Sam Rudolph is the mom behind Babyation, the smart breast pump that aims to help moms return to work while allowing them to still breastfeed and pump as needed. Sam actually came up with the idea for Babyation before she even had children (she now has a little boy, Exton, who is their Chief Baby Officer) after reading a New York Times article lamenting the current state of breast pumps. She and her engineer husband, Jared, decided right there and then to do something about it! Babyation has completely revolutionized the traditional form factor by removing the hanging bottles from the breast, making it virtually silent and much more. Samantha worked at ESPN in a variety of positions for about ten years prior to her business consulting career, which she eventually quit to start and run Babyation full time. This Beyond Mom is an inventor, problem-solver and thought leader in the smart pump revolution. Sam shares with Beyond Mom her post-baby style game, how much she’s enjoying the collaborative process of Babyation and more!
What makes you a Beyond Mom?
Oh goodness, I don’t know that I am a Beyond Mom! That’s a lot of pressure! I’m not doing anything different than anyone else; we’re all trying to juggle a million things and keep everything afloat…and raise wonderful human beings in the process!
What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I’ve definitely become a lot nicer and more patient! I had some really good pregnancy hormones that must have mellowed me out. Luckily for me and everyone around me, the changes so far have been permanent. I love my son and my family, and I am grateful for them every single day. Beyond that (get it?), I am professionally fulfilled in a new way. Before the baby, it was much more about me and my career. Now, it’s about the team and how we can improve a pain point for other women. It is a privilege to do what I do, and the feeling of making something to improve moms’ lives is indescribable.
Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
Everything we do at Babyation is a collaboration! Literally, there isn’t a single thing that can be done for this company in a vacuum. The most recent example is the launch of our blog. We really pulled together as a team. I think that success was due in large part to trusting each other’s abilities and strengths, and in working toward a common vision. It’s taken some incredible women and moms across the country to create heartfelt and authentic content, and we are so excited to share it with the world!
What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
I think we are only as good as how we treat people, and so all of my relationships – personal and professional – are crucial. My son is the most important person in my life, and my husband is a close second (sorry, Jared!). We live with my parents right now as we birth this company, and we couldn’t do any of this without them. I also try to spend as much time with my grandparents because they center me. They’re 89 and 90, and I can’t imagine all of the change and experiences they’ve had in their lives. Every second with them is a gift.
Our close friends are also an extension of our family. We lived on the East Coast away from most of our family for a really long time, and our friends became our surrogate family. We’ve been lucky to have the same core group of friends for over a decade, so there’s a lot of shared history and going through major life milestones (marriage, kids, etc.) together.
Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing?
Do I ever! My startup, Babyation, is very much my baby. In fact, my husband and co-founder, Jared, and I like to joke that it’s our second child! We’re making better products for parents, starting with an innovative breast pump. Watching our dream become a reality has been extraordinary. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I truly love what I do.
What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
Pre-pregnancy, I was all about spinning and Pilates. Since having the baby and starting the company, I don’t have time to work out. I wish I did! That said, every night before bed, I try to visualize and think of all the people for whom I am grateful. It’s a wonderful wind-down ritual, and then I go to sleep thinking of what’s important!
How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
I’m still getting back my style game post-baby! (Yes, I know that he’s almost two!) I’m also trying to figure out my vibe as a startup founder instead of as someone who worked in the corporate world. I have and always will love Theory. That said, I like to mix high and low. Loft generally fits me well, and I sprinkle in other designers and brands as necessary. I’m a bit of a clothes snob, but ultimately, I care much more about how something makes me look and feel, as opposed to how much it costs!
Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
Taste. Amazing cocktails and delicious food. I can’t say enough good things!
My all-time favorite workout is a spin and Pilates combo class from IMX Pilates in Connecticut. That gym is just the best. I love that one membership gave me access to Pilates, spinning, barre and TRX. I definitely miss it!