After Emily Lawrence gave birth, she was lucky enough to have a supportive sister, who just so happened to also be a doctor.
“My sister sees pregnant women a lot,” Emily explained, “so she knows all the ins and outs. It’s also just nice having that sister relationship… I was comfortable talking to her about uncomfortable subjects you have to deal with after childbirth.”
Once Emily began speaking with other new mothers, however, she started to realize that a lot of them didn’t have access to the same information and resources that she’d gotten from her sister.
“So much knowledge and support wasn’t made available to them,” Emily said, “They had to deal with a lot of pain, and some of them even stopped breastfeeding. I was reaching out to them and giving them the information my sister had given me, so I kinda felt like a know-it-all.”
Emily continued, “It’s crazy, women have been having babies forever, but there’s still not a lot of knowledge about these products. A friend of mine even said she got more support and care after breaking her leg than she did after having her baby. That statement really stuck with me.”
This experience gave Emily an idea. An interior parts engineer at Honda, Emily is now also the founder of Lilac Pack, a company based around providing new mothers with the products and information they need to better recover from childbirth, as well as meet their nursing goals.
“For women who are getting ready to have, or just had a baby, there’s a lot of recovery,” Emily said. “The hospital will give you some stuff, but not nearly enough. That’s kind of where we come in. Lilac Pack puts together a personalized package for you after childbirth.”
However, before Lilac Pack could be fully realized, Emily needed some help. While she had already done some market and product research for her idea, she needed some more information on the business side of things.
“We had a lot of gaps in our knowledge base, and we needed some resources to fill them,” Emily said.
As it so happens, Emily had a chance meeting with the founder of GiveBackHack, Suzy Bureau, who mentioned the upcoming Columbus event and explained its purpose. Emily saw it as the perfect way to complete her vision.
While attending GiveBackHack, Emily was nervous about presenting her pitch, but the positive energy of the event helped her work through it.
“It was so much more energy than I realized,” Emily recounted, “People were excited about their own ideas, but excited to hear about and help with other ideas as well. We realized we had to vet the idea a little more, but we had a group of people ready to help on the spot… fleshing out things that could be problems in the future, positive and negative feedback… all geared to help us go further.”
Emily continued, “Our overall idea for the business didn’t change, but we learned that some things resonated with our prospective customers, and some things didn’t. A big thing that we found out people liked was products that could make good baby shower gifts… things we could supply in a small package for a new mom. That revelation was a game changer.”
In the end, Lilac Pack was one of the top teams granted in-kind resources at GiveBackHack. Not one to rest on her achievements, Emily then went on to take part in the SEA Change accelerator, and ended up as a finalist. Thinking back on her experience with GiveBackHack, Emily remembers how the event assisted her in achieving her goals.
“Getting me in touch with the people I needed probably helped the most,” she said. “I met Dustin from MakeShark… he does websites. I was getting quotes on websites for thousands of dollars that I didn’t have at the time. But Dustin set up a basic website that helped us tremendously, so I hired him right after the event.”
Today, Lilac Pack continues to grow, and Emily doesn’t plan on slowing down.
“We’re working on a lot of social media marketing, experimenting with different types of advertising and seeing what works where,” She said. “We’re also continuing to improve the website, and we have an ad coming out in Healthy Mom and Baby Magazine that I’m excited about. Plus, be on the lookout for our upcoming project, the Moms Helping Moms Podcast.”
And, if you have your own idea to make a social impact through business and technology, come to the Columbus GiveBackHack 2019 event this April 26th-28th. You’ll be able to network and interact with community leaders and field experts from all over Columbus, and use resources, experience, and teamwork to turn your idea into a reality. Get your tickets today!
As Emily said, “If you have an idea, and you want to move forward, even if you’re not sure of how well-formed you idea is, this is what you want to do. How else are you going to spend your weekend? You can take the steps to starting your own business, or you can stay in and watch Netflix. Even if your idea doesn’t get funded, maybe you can help someone else build theirs. If you have an idea or if you want to make a difference, that’s the place to do it.”
“GiveBackHack is the reason my company is where it’s at today.”