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Mama Mio: On the Mommy Track

A trio of London-based mothers are out to prove that even during pregnancy, women can be hot mamas.

NEW YORK — A trio of London-based mothers are out to prove that even during pregnancy, women can be hot mamas.

In October, Sian Sutherland, Tanya Kazeminy Mackay and Kathy Miller — managing director, marketing director and creative director, respectively — of indie brand Mama Mio will launch the line in the U.S. at Bath & Body Works, Web site mamamio.com and a host of to-be-determined specialty store doors.

The line’s star product, Tummy Rub, was conceived when a pregnant Sutherland was attempting to find a product that would reduce the possibility of acquiring stretch marks. She worked with an aromatherapist to develop what became the line’s first product — and promptly shared it with Mackay and Miller, whom she met in 1994. Among them, the women have seven children — and no stretch marks, claims Mackay.

“Women who spend thousands on their face often don’t pay attention to their bellies, figuring that either they’ll get stretch marks or they won’t,” said Mackay. “While there is a certain degree of genetics involved in getting stretch marks, if you keep the skin on your belly well moisturized, you at least reduce the chance that you’ll get them.”

For years, Tummy Rub was only available to expectant mothers who knew Sutherland, Mackay or Miller. But after whipping up countless batches for friends, the trio began seriously considering branching out with a more comprehensive collection, and the Mama Mio line was born. It now consists of six freestanding products and four kits, ranging in price from $18 to $35.

Freestanding products are Boob Tube, a firming bust treatment, $35 for 3.5 oz.; Tummy Rub, $30 for 4.1 oz.; Wonder Balm, a superhydrating blend of waxes, oils and butters, $25 for 1 oz.; Moisturizing Shower Cream, $18 for 10.5 oz.; Super-Rich Body Cream, $25 for 7 oz., and Massage Oil, $18 for 3.6 oz.

The kits are Congratulations, which includes the shower cream, the body cream and the Tummy Rub, $50; BBB (an acronym for the cheeky name Boobs, Bellies and Bottoms), which includes Tummy Rub, Boob Tube and Wonder Balm, $65; It’s Time!!! Hospital Kit, which includes a candle, a facial spritz, a mini massage oil and Tummy Rub, $65, and Mini Mama Mio, which includes mini-bottles of Tummy Rub, Boob Tube, Wonder Balm, Super-Rich Body Cream and Moisturizing Shower Cream, $35.

This story first appeared in the August 19, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The products all were born out of issues we had while pregnant,” said Mackay. “I had weird dry patches on my belly, which led to the development of Wonder Balm. Sian’s pregnancy was the inspiration for Tummy Rub. Kathy had boob issues, which led to our Boob Tube product.”

Sutherland also had leg cramps, which was the genesis for the Massage Oil. “The safflower oil and menthol in the product, when added to the massage, helps increase circulation to the legs,” said Sutherland.

The trio aimed to make the line luxurious, yet accessible to a range of mommies-to-be, said Sutherland. “As soon as the product line gets too premium, you end up with a small market — and also, we didn’t want to exclude anyone,” she said. “There are so few things you can buy for yourself while you’re pregnant. Your body changes, even your feet change. This is a nice treat.”

None of the executives would give sales estimates, although industry sources estimated that the line could ring up at least $1 million in retail sales in the U.S. in its first 12 months here.