Female Founders to Follow: Adrienne Harper, Bundles of Joy
This International Women's Month, we're celebrating like-minded brands with strong, creative, inspiring female founders at their helm.
Today, we close out our series with Adrienne Harper, founder of Bundles of Joy, which provides essential, everyday items to mothers and children in need. In 2022 alone, Bundles of Joy served more than 25,000 children! We asked Adrienne to share what inspires her most about this important work.
Dudley Stephens: What was your original inspiration for creating Bundles of Joy?
Adrienne Harper: I was living in Boston and pregnant with my first, Sloane. I volunteered for an organization that was my inspo for Bundles of Joy, filling orders for foster care children. Their simple requests—socks and baby wash—killed me. Of course, I was hormonal and sensitive to the idea of a baby or child not having these items that many of us take for granted. Once I had Sloane, kicked in the butt by first-time motherhood, I knew this is what I wanted to do. Knowing how difficult it was for me, with resources, support and options, I couldn't fathom what it was like for mothers who had to worry about being able to provide for their baby. When I knew we were moving to Westchester, I just knew this was the perfect opportunity for Bundles of Joy to be born.
Who does Bundles of Joy serve, and what impact do you have on their lives?
We serve mothers (and fathers), babies and children who live at or below the poverty line, working directly with food pantries, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, underserved schools, hospitals and individuals.
We provide everyday essential items that no child should ever have to go without: diapers, baby gear, books, toys and everything in between. Unlike other organizations doing this type of work, Bundles of Joy does not limit the amount of support we give to our families. Meaning, you can come back as often as you need because we've seen that with real support, moms have the chance to break the cycle of poverty. They're no longer faced with having to choose between feeding and diapering their children, or turning on the heat. WIth our help, they can know that their children's needs are covered so that they can pay for gas, transportation, and utilities. They can go to work and really get themselves out of their circumstances. Most charities and diaper banks give about 20 diapers at a time. For anyone with children, you know that's only going to help you maybe two days max. What we offer is so much more.
How has being a mom yourself helped to clarify your mission even further?
Oh man. I don't know I'd be doing this had it not been for my own motherhood experience. It's so critical to my mission that I call Bundles of Joy my fourth baby.
Secret to balancing family/founder life?
The biggest secret is loving what you do! I feel insanely lucky to not feel like what I do is work. Sure, there are unsexy parts of it like the admin stuff and the inventory audits, but feeling like you're actually making a difference in someone's life is a privilege.
Your favorite Dudley Stephens style (and why)?
Just like with my own children, you can't really play favorites! Actually, I guess my favorite would rotate based on what I'm doing. I have a Dudley for every occasion. I love that they're practical but elevated. I think the unsung hero are the summer dresses, to be honest. I lived in my Devon dress last summer—it was so perfect for traveling.
How do you spend your downtime?
I play paddle in the winter and tennis the rest of the year (always in a Dudley!). It's humbling and fun; I don't take myself seriously. It's good for me to take an hour and focus on nothing else in the world.