When Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy formed the organic-formula company Bobbie in 2019, they had two babies and two toddlers between them. The co-founders were not single 20-somethings pulling all-nighters in somebody’s basement. They were working moms who needed to create an environment in which working parents could be successful.
As Airbnb alumnae well-versed in rapid growth startups, they were determined not to prioritize growth over culture. The co-founders dedicated themselves to building a diverse and inclusive culture with amazing benefits. Hiring consumed half their working hours in 2021, as they grew Bobbie from 10 employees to 46 across 16 states. Of today’s 55 employees, 91% are women and 70% are parents.
Bobbie’s benefits signal a pro-parent culture and are ever-evolving. On an all-hands Zoom in March, Modi and Hardy announced job security for up to a full year of parental leave, on top of the paid 16 weeks for all new parents. Benefits like those don’t come cheap, but investors bought into the vision. Bobbie recently raised $50 million, for a total of $72 million in funding. In 2021, the first year Bobbie had product to sell, the direct-to-consumer brand made $18 million in revenue, against a projected $4 million.
All this blossomed from a culture underpinned by a management philosophy with core values that sound like course offerings at an exclusive self-help retreat: Nurture the tension; don’t assume; deliver ounce by ounce; be radical. Employees also embrace Bobbie’s mission to “shake the stigma on how we choose to feed our babies,” which will evolve with the launch of a philanthropic arm over the next year.
For Modi, there’s no mismatch between the grace and flexibility managers at Bobbie show their employees and the company’s rapid-growth goals. “There’s nothing like the fire of a load of moms under pressure and doing a million things,” says Modi, who herself has given birth to two children since co-founding Bobbie. “The level of efficiency is through the roof in this company.”
Kudos to Bobbie for building a workplace that supports today’s parents and their families. To learn more about the company’s story, click here.