This entrepreneur is making sure pregnant women can stay fashionable during all nine months of pregnancy.
By day, Jessica Boulanger is the vice president of communications at the Business Roundtable, where she helps the nation’s top CEOs come together to shape public policy. A self-described “very patriotic person” who cries every time she hears the National Anthem, living and working amongst the political hubbub of the District is a dream come true for Boulanger. But it’s not the only thing that has the successful professional pinching herself.
Boulanger has always had an entrepreneurial itch. “My mom started and ran her own business,” she explains, “so perhaps it’s in my DNA.” When she was pregnant with her first child, Avery, now 6, Boulanger recalls her prenatal wardrobe woes: “I felt like I was wearing a costume. The cuts were wrong, the colors were wrong, and the prints were tacky.” And so she set out to create More of Me (MoM), a maternity line featuring styles and silhouettes she’d actually want to wear. “I am proud I was able able to grow MoM—in tough economic times, out of my house, on nights and weekends—into a small business with some recognition and a following of amazing customers. I still squeal every time I see one of my dresses in Pregnancy & Newborn!”
A few years and two babies (Oscar, 3, and Wells Poppy, 5 months) later, Boulanger has enjoyed the fruits of her labor as well. “With my third pregnancy, I wore every single one of the styles I’ve ever created, every day for 10 months.” (Her favorite piece was the Avery maxi, which happens to be named after her firstborn.) “It gave me a lot of confidence to know that I loved wearing what I was designing and making,” she goes on. “My body changed so much when I was pregnant but when I kept my personal style, I felt so much more like myself—and that’s a good feeling with all the other changes.”
Between two full-time jobs and serving as full-time mama to three little ones, it’s a wonder this go-getter has the energy to do it all. Confesses Boulanger, “I found it very hard to be pregnant and juggle everything … My energy was low, and physically it was hard to keep up with the pace and demands of family life.” Now that her third has arrived, however? “I just drink lots and lots of coffee!” she laughs.
“Becoming parents [the first time] rocked our world,” she explains. But as her family and careers grow, “I know the challenges I face,” assures Boulanger. “It is a lot to manage, and you always feel guilty when you’re not doing something 100 percent as well as you could be. But I try to keep positive and know that I can’t be perfect and that’s OK and the kids will be just fine.”
As busy as Boulanger’s days might be, it’s unlikely she’ll be slowing down anytime soon. “I have been a daydreamer since I was little and there isn’t ever a moment that my mind isn’t racing about something I would like to create, a place I would like to visit, or an experience I would like to have.” And with her hard-earned, well-deserved successes both professionally and personally, she’ll no doubt make those dreams come true too.
Name: Jessica Boulanger
Lives in: Washington, DC
Occupation: Founder and designer of More of Me Maternity, vice president of communications at the Business Roundtable
Partner in crime: Todd Boulanger
Favorite holiday: All of them, even Flag Day
Strangest pregnancy craving: The smell of Comet cleanser
First thing she does in the morning: Checks her iPhone