Homemade Mother of the Week: Kathryn Higgins, founder of Motherlove

This post is the sixth in the series “Homemade Mother of the Week.” If you know a woman who is thoughtfully sharing her passion for the planet,  families or the well-being of others, please nominate her for this special recognition.  Send an email with all the details to maureen@homemademothering.com

This week I am so excited to introduce you to Kathryn Higgins, founder of Motherlove Herbal CompanyI first fell in love with Motherlove products a year ago, and ever since I’ve given Motherlove products to my friends when they announce a pregnancy or welcome a new baby to their family.  The products are obsessively natural and supremely gentle.  Very cool!

Homemade Mothering: Welcome, Kathryn! Thank you for taking the time to tell your fellow Homemade Mothers about you and your company.  When you first started Motherlove, were any other products like it already on the market?

Kathryn Higgins: There were herb teas and a stretch mark oil, but the oil did not have the benefit of herbs. There was no company dedicated to making herbal products for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

HM: How do you develop a new product for Motherlove? Lots of trial-and-error?

Yes. I have been studying herbs for close to 40 years, beginning in the 1970’s and living in the tipi gathering my own food and medicine, and teaching this information since 1985. So I have a lot of experience using these herbs, their qualities and how to best combine them for the needed effect. In 1996 I published the Pocket Guide to Edible and Medicinal Plants based on the plants that grew in the Rocky Mountain region where I lived.

When pregnant with my first daughter in 1982 I made products for us to prevent stretch marks, baby oils, sitz baths….these became the seeds of what is now Motherlove.

Kathryn and her daughter Silencia

HM: What has been the biggest challenge about running your own business?

KH: I did every part of the business for a long time. I grew and gathered all the herbs until 1995. But then I had to make the decision to keep it small and do it all or give it to the world. As there were really no products like it, I decide to go for it. But then I had to find sources of ingredients that had a similar quality and ethic. Now, as we have expanded with distribution around the world, my job has changed with paperwork, social networking, employees- everything that is involved with a growing business. But my heart is still in the fields.

HM: The greatest reward?

KH: Knowing how many women and children we help with our products. The staff receives phone calls and emails everyday with stories of gratitude. In 2005 I was able to found the non-profit Nurturing Life Foundation (nurturinglifefoundation.org) with Motherlove sales to promote the benefits of breastfeeding, assist mothers in need and create greater opportunities for at risk children.

Kathryn and her daughter Silencia, who now also works for Motherlove

HM: Other than lending support to fellow mothers, what are your other passions?

KH: I still have several gardens, and I love to travel. I do travel 1-2 times a month visiting accounts and speaking at hospitals.

I am passionate about walking softly on the earth and supporting environmental issues in my personal life and at Motherlove. All our literature is printed on recycled paper, we use recycled office supplies, simple recyclable product packaging and we buy wind power credits. And we support organic farming with our certified organic ingredients.

HM: What advice would you give to other mothers who are considering starting their own businesses?

KH: Follow your dream, walk your talk. I never had a business plan, go through the open doors.

HM: Can you share a favorite family recipe?

Dandelion Muffins

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cups clipped dandelion flowers

Mix the dandelion flowers to into the flour with your hands separating the bigger clumps of petals.

Mix in another bowl:

1/4 cups oil

4 T honey

1 beaten egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Combine dry and liquid ingredients. Stir to moisten- it should be lumpy. Spoon into oiled muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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1 Comment for this entry

  1. Jasmin says:

    Go MOM! You deserve more than the “Mother of the Week” award! You really are an amazing person and the company is awesome too! Growing up with Kathryn as my mother has been really eye opening. She really does care so much about the environment and everything about it. Watching the company grow from our kitchen to what it is now is incredible. I am now one of her employees and make these products my self. It has truly been an amazing experience, that I am so proud to be a part of. Thank you for being an amazing boss, and even better mom!

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