Before Women’s History Month is up, I wanted to take a minute to talk about an inspiring lady from St. Louis who most definitely has made history and will continue making an impact.
About a month ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Jennifer Labit (pronounced la-bee, not labbit, as she might have you know). I’m sure many of you, especially those of you who are part of ‘the mob‘ know exactly who she is, but for those of you who don’t, Jenn is the creator and CEO mom behind Cotton Babies and several cloth diaper brands–her most famous being bumGenius. She began all of this on $100 and the struggle of choosing between feeding her family or diapering her children. Now, Jenn strives to create a world where women don’t have to choose–where women can affordably diaper their babies.I want to share two important aspects of her movement in this area, and nationally.
Jenn is a serious advocate for women in business. She gathers up statistics and speaks repeatedly about the obvious inequality in the workplace between men and women. One statistic that sticks with me: Between 4-5% of women are CEOs of large businesses, meaning 95-96% of them are men. And in an interview I recently had with Jenn, she went on to say, “We are seen as mothers and caretakers before we are seen as contributors to business leadership, and you saw that with Marissa Mayer, who was hired by Yahoo! when she was five months pregnant. Of course the public is going to comment on her fitness as the CEO of Yahoo!, but their first comments were not about her education; they were not about her work experience. They were about the fact she had a baby growing in her belly. Does that disqualify her from being a leader of a large company? Heck no. Our brains don’t stop because we’re pregnant or lactating. There’s a reason we’re not there, and it’s not because we’re moms.”
That’s powerful, and it’s true.
Jenn also works tirelessly to insure she can help make diapering affordable and available to mothers around the world. In her words, “Every baby needs diapers. Moms have to have diapers to send their baby to daycare so they can have a job. Daycare requires you provide diapers. If they can’t afford to buy the diapers they need for their baby to go to daycare, Mom can’t work. If Mom can’t work, we remain in poverty. It’s a self-perpetuating problem. I just decided that we were going to do whatever it was going to take to fix it. So, we did, and we’re doing it, and it’s continuing to grow.” [check out the full interview with ALIVE Magazine]
Out of this, Jenn created Share the Love, which allows families–who are done with their cloth diapers–to pass them along to a local host who can give them to families in need.
So, for those of you looking to frugally (or fashionably) cloth diaper, head to Cotton Babies if you’re in the St. Louis area or check them out online if you’re not!
In honor of cloth diapering, St. Louis, being a mama and the month of women … and madness (coincidence? it better be), I present to you a genius giveaway:
Psst! If you click the banner below and tell me in your comment, I’ll include an extra gift if you’re the winner!