By Graham Pilotte
For women who are expecting or have recently delivered, the new baby is first in mind. Everything changes, from sleep schedules to work routines. Thankfully, a Louisville-owned company called milk & baby is here in support of expecting and new moms.
“Milk & baby is an online retail store where the focus is on pregnant women and new moms,” explains Co-Founder Kim Inge. “We carry labor and delivery clothes, breastfeeding clothes – all the clothes that will make women feel great about themselves in a time that involves a lot of changes in their body.”
The store came about from personal experience. “My business partner and I both were breastfeeding moms,” Inge explains, “and it wasn’t easy to find cute nursing bras. Everything was frumpy or ugly.” Frustrated, Inge and her co-founder Beth Knockwafel turned their experiences into inspiration to help other new moms. “We try our best to find things that are unique and really stylish, that don’t feel like you’re wearing nursing clothes,” Inge says.
They had to start small: “We started out of a room in her house and grew it organically,” Inge says. “We didn’t pay ourselves for a couple years. It was definitely a bit of a struggle.” Both founders had children who were not yet old enough to be full-time in school so they created a business plan that defies the norm. “It was good for us. We wanted something we could grow while raising our families,” Inge explains.
The pair moved into a small office in St. Matthews and slowly expanded. “It was probably three or four packed rooms. We had to walk over stuff and squeeze by each other,” Inge says, laughing at the memory. “We needed more room to grow, so we found a warehouse in Jeffersontown with plenty of room for more inventory.”
Milk & baby is still mostly online. “We’re almost exclusively e-commerce,” Inge explains, “but we love when local moms find out about us! We love for them to come and shop the warehouse. They just have to call and make an appointment, and one of us will be there as their personal stylist.
“This year is the first that all of our kids will be in school full time,” Inge explains. She’s excited to use the time to define milk & baby’s Louisville presence. “We get so many orders from all over the country and internationally, but when we get an order from Louisville I get so excited,” Inge says. “There’s a big local community of breastfeeding moms, and moms who are pregnant and looking for clothes to pack in the labor bag.” She cites outfits that coordinate between mom and baby, some even with a matching pillowcase for the hospital. They also carry kangaroo care, nursing jewelry and even shirts for proud new dads.
And Inge has even more inventory she’s looking forward to showing customers. “We just released our first line of nursing dresses,” Inge says. “We found a company here called The New Blak and worked with them to design a dress that’s made with sustainable bamboo. It’s really soft, and we liked that it was made here in Louisville.” The dress comes in simple black, navy and white patterns. “We call it the forever dress,” Inge explains, “because you can wear it before, during and after pregnancy.”
Everything about milk & baby, from the company’s structure to its newly designed items, is strikingly supportive of women. “We’re so passionate about new moms – about this time in their lives and helping them feel confident,” Inge says. For the expecting or new mom in your life, look up Louisville-owned milk & baby to help her find that perfect item. VT
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