It seems like a perfect idea to start a company around something that impassions you, something that gets you out of bed in the morning, dreaming about innovative ways to reach new audiences with constantly fresh and evolving material. Let me introduce you to Max & Madeleine. It by no means had its origin as a company. It was instead, 2 moms (new at being moms) stepping into the world of motherhood, inundated with vast amounts of advice, recommendations, warnings…you get the idea, mostly because if you are also a mom, you experienced something quite similar. We do not live in the wilderness, instead we are the object of a large conglomerate of consumer messaging. As new moms, entering into a new consumer category, it became very apparent that we had absolutely no power.. no power to easily determine the best choices for our little ones, or really for our families as a whole.
We were desperate to find good products. To more clearly define good, we were seeking safe, effective products of reasonable value. This was truly the origin of Max & Madeleine, where it all started…a simple search for laundry detergent and a nice lotion for our babies. Soon to follow, it was a search for a bug spray and so on. What we realized pretty quickly was that although we were both educated moms with very good intentions, there was something really HUGE that we knew very little about. Upon further researching products, the ingredients and a lot of the companies that make these products, we soon stumbled upon our greatest fear- there really isn’t anyone looking out for the consumer, the mom, the kids. So the government agencies, clearly created to protect its citizens had sold out.
At least this is the case here in the United States. Many other countries seem particularly concerned about their citizens, evident in their recognition of harmful ingredients. While the US has a ban on 12 harmful chemicals, the EU has a list of roughly 1200. As you stand in line at the grocery store, just take a look around you at all of the consumers, purchasing products without any thought to their potential negative impact on their health or the health of their families. Why would they think otherwise, why would you be allowed to purchase ‘toxic products’, or products that can make you sick. Where are the good products?
Max & Madeleine became our vehicle to bring information and really good products to the consumer. Our mission was to help in the effort to educate people, to provide awareness about big business and it’s lack of regulations and on the other front to introduce our products, a brand for the entire family, formulated with safe, nutritive ingredients at a great price point. Many people are wondering why in their neighborhoods rates of cancer, infertility stories, autism, learning disorders and unexplained illness are all on the rise. The numbers are alarming and should be our wake up call to action! But really, where is there any power in two moms with a skincare line? Of course the light bulb went off…social selling! Let’s get social, let’s get out there and start the conversations. Let’s sit down with friends, family, and neighbors. Let’s talk about it on our social networks. It would no longer be just about a skincare line, but something much more relevant, the seed that eventually spreads and becomes very powerful, the voice of many people, consumers, now informed and angry about the effect this has had on them, their health, and the health of their loved ones.
We are often asked about the beginnings of Max & Madeleine, which is what prompted this blog post. Neither of us had even been involved in direct/social sales, so the business model seemed like an odd choice. However, when we thought about the ‘project’ as a whole, it became very apparent that two people (or even just one for that matter) has the greatest impact through this exponential model of messaging. It is overwhelming, the amount of change that is needed, and days like today are many, where we feel that change is slow and affecting the mindset of people is such a challenge. But we know how many people we have reached and we know they are out there also sharing what we started. THIS IS WHAT TWO MOMS CAN DO.
We are reminded of the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 and the amazing awareness it helped create for ALS….even the likes of Bill Gates and George Bush were participants. More than 17 million people stepped up to the challenge and over $115 million was raised for the ALS Association. According to John Hopkins University, the money raised by this viral challenge initiated by a college student, had a significant impact on the advancements of treating this horrible disease by funding new research. The effort of this one boy grew into something that will affect many lives, including those afflicted with the disease and families who stand beside them. We can go further back into history, before social media and look at other movements, those started by just a handful of people, that made significant progress. The Women’s Suffrage Movement started with just a few brave women in NY and it took decades, but their efforts changed lives. Rosa Parks is another, the story of one woman’s small act, “mother of the civil rights movement” having an effect on a whole country. She invigorated the movement for racial equality, something today, most of us take for granted but certainly support. You may be wondering how we can equate Women’s Suffrage or the Civil Rights Movement to skincare regulations? It is a huge problem and it has affected everyone. It has found its way into every family in the form of illness, whether it be cancer, immune deficiency, learning disorders or the ability to have children. This problem is about all of us, it is in all of our communities. It is not about the poor or the rich or a certain gender or ethnic group. It is everyone. There is a lot that one (or two) person can do. Call out on social media big business, tag your government representatives in posts asking why they do not support legislation that could make a change for their constituents, stop supporting the companies that are not supporting you by not buying their products. You can be part of the change and we can do this together!
Max & Madeleine knows there are good companies and good products out there, and we fully support their place in the marketplace and celebrate the fact that there is room for all of us, the companies with a conscience, who have good intention to share healthy, effective products. For us, this idea may not have started as a company, but it has become one. We are proud to share Max & Madeleine with the consumer and feel it is an amazing force behind the mission for change!