Kimberly Davis is the proud mother of two – and the founder of an app she has aptly named “LACH” (find her @thisislach on Instagram). This online marketplace helps moms sort and sell children’s clothes, accessories and toys and also connect their communities through posting and sharing information. In order to follow her dream and become a businesswoman, Kimberly also faced some serious health issues which she had to overcome.
Q: Kim we would love to learn more about you. Can you start with telling us a little bit about who you are and what you’ve been doing in the past year with LACH?
A: I am a teacher turned entrepreneur. I am also a mother. About a year after my youngest was born, I finally had a chance to evaluate my home and realized how much “stuff” I had accumulated. I managed to collect tons of toys and even more clothing over my three years of motherhood. To be honest, it was overwhelming. As I began to dig through my storage bins, I realized that I had quite a few items in almost perfect condition (some still had tags).
I thought about how much money my family, friends and I spent on everything up until that point and how much more we would spend. I also thought about just how little these items were worn for that amount of money. It felt like a waste! I decided I would offset the cost of what we needed next by selling what we already had. After researching and not having any luck with suitable avenues to sell, I decided to create LACH. LACH is an online marketplace for buying and selling preloved maternity and children’s items. Not only is it a marketplace, it’s a space for all things motherhood (check out our blog and Instagram pages!). As we grow, my goal is to help mothers beyond the marketplace.
In the past year, I have managed to officially create LACH, launch a website, host two pop up events for mothers to shop and socialize, and redesign said website. It’s been a busy year to say the least! I am most excited about our latest pilot program available in the Baltimore and Philadelphia areas. We now have specialists who can list and ship items on behalf of others who are short on time or just don’t feel like putting in the work but still want to make money.
Q: If you don’t mind sharing, please tell us about your struggle with regaining your health and what steps you took to become well again.
A: Of course! A few days after giving birth to my daughter, I had a hemorrhagic stroke brought on by a rare syndrome known as RCVS. I almost died. Going through something like this is a lot to manage but throw two kids into the mix and it’s another ball game. I had to navigate being a mother of two while recovering without a diagnosis. I was in the hospital for well over a week while they ran every test they could. I had a botched spinal tap that left me on my back for days. When they suggested a brain biopsy, my father, who spent many years in the medical field, said, “enough.” Once my blood pressure stabilized, we left the hospital and found new doctors who diagnosed me in minutes. I had developed deep relationships with the lactation specialists at the hospital when my son was born so when they heard I was in the critical care stroke unit, they set up a nursery for my daughter in my room. She was with me through my entire stay and I was able to nurse her consistently except for one 24-hour time frame. My son came to visit with my husband and parents regularly and I spent much of that time pretending to be normal to ease any worries his almost two-year-old mind experienced.
I remember so much from the day I went into the hospital. One of the many things that stand out in relation to LACH is feeling unfulfilled. I felt like I hadn’t made a difference in the world, I had no legacy. What had I done with my twenty-eight years of life? Not enough.
It took weeks to get a proper diagnosis and I was finally beginning to recover. I went to physical therapy for the weakness on my left side and saw a neuro-ophthalmologist who explained why I was struggling to read. Almost three years later I have a near perfect recovery. Somehow, I managed to care for my two beautiful children through it all.
While the experience itself was horrible, I did come out of it with a few takeaways. I’m going to spend the rest of my life striving to leave my mark in this world and any fear that I once had about taking risks has been minimized. My motto is, if I can survive a stroke, I can handle just about anything!
Q: Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for moms who want to start their own digital business? What’s the #1 thing to keep in mind when creating an app?
A: If time is a concern, don’t let it stop you. We as moms have super powers. We have a way of just figuring things out. I was recovering from a stroke and was also a full-time mother when I started LACH. I didn’t think I had time to start a business until I read an article about how people don’t utilize their time wisely at work. We spend a lot of time perusing social media and just doing other things and only have a few productive hours of work per day. I could dedicate a few hours per day before the kids wake up, after they go to sleep, and during naptime. Knowing your time is limited actually makes you more productive.
This number one thing to consider when creating an app is that it is a big investment. I currently only have a web app because I need to work out as many kinks as I can before I make the investment. Once you have a mobile app, it costs a lot to maintain and even more to make big changes. If you are building an app, make sure you have gone through enough iterations with customer feedback before spending tens of thousands of dollars.
Q: I know you care a great deal about sustainability and the environment. Can you tell us how you think LACH can make an impact?
A: According to the NIH, fast fashion is a trend that is having a negative effect on the environment. We are in an age where people are able to buy cheap clothing and throw it away when the fashion trends change. The very act of throwing clothing away is a waste but the way the clothing is created is also detrimental to the environment. LACH helps to reduce the amount of emissions released into the environment by offering an alternative to keeping up with trends while protecting the environment.
With Thanks to Kim,
Bio: Michelle is a former beauty executive who loves being part of the Care Skincare Team. She’s married with two young children who have more energy than all the drinks on a Starbucks menu.