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Hidden Gems: Meet Kelli Mumphrey of MilkSpace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelli Mumphrey.

Kelli Mumphrey is a proud United States Navy veteran who recognizes her life as a gift meant to be of service to others. In just two months after transitioning from active duty in 2014, Kelli and her husband received a few unexpected fast pitched curveballs. Having relocated from Virginia to Texas with the expectation her husband would begin his new job, her husband’s future employer rescinded the job offer citing her husband not having a bachelor’s degree. Kelli and her husband found themselves homeless with a one-year-old daughter sleeping on relatives’ couches and spare rooms while expecting their second child. However, they remained optimistic and agreed it was GRIND TIME!

They both enrolled in school, and soon after, they both obtained employment with the federal government. Grinding day in and day out, Kelli worked a 9 to 5, served in the United States Navy as a SELRES drilling reservist at Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, and pursued her first master’s degree all while trying to be a present wife and a breastfeeding mother. Always on the go, Kelli found herself in situations where she would have to resort to pumping and dumping her breastmilk in public restrooms and in other places she felt were unsanitary, uncomfortable, and inadequate. Frustrated by the lack of access to convenient and sanitary public spaces to express breastmilk while away from her home, in 2018, Kelli created MilkSpace, LLC a business that provided event planners with a service solution to accommodate nursing women during events.

In 2019, Kelli’s life shifted as she experienced two miscarriages. Her heartache fueled her desire to take a leap of faith and turn her tragedy into triumph by making a life-change to create her own narrative, to live the life she desired, by entering the world of entrepreneurship full-time. Kelli left the security and ease of her government career and created another business, Realize Every Aspiration Can Happen (R.E.A.C.H.) Grants Consulting, LLC as an independent grant consultant where she is able to use her professional skills-sets to assist non-profits to apply for grants. Simultaneously, Kelli continued to work on her MilkSpace, LLC business. Then, the storm of Covid-19 came crashing in, and changed everything for her. Due to Covid-19, Kelli was compelled to pivot MilkSpace, LLC from an in-person breastfeeding service that provided event planners with a service solution to accommodate nursing women during events to an e-commerce business selling breastfeeding essentials in MilkMama Sanity Kits. Although MilkSpace, LLC had pivoted, the business lacked the focus of building a foundation to operate as an e-commerce.

Through a local Dallas program called the “Next Level Business Transformation” (NLBT) offered by the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC) assisted Kelli in stabilizing and developing a plan to grow her business through the pandemic. Although having recently completed a master’s degree program in Entrepreneurship prior to participating in the NLBT program, the NLBT program was the missing link Kelli needed to take her MilkSpace business to the next level. Unlike traditional coursework, the NLBT program model provided Kelli with tailored training sessions applicable to her business needs from industry experts covering business topics such as Management, Financials, Information Technology, Business Canvas, Sales Strategies, and Marketing, where she was able to receive essential business information in a small welcoming group setting and receive one on one feedback from industry experts.

Each one of the VWEC’s NLBT program’s training sessions provided invaluable business information, however Kelli benefited most from the Business Canvas and Sales Strategy sessions compelling her to “think outside of her box”, and “get granular” in finding the true value of her business, and more importantly developing MilkSpace, LLC’s “Match IT 4 HER!” social impact initiative to serve low-income Black women in their breastfeeding journey. MilkSpace, LLC’s “Match IT 4 HER!” social impact initiative goal is to lessen breastfeeding disparities in communities of color, specifically for low-income Black mothers by forming partnerships with Community-Based-Organizations (CBO) and for-profit entities to provide access to breastfeeding essentials and breastfeeding resources. Through the initiative, MilkSpace, LLC plans to donate (4) initial free MilkMama Sanity Kits to CBO partners for distribution to mothers in low-income communities of color.

