Founder of Little Honey Money & mother of two.
Erica Ignjatovic is a mother of two and founder of Little Honey Money—a baby registry that puts mothers first and allows new moms to get wellness experiences and support services in addition to essentials for the baby.
What was your postpartum experience like?
New motherhood is a complex time, and my experience was beautiful, tender, perplexing, and challenging all at once. But, I look back very fondly on the postpartum period with both of my babies. Prior to having my own, I had never been around a newborn baby—or a new mother, for that matter—so I truly didn’t have any expectations, other than to take it all in stride. I thought I could do it all on my own, whatever that means, but I was surprised to find myself leaning on a lot of support and seeking care along the way. Our family is extended across three countries, and I didn’t have a village, per sé, but I managed to create one. Doulas, baby nurses, lactation specialists, acupuncturists, meal delivery services, parenting coaches, physical therapists, other specialized therapies—you name it, I called on a lot of help. It was the first time in my life where I knew my own well-being wasn’t just about me. My family needed me to be well, and, vice versa, I also needed them to be well. Nothing in the world matters more. I realized the greatest luxuries in life are health and peace of mind. I did everything I could to have those things during postpartum and I still live in pursuit of them every day.
What does nourish motherhood mean to you?
A nourished motherhood is one where the mother’s well-being is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually nurtured. I believe the contributing factors are deeply personal, and differ both from person to person and from time to time. For me, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and positive connections are the biggest contributors to my well-being as a mother today. When I was fresh in postpartum, I craved a lot more hands-on nourishment in the form of nutrition, physical touch, and the presence of people who helped ease my new motherhood challenges.
How was Little Honey Money born?
When I was pregnant with my second, I simply couldn’t find the registry for the things I really needed. Our friends and family wanted to send gifts to show their support and excitement, but as a new mom for the second time, I now had a stronger sense of what would make my family’s experience more enriched. For me, it seemed wasteful to accumulate things before our baby’s arrival—and I certainly didn’t want anyone wasting their hard-earned money on things that we might not even use.
If our loved ones were going to extend their generosity toward us, it seemed we should get what we really needed in real-time, without having the pressure of deciding on everything before the baby’s arrival. I also knew that beyond all the goods, what we needed and valued the most was care. That’s what made the biggest difference on my journey.
And I just didn’t understand why, if we were to be celebrating a new mom and showering her with gifts, maternal wellness and family care services were not a part of the conversation. The more I talked to other new moms about it, the more I realized we all experience that kind of friction on some level—whether it be the first time, second, or beyond.
We know what new moms really need. It’s community support and care. But what that looks like is very different for everyone. I wanted to create an elevated baby registry that celebrates new mothers, but in the ways that matter most to each one individually, so that she can have the best motherhood journey she possibly can.
And that’s what Little Honey Money is—a baby registry that puts the mother first and puts her in complete control to get exactly what she needs, when she needs it.
How did you balance starting a new business as a mother of a little one?
This business was born out of love, and inspired by my early motherhood experiences—so the irony is that Little Honey Money would not exist if I wasn’t a mother of little ones. I loved early motherhood, and I’ve poured so much of that love into building this platform so that other women can love their precious new motherhood experiences, too. My family is in constant evolution, and, much like the world we’re in now, running a business while caring for a family is ever-changing. There are times I work odd hours, late nights and weekends, of course. My me-time is often work-time. And the past couple of years have delivered serious childcare challenges for all of us. But, personally speaking, I am grateful for the work- from-anywhere norms that have allowed me to maintain a closeness with my family, while also working on something that I am so passionate about. I also know where to give myself grace, and balancing motherhood and a new business is absolutely where it’s at.
If you were building a registry today on Little Honey Money what would you include and why?
First things first, I’d create a doula fund. Having both a prenatal doula and postpartum doula are huge sources of support for maternal wellness, safety, and education. From my experience, doulas can also be expensive services—worth it, a million times over—but it helps if friends and family can gift you a portion of them.
Next, I’d create a meal delivery fund. As a breastfeeding mama, I know that proper nutrition and good food is a must, for both my baby and me.
Next, I’d add prenatal fitness classes and prenatal massages. One thing I love about our platform is the prenatal gifting aspect that can actually be used in real-time to support a woman’s health during pregnancy.
I’d also add acupuncture to the registry, to maintain balance, which can be utilized during prenatal or postpartum.
Lastly, everyone who creates a Little Honey Money registry automatically gets what we call a “new motherhood fund”—which is for all the things you don’t even know you need yet. Honestly, nearly everything else tends to fall into that category.
In motherhood, how do you find a connection to your self-expression and creativity?
Our home is where we spend all of our time, and designing it has become my creative passion and an ongoing labor of love. My husband and I are major homebodies—since long before the pandemic forced us to be. We’re both inspired by design and visually pleasing spaces, and our home has become something that we have loved working on together.
I love pulling together a mood board and am inspired by the entire process from idea to execution. I tend to lean into purposeful design, with respect to both aesthetic and functionality for our family.
We don’t commit to any elements unless they’re meaningful, so it’s an intentionally slow process. This way we truly understand the flow and learn exactly what each space is meant for.
It has truly become the ultimate form of self-expression.
What is your number one tip for new moms navigating postpartum?
I think society places an unfair timeline on postpartum mothers, so my advice would be to ride things out on your own timeline as much as possible. Follow your heart and your own intuitive clock. You don’t have to be the new mom that takes your newborn out to brunch if you’re not ready. You can make decisions for you and your baby that others may not understand, but they are true to you. And I say, whatever brings you the most internal peace is always the best decision. Trust that you will ultimately enjoy your postpartum period much more if you don’t concern yourself with anyone else’s expectations.
On your perfect vision-board of the world, what does the fourth trimester look like for modern mothers?
Listen, if we all could be fortunate enough to live in a community where all of our relatives and neighbors are there to feed new mothers fresh, nutritious, organic food, and clean their homes, and do their laundry, and watch their babies while they sleep, and massage their tired bodies, and do all of the things that all new moms deserve—that would be an ideal fourth trimester. But we don’t live in tribal communities anymore. Many of us are in cities far from our extended families, and the modern mentality has left mothers feeling pressure to figure it out on their own, foregoing the support they truly deserve.
If every woman was properly supported during the fourth trimester, we would see less women struggling in new motherhood and lower rates of postpartum depression. We’d see healthier, happier mothers. And as a result, we’d have healthier, happier babies.
But even if we can agree that all new mothers need a village, the greatest challenge is making support and care more widely accessible. And if we further agree that the cost of maternal care services is justified, then we as consumers need to understand the value and be willing to prioritize maternal care above all else in order to receive it.