In starting her baby food delivery company, Yumi, Angela Sutherland wondered what options parents have when it comes to food they can feed to their children. As a new mother herself, she sought to make her own fresh and organic baby food.
On this week’s episode of Behind Her Empire, Sutherland discusses her new baby food business and overcoming the self-doubt that comes with launching a new company.
“I was researching a lot; sort of like looking at peer reviewed studies and clinical trials and epidemiological reports about child rearing. And it really came back to believe that this period of life for nutrition is going to be more important than any other period for the rest of your life,” said Sutherland.
She came across highly processed and sugar-filled foods and realized there was a market to offer something different. With her longtime friend, Evelyn Rusli, the two of them took a leap and left their jobs to start a company.
“I think women more than men tend to feel like you don’t need to plan more in advance, right. So, you have all these plans, and you can, like, really set it up. And then their hesitation comes from like, is the plan big enough,” said Sutherland.
After a month and half, Yumi’s first beta was a massive success. The company went on to raise more than $30 million to date and develop a brand following with celebrities like Jessica Alba and Molly Sims.
“A lot of it is finding out, like, who is your audience, like, and making sure that you like, know your audience really well. But what we were really surprised to see was the wide breadth of the audience because it wasn’t just for the 1% It wasn’t just for the yoga mom,” said Sutherland.
Sutherland also talks about the challenges of fundraising as women of color and the lessons she learned as a first time founder.
Engagement intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.