As a child living in Peru, Priska Diaz loved to create and design things from scratch. Now this mom of two is the CEO of Bittylab and designer of Bare ® Air-free baby bottles. When Priska became a mom she struggled with finding the right baby bottle that wouldn’t cause sleepless nights, gas and acid reflux for her baby. She had a lightbulb moment that led her to developing a new device that not only looks like a breast but functions like one and most importantly dispenses air-free milk. Her design and invention is now a healthier alternative to baby bottles. Get inspired by Priska’s determination to bring comfort to the feeding experience for moms and babies.
What makes you a Beyond Mom?
After several years of working as a designer in the health and beauty industry, becoming a mom really pushed my creative limits, especially when it came to caring for my first born. While the Pediatricians suggested gas drops and a very expensive formula (which didn’t help at all) I couldn’t just sit still hoping the gas, colic and spit ups went away on their own. Seeing my baby cry in pain for several hours every day, led me to try and do the impossible to calm him down. Upon research, I found that I had “joined the club” of thousands of parents going through the same issue as well as the reason why a perfectly healthy baby gets gassy and colicky. Babies swallow air while feeding, which leads to gas build up and discomfort. So the most basic questions popped into my head- why is there air inside a bottle? If the bottle had no air would the baby still get gas? My breasts don’t have air-vents, why should baby bottles? So I decided to design a feeding system that fed babies milk without air, while in an upright position and allowed them to control the flow and pace of feeding. That’s when Bare® Air-free was born.
What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
The sense of responsibility and accountability on the little minds that you really don’t have control over. You think you have it all figured out, diapers are changed, baby is fed, crying is over and you’re ready to sit down, but just about then, the cycle starts allover again. Being close and available for my kids was very important to me and without hesitating I became a stay-at-home mom. Now that I’m able to work from home, on my own schedule makes becoming an entrepreneur, rewarding.
Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
I was part of Cohort IV in the Goldman Sachs / Tory Burch 10K Small Business program in New York where I met an amazing group of very brave, dedicated and inspiring women in business. As a group, we have become each other’s support and practically our own BOD (board of directors) as we are all going through similar challenges and opportunities in our businesses. Listening to fresh ideas from their own experience, easily incite solutions that I can execute for my business. Most recently, I worked with an excellent clinical researcher, Evelyn Ramirez, who spearheaded clinical studies for Bare Air-free and mitigation of acid reflux in babies. This research is the first of its kind as Bare introduces a new technology to the feeding category, and a part of larger study to be concluded at a future date. This study showed that Bare’s technology of feeding air-free milk while the baby is in an upright position (allowing to control the flow and pace), eliminates acid reflux in 75% of babies. Evelyn happens to be of Peruvian descendant so it was fun to connect with another professional from a common cultural background.
What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
I was born and raised in Peru and I have always been close to my mom and siblings. These relationships have helped me stay connected to my roots. Over the years my children and husband have gained an understanding of things like why I eat so much red meat, potatoes, pasta and rice all the time! As a child, my favorite game was to design and create things from scratch. Now as an entrepreneur I do exactly the same thing- design and create solutions from scratch. I’m happy that my children are experiencing the ins and outs of entrepreneurial life at its best as well as getting 100% of mommy whenever they need me.
Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…
As a mom who experienced first hand what it is like to have a baby suffering with gas and reflux, I dream of bringing relief to moms and babies who are victims of the unnecessary discomfort. Research shows that 2 out of 3 babies will be diagnosed with acid reflux in the US. My biggest dream is to see these alarming numbers reduced to less than 10% of the infant population, as demonstrated in our recent clinical studies. It is now proven that air inside the bottles while feeding the baby in a horizontal position with a free outflow of milk vastly worsens acid reflux. It’s time to stop making our babies sick.
What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
Giving myself time to think and envision a bright future for my children is the highlight of my day. This provides an outlet to dream big and gives me license to think of just about anything. My daily walks are also necessary and very relaxing. Having family time is so important as I’m always busy with work.
How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
As a designer myself, anything and everything is inspiration. I like rare but highly functional and minimalistic designs. I love Paloma Picasso and her natural, asymmetrical but orderly and understated designs.
Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Our nearby lake is just lovely in so many ways. The kids play, my husband kayaks and I relax with a book and a glass of wine.
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
Favorite cocktail is Grand Manier and grape fruit juice.