Hi! We're Andria (Ane) and Alaina (Lain).
We are the Mamas behind Belmama & Cherub LLC and we'd like to share our story with you!
Ane lives on the west coast, Lain lives on the east coast. Ane and Lain have recently added "business partners" to the roles they share as sisters and dear friends. Three thousand miles separate them, but the bond of sisterhood and friendship makes the miles a mere inconvenience. Emails fly through cyberspace and calls are placed at the oddest hours, but the arrangement works beautifully. Here is their story...
Ane graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She 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 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 nipples needed protection from the shower streams!
Inspired in her new role of "Mama," Andria developed the Shower Hug, a bandeau wrap made of wonderfully comforting knit terry velour and worn while showering to protect, support and soothe tender breasts and nipples. Her goal ~ to help women reclaim the serenity and sanctuary of the shower. After all, she knew that time in the shower is often the only "me-time" a new mom gets and that the shower becomes a place to cleanse the body and clear the mind.
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. Her baby was born with Down Syndrome and a serious heart defect that required open heart surgery 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.
Alaina, very aware of the seriousness of her niece's condition and impressed by the product Ane created, volunteered to do all she could to help. Lain worked diligently to learn the business and promote the Shower Hug for her sister. Her enthusiasm helped hundreds of women struggling with breast pain find comfort, from the Pacific to the Atlantic and around the globe! Not only did she help mothers successfully breastfeed their babies, she also helped many women who were not new moms — women dealing with cyclical breast pain and mastalgia and those who underwent breast surgery and treatment for breast cancer. Lain drove 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.
Impressed by her sister's accomplishments, Ane invited Lain, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Villanova University, to join Belmama & Cherub as a partner. 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.
In August 2010, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted the Shower Hug a patent. In August 2011, the Shower Hug™ received the Certified Miracle award, nominated by one or more of several groups (bloggers, pediatricians, medical professionals, parent groups - and/or others) as an outstanding product. It was then put through a rigorous review process, and selected as one of only 25 out of more than 1000 products to receive this inaugural honor!