We are so excited to share the story of Whitney Rowell. This girl has been such a huge inspiration to us. She's the mama of two precious girls, the founder of Miracle Milkookies, the co-founder of Collective Thirty One (a community platform for female entrepreneurs that Noble 31 is so honored to be a part of), and she has the most go-getter, hard working, "we can do anything we set our mind to" personality. Oh, and she also has a podcast, Message From Mom, where she shares tips for new moms. Needless to say, Whitney does it all!
How did you get started with Miracle Milkookies?
I actually had NO idea what to expect when my first baby was born. A couple of weeks after I had my daughter in June of 2015, a friend texted me and said she dropped homemade lactation cookies on my doorstep. I’d never heard of lactation cookies so I immediately Googled the term and discovered that they help with milk supply. I ate the cookies, and they worked so well that I decided to make some for myself. From my previous Google search, I discovered that brewers yeast, oats and flaxseed help with milk supply. I’ve always made an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been my go-to my entire life, so I added brewers yeast and flax to that recipe. I couldn’t believe how good the cookies tasted and the fact that I was able to make more milk... it was such a win-win! I decided to post that recipe to a blog I started several years earlier. I figured I could send the recipe to my friends who might need the extra boost once their babies arrived. I called the recipe ‘The Miracle Milk Cookie’ because who wants to hear about a lactation cookie recipe?
I didn’t think anything of the post until I was pregnant again with my second baby. One day, I went on the backend of my blog and discovered that the recipe had over 300,000 hits! Through analytics I discovered that someone on Pinterest with a ton of followers re-pinned it and then PopSugar and Health Magazine both wrote about it, so it basically went viral without my knowledge. I couldn’t find fresh baked lactation cookies online, so I thought ‘why not turn this into a business?!’ I spent the next year working on R+D, figuring out packaging and distribution and finding a commercial kitchen. In the process, I was doing doorstep deliveries in Dallas and Fort Worth with my newborn and two-year old. We also formed an incredible partnership with The Tot, which allowed local Dallas mamas to pick-up their ‘Kookies’ in store on a weekly basis!
What do you love the most about the business?
My favorite part of the business is that I have met SO many incredible women around the world! My customers have inspired me so much and make what I do such a blessing every single day!
What led you to start Collective Thirty One?
I actually started Collective Thirty One in the process of doing R+D for Miracle Milkookies! My friend Natalie (who started Collective Thirty One with me) really helped me get Miracle Milkookies off of the ground and encouraged me to meet with different people each week to learn from them. Something I started to realize is that there were so many overlapping circles of entrepreneurial women who were really making an impact in the community but they weren’t all coming together in the same room.
We initially thought of the Collective being an agency for female founders and loved the idea of the Proverbs 31 woman who does noble things, so we decided to create our own community called Collective Thirty One. Eventually our ‘agency’ became a platform where we invite female entrepreneurs to join us for a monthly meet ups, to support one another and create room for entrepreneurial growth!
What's next for the Collective?
We are so excited to partner with some amazing companies in Dallas to create special events for our members each month. These will be perks that have not been offered in the past but will be a huge benefit for our members! We also have plans of potentially launching a ‘Collective Capital’ fund that will help raise funds for other female founded brands… more on that to come!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! I’m constantly trying to think what I can create next. It’s honestly through conversations with other entrepreneurs and through podcasts that I learn so much (I am obsessed with the podcast on NPR called ‘How I Built This’)!
You're a mom of two precious girls. What advice can you give other working mamas?
Give yourself grace! As a mom and a business owner life can get really tough. It’s hard to balance mom-life vs. work-life sometimes. I try to encourage my daughters to do projects with me so they feel like they are accomplishing something as well. I want them to see the value in creating something that others want so that they can not only help other people but also understand that they can provide for themselves and feel proud of that.
What's a typical day look like in the life of Whitney?
Every day is so different. I try to have my email days and my meeting days to balance things out. I am also a full time mom; between my two-year-old and four-year-old, we are always busy! So it really is a balancing act making sure I can be there for them and run my Kookie company. I’m just so fortunate that my husband works with me full time because he handles operations. I also enjoy the days I get to interview other moms for my Message from Mom podcast.
How do you like to style your Noble 31 pieces?
Every time I go out in a Noble 31 piece, I get SO many compliments. From the fabric to the design, everyone is just obsessed! I have several tops from Noble 31 that I love to tuck in my jeans and wear with skirts. I love the versatility! I even wore one of your tops with a skirt for New Years and the following week I wore that same top with jeans for a casual dinner out with girlfriends. I love what you do and all the amazing pieces you create!
Describe your ideal Saturday morning.
We love making breakfast at our house! So ideally my husband will cook everything 😃while I play with the girls – we love making bacon and avocado toast and eggs. After breakfast, we’ll go on a walk to HP Village in Dallas or to the park to play!
What's on your nightstand?
I love to read and can never read one book at a time! I’m currently reading Love Lives Here by Maria Goff, her husband Bob Goff wrote a book called Love Does, which I loved, so I’m excited to read his wife’s book about lessons she’s learned throughout her life. I’m also finishing up a book called Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. Eva is incredible and has created a solution for couples who have too much to do. All that to say, her book has been a game changer for us!
What are your plans for the new year?
We are working on a complete rebrand of our company, we are moving away from Miracle Milkookies and launching a parent company called Xo Whitney, which is exciting and scary at the same time! I’m also making it more of a priority to make Collective Thiry One more impactful for our members in 2020.