Our Program Fellow Miina Juvonen has left the Mommy Matters team to pursue further studies in Population Health at University College London. She has been Dr. Shirazian’s right-hand woman and the two of them almost single-handedly launched the company in May 2019. Read on to learn more about Miina’s journey with Mommy Matters and the next steps in her path!
Tell me about your journey with Mommy Matters. How did you find the company?
Before starting at Mommy Matters I worked at a strategy consulting firm and we did a pro bono project for Saving Mothers about strategies to increase their funding. One such option was the creation of a for-profit arm. Once Saving Mothers expressed interest in this option, we did another phase of work looking at how they could go about setting this up.
I was super excited about this project and loved how innovative Saving Mothers wanted to be. I also highly enjoyed working with their team to discuss ideas and ways forward.
After this project, I was so excited and invested in the new venture, I came over to work on it full time.
Can you describe the role that you played at Mommy Matters? What did a typical day of work look like for you?
I held the role of Program Fellow, which was very multi-faceted. Each day looked completely different! I helped with everything from product development and sourcing to logistics, marketing, partnerships, and event planning, and even got to work on some Saving Mothers projects in between.
In your time at Mommy Matters, you organized the development and launch of two products, the Portable Pregnancy Pillow and Postpartum Underwear. Looking back, what stands out to you about this?
It has been incredible to watch each item go from an idea to a finished consumer product. Being part of the product development process and watching both items come to life was exhilarating. Hearing all the positive feedback from customers once each product launched was also extremely rewarding.
What do you find unique about the maternal health focus at Mommy Matters? Was the partnership with global health nonprofit Saving Mothers appealing to you?
The social mission of Mommy Matters was always critical to me. Women’s health is my passion and I joined the team because I loved and believed in the work Saving Mothers was doing and wanted to contribute to it in a new and innovative way. Overtime Mommy Matters has developed into a beautiful educational space that will help women take control of their health, and it’s an honor to have been a part of that.
How would you describe the workplace culture at Mommy Matters? Dr. Shirazian likes to comment on her “powerful all-female team”!
I absolutely love our team culture! It’s extremely inspiring to be surrounded by such a diverse and intelligent group of women every day. We push each other but are also the best of friends, which I think is the ideal setting to be successful in. I could not be more grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received from the team and look forward to staying in touch with them.
What’s your favorite Mommy Matters memory?
The Mommy Matters launch party is one of my favorite memories. It was so exciting to officially announce our name and mission and show our products in person for the first time!
The event also took place at Luminary, a beautiful women’s coworking space, and we had Yasmin Vossoughian (an anchor on MSNBC and one of our Saving Mothers board members) as our wonderful guest speaker.
Have there been unexpected aspects of the job?
I have been surprised (in the best way) by the amount of support we’ve received since launching only a few months ago! It’s amazing to see our mission resonate with so many women who not only want and need our health products and information, but also want to give back to other women around the world. There is no better feeling than hearing women describe how much Mommy Matters means to them and how excited they are to find our company. We love our supporters!
What’s next for you?
I’ll be moving to London this fall to begin my Master’s degree in Population Health at UCL. During and after my studies, I hope to continue a career focused on improving women’s health in low resource settings.
Thank you Miina for everything you've done for Mommy Matters! We will miss you!