Spotlight.