Here at Belly Bandit HQ, a women-owned and operated company, we believe in celebrating the success of all women in business! Our Moms Who Made It series is our way of honoring Mompreneurs who inspire us every day.

This week we're featuring, Helen Anderson, the founder of Milkies. Helen created the award-winning Milkies Milk-Saver after the birth of her son, and in doing so gave women a safe and convenient way to collect milk leaked during nursing. Helen is a breastfeeding advocate and committed to providing lactation education for all women.

Words of wisdom, describe your business philosophy in 5 words:

"Don’t be afraid to fail"

Ready, set, go! -What inspired you to start your business?

I was breastfeeding my second and having the same struggles collecting and storing enough milk to work my 12 hour ER shifts. I looked for a product that could help me collect milk while breastfeeding, I leaked so much from the non-nursing breast I made a huge mess and wasted milk that I could have been storing. When I came up with the prototype for the Milk-Saver I saved 8 ounces the first day. I hoped I could help other moms that were struggling too. It was a long journey, I had no business experience 2 sons, newborn and 19 months. As a nurse, I knew the importance of breastfeeding and wanted to help other moms be successful at exclusive breastfeeding, even if they were working long shifts like I was.

Moms Who Made It - When did you know you, “made it?”

When other moms asked me for business advice! I have the privilege of mentoring other moms bringing products to market – it’s fun helping others bring an idea to reality.

Helpline - Who is your mentor?

Kedma Ough – a business coach I was assigned through a grant I received. She taught me about the importance of relationships and to just pick up the phone – don’t rely on emails!

What's your #1 tip for moms interested in starting their own business

Get connected – we have a super supportive community of moms that love to nurture others in our industry! Go to a trade show, meet people, talk about your idea but listen a lot!

Me, me, me - What does “me” time mean to you?

I need to work out…it helps me feel more confident and ready to take on any challenge. We live out in the country so I run hills or ride my stationary spinning bike if it’s raining, which it does much of the time in Oregon. If I don’t have time to work out, I meditate. Life gets crazy and I need to take time to listen to my inner voice.

Book club - What‘s on your bedside table?

The best ever book “Nightengales - The Extraordinary Life and Upbringing of Florence Nightengale” It’s dense but so worth it, Florence wrote letters to many friends and family during her life – I have begun writing letters. I have 2 pen pals now!

Words to live by - Share you favorite quote!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.”

To learn more about Helen head to: http://mymilkies.com