Hi! We’re Andria (Ane) and Alaina (Lain) and we’d like to share our story with you!
Ane lives on the west coast, Lain lives on the east coast. Three thousand miles separate them, but the bond of sisterhood and friendship makes the miles a mere inconvenience. Ane and Lain have recently added “business partners” to the roles they share as sisters and dear friends. Here is their story…
Ane graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She enthusiastically worked as a CPA in public and private industry, but quickly forgot about the world of numbers and analytics with the arrival of her newborn son in 2005. Her son’s arrival also brought about very sore breasts and nipples associated with early stage breastfeeding. It was during this painful experience that the idea for the Shower Hug™ was conceived.
Ane never would have imagined that showering would become so difficult and uncomfortable after the arrival of baby! Lingering in long, hot showers was a favorite retreat of hers, but the force of the shower spray hitting her tender breasts was too painful to tolerate. Engorged, tender breasts and cracked, bleeding sore nipples needed protection from the shower streams! Andria was inspired in her new role as mama to develop the Shower Hug, a bandeau wrap made of wonderfully comforting knit terry velour that is worn while showering to protect, support and soothe tender breasts and nipples.
Ane sought the support of talented women and other moms. She personally designed the Shower Hug, procured the materials for it and oversaw the details of the manufacturing process to ensure a high-quality product that gives moms the feeling of a luxurious and comforting hug. Ane’s goal was to help women reclaim the serenity of the shower. After all, she knew the time in the shower is often the only “me-time” a new mom gets. The shower becomes a sanctuary – a place to cleanse the body and clear the mind. When Ane speaks to women, she reminds them not to only pamper their precious little ones, but to remember to be kind to and gentle with themselves as well.
Ane formally founded Belmama & Cherub and began production of the Shower Hug in 2006, just one day after her son’s first birthday. Ane committed her “precious personal time” to the development of the Shower Hug. Her “precious personal time” was any time that her son slept or time that her husband was available to help with the baby. Early evening, late night and those wee hours of the morning were dedicated to developing and promoting the Shower Hug.
Precious personal time became “premium time” in September, 2007. Ane gave birth to her second child, a little girl. The baby was born with a serious heart defect and open heart surgery was necessary within the first 5 months of her life. Ane focused on her number one priority – seeing her beautiful baby girl through a very frightening time. Motherhood and the fragility of life took on a whole new meaning. Ane believed there would be no way to continue with her new endeavor and product.
Alaina, very aware of the seriousness of her niece’s condition and impressed by the product Ane created, volunteered to do all that she could to keep the Shower Hug in the public eye. Lain worked diligently to learn the business and promote the Shower Hug for her sister. Her enthusiasm helped to propel the Shower Hug from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond!
Lain was delighted with the response that she received when promoting the Shower Hug. While she knew the Shower Hug was a great product, she did not realize how much she would love promoting it. Lain took the product and the promotional information everywhere! She did everything she needed to do to drive the company forward, while giving Ane the opportunity to be a full-time mom before, during and after her baby girl’s open heart surgery.
Ane was impressed by her sister’s accomplishments. She invited Lain, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Villanova University, to join Belmama & Cherub as a partner. Lain’s quiet, positive personality and her ability to assess, communicate and encourage have complemented the determination, dedication and work that Ane put into creating the Shower Hug. Alaina accepted the invitation happily and balances the responsibilities of her partnership with those of being a wife, a mother to three little girls and an optometric physician in Princeton, New Jersey.
Ane and Lain work very closely every day, even though separated by thousands of miles. Emails fly through cyberspace and calls are placed at the oddest hours, but the arrangement works beautifully. The Shower Hug was granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2010 and is now widely available in birthing centers, maternity boutiques and online retailers.