In the world of products made specifically for mothers, all designs are not created equal. Ask any new or seasoned mom for her baby registry advice and she will tell you about that one magic item that makes their job a little easier. For Buckhead residents Anita Rajendra and Brittany Garman, co-founders of Mina & Vine, there was one new mama must-have that consistently missed the mark by even the most popular baby brands. After research, design, and a leap of faith, the Mina & Vine nursing scarf was born.
Mina & Vine was created out of the desire to make something beautiful and practical that moms would be excited to wear. Anita and Brittany met through a mutual mentor at an accelerator training program for female entrepreneurs. After discovering their common interests in startups and supporting women through creative ideas, they realized that their connection was more than just chance.
Anita previously worked for Fortune 100 companies such as Coca-Cola and Brittany had a background in interior design, working for a top 25 architecture firm. When they met, both women were expanding into entrepreneurship. Anita was building La Belle Bump, a company that rents stylish maternity clothing, and Brittany was developing BashBLOK, a web app for planning and managing personal events. After two years of corresponding, they decided to combine their strengths and create something that solved a problem for mothers. With Brittany’s eye for design and Anita’s knowledge as a mother of three and experience with La Belle Bump, the duo launched the Mina & Vine Kickstarter in August 2018.
The Mina & Vine nursing scarf is set apart by the thoughtful details that only a mother would know to include. Through their product research, Brittany and Anita discovered three main issues with existing covers: excessive heat while nursing, inability to easily view baby, and the fact that standard scarves only served one temporary purpose, leaving them hanging in a closet once mom stopped breastfeeding.
The most popular feature is the magnetic fasteners that make it easy for mom to throw on when her hands are full allowing quick access to view baby. Each scarf is designed with smart fabric technology that has been proven to lower body temperature by two degrees, keeping mom and baby cool. The scarf is a multifunctional accessory and can be worn more than 10 ways after nursing is over. Each scarf can also be used as a cover for a car seat, carrier, or shopping cart.
When designing the first Mina & Vine scarf, Brittany and Anita had an important list of features that needed to be included. At the top was the need to blend function with style, something often forgotten with most nursing scarves. The brand was built on the principle that moms shouldn’t have to sacrifice looking good. Practicality can be chic, especially throughout motherhood.
“As an entrepreneur, it can be necessary to reinvent the wheel. Just because a product has been made doesn’t mean it has been made with the right function in mind,” Anita says. “The Mina & Vine nursing scarf is our take on what moms need out of a product that they weren’t getting before. We created our scarf through the lens of what we could do to help a mama out.”
As any entrepreneur will tell you, adapting to new circumstances is part of the job. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Brittany and Anita have applied their commitment to style and function toward creating face masks that give back. Each mask is made with a signature Mina & Vine printed fabric and is reusable, washable, and handmade.
“Being a mother means overcoming challenges every day. Over the past several months, we know mothers are taking on the role of caregiver, teacher, and provider, all while worrying about a global pandemic,” Brittany says. “We’re proud to design stylish and functional masks with $1 from every purchase being donated to the United Way COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund.”
As Mina & Vine continues to grow, Brittany and Anita say that the core of the brand will never change. Mothers and mothers-to-be will always be at the heart of each product they create. “We hope to continue to solve problems through our products. It’s important that we are trusted and known for our ability to blend innovation with style,” Anita says. “We want all mothers to know that no matter what, Mina & Vine supports them.”