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Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Years ago, a friend took me to Taos to try to teach me how to ski. I remember that the hardest thing about skiing was that I'd start off, gently sliding down the slopes, nice and slow and kind of enjoyable. Then suddenly, things would go from nice and slow to HOLY CRAP! I'm flying down the side of a mountain at 100 miles per hour!

That's kind of what has happened with The Lactvist. Born as a fun project for my "real" job (Search Engine Guide. The site started off as something that could be fun and quickly turned into a major project.

See in my every day life, I'm a search engine marketing consultant that edits an industry site called Search Engine Guide. Our audience is mostly made up of small business owners and hopeful entreprenuers that are trying to learn how to market their businesses online. many of them are what I call "shoestring entreprenuers," which means that they operate their businesses with virtually no capital and in their spare time. I wanted to see things from their perspective and provide some insight that might help them out, so I decided to issue a thirty day challenge to myself. I wanted to see if I could set up a new online business, in my free time, with zero capital and manage to turn a profit by the end of the thiry days.

You can learn more about the project (or follow along) at Search Engine Guide:
Zero Cash, a Little Talent and 30 Days.

You can check out the site by clicking the banner below:

The real question for this blog though is why "The Lactivist?

Basically, my daughter turns a year old today. When I had her, I had hoped to be able to breastfeed her, but due to a combination of issues, nursing just didn't work out. Thankfully, I'd had a friend that had exclusively pumped and I knew it was an option. So, by the time Elnora was three days old, I had switched to pumping.

My goal was to make it a full year. It was hard work and it was interesting and sometimes it was funny. (How many people can say that they've pumped milk on a rifle range, or in the back of a bus on the way to Yahoo! headquarters while talking to a VP from the New York Times?) But I also know that I never would have made it without the support of many of the amazing women that I've met online in discussion boards.

Also, timing worked out just right that a milk bank opened in Columbus just after Nora was born. Because I was exclusively pumping, and because Elnora's never been much of an eater, I had plenty of milk to share. Elnora turns one today, which is the last day that I can donate, so we'll be going down next week to take our last donation. I'm not sure just how many ounces I've been able to donate, but I know that it's probably close to 3000.

So what it boils down to, is that I needed to come up with a business idea at about the same time that I was looking for a way to offer something back to all those hard working breastfeeding moms that helped me get through things. These are the types of shirts that I wished I'd owned during the past year. Hopefully, they'll bring a smile to the face of some other new mom that needs a bit of a pick-me-up to make it through herself.

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:36 PM |  

    Hi, saw your site from search engine guide link. It was fun to reminisce about my 2.5 years breastfeeding my now 4.5 year old. I didn't realize how lucky my son and I were--we had absolutely no problems the entire 2.5 years (and I'm a 34 b cup - with room!). I never planned on nursing that long but my son showed no interest in food, I wasn't working, and we just both loved it (yes, I was lazy) so we kept going. I plan to have another child next year and I can only hope that I will be so blessed again. When I do, I'll be sure and get a few of your great t-shirts! And, I will look into donating milk as well. Thanks for your work to engage mothers in nursing.

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