Mary Lawless Lee is looking to motherhood for her latest business venture.
The influencer, who is behind the Happily Grey website, brand and Nashville store and a mother of two, launched her newest venture this week called Nēmah, a skin care brand focusing on pregnant mothers. The brand has been in the works for two years and launched with two products: a restorative scar treatment for $28 and a revitalizing stretch mark cream for $34. Lee and her husband Madison Lee cofounded the brand.
“A big part of the inspiration behind this is the conversations I’ve had in the last two years with my readers about what they’re using,” Lee said. “Hearing from them and talking to them about their journeys like with IVF and miscarriages and all of these different paths to becoming a mom is definitely something we want to do a good job at highlighting.”
Lee stated the products were finalized a year ago, but she waited to launch the brand in order to develop the community aspect of Nēmah, which as a mother was a critical component for her to offer along with the products.
Nēmah’s website offers a Journal tab where customers can read entries from actual mothers from across the country on their journey with motherhood. Blog posts are broken up into five sections — Baby, Pregnancy, Wellness, Postpartum and Breastfeeding — and range in topics like managing a baby’s sleep schedule, getting a doula and dealing with morning sickness.
“It was really important because we were looking at this community aspect and we were like, we can’t just have these educational buckets, we really need a storytelling aspect because that’s a part of the community. It’s a blend of both of those things,” she said. “That’s what saved me as a mom, those ‘aha’ moments of like, ‘Oh thank God I’m not alone,’ like she’s going through this, too. That is a feeling of relief and that’s what we want to cultivate.”
The Nēmah website already offers several blog entries under each vertical and will continue to post new submissions regularly. The brand will also launch its “The Life They Live” series early next year, which shows real mothers sharing their stories on IVF, miscarriages, postpartum and more topics.
As a former ICU nurse, Lee said it was important to her to offer products that were clinically backed by dermatologists to ensure they are safe to use. Nēmah has a medical advisory board made up of Dr. Kira Mayo, a dermatologist, and Dr. Bob Geng, an allergist and immunologist.
“We wanted to create products [mothers] can really trust and are science-backed because coming from a nursing background, that was important for me,” she explained. “We’re in this time where influencers are launching lines and there are a lot of different things out there, so if we were going to do it, we had to do it this way. We had to spend the money and it took double the time and resources, but it is science-backed.”
Lee is also leveraging her decade-long experience running Happily Grey for Nēmah. The influencer has spent the last few years promoting and selling other brands’ products, which has shown her what price points work and what her readers want.
“There’s so much data of affiliate sales that we looked at from the last decade that went into creating the price points of the products, the feel and the colors,” she said. “That’s the beauty of over the last decade working to build this brand and now getting to the point of how can we create something beyond just marketing other brands’ products.”
While Nēmah’s product lineup is geared to pregnant and postpartum mothers, Lee has plans to expand to other categories made for motherhood and families. Her next launch will be a Nipple + Lip balm releasing in the first quarter of 2022 and then a category expansion into baby products, such as a hybrid shampoo and body wash and a body lotion, in the spring. She also has her sights on extending to home products, such as household cleaners and detergents.
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