Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Kelly Cox, Share the Drop: Navigating Challenges in the Infant Feeding Industry

In this exclusive interview series, hosted by Jesse Samberg, we delve into the inspiring journey of Kelly Cox, founder of Share the Drop. Kelly shares her entrepreneurial beginnings during the challenging times of the pandemic, her innovative solutions to navigate rejection in the app development world, and her relentless efforts to spread awareness about her mission. From heartwarming stories of impact to her future plans of creating a foundation to support female entrepreneurs, Kelly’s dedication to making a difference in the infant feeding industry shines through. Join us as we uncover the hurdles and triumphs of Kelly’s small business landscape, from sales and marketing to adapting to changing customer trends.

Interviewee Name: Kelly Cox

Company: Share the Drop

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Kelly Cox : I formed an LLC in March of 2020, in the beginning of the pandemic when right after I closed my former business. I have been working with women through their childbearing years for almost 20 years and have observed the struggles surrounding breastfeeding. I saw a chance to make a difference for families and I took it! During the 10 years that I owned a prenatal yoga studio, I saw firsthand the challenges new parents face. We are isolated from family support more and more, we need to start creating networks of support for families.

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Kelly Cox : When you step into the world of developing a mobile app, you envision it on the Apple store. I walked into this not ever considering rejection after rejection from the platform. I knew I could keep fighting yet that would take energy and funding away from my mission. Following the first round of rejections, I invested in a web app; this way anyone with an iOS device, or those with no smartphones, could go to my website and use the app. Now on the heels of another rejection, I am pivoting again. Soon there will be a PWA (progressive web app) that users can download from my website – no different than downloading from a major app platform, yet I will not have to deal with oversight from someone else, and I get to keep the revenue I would have paid them.

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Kelly Cox : Literally just getting the word out! On a daily basis I am trying to reach customers – on social media, sending cold call emails all day, I am trying every angle I can to educate parents that this is an option. I take every request for meetings, intro Zooms, calls, etc. I spent the time and money to build it, now I just need all families to know about it!

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Kelly Cox : I received an email from a woman in Seattle, thanking me for creating the app. She explained that her daughter is incarcerated and she is now the full-time caregiver to her two-month-old grandson. We focus so much on mothers yet the infant-feeding world includes men, grandparents, extended family members, foster parents, etc. The email came during a rough week and it reenergized me and my mission; this is important work, it is not the app for every parent, it’s simply an option to help families who want to feed their infants breast milk and are not able to produce it on their own.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Kelly Cox : I believe in the mission of the work and am committed to supporting the growth; Ideally I would like to sell the business and create a foundation. Being a female entrepreneur, I was under the assumption that securing financing would be smoother than it actually was. I have applied for several grants and continually ran into the same issue; ‘Tell us what you did year one’. In year one I was scrambling, how could this be so difficult? I intend to structure a foundation that focuses solely on helping female entrepreneurs secure funding that first year so they have a strong foundation to spring from. If you have a phenomenal idea, and the work ethic to make it work, that is the type of business I would like to support.

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Kelly Cox : The infant feeding industry is huge, and introducing the less-known option of informal milk sharing has been difficult. I feel somewhat stuck between the ‘breast is best’ and ‘fed is best’ campaigns; there is so much stigma for parents to choose formula rather than breastfeeding. I want to offer a solution for those who cannot breastfeed yet still recognize the benefits of breast milk. I do not believe formula is evil, as so many do in the breastfeeding sector; I think it’s an essential tool for many families who have no other option, and it saves lives!

I consistently sent my yoga and doula clients to popular Facebook groups to donate or receive milk for their infants; most found it time-consuming and fruitless. Taking that idea and creating an app to make this more accessible is what Share the Drop is all about.

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Kelly Cox and “Share the Drop” for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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