In addition, the “Match IT 4 HER!” initiative will create an opportunity for CBOs to receive free kits by way of public “purchases for purpose” of MilkSpace, LLC’s MilkMama Sanity Kits to be donated directly to CBOs for distribution to mothers in low-income communities of color. “Match IT 4 HER!” is completely free to registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofits, with a simple reporting component. Currently, Kelli is actively seeking partnerships to help bring her “Match IT 4 HER!” social impact initiative to life! Interested CBOs and for-profits can check out her YouTube video here; https://youtu.be/0dOxfVpxsSE. March is a special month for Kelli as it is her birthday month, and it is Women’s History Month! Each year in March, Kelli likes to self-reflect listening to the song “Closer” by the artist Goapele and examine what she has done in her life and can do in the future that moves her “closer to her dreams”.

This month, Kelli is planning to make HER history by hosting a collaborative product testing for MilkSpace, LLC with local CBOs enabling Black low-income women to receive free breastfeeding products and provide their feedback via survey and a virtual session. Kelli is super excited about the product testing as she recently stepped “outside of her box” and connected with the Co-founder of MilkStrip Ltd. Dr. Avital Beck, located in Israel, who agreed to allow Kelli to conduct a product testing of MilkStrips’ Breastmilk Expiration and Vitamin C Level Rapid Tests here in the U.S., and include MilkStrips’ Rapid Tests in her MilkMama Sanity Kits for sale. In addition, Kelli has connected with Kimberly Daly, Founder of Mama Love Chocolate Protein mix for postpartum mothers assisting them with post-work out recovery and milk production! Kelli is equally excited about both of the partnerships and is looking forward to growing her network to increase her impact in serving Black low-income women.

Interested CBOs and for-profits email Kelli at info@milkspace.co as soon as possible! Kelli’s post-Covid-19 plans are to continue to grow both her businesses and resume her MilkSpace service during events and tap into the world of clean energy and technology to improve the functionality of her MilkSpace. Kelli is planning to develop Solar-powered MilkSpaces to be strategically placed in low-income communities of color as well as public areas frequented by families to ensure mothers have access to adequate sanitary spaces to express breastmilk, store breastmilk, as well as transmit and receive real-time information utilizing integrated app health technologies, and lactation support systems/services. Kelli’s experiences of tragedy and hopelessness are only part of HER story and she wants to motivate others to be encouraged that despite the lows experienced in life… “Realize Every Aspiration Can Happen… R.E.A.C.H. for the Stars!”

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Transitioning from active-duty military in 2014, was a real challenge for my family and I, as we had no place to call home after relocating to Texas. I experienced joblessness, homelessness, anxiety and despair. Later, I experienced a tragedy of miscarriage where I spiraled deeper into depression. Life after the military was and is still a roller-coaster for me as I work daily to manage my mental health, physical health, juggle (2) businesses while being intentional to live a fulfilled and purposeful life.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
MilkSpace, LLC is a social enterprise that leads its business operations with a social impact “Match IT 4 HER!” to lessen breastfeeding disparities specifically in Black women. MilkSpace, LLC’s products and services are available for purchase by EVERYONE! MilkSpace, LLC loves all Mamas, and hopes that our product and services focusing on sanitation and convenience not only meet the needs of breastfeeding women, but also empower more women to reach their breastfeeding goals “No Matter HER Location!” I am most proud of my ability to create innovative collaborative solutions to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers, while making an intentional impact in lessening breastfeeding disparities in Black women. MilkSpace, LLC is open for business, and is eager to collaborate with CBOs and for-profits as a collaborative network of brands and services addressing the needs of breastfeeding mothers.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I am glad you asked, as Collaborative Partnerships with CBOs and businesses are key to MilkSpace, LLC’s “March IT 4 HER!” success! MilkSpace, LLC is actively seeking “Match IT 4 HER!” Community Partnerships with registered 501 (c)(3) non-profits to receive free MilkMama Sanity Kits via direct donation from MilkSpace, LLC and by way of potential public purchases for MilkMama Sanity Kits to be donated directly to CBOs for distribution to Black mothers in low-income communities of color. “Match IT 4 HER!” Community Partnership is at NO COST to registered 501 (c)(3) non-profits, with the following requirements: Data Collection, Number of Black women served, Minimum (6) month breastfeeding outcomes, Product feedback from a minimum of 75% of Black mothers that received kits regarding immediate and long-term (6-months) financial and health breastfeeding benefits for mother and child, (4) CBO Referrals, Google Business Review, and Must Provide In-Kind Donation Tax Receipt).

