Jade Potter is #MadeForKnoxville.
Birthing a small human is a life-altering event; for Jade, it was the catalyst to launching her business.
As a new mom, Jade struggled to breastfeed, but found support and community at the center where she birthed her son. This momentous experience lit a fire in her to create a business that would serve the postpartum community in the same way she had been served.
Within a ten year span, Jade became a mom, graduated from nursing school, and earned the credentials necessary to launch her thriving private practice. She started Milk+Honey Lactation Services to provide education and support to growing families, while also creating opportunities for new parents to come together in support of one another. Entrepreneurial communities in Knoxville have been crucial to Jade’s growth as a business owner, and she is eager to give back and continue impacting the greater Knoxville community in a positive way.
“The best investment you’ll ever make is in yourself.”
In Their Own Words…
After the birth of my first child, breastfeeding was a struggle. Not only was the actual act of breastfeeding hard, but navigating the physical and emotional changes during the postpartum period were also incredibly difficult and isolating. I knew after that experience, I wanted to pursue a career that specifically focused on holistic postpartum wellness. I went to nursing school and worked at the bedside in Women and Infants, completed my International Board Certification in Lactation Consulting, and then transferred to Neonatal Intensive Care.
During 2020, I realized that community lactation support was extremely limited due to the pandemic so I began seeing families in my community for independent lactation consulting part time. I would dress out in full PPE to provide my services to people in their homes after the birth of their babies, and even better, insurance paid for the visits at 100%! Eventually, I got so busy that I went part time at the hospital through 2021, and last year I quit my hospital job to open my full-time office. I saw over 500 consults last year and even added retail items (like breastpump and infant feeding supplies), which have been very successful. I’m currently in graduate school to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and I’m planning to open a Postpartum and GYN health clinic that also provides full-spectrum Breastfeeding Medicine services in 2025.
What Led to Entrepreneurship: In the last year I worked in the hospital, I was written up for three unexcused absences; the ONLY times I missed work that year were because I was positive for Covid-19 (which meant I was not allowed to come to work, as I worked with immunocompromised preterm infants), I had a miscarriage, and one of my children was sick with a fever. That entire year, I never took a vacation and I never asked for days off aside from those three events. After leaving the meeting that morning when I clocked out of my shift, something changed in me. I realized that no amount of dedication to my patients would ever make me more than a number to a hospital system. I was angry, not only for the disciplinary action, but because I knew that anywhere else I worked would be the same. I was angry that my patients deserved to have the best level of care, but hospitals are more concerned with the bottom dollar than safe staffing ratios. I decided to invest in MYSELF and all the families I wanted to help and leased a private office within a local coworking space, then I finished another month in the NICU, and then I never went back. When I opened my office in March, a few months later, I came back with appointments booked out for three weeks. Business only picked up from there and it is the best decision I’ve ever made!
Lessons Learned: Get organized! My business just kind of fell together on its own and blew up, I had no idea how to organize my income, track expenses, or even basic bookkeeping. I’ve been fortunate that I stay busy enough to still keep my head above water but I’m finally starting to figure out the ins and outs of running a small business.
Hire a financial support team! They know all about what paperwork to file for tax purposes, can help you set up bookkeeping software, and can answer questions you have about running your business. They can also help you find information about setting up pricing for services and goods.
If you don’t know how to do something (like apply for a business license, pay your sales tax, file an LLC, etc.) don’t try to do it yourself! I made so many errors in the beginning when trying to figure out all these things myself and it cost me more money to fix them than if I’d paid for someone to help me do it.
The best investment you’ll ever make is in yourself. Only you know the level of service that you can provide and only you know how hard you will work to make your goals reality. If you never take a chance on yourself, you’ll never get the opportunity to show up and make yourself proud.
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