November is National Entrepreneurship Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the individuals who take risks in business and innovation while aiming to make their ideas a reality every day. In addition, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day lands on November 19th, a day dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs and female-owned businesses around the world.
There is no easy route to starting a business. It requires countless hours of research, trial and error, and education along the way. It’s an incredibly demanding journey, but as the mother-daughter team who co-founded Imalac will tell you, it can also be incredibly rewarding.
Noreen Sablotsky and Rachael Kish know the risks that come with starting a business. Noreen began her professional career in marketing and sales for Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals before co-founding Noven Pharmaceuticals in 1986. After leaving Noven Pharmaceuticals, Noreen took time off to focus on her family and the community. She’s spent the last 7 years advising other entrepreneurs, serving as a board member and limited partner at the NGT3 Medical Accelerator in Israel. She has experience building a company from the ground up and has been surrounded by hard working entrepreneurs her whole life. As for Rachael, she pursued a MBA at the University of Miami to accelerate her career as an entrepreneur.
Noreen wants to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to stay engaged and not let factors such as age stop them from starting a new company when the opportunity presents itself. “Most people that I meet in the startup community are younger than me, and I am acutely aware of all the changes, especially in technology, that have transpired in the workplace during my time away from business. However, I realize that many of the skills that led to my other successes in life are still applicable, and I compensate by continually learning and surrounding myself with people, such as Rachael, who have technical skills I may not possess.” Rachael also took a big leap of faith, leaving behind a successful 10-year career as a development professional with United Way of Miami-Dade, Frost Museum of Science and Baptist Health South Florida.
Focused on their mission and with confidence in their idea, this mother-daughter team combined their skills to push boundaries and develop Nurture by Imalac, the world’s first hands-free breast massage system.
As Steve Jobs famously said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” If you too have a great idea, your first priority should be to surround yourself with a great team. That is why the Imalac team has been working with a talented group of engineers to bring Nurture to market for breastfeeding mothers. Successful entrepreneurs must have the ability to delegate to others who are experts in their field.
If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, this month may be the time to share your insights by becoming a mentor. Both Noreen and Rachael understand the importance of having a trusted mentor to make you feel empowered and guide you on the correct path. “I seek mentors who will give honest feedback and check in with them often to make sure I’m on the right path and have not missed something important in my plan,” Noreen says. “I have learned more from my mother and this experience in these last few years than I have in my entire career. Working with your mother can be trying at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing,” Rachael adds.
Women like Wendy Diamond, the founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, understand the importance of women’s voices in the business sector, which is why she wanted to establish this holiday as a global movement in order to recognize women who “have historically been underpaid, undervalued, underrepresented, underfunded, and underestimated.”
Noreen and Rachael are establishing themselves as entrepreneurs who develop products that are designed by women, for women. “One of the reasons we wanted to create Nurture by Imalac is so that more mothers could be successful reaching their breastfeeding goals. Nurture will enable them to decrease their time spent pumping, increase the volume and caloric content of expressed milk and help decrease clogged milk ducts,” Rachael says. As a Certified Lactation Counselor, Rachael knows that a product like this will help alleviate a lot of stress around pumping, especially for mothers who pump at work. The product is being brought to market in 2019.
To all the female entrepreneurs out there: have confidence in your ability and learn to proactively communicate it. “You need to be aware of the environment you are operating in and advocate for yourself accordingly,” says Noreen. “Information is power!” With modern technology and the abundance of resources available today, it is truly possible for anyone to make their idea come to life, and the mother-daughter duo’s breakthrough vision will further prove this notion.