Women's Wellness Maven, Author & Founder, Mama Glow
Posted on: July 22, 2012 | Go to profile
Latham Thomas is a maternity lifestyle maven, wellness & birth coach, and yoga teacher on the vanguard of transforming the maternal wellness movement. A graduate of Columbia University & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham is the founder of Mama Glow- a holistic lifestyle hub for women to explore their creative edge through well-being. Her practice provides support to pre/postnatal women along their journey to motherhood offering culinary and nutritional services, yoga, and birth coaching services. She is co-founder of the Mama Glow Film Festival- a platform for maternal advocacy through film and philanthropy. She recently launched the Mama Glow Salon Series- a platform for birthing conversations around cocktails, panels, and discussions. She lives in New York City with her son Fulano and their turtle Climby. Latham will publish her first book- Mama Glow: A Hip Lifestyle Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy in November of 2012 with Hay House. Latham is helping to green the planet one belly at a time.
Q: Please share with us the story of how your professional journey began and has brought you to where you are today.
A: The journey to my work with Mama Glow was sparked by the pregnancy and birth of my son Fulano. I saw then, the dire need for my service based model to help support women during pregnancy. I believed in a vision and mission that was driven by passion, and I have nurtured it and watched it grow. Today, I offer services, events, and I am moving into consumer products for expectant and new moms, which I am excited about.
Q: What’s your best advice for an entrepreneur in an early/bootstrapping phase? Or in a growth/need to ‘now scale’ phase?
A: My advice for an entrepreneur is to practice focus. Most entrepreneurs are idea generators and have difficulty focusing their time and energy, and clearly defining their vision. Spend time with people who think differently than you, so you can learn to see all sides of what you are creating from a structural standpoint. Focus on what you are best at and stay in that zone. Find the vital pieces to your puzzle, people who bring opposing, but complementary strengths, that believe in you wholeheartedly. When you are authentically passionate about something for the right reasons and can speak about it eloquently, your dream team will show up as if they were summoned to come serve your mission.
Q: Can you share a story of how networking led to a great success?
A: I believe everything we do is networking. You never know where your encounters may lead you. Many of my achievements are largely a result of other people wanting to see me shine. I was at a dinner where everyone was eating meat and the only other person at the table who was vegetarian was sitting next to my friend Sylvia Rhone. He and I started chatting because of our food interests and realized that we had the rudiments of a consumer products business in our laps. We never would have found each other if I hadn’t attended the dinner. I like being a part of gatherings that make networking an organic process.
Q: Do you (formally or informally) mentor anyone? If so, who and why is it rewarding?
A: I work with the Lower East Side Girl’s Club, offering guidance to young women ages 13-19 through a program I designed called “You Glow Girl.” It’s a female empowerment program that uses the lens of yoga and self care to teach lifestyle principals that inspire young women to take charge of their lives and shine! I’ve been working with them all year and have the privilege to deliver the keynote at their end of year ceremonies at the Rubin Museum.
Q: Life is full of setbacks. Can you share an experience of one, and how you were able to bounce back?
A: I was in a relationship with my son’s father, and it wasn’t working and I was terrified of leaving at the time. I was much younger and couldn’t see the full scope of what I had to gift the world, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to become who I needed to be to birth my business with him by my side. I mustered up the courage to leave and never looked back. As soon as we broke up, my life and a flood of looming opportunities came to me. It was as if someone turned on a faucet. I was navigating the landscape as an entrepreneur and a single mom. It was a challenge, but I grew everyday. I had a lot of support from my sister circle, and I began a practice of gratitude and giving others the support that I needed. I began to trust my intuition more and use it to inform my decision-making. I really focused on being the best mom and claiming the maternal space as my platform for reaching the world with my unique vision and mission. With passion for an anchor, all dreams can come into fruition. Where you focus your energy fruit is born.
ON Taking Risk
Q: How do you overcome feelings of insecurity, fear or discomfort when deciding to take a risk?
A: I have learned that I am very risk friendly. When I experience discomfort or when it’s time to make a decision, I know that means that it’s time to grow and that life will teach me something. I also check in with my inner circle of friends when I need to re-calibrate internally in order to shake off the fear and hear a voice of reason and muster up the confidence to take the leap.
ON Giving Back
Q: What cause(s) have you chosen to support and why does it resonate with you?
A: Part of Mama Glow’s mission is to give benevolently. Our events are always tied to a philanthropic effort in support of maternal wellness. Our first Mama Glow Film Festival raised funds for Every Mother Counts, Christy Turlington-Burn’s maternal advocacy based charity. Our most recent event, Mama Glow Salon Series launched in support of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s landmark film The Business of Being Born. I am also on the board of Food Fight- combating childhood obesity through education and advocacy.
Q: What are the top 3 things that you do to stay healthy?
A: I am a big believer in green juice- I have an anti-oxidant packed powerful green juice at least once daily. I make sure to get my rest at night. Sleep is not overrated- it’s necessary to create the life of your dreams. I make pampering an everyday practice. I get massages regularly.
Q: In theory, one should prioritize their own health in order to be in the best state to take care of others (family, kids, work, etc.). But in reality, I’ve found that women often take care of themselves last. What are your thoughts on this?
A: You must prioritize yourself. We have inherited a legacy of self-sacrifice and need to take a collective stance and draw boundaries to reclaim our health and wellbeing. If you do that for yourself, it makes a statement to the world that you own your power and are not someone who can be taken for granted. I make time for self-care, for dating, for my friends, and I still have time to run a business while being a stellar single mom. We have to look at our health and wellbeing as a critical investment for the growth of society. If we cannot bring our best selves to our life’s work, our relationships and our parenting suffer. What is all the self-sacrifice really for anyway?
Q: How do you respond to the question “How has having a child changed your life?”
A: My son was the impetus for my growth as an entrepreneur. My pregnancy inspired my work, but having a little person dependent on you makes you want to succeed in so many ways to provide the very best for them. It’s an honor to be his mother and a real treat. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life and the most enriching. I learn so much from him. A child is not a burden but a tremendous blessing and can catapult you into over drive with pursuing your goals. Because of my business model I can spend tons of time with my son, and I cherish those early years because you don’t get them back. Enjoy every minute of it.
Q: If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
A: Well, I have actually written one- it’s about pregnancy and exploring optimal wellness and tapping into your glow power- it’s my methodology wrapped up in one juicy paperback. The book is called Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy. The publish date is November 6th, but you’ll see it in stores in late October of this year.
Q: What are the beauty items you could not live without?
A: I could not live without Tata Harper skin care- no way, no how.