I learned I was pregnant with triplets in the summer of 2007. It was a complete shock and I immediately asked my sister what I should do. She was not a parent of multiples, but she had three children and suggested I try to find a mothers club that was for parents of twins and triplets. I did some searching online and came up with both the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs and the Triplet Connection – resources that allowed me to connect with mothers of twins, triplets and more both online and in my local community. I instantly had a network of hundreds – if not thousands – of moms just like me who were there to offer support and advice on how to take care of myself during pregnancy and advice on what to do when I brought home three babies.
After the babies came home, our lives were turned pretty much on end for the first few months. I was not able to return to work full time because I had three babies who were NICU graduates – too risky to send them to childcare, and we probably couldn’t afford it anyways. I was very lucky to have the skills to be able to work from home, so when the babies were just a few months old, I started my own academic research consulting business. Not only was it nice to have some extra income, I enjoyed having work things to occupy my mind. Instead of solely trying to remember the conversion between cc’s and ounces (30cc=1oz by the way, I still remember it now!), I was discussing surveys and stats with my clients.
Once things settled down a bit, we started get out more and more with the babies. Everywhere we went, we would run into twins or triplets. People would come up and tell us they had triplets, or they were a twin themselves, or their neighbor just had twins, and so on, and so on. It was nice to share a quick 00laugh over similar experiences or ask where the best baby deals in town could be found. After chatting for a few minutes I was always surprised to hear how many moms were just like me and stayed home after their babies were born, and how many of them had started their own businesses too.
It got me thinking. If my life had completely changed – including my professional life – how many other moms of multiples were just like me? The consulting business that I had was pretty specific to a particular client base – my clients were mostly academic professionals and nonprofits. Many of the moms of multiples I knew were offering services or selling items that lots of moms would be interested in – such as photography, crafts, baby items, etc. I knew how much picking up one contract could help my family – there had to be a better way for moms of multiples to support each other. Statistics from the National Birth Registry tell us that on average, there are about 138,000 sets of twins born in the United States each year. That’s a lot of families – and it doesn’t even include higher order multiple births, or births from previous years. When calling local businesses to secure raffle prizes for the Henderson Moms of Multiples Club a few months later, a few of the businesses I talked to told me they were twins too. I had no idea because they had never marketed themselves that way. If there was a way for twins and parents of multiples to support each other in business – even a fraction of that 138,000 could result in an increase in sales for moms of multiples owned businesses.
And that is how – from learning I was pregnant with triplets to today – the idea for entwined community has grown! As a way to encourage customers to make purchases from multiples owned businesses, I thought it would be great if these businesses would offer discounts to twin and multiples families. Businesses would have access to new clients, and multiple birth families could save money – a great way to connect our unique community. You’ve heard of “buy green” and “buy local” – now it’s time to “buy multiples”!
Since our launch a month ago, entwined community has grown to include businesses in a variety of different industries. Need a photographer? Check out Denise Slater Photography in Tennessee or Rachael Marie Photography in Central Illinois – both triplet moms. Want to buy some baby items? How about online stores Double Blessings, Inc. or Trends in Twos (twin moms), or local business Feather Baby in Atlanta (triplet mom)? Need some resources on how to raise twins, triplets or more? Check out TwinParenthood, Twiniversity, or Double Up Books (all twin moms). Feel like taking the kids out to dinner? Try Lindo Michoacan – Las Vegas’ favorite Mexican restaurant – and run by a brother/sister twin duo. Need a gift (ok we won’t tell if it is really just for you!)? How about some pampering products from Mary Kay consultants or Robyn’s Nest Boutique (twin moms)? The best part is – you get to save money while supporting all of these twin/multiples owned businesses! You make purchasing decisions every day – entwined community just asks that you make a conscious decision to support twin/multiples businesses as often as you can.
My hope for entwined community is that it goes beyond discounts and sales. My own inclusion in this special group as a mom of multiples has been amazing – from the first moment that I learned that I was going to have three babies I had an instant support group there ready to help me and answer any questions I could come up with (and we all know there are a lot!). entwined community is a place where moms who are thinking about starting a business can turn and get advice from veterans who have been there, done that – what works, what doesn’t, what are the tax or licensing requirements in my state, how do I come up with a business name – again, endless questions!
Bloggers have a great way to connect with entwined community. Do you currently feature products on your blog for review or giveaways? entwined community helps bloggers connect with twin business owners to feature these products on their site. Visit an entwined community business and talk about your experience on your blog. Since we’ve talked about a few ways that entwined community can help bloggers – I’d love to hear from you! What types of businesses would you like to see on entwined community? What types of products or services do your readers like to know about?
A big thanks to Multiples and More to supporting entwined community from the beginning. As you may remember, we were a part of the End of Summer Blog Party giveaway and are so excited to start working with the new businesses and individual winners. If you didn’t win – don’t worry! entwined community currently has an introductory special offer where the first 100 businesses can sign up for just $5 and the first 100 individuals can sign up for just $1. We hope to see you at entwined community soon – and don’t forget to get out there and support your fellow MOMs – “buy multiples”!
Alicia Crowther is the mother of fraternal 2.5 year old BGB triplets and the founder of entwined community. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.