Startup Spotlight #102: Milksta

Milksta innovates healthy lactation brews designed to help nursing & pumping moms naturally boost their breastmilk supply through plant-based lactogenic food ingredients.

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I got the chance to speak with Lian Delos Reyes, founder and CEO of Milksta, about what she’s working on at her startup, and any advice she has for emerging entrepreneurs.

Lian believes in the wonders of breastmilk so she created Milksta - plant-based coffee & tea lattes loaded with Moringa Oleifera and other lactogenic food ingredients to help boost mothers' milk supply in a natural, delicious, and convenient way. Before trying out entrepreneurship, she has worn different hats: writer, producer, sales executive, and full-time mother. As a first-time entrepreneur, she has proven that “you can learn anything” as she bootstrapped her business from zero to $600K on her own and in the comforts of her own home.

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Startup Spotlight: Milksta

Problem: Millions of mothers cannot breastfeed their newborns exclusively through six months to two years because they suffer from the problem of low milk supply and they have to eliminate many things from their diet (like caffeine and dairy). Artificial medicines designed to boost breastmilk supply comes with side effects like migraine, nausea, and stomach cramps.

Market: The key customers for Milksta are the nursing & pumping mothers in North America. On average, 60-80% of them initiate breastfeeding post birth, and the current global breastfeeding scorecard is at 41% and is trending to be at 70% in 2030, meaning, more moms are breastfeeding as years progress!

Solution: Our vegan and natural approach to support milk production is a perfect alternative to artificially rendered medicines. The food-based lactogenic ingredients in our products may help boost milk supply naturally while at the same time satisfying breastfeeding mothers' coffee and tea cravings.

Team: Initially started with a one-woman team with some help from friends here and there, now we're a lean trio of ladies, one Ecomm angel & partner, and this year we're set to grow with four to five more teammates!

Recent Success:

Reyes: I think I was able to discover an underserved market that I am very passionate about. I love my audience and the industry so much and I would never exchange it for anything else. I wake up each day always looking forward to talking to our customers and knowing them more, which helped me a lot in improving the products and service every mother deserves. While it is still growing, Milksta was able to capture many mommies' hearts, who in turn helped us spread the word about our brand. It's still a long way to go but I am taking it one day at a time, with the goal of having one happy mommy and healthy baby every time.

Recent Struggle:

Reyes: I was so used to working on my own that I find it difficult to let go of the things I love doing about this business. I am also very new to running a startup so I always have this fear of not being well-equipped with the right knowledge and skills. At the same time, I have the tendency of being so much "IN" to the business, I would say borderline obsessed, that there are times I may be putting aside self-care which may potentially lead to burnout. The top priority that I need to improve on is leadership skills and delegating to my team.

Founder Advice:

Reyes: Start before you feel ready because you will never really feel ready. If you're scared, do it slowly but surely. I started this business as a passion project at the side while working a full-time job. It wasn't perfect and it wasn't easy but I advocate taking action over perfection in any given situation. It entailed so many sacrifices and sleepless nights, but eventually, I was able to quit my full-time job and commit to this venture fully.

One Cool Founder You Should Know About:

Reyes: Here are one founder you should check out next!

  • Angeline Viray, Founder of Changemakerwithin: Changemaker Within helps changemakers and purpose-driven entrepreneurs discover their mission, spread their message and make a positive impact in the world.

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