SEATTLE — On her own journey as a working mom, Lisa Myers was inspired to create an easier way for moms to safely store pumped breast milk.
Myers, who was working as a lawyer when she had her first child, said she ended up not being able to breastfeed and pump, but with her second child, she was determined to make breastfeeding work, even when she returned to her male-dominated law firm.
"My first day back to work in the office, I was so proud of myself for making pumping happen," said Myers, who now lives on Bainbridge Island. "I had the pump and all the parts. I finished my first pump session and then, .just stared at the super-obvious plastic bottles of breastmilk lined up on my desk in my toasty warm office, which opens onto a hallway full of pretty much all men and thought 'now what?'"
While fellow working mom friends told Myers she needed to buy a cooler, she refused.
"There had to be a better way. My life as a new mom trying to pump was hard enough," Myers said. "I needed something that could last for my commute and a long workday while also being compact."
She said the problem woke her up.
"I was actually pretty angry that moms were given no option except big, unreliable coolers," Myers said. "This lack of safe breast milk storage was part of a bigger system that failed to support women trying to be mothers and return to their lives out in the world."
Myers, who is also a U.S. Army spouse, launched her business, Ceres Chill, while her husband was deployed.
She was on her own mission to help moms, so they would never have to worry about safely storing breastmilk or formula again.
The main focus is within the community of moms, military moms and veterans.
Recently, Myers raised more than $600,000 through Wefunder, making it possible for her to initiate a deal to offer Ceres Chill on 30 military bases worldwide.
Myers also offers year-round discounts to veterans and military families.
Since launching the brand, Seattle-based Ceres Chill has grown by 30 percent quarter over quarter.
"I see all of the Ceres Chill mamas as members of the team that made this happen," Myers said. "Support and stories have sustained me, and helped me make the solution just right for many scenarios I hadn't been aware of."
Moms can safely store their freshly pumped breast milk after pumping bedside, on the go, or while traveling for work, according to Ceres Chill.