At Belly Bandit, we're firm believers in celebrating the success of other women-owned and operated companies—after all, we can relate to the joys and challenges of balancing motherhood and building a business! Our "Moms Who Made It" Q&A series focuses on entrepreneurial moms who we find particularly inspiring, and who we think you'll love learning about, as well.
This month, we're featuring Laura Modi, CEO and cofounder of Bobbie. Founded in 2018, Bobbie produces organic, European-style baby formula that is modeled after breast milk and made with high-quality ingredients like pasture-raised dairy; organic lactose and whey sourced from small family farms; sustainable DHA; and non-GMO, USDA organic plant-based oils. Together with a team of food scientists and medical experts, as well as fellow co-founder Sarah Hardy, Modi is working to make quality formula more accessible than ever, while combatting the stigma that moms face over feeding their babies formula. (If you can handle *all* the feelings, watch their story here.)
Describe your business philosophy in 5 words.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
What inspired you to start your business?
Starting Bobbie was triggered by my personal experiences and the hard reality that I couldn’t live up to expectations that society put on me as a new mom. I was trying to go back to work at a fast-paced company, Airbnb, while trying to find 35 hours a week to pump or breastfeed to give my baby “liquid gold.” The same government who says you should breastfeed exclusively for six months also doesn’t provide a national paid leave program—that conflict was fuel to act and change the conversation on how we feed our babies.
When did you feel you had made it as an entrepreneur?
I haven’t. There’s a long road ahead still before I've "made it." No doubt the feeling will come when the conversation on formula feeding is no longer stigmatized or frowned upon. That, to me, is success.
Who is your mentor?
Heidi Zak, CEO of ThirdLove—another women breaking into an industry that needs a new player finally. She is bold in how she creates, manages, and leads.
Cofounders Sarah Hardy, left, and Laura Modi, right, with their families.
What’s your #1 tip for moms interested in starting their own business?
Don’t expect it to be easy—starting a company with young kids is completely nuts. But my tip is to remember that it’s an investment. Whenever it feels impossible, just say to yourself, "This is an investment." And no matter where it ends up, most investments turn out to be valuable in some way.
What does “me” time mean to you?
It’s pretty basic—sleeping or napping. I have three kids under 5 years old, including a one-year-old, and a growing startup, so suffice to say that my sleep can be lacking. If I have time to myself (and nothing urgent to address), I’m climbing into bed with a "do not disturb" sign on my door!
What‘s on your bedside table?
No Drama Discipline. I like to read small segments of it to my husband before bed in hopes that we’re both parenting in the same direction. Worth trying, right?!
Share your favorite quote.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."