Penelope McCown successfully became a mother three years ago with the assistance of IVF. Years prior, she struggled with pregnancy and decided to embark on the journey of motherhood by assistive practices.
Penelope would like to open dialogue in the African American community around IVF and to remove judgement and stigma that many may have around this topic.
Penelope launched a new luxury toddler line entitled “Cocoa Baby Love” with specialty products designed specifically for new mom’s who traveled the non-traditional road to motherhood.
She’s also launching a platform to increase communication around IVF entitled “Pieces of Penelope”. We would love to share the journey of how Penelope turn her infertility into a lucrative business.
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship?
I like to say that entrepreneurship chose me and I didn’t choose it! This is because I was truly inspired by my journey to motherhood, in several ways. First, I suffered for years from infertility. And as an African American woman I could not openly express what I was going through and many times along my journey, I suffered in silence.
Once I was finally blessed with my daughter, I was inspired to prAmericansplatform of support for African Americans especially as it is against our culture to discuss such matters. I wanted African American women to feel supported in their fertility journey. In that, I also provide infertility support for all because it is vital.
Because it was difficult for me to conceive a child, once I had my daughter I took a lot of extra measures to ensure she had the best. I wanted everything to be non-toxic and organic.
So I was inspired to start my infant and toddler line of Cocoa Baby Love which carry eco-friendly products. Also because I struggled to conceive I wanted to celebrate being a mom and feel great being a mom, so I designed a luxe line of diaper bags, called Cocoa Bags – for the chic mom!
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur? and how do you deal with it?
My biggest challenge as a full-time entrepreneur is balancing being a full-time nurse practitioner, mommy, wife, and entrepreneur – all without letting anything suffer and being the absolute best at all of my roles. That is the biggest challenge for me and truthfully every day is a work in progress. But I continue to thank God for the blessings and remain rooted in gratitude. That keeps me going.
How do you balance entrepreneurship and motherhood without experiencing burnout, while pursuing your passion?
I continuously stay focused on my “why”. Why I am in business to begin with and what inspires me. I stay focused on my child and I am reminded that what I am doing will continue to bless her. I focus on the fact that by sharing my story and bringing awareness to infertility, I am encouraging and empowering so many.
What advice do you have for moms looking to get started in entrepreneurship?
My advice is that you have to be prepared to work really hard at balancing it all. I would advise to truly invest in something that has your “why” behind it. That will keep you going on days where you question if you can really do it all.
What does being a Pretty Woman Who Hustles mean to you?
To me, being a Pretty Woman Who Hustles means to grind hard, stay focused and accomplish your goals all while staying “pretty” mentally, physically and spiritually!
What books do you recommend for moms navigating entrepreneurship?
There isn’t a book that I necessarily recommend, but I definitely recommend the Masterclass series with Sara Blakely. She is one of my biggest business inspirations.
Connect with Penelope online