Meet the Founders of Larken, Katie Blouin and Maggie Phipps
After meeting at our law school orientation, we became instant friends and roommates. Like most college friends, we’ve been together through countless milestones- graduation, weddings, career changes. Motherhood has been no different.
“Larken” means fierce, like the fierce realities of motherhood: beautiful and difficult, rewarding but oh-so challenging.
Between the two of us, we have 5 little ones under the age of 6, and we founded our maternity and postpartum brand, Larken, out of a struggle to find a comfortable and simple way to nurse and pump. While nursing our first babies, we found ourselves in a cycle of undressing and redressing into bras that were uncomfortable and impractical to wear throughout the entire day.
After finding out we were each pregnant at the same time with our second daughters, we dreaded digging out our bulky pumping bras from the back of our closets. Instead, we set out to design a practical, all in one nursing and hands-free pumping bra that actually works and is comfortable enough to wear all day and all night.
We’re both prone to clogged ducts and mastitis, so we needed a bra with an ultra-soft, comfortable and stretchy material and that allowed us to easily massage our breasts while nursing or pumping. Neither of us had experience in the apparel industry or manufacturing so, in true lawyer fashion, we took a methodical approach to learning the field and creating our solution: an all in one nursing and pumping bra.
We obsessed over all of the details, from the fabric composition to the seam design. We took into account everything: moisture-wicking fabric, stretch to adapt to unpredictable chest size, and an overall accommodating design for both nursing and hands-free pumping.
Our first prototype arrived the same day Katie went into labor with her second daughter and only two weeks after Maggie’s daughter was born- talk about perfect timing! We tested the designs ourselves with our newborns, and created focus groups of other moms who were nursing and pumping to make sure our nursing and pumping bra worked for all types of mothers.
Fast forward 6 months after our first launch in January 2019, we were completely sold out and moms were calling our design a total game changer. It was rewarding to know we were not alone in our nursing and pumping woes and that our solution was valuable to moms all over the country!
Today, we’re continuing to develop effective, comfortable, and cute breastfeeding bras and other innovative products to help support moms through all stages of motherhood. As our brand expands, we plan to hire and empower more working moms and create a workplace culture that truly enables moms to integrate their personal and professional lives.
We’re committed to building a supportive community and shining a light on the beautiful, sometimes messy, honest moments of motherhood, including breastfeeding challenges, infertility, loss, postpartum depression, life-threatening deliveries, and all of the challenges motherhood brings. Larken moms are fierce, and we’re excited to share your stories.