In addition, MilkSpace, LLC is actively seeking “Match IT 4 HER!” Community Partnerships with registered 501 (c)(3) non-profits enabling Black low-income women to participate in a March and August product testing where women will receive free breastfeeding products and provide their feedback via a quick survey and a virtual session.

Lastly, MilkSpace, LLC is actively seeking “Match IT 4 HER!” Business Partnerships to create a collaborative network inclusive of businesses that desire to permit their products and services to be included in MilkMama Sanity Kits, and/or donated directly to MilkSpace, LLC’s “Match IT 4 HER!” Community Partners. The nature of MilkSpace, LLC’s “Match IT 4 HER!” Business Partnerships is to create and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships where effort and time is reciprocated, yielding positive benefits for all parties involved creating a collaborative business network to close the gap in breastfeeding disparities in Black women by providing access to products and services empowering more women to reach their breastfeeding goals.

Interested CBOs and businesses interested in becoming a “Match IT 4 HER!” partner can apply here… https://form.jotform.com/202967432047154. Please email Kelli at info@milkspace.co or schedule to have a “Meeting of the Minds” here… https://calendly.com/milkspacellc to learn more.

Pricing:

  • $60.00 MilkMama Basic Sanity Kit include must have breastfeeding essentials that focus on sanitation and convenience. No teas or cookies here! Just the right things to keep MilkMamas SANE and SMILING No Matter HER Location! Kits include only items listed below. Brands may vary “Protect The Source of Hope” Insulated Tote Bag MilkStrip Breastmilk Expiration & Vitamin C Rapid Test Economy Pack 8 oz Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Sanitizer Spray, Safe No Rinse Breast pump Sterilizer, Eliminates 99.9% of Common Bacteria and Germs, & MilkMama Motivation Lapel
  • $100.00 MilkMama Plus Sanity Kit include must have breastfeeding essentials that focus on sanitation and convenience. No teas or cookies here! Just the right things to keep MilkMamas SANE and SMILING No Matter HER Location! Kits include only items listed below. Brands may vary “Protect The Source of Hope” Insulated Tote Bag MilkStrip Breastmilk Expiration & Vitamin C Rapid Test Economy Pack Silicone Grade Manual Breast Pump/Milk Collector 8 oz Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Sanitizer Spray, Safe No Rinse Breast pump Sterilizer, Eliminates 99.9% of Common Bacteria and Germs, MilkSpace Cloth Face Mask Portable UVC Lamp Sterilizer Wand & MilkMama Motivation Lapel
  • $150.00 MilkMama Supreme Sanity Kit include must have breastfeeding essentials that focus on sanitation and convenience. Just the right things to keep MilkMamas SANE and SMILING No Matter HER Location! Kits include only items listed below. Brands may vary “Protect The Source of Hope” Insulated Tote Bag MilkStrip Breastmilk Expiration & Vitamin C Rapid Test Economy Pack Silicone Grade Manual Breast Pump/Milk Collector 8 oz Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Sanitizer Spray, Safe No Rinse Breast pump Sterilizer, Eliminates 99.9% of Common Bacteria and Germs, (2) Breastfeeding Microwave Sterilizer Bags (20 uses each bag) MilkSpace Cloth Face Mask Portable UVC Lamp Sterilizer Wand Portable Silicone Grade Placemat for Staging Baby Cover Car Seat Carrier Stretchy (Multi Use) (2) Baby Gentle Detergent Sink Packs MilkMama Motivation Lapel MilkMama Motivation & Educational Mini Notebook (10) Breast Milk Storage Bags 1 Pair Washable Breast Pads, & Mama Love Chocolate Protein Mix.

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