Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Williams and Jane Molina.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My sister Jane and I make up the sister/mom team that is Ninni Co. We are an e-commerce company that sells our patented, one-of-a-kind breastlike pacifier to customers all over the world. We finally began sales on March 1, 2021, after seven years of research and development. We are inspired by the legacy of entrepreneurship in our family. Our grandfather was born in the 1890s in Mississippi and managed to be a farm owner during a time that was very uncommon for black people to own property. Our dad picked up on his father’s business ownership spirit by using his GI Bill from the military to learn the heating and cooling trade. After gaining his certification, our dad went right into business for himself- and kept that business for almost 40 years. I guess you could say it’s in our blood to be forward-thinking and problem-solving. Also, to constantly strive for our very best!
As busy wives, mothers active in our church and community, we also breastfed our children! Specifically, when Jane was exclusively breastfeeding her third child, she wanted to know- why wasn’t there a pacifier on the market that mimicked the same oral movement, soft skin-like feel, tongue and mouth pattern that occurs when a baby is latched onto the breast? Her son wouldn’t take a pacifier. He rejected everything she attempted to give him. It appeared that everything offered on the market was hard, rigid, just… different. Every device took the “work” out of suckling and made it a thoughtless act to keep the baby soothed but ultimately caused poor oral development. This was such a common problem among her friends as well. As Jane went on chat forums, moms everywhere were expressing this concern! Tired, touched out new moms pleading with other moms in their tribe, “help! Do any of your babies take a pacifier? If so, which one? I need a break and I can’t find anything my baby will take!”
What’s priceless to us is solving problems- not reinventing the wheel, but giving thoughtful consideration to products that have saturated the baby industry forever and said, “is this the best there is?” Who created this anyway? Specifically, how will this product impact my baby for the better now and as they grow? We realized that the pacifier needed fine-tuning after staying the same for over a hundred years. Jane and I worked with local designers, engineers and attorneys to create the first-ever, patented breastlike pacifier to soothe the pickiest of babies. When a mom messages us to say, “I’m crying right now. You have no idea. I’ve tried at least 12 different pacifiers and none have worked. The Ninni Co. pacifier is an answer to prayers. Thank you so much for inventing this. You have no idea how grateful we are!” That… is priceless.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not! We feel like our journey’s been pre-destined, as we’ve seemingly been connected with anyone we’ve needed to meet along the way when we needed to meet them.
But when you enter a new industry with no prior knowledge of the marketplace in this arena, there are several learning curves. Not to mention, it took us five years to get a patent on our product. That journey in itself was entirely overwhelming and uncertain every step of the way. But we knew moms needed this. So, at every closed door, we took a detour and found an open avenue. Now, here we are and we can’t believe the success we’re having as a company and that moms are having with the product.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We make breastlike pacifiers for babies. We are known for being the softest, anatomically correct soother on the market. We aren’t sold in stores, just on our e-commerce platform and the word is spreading. We have a wonderful community of moms that now are loyal parts of our #ninnifamily and they spread the word to their family and friends.
We are working on getting our product out further into the marketplace. We launched less than six months ago, and want to tell as many people about it as possible. It’s a different design, and there’s a learning curve, but the response we’re getting is incredible. Because it is transforming so many lives for the better, aside from the introduction of new colors, we are looking to do two things in the near future. First, we are looking to secure more International distribution channels. The demand for our product overseas is astronomical. So, we are solidifying these distributing relationships now. Secondly, we are creating a version of our pacifier for the NICU. A Ninni Co. pacifier designed to soothe premature babies that is lighter weight and contains some other unique characteristics.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
Our family was very consistent with Friday night dinners out. Our father worked a lot as an owner of a Heating and Cooling Co., so we were with our mom a lot except for Fridays. It gave my mom an opportunity not to cook. Our dad would come home, get dressed up give us hugs filled with cologne and his leather coat. Our mother was able to put the tracksuits away and find something nice to wear. She always dressed stylishly and beautifully. My sister and I were pealed away from friends to be intentional with our family time. Once we loaded in the black Volvo with red leather interior, it was our special time, filled with laughter and anticipation of where we were going to eat.
These times were saved for bonding, no arguments or disagreements, just our family in this special moment. Our father is so funny and my mom’s wit made for fun banter. We would listen and chime in on my dad’s day. We would share what was going on with us and enjoy good food. When we got home, we popped popcorn and drank sodas until we dozed off. Not knowing when the tradition began or, unfortunately when it ended but the true blessings and memories that are forever with our family driving to many St. Louis restaurants on Friday nights in the black Volvo.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.ninnico.com
- Instagram: @ninnipacifier
- Facebook: @ninnipacifier
- Other: @ninnipacifier (TikTok)
Cindy Wiltse Photography- Picture of Joy and Jane Baby Photos- Davah Hand