There’s nothing like having a pro in your corner when you’re getting ready for the newest addition to your family. You want a friendly helper, an experienced voice. You want someone with a passion for all things family and baby. The fabulous Jennifer Mendelson is just what the doula ordered—and she’s your Totally Awesome pick for best doula in Seattle.

Jennifer recently took the time to chat with us about how she got started in the doula biz, her tips for balancing entrepreneurship and mamahood, and more. Read on:

Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?

Jennifer Mendelson: My customers appreciate my experience, warmth, nonjudgmental attitude , sense of humor, dedication and gift of bringing calm and comfort to laboring women and their partners.

RT: What inspired you to start your business?

JM: I have a friend who is a single mom and when she was pregnant, she asked me to attend the birth. After her daughter was born, I thought, “Maybe this is what I want to be when I grow up!”  I had done hospice work for years and now I had a chance to see people coming into the world! It was so special and intimate and amazing. After that I took my training and started my business, 10 years ago.

RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?

JM: Conduct market research, reach out to those in your field, make friends with people doing what they love, learn all you can about what it’s like to run your own business. Develop your skills in marketing and networking. Make friends with other women entrepreneurs. Get help with things that don’t come naturally to you.

RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?

JM: Timing is critical. Sometimes, if you can, it might make sense to wait until your kids are a little older to start a business. Remember that your business is like another little mouth to feed! Make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin. New businesses can more demanding than a crabby toddler!

RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?

JM: I feel proud of how cool, confident, independent and funny my kid is. I’d like to think I had some part in that, but who knows? I feel proud when new parents that I work with feel whole and held and loved through their birth and early postpartum experiences. I feel proud and honored to be asked to be part of the team that provides this.

RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?

JM: Yes! I’m offering a 10% discount on business coaching for women starting their own businesses. Help with marketing, networking, rate setting, confidence building, website and social media advice. Learn more here: