Maria Berglund Talks Entrepreneurship and Giving Back | The Breakdown With Bethany
Meet the newest addition to MomCave–Bethany Braun-Silva, a parenting editor with over 10 years of experience in digital media. She has researched, written, and experienced so many aspects of #momlife and is excited to share it all with the MomCave audience with her new video series The Breakdown with Bethany, where she interviews celebrity moms, along with parenting experts. The second episode features Maria Berglund, founder of In Kind Boxes– the baby shower gift that gives back.
I love talking to other parents. In fact, I love it so much I made it my job. Talking to moms about the joys and challenges of motherhood was my way to offset the feelings of loneliness and isolation I experienced as a new mom. I knew that if I felt better by connecting to other moms, other women would undoubtedly as well.
Things have definitely evolved since then, and I’m so excited to be able to bring you The Breakdown with Bethany, a show where we talk to celebs, experts, professionals, all with one thing in common: they’re parents.
We will dive deep into important topics like work, mental health, ambition, self-care, and so much more. Thanks for coming on this journey as we “break it down” together!
The second episode of The Breakdown with Bethany features Maria Berglund, a force for good in the mom community! Maria founded In Kind Boxes, a nonprofit organization based near Portland, Oregon. Maria started In Kind because of her emotionally difficult postpartum experiences, and her frustration with the lack of postpartum support moms receive in the United States.
Giving back is especially important for Maria, because she was raised by a single mother in need. She grew up understanding the value of community support and has made it her mission to pay that kindness forward through In Kind Boxes. For every gift box of natural and organic essentials for both mama and baby that’s sold, one is donated to a family in need AND Maria is offering MomCavers 15% off with code SHOPFORACAUSE!
Check out the video below, and stay tuned for more episodes of The Breakdown with Bethany coming soon!
Maria Berglund, Founder of In Kind Boxes, on the Second Episode of The Breakdown with Bethany
Here’s a transcript of our interview:
Bethany: My name is Bethany Braun Silva and I am joined by Maria Berglund of “In Kind Boxes” Maria and I were sort of just introduced to each other through Clubhouse actually and I was immediately drawn to her story, her warmth and really just her inspiring mission of helping moms postpartum and on their pregnancy journey. So, Maria please introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about who you are and then of course, “In Kind Boxes.”
Maria Berglund: So I am Maria. I am a mom of three boys and um I was born and raised in Canada. And we moved to the US in 2013 and I started “In Kind” in the spring of 2019. So we’re a 501c3 nonprofit and we’re a volunteer-run organization. And the mission of what we do is to donate gift boxes full of natural and organic essentials to support moms in need in their postpartum journey.
Bethany: Amazing and can you tell us a little bit about how you got started? I know you did talk a little and you mentioned on the “In Kind” website that you were raised by a single mom and you guys struggled a little bit. So I think you know a lot of us is sort of why with this parenting when we make our career also to help moms and on this parenting journey I know for me, especially, it was sort of born out of something that we experienced ourselves. So I would love to know and I’m sure people would love to know–just, you know, why you started the company, you know. What inspired you?
Maria Berglund: Yeah. So, what you said was right. My mom, left a very like hard situation with essentially nothing. But my sister and I and she really needed a lot of help from the community from like food banks and different things. So she relied on them to provide diapers and formula and wipes and food and all kinds of things. And, so I understand that like, paying it forward and that kindness that people provide is so important.
Like there are people out there who really truly need it and it makes such an impact when you can offer something as simple as a box of diapers.
And then when I was pregnant and had my sons– especially my first one–postpartum was a really hard time for me. I felt very lonely even though I had people around me to support me. I felt very lonely and I just really needed to know that I wasn’t alone.
And I think that’s kind of part of also the mission behind what we’re doing. I’m constantly repeating that in what we’re doing. That you’re not alone and we’re here for you and that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it or even if you don’t feel comfortable asking um that it’s okay to accept help if it’s offered to you. I think that’s also really hard.
There’s this whole concept of the super mom who has to do everything all by herself. And you’re not amazing if um if someone you know wants to cook you dinner or something like that. Like you have to say, “Oh no thank you. I’m okay.” And I just um it makes me so sad because I was totally that mom who would just push away all the help. Because I was so afraid that people wouldn’t think that I was capable enough and so now I just feel like I will talk about it until I’m blue in the face.
Like please please please, let people help you because another thing is that that can be some people… That’s their love language. Like that’s how they express how much they care for you is by doing acts of kindness for you or giving-gift giving. And so you know by you like allowing that in it it makes them feel good too. It’s not just for you.
Bethany: Yeah, I’m learning that myself. And you know something you said really resonated with me. Almost every time I’m interviewed or I’m on a podcast I talk about how I was an only child and I wanted to have kids because I thought I would never be lonely again. I’d always be occupied with these little beings and it would be just always just busy and fun.
And motherhood was, yes, one of the most isolating and lonely times of my life. And it was unexpected so I love that you’re, you know, championing that and talking about that. Because I think a lot of moms, we know that you’re going to be tired. We know that you might have some, you know, emotional ups and downs, mental ups and downs. But I think the loneliness is not something you’re really prepared for. So I really really really love that.
Now I want to talk a bit about the business side of “In Kind Boxes.” How do you– you mention their natural and organic products and how do you pick the products that go into these boxes? And then I would love to know I know there’s a buy one sort of get give one aspect so tell us a little bit about that, too.
Maria Berglund: Okay, so the way that we picked, the way that we decided on the products is the one we wanted it to be quality items. Like I wanted to be proud to give it as a gift like or if I was to receive it would be something that I would use myself. I love natural and organic products um just because they’re free from fragrances and all those like nasty things that we’re not supposed to have on our skin when you’re pregnant or beyond and then for baby, too.
And um Earth Mama is a local to Oregon company so that also was really cool that we could um partner with them for that. And then also we wanted the products to be useful things because I know that like… you know some people think of like oh like a baby gift box and then you know it’s like this subscription service and it’s filled with like some pretty random things sometimes. And so I was very intentional about having it being things that I either use or would use. And just that it was a quality item.
Bethany: Yeah that’s sort of what I do. I might with my full-time job I’m constantly like vetting and trying products to, you know, tell my audience of readers that what to expect all about that. So I love that that you’re really taking the time and you know the researching these products. I think that’s really, really important. And so you are an entrepreneur and I think that’s something a lot of moms… Like, they’re either trying to get on that journey or they’re toying with the idea. They have this really cool idea and they’re not sure how to get it off the ground.
And I know yours is obviously based on giving back and, you know, charitable efforts but do you have advice for moms who are kind of toying with the idea of starting their own business? Right, I always say just get out of your own way. If you really want to do it, like if it feels like something that you just can’t get out of your head or that, like, it just like fires you up inside. That was what happened for me.
Maria Berglund: I know for me I suffered really badly from imposter syndrome and just being like, “What’s so special about what I am doing?” It’s, you know, just a gift box for like… Who am I to have these like? But like none of the influencer marketing that we’ve done has been paid. Like people want to share because they care about what we’re doing. And the followers that we have on social, those are because of our mission.
Like, if you are so passionate and you are sharing something that is really special people will see that. And they will get behind you and I think it’s like thinking outside of who is in your life. Like, I hope that your friends and family support you and what you want to do. But sometimes they just don’t quite understand what it is that you want to do and like, you know because you have been thinking about it and you have been like formulating these things.
And so just try and believe in yourself and keep pushing forward and the people who do really understand and encourage you– just like bounce your ideas off of those people and just look, yeah just keep those people around you and just keep building on your growth and move forward. Even if it’s just tiny baby steps. Because we all have to start at zero. And that’s really hard when you have to believe in yourself the most because not many people know about you. It’s really tough.
Bethany: So what has been the most challenging part of getting “In Kind Boxes” off the ground in your entrepreneurial journey? And I would also love to know the most rewarding part of it, too.
Maria Berglund: Okay so the most challenging part I think was getting people to understand the concept of what we were doing and then getting people to get on board with selling us the products to put in the boxes. Because all of the funding that we get from sales and donations that all goes towards purchasing the supplies that we fill our boxes with. So that um was huge. Because that was how we got our major donations and funding from the very start. So if you can buy the bulk products then you can fill the boxes. And so that was kind of the biggest hurdle that I had.
The most rewarding is when I get messages from moms who have received the donated boxes and just how special it makes them feel and how loved they feel. It’s super heartwarming. And I haven’t personally given the gift box to a mom in need because we donate through other organizations. And I definitely feel like I would probably burst into tears if that happened. But those messages and those emails definitely make me teary-eyed and that’s what it’s all about. Just to be able to spread the love and kindness.
I love it, Maria. Thank you so much. Please let everybody know where they can find you or how they could purchase a box or even donate to In Kind Boxes.
Maria Berglund: Yeah so um our website is inkindboxes.org and people can shop for a gift box or they can make a donation that way it’s a tax-free donation and then if you want to find us on social and see what we’re up to we’re on Instagram is our kind of the main account @InKindBoxes but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter.
Bethany: Amazing and definitely follow along with Maria on Maria’s IG because the growth and like is it’s been really interesting to see. I absolutely love your videos so it’s been really a joy for me to kind of just like watch as this is as you’ve been growing and getting the word out about In Kind. And I just knew that I wanted to be part of that. So really thank you so much.
Maria Berglund: Well thank you very much. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share.
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