Belly Bandit’s Lori Caden: “There is always more to do so don’t put time constraints on yourself — you’re under enough pressure!”

It takes more time than you think — Just when I think I’m wrapping up my workday something new crops up. There is always more to do so don’t put time constraints on yourself — you’re under enough pressure! As part of my series about health and wellness leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Caden, the co-founder […]

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It takes more time than you think — Just when I think I’m wrapping up my workday something new crops up. There is always more to do so don’t put time constraints on yourself — you’re under enough pressure!

As part of my series about health and wellness leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Caden, the co-founder of Belly Bandit®, a company dedicated to helping women look and feel their absolute best before, during and after pregnancy. Lori along with her two sisters, Jodi and Kari, founded the company in 2008 and revolutionized the maternity world by introducing the first doctor-recommended, postpartum compression wrap, the Belly Bandit®. Since its launch, the company has seen tremendous growth. It has evolved from its signature product, the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap, and expanded to include maternity wear, nursing bras, athleisure and a complete line of compression shapewear, the Mother Tucker® Collection. Belly Bandit® boasts a long list of die-hard fans and celebrity customers, including the Kardashian sisters, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Rowland and more! Their success has earned Lori and her sisters the moniker, Sisterpreneurs of Shapewear!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

As the old saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, that mother happened to be me! In 2005, I was buying cat litter when a store employee offered to carry my load, a nice gesture to assist a pregnant woman. The only problem was I had given birth weeks before! Horrified I dropped the bag of litter and went straight home; first I cried and then I called my two best friends –my sisters, Jodi and Kari. The 3 of us were determined to find a solution to my post-pregnancy body blues. After much research and sisterly support we developed the Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap and the rest is “herstory”!

Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

This is one of those only in LA stories…I was working out with a trainer after I had my 2nd baby. Belly Bandit® was still in its infancy and I was wearing one of our Belly Wraps under my workout clothes. The trainer noticed it and asked me for a couple samples for her pregnant celebrity clients. Not just any celebrity clients, Jessica Alba and Halle Berry. As you can imagine, I was thrilled! A few weeks later, I was in NYC and picked up a copy of US Weekly…and there it was, a story about “celeb favorite” Belly Bandit®! It was an amazing feeling and definitely started our company off right!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we first started the company we use to go to OB/GYN offices to introduce the concept of belly wrapping to doctors and nurses. One time, while waiting for the doctor to arrive, I noticed images of children on the wall, so when he walked in I said, “Wow, your grandsons look exactly like you!” He looked at me and said, “those are my sons!” I was so embarrassed and really have no idea what happened after that! I do know that I learned my lesson and never comment on age, and being in the maternity biz, we never ask if a women is pregnant, we wait until she tells us!

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

Yes, we’re always coming up with new ideas and actually have a very exciting announcement scheduled for 2020! It’s a product that can be used whether you’re a teenage girl or a grandmother and everything in between…so stay tuned!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m so grateful to my parents for the family values and strong work ethic they instilled in my sisters and me. And speaking of my sisters, they are my best friends and business partners, which makes going to work every day a pleasure! We all live close by and support each other both at home and at the office! Sharing the successes (and the failures) with my sisters is what it’s all about!

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help people feel great?

Fresh air: G.O.O.D (get out of dodge) staycations — quarterly getaway to recharge (even if only for 24 hours — it’s a must!)

Food + Fun: Chef of the week — My family (sisters and parents too!) get together every Sunday for dinner, with one person being in charge of the menu each week. It’s an electronics-free time to just enjoy each other’s company and let down our guard!

Game night — My karaoke is pretty sad, but doesn’t stop me from singing at the top of my lungs! We have the best time “trying” to sing and playing games — you can hear the laughter from the down the street!

(maybe because we all live on the same street)

Is there a particular book that made an impact on you? Can you share a story?

Shel Silverstein, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is one of my all time faves. Brings me back to my childhood days. I can still, to this day, recite the poems verbatim (says Little Peggy Ann McKay) which entertains my kids and always makes us smile!

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

If I could wave my magic wand, I’d create an affordable healthcare system. I know too many people who can’t afford healthcare and don’t want to go to the doctor or even the ER because it’s cost prohibitive. I truly believe that people should not have to worry about how they are going to pay for their healthcare …so let’s figure this out!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As the co-founder of two women-owned and operated companies, I always knew that I wanted to find a way to help other women succeed in business. Over the years, I’ve been an “unofficial” mentor to many entrepreneurs, but that all changed with a single email and one very persuasive phone call from The Mama Ladder. The Mama Ladder’s commitment to helping women around the world thrive at the intersection of mamahood and entrepreneurship had me at hello! Belly Bandit®, now co-hosts the semi-annual $5,000 “High Five” business grant. The grant empowers mom entrepreneurs to make a massive impact. But the truth is, the impact on me has been even greater!

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Nothing’s easy! Starting a business is hard work, obstacles are to be expected but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you can find a way to make it work

It takes more time than you think — Just when I think I’m wrapping up my workday something new crops up. There is always more to do so don’t put time constraints on yourself — you’re under enough pressure!

If it doesn’t open it’s not your door — You will suffer less and achieve more if you subscribe to this theory!

As the boss/ business owner, you never really have time off — be prepared to sacrifice, it’s worth it.

Mistakes happen, Embrace them and adopt a, this too shall pass, attitude!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

“A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.”

I’m actually a quote fanatic and have collected my favorites and turned them into coffee table books!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’d love to meet Sara Blakely. I’m so impressed with the business (aka empire!) she has built and Spanx has always been a company I admire. I also appreciate her philanthropic endeavors and would love to tell her that and more over lunch!

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

You can follow Belly Bandit® on Instagram @bellybandit or my personal Instagram page @thecadensisters.

Thank you for sharing this!

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About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.

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