Last year, Austin sisters Beth Knapp and Becca Hogan each had two children who were growing out of the baby phase. Knapp who had worked up until having the second child says she was “getting antsy again.” She knew about Austin start-up Cratejoy and thought, she should do a subscription box of her own.
After doing her research, Knapp says she saw a lot of boxes for moms but not for moms-to-be.
With each pregnancy Knapp and Hogan have benefited from their older sister, Amy Birtman, who had had three children before Knapp and Hogan had even began having babies.
“She was hugely valuable,” Knapp says.
That’s what they want Mama Bird Box to be — a box of items an older sister would recommend. They have built eight boxes so far, one each month starting at the third month of pregnancy and a box for after the baby is born. They hope to build 12 boxes eventually.
Each box has something in it that focuses on living a healthy, natural life; and something that is specific to pregnancy. And then there is always something that is just for fun, something to pamper mom.
They try to match what might be happening that month of pregnancy with what’s in the box. The month four box includes a baby-safe skin lightening cream for when the linea nigra appears on the belly, a lip cream for chapped lips, stomach calming teas for when heartburn tends to happen, Beanitos Sweet Chili and Sour Cream chips for a treat, and a probiotic made for pregnant women to help with stomach problems.
Other boxes include chocolate macaroons, belly creams to protect against stretch marks, nontoxic nail polishes, a notebook for keeping track of things pregnant moms forget.
The post-pregnancy box includes an oatmeal bar that promotes lactation, a teething bracelet, a firming cream, nursing pads, and a clothes dryer ball for washing yours and baby’s clothes.
Each box includes at least four items, a note about the products and a message of inspiration. Knapp and Hogan try to use as many Austin products as they can. And they try all the items themselves or have friends who are pregnant try them. “Someone is always pregnant,” Knapp says, including Hogan, who took a step back from the business this fall as a third baby was on the way.
Since Mama Bird Box began in October 2015, they have rotated products in and out. They’ve also learned valuable information from their customers, like winter is the time to put chocolate in boxes; summer, with the heat, not so much.
“We still seek out new product,” Knapp says. “For our own sakes, it’s fun to curate the boxes.”
They’ve had customers all across the United States and Canada and Switzerland. Most are buying it as a gift for a mom-to-be. “We get a lot of mothers and mother-in-laws, but a lot of friends and sisters, too,” Knapp says.
Most people buy a three-month subscription, but you can buy one box at a time. They sell for $34.95 a box, $99.95 for three boxes and $194.95 for six.
Eventually, Knapp would like their website mamabirdbox.com and their social media to expand beyond the boxes to create a larger community, to be a resource for people.