On The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, our CSO Wes sits down with Yasmin Kaderali, CEO of Mommy’s Bliss — a consumer products company whose mission is to help moms bond with their babies by creating effective products with wise, clean ingredients. While Mommy’s Bliss has been the Kaderali family business for 20 years, Yasmin’s run as CEO has lasted only a third of that time. Yet, since taking the helm in 2012, Mommy’s Bliss has experienced monumental growth, reaching the Inc. 5000 list every year since 2013 and achieving 6-Time Inc. 5000 Honoree status. Mommy’s Bliss now sells a stable of products, featured in some of the world’s top retailers, and supports The Mommy’s Bliss Foundation, which partners with global organizations to support infant and maternal health.
But taking Mommy’s Bliss from good to great was a painful journey for Kaderali who, when stepping in as CEO, had to make a series of tough decisions, including the decisions to cut much of its product line and to even remove her own father from leadership. However, on the podcast, Yasmin discusses how, paradoxically, businesses often have to shrink in order to grow and shares wisdom regarding leadership, feelings of insufficiency, strategic innovation, and much more.
THE ENTRUEPRENEURSHIP TAKEAWAY:
“I think that, as you get bigger, the expectation is that not every product you launch is going to win. And that’s okay.”
“Don’t be afraid to do things your own way as a leader… Don’t be afraid of being your own person and letting go of any stereotypes that people have. And be vulnerable with your team.”
“I think my one biggest mistake was having a really good product idea and thinking that that was enough to make it a bestselling product.”
“My main focus was — how do I build an innovation strategy with not a lot of cash and not a big team. And [I realized] that I need a strong team. That’s where the gold is. Smart people that are fun to be around. We work well together. If you have the smartest, most friendly people in a room, you can do a lot.”
“Looking back and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m a CEO. I’m supposed to know all the answers and lead this team.’ It felt very scary and lonely. But if someone had just said, ‘You’re cool. Just do it your way. Trust your intuition. And be yourself.’ That’s how you engage with people. That’s how people trust you, and you build relationships in a business setting that are valuable.”
KEY TOPICS DISCUSSED:
3:00: Yasmin gives a brief history of how her family came to found Mommy’s Bliss and describes the product that was the company’s anchor product for some time — “Gripe Water.”
5:54: Yasmin discusses how entrepreneurship has always been in her DNA and provides examples from her life which prove this to be true.
6:47: Kaderali shares her background prior to joining Mommy’s Bliss and how it was never her plan to join the family business.
8:17: Kaderali describes the state of the business when she joined the company and tells why she decided to step in as CEO.
10:25: Yasmin discusses the pains of business expansion, which included cutting off some of the product portfolio and firing her own father.
15:22: Yasmin speaks on how her family’s business became profitable, even without receiving outside funding.
18:25: Yasmin describes one of the biggest mistakes she ever made and the lessons learned from that failure.
21:12: Kaderali gives a current “state of the company” and looks towards the future, including some new product lines in 2020.
22:12: Kaderali discusses how she wasn’t a mother when she first became CEO but now, as a mother, she has a new perspective on the pain points and needs of moms.
23:52: Yasmin shares some helpful advice on how to lead well, even when you feel in over your head.