Just last week, General Catalyst’s Peter Boyce explained how one of the most important things he looks for in a founder is a personal connection to the problem they’re solving. Kate Westervelt is one such founder.
Westervelt founded Mombox, a curated kit of postnatal care products focused squarely on the mom rather than the child. The company recently closed a $500,000 angel round led by Wayfund and TBD Angels, as well as high-net-worth individuals from organizations like Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Drizly.
Westervelt first came up with the idea for Mombox after having her first child and quickly learning that there were several products she’d need to help her body heal that were difficult to find, especially with a newborn on her hip.
The standard Mombox includes organic overnight pads, a peri bottle, perineal ice pack, post-pregnancy panties and other care products to help soothe the body and mind. Mombox also offers a C-section box and a Deluxe Mombox.
For now, the Mombox is a one-time kit — Westervelt said the vast majority of kits are purchased as gifts — but the company has plans to build out the product to include a kit subscription, content and a platform to connect new moms with the care providers they may need during the first year of motherhood. Westervelt calls it a 24/7 pocket concierge, which would allow new mothers to ask questions and get connected with lactation consultants, pelvic floor therapists, marital therapists or whomever else they might need during their first year.
“The myth here, created by a male-dominated medical and maternal wellness community, is that postpartum recovery is six to eight weeks long,” said Westervelt. “The truth is that the body goes through a process known as matrescence, similar to adolescence, where the body and hormones and identity is changing, and that process lasts at least 12 months.”
She went on to say that there is usually just one check-up with a doctor after giving birth and after that, the mom is on her own. Mombox aims to stay with mom for the first 12 months of motherhood and eventually personalize the Mombox experience based on each mom’s journey, whether its breastfeeding or bottle, stay-at-home or working mom, etc.
“The greatest challenge is that the narrative has always been to put the child’s care first,” said Westervelt. “Mothers are willing to martyr themselves for the care of this infant at the expense of their own wellbeing. The challenge is to teach moms that they’re the nucleus. If they’re ok, their babies are ok.”
Westervelt bootstrapped Mombox up until this point (and is the only employee) after first serving as managing Lifestyle editor at Wayfair and then as director of Content Strategy at Purple Carrot. Mombox has spent $0 on marketing up until this point, growing revenue 100% year-over-year since inception on word of mouth.
The new funding will go toward hiring out a team and testing out new marketing strategies to fuel further growth and eventually build out the full-service platform Westervelt envisions.