What is your name and date of birth?
Angela Sutherland, May 16
What is the full name and ages of your children?
Elodie (3.5 years) and Ronan (1.5 yrs)
Could you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am a giant math nerd who loves my family and my work, and I’m passionate about getting healthy, fresh food into the hands of as many parents as possible.
What was your life like before motherhood?
Prior to becoming a mom, I was focused on my friends, extended family and climbing the corporate ladder in my career as a private equity executive. I was working in operations, turning around distressed debt companies, which in retrospect really helped me prepare for owning my own business.
What inspired you to launch Yumi?
Yumi was inspired by my daughter. During my first pregnancy, I found myself – like many new moms— obsessing about my baby’s health and whether I was doing enough. I spent hours every day researching, pouring over medical reports from the last 20 years on infant nutrition. In this process, I came across the concept of the “First 1000 Days” which researchers and doctors have identified as the most important period in a human’s life for nutrition (from in utero to age 2). And yet, the market for baby food was full of products that were high in fructose, low in nutrition and older than my baby. As a busy working mom, I found myself faced with what felt like two not-so-great options: 1) either feel like I was compromising at the grocery store, or 2) feel pressured to cook every meal. I was convinced that there had to be a better way and felt compelled to create a product that would give parents an easier, healthier, and more convenient option.
What was the biggest learning curve?
I feel like I face a new learning curve every day! There are so many decisions my partner Evelyn and I have to address and solve every day, but I think one of the biggest learnings has been how to build a great team and cultivate a great company culture. In my former positions I often worked in a silo, and I now feel so grateful to work with a group of talented individuals who share our passion and brand mission. But it takes daily practice and a conscientious effort to become a good manager and leader.
What separates Yumi from other organic baby food brands?
Currently, we are the only brand that offers fresh baby food, delivered. Our meals are fresh, organic, packed with nutrition and delivered right to your doorstep, but we consider ourselves to be more than just a food company. We take a holistic approach to baby’s health and wellness that is rooted in transparency, and we strive to empower parents with better choices and trustworthy information. We are also making decisions that signal how we are doing things differently than the typical food company. For example, we created a children’s book that comes in your delivery and a counting primer that uses fruits and vegetables. We even customize our ice packs with a playful print of a watermelon on them. In our opinion, every touchpoint matters, and every turn is an opportunity to do something special for our subscribers.
How did motherhood impact your career?
Motherhood played a huge role in my career because it opened my eyes to something that needed to exist in the world, and was the catalyst for me leaving a career in private equity. Never in my life did I think that I would be an entrepreneur and own my own company, let alone a baby food brand, but the more I realized that I had a chance to fill this gaping hole in the marketplace the more excited I became to take a leap of faith and do it.
What’s your personal favorite Yumi meal?
I love our Pitaya Porridge, which has ingredients like dragon fruit, white yam, coconut milk and quinoa – it is absolutely delicious and the bright, vibrant pink color always puts a smile on my face.
What did you think of motherhood before you became a mother?
Like most women, I think I underestimated how hard it really is. Everyone tells you that you won’t sleep, that breastfeeding is harder than it looks, etc., but until you experience it for yourself, it’s hard to grasp all that comes with it – emotionally, mentally and physically. But I also think nothing can prepare you for the incredible joy and happiness that being a mother brings to your life as well.
How do you balance motherhood and your career?
I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a family.
Women have to become more comfortable accepting help so they can take time for themselves and pursue other goals. To me, it’s not so much about “balance” as it is about work/life “integration”. I have yet to meet another mother who has found perfect balance in her life. With technology these days, it’s easy to work anytime, anywhere, so it’s about finding a schedule that works best for you and your family. My priorities vary every day, so I try to be where I’m needed most – sometimes I sacrifice time at home if I have to travel for an important work trip or business meeting, and other times I take time out of the work day to pick up my daughter from school or take my son to a music class.
Where do you find your inspiration the most?
I am so inspired by our growing community of parents who subscribe to our product and have helped to share our message. When moms email and tell us how much our service is helping them and making their lives easier, it is incredibly gratifying and motivates me to keep going. I think parents are real-life superheroes, and I am inspired daily by the ones I have the chance to meet and interact with, both online via social media and in person.
Favourite skin & beauty products for yourself?
I love a number of products from True Botanicals; their hydrating facial oil is a savior in the winter months or after a long flight. I have also been enjoying the “Doctor’s Scrub” from a brand called Goldfaden MD; it contains really unique ingredients like ruby crystals, hyaluronic acid and seaweed extract and always makes my skin feel like new when it’s looking a bit dull. In the office, I keep a bottle of Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist on my desk – it smells amazing and is great for refreshing my skin throughout the day.
When you get a quiet moment, what do you like to do the most?
Take a long shower without any kids interrupting me, curl up with a grown-up/non-children’s book (no illustrations allowed!), sneak in a workout, sip a glass of wine and reconnect with my husband
Any exciting New Year plans for Yumi?
We just launched a new “Start-on-Solids” kit which is really exciting. For parents who are beginning to introduce their baby to solids, the kit features a box of our prepared food, as well as a BÉABA BabyCook with recipe cards, so they can also cook at home when they wish. It’s the best of both worlds.
Who is your Mother Muse?
I love Chrissy Teigen’s playful personality and her honest approach to pregnancy and parenting. Also Lee Radziwill. She exudes such effortless, timeless glamour.