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Alliance SBDC News

How Tiny Birth™ Bundles Are Born

When Esther Hagenbuch moved to Illinois from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, she found the Illinois Valley area had very few of the natural birth resources that were available to her in Minnesota and decided to address the gap. She finished her doula certificate and soon after giving birth to her 4th child, founded the Illinois Valley ChildBirth Collective. The ChildBirth Collective

enabled her to find “her people;” like-minded individuals who were meeting the needs of pregnant women in the area, as well as encouraging expecting or new mothers. Even with this in place, she could see there was more to be done. Esther’s startup, Tiny Births™,started out as a resources company. Her vision was her passion - helping women have the best possible birth story. Childbirth can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult for new mothers to know what they (women) will want or need during labor. Offering doorstep delivered snacks and local people resources can make all the difference in encouraging and empowering this unique season in life.

Esther discovered the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance on the advice of two friends who were already working with the SBDC’s Executive Director, Amy Lambert. When Esther mentioned she was planning on starting a business, they both recommended she reach out to the Alliance SBDC. Taking an idea and turning into a viable business was all new to Esther, and Amy suggested she take the Growth Wheel course. She appreciated going through the training with Amy and working through concepts she hadn’t previously considered. “There was such an openness for finding the best resources that worked for me. Amy gave me options (the resources) and let me, as the decision-maker, see what would work best for my business,” Esther said. Together, Esther and Amy continue to develop a roadmap of how to grow her business.

As a birth doula, Esther had realized that often birthing mothers (and those around them) have made little to no plans for nutrition and hunger during labor. Thus bore her first mission – a snack company, Tiny Birth Bundles™. Tiny Birth Bundles™ are snack bags that can be shipped anywhere in the United States. It’s a convenient way for moms to have healthy snacks on-hand during labor and after giving birth. Esther felt that making sure moms did not go hungry during one of the most physically and emotionally challenging days of their lives was a simple but efficient way to encourage and empower them.

Future plans for growing and expanding Tiny Births LLC into new areas are in the works, such as the Tiny Births Network that is providing a public place for natural birth and other related professionals to list their services and Esther continues to work with Amy and the Illinois SBDC at the Starved Rock Country Alliance. “You can pay a fortune for business coaching and never use the material or resources. I think everything I’ve learned from the SBDC has been very useful, and the lack of cost to me has taken off the pressure so I can make decisions and grow freely at my own pace,” said Esther. “Amy has always been very encouraging and available whenever I need resources or guidance.”

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