By Chris Olsen
“How are you doing?” a friend asked Diana Hilaire two weeks after the birth of her twins. She didn’t expect to break down in tears. Diana was elated to have twins. She loved her babies more than anything. But she was also experiencing postpartum depression and brand-new feelings she wasn’t even aware of that were preventing her from communicating. With so much attention on the babies, at that particular moment the question about how she was doing felt overwhelming.
At the time, Diana didn’t know she wasn’t the only woman facing so many complex emotions around childbirth. She was fortunate to have the support of her partner and her village—several friends who checked in on her and offered to help. One friend gifted her a journal so she could write down what she couldn’t express out loud. As others asked what they could do to help, a business idea started to emerge. Diana began to envision a way to show moms they are just as important as their unborn and newborn children. As she put it, “If mom is not well, then Houston, we have a problem.” Diana also wanted to make it easy for friends and family members of mothers, mothers-to-be and women experiencing pregnancy loss to show their support. Because women going through these big changes don’t necessarily know or can’t articulate what they need.
In 2020, Diana transitioned from her longtime executive position at a large retailer, and after a successful crowdfunding campaign, she launched When She Comes Homes (WSCH). Based in Brooklyn, New York, WSCH offers a variety of semi-customizable care packages filled with high-quality products to comfort moms, including things like vegan body butters scented with essential oils, 100 percent soy candles, beautiful journals, plus gift cards for much-needed services like mental health care, spa treatments, house cleaning and more. WSCH’s Sisterly Love box—inspired by Diana’s own circle of friends—celebrates the sisterhood and special bond women share and provides a way for moms to give back to those who consistently show up for them. All the products featured in the boxes are exclusively from women-owned companies.
Diana believes all mothers deserve to be well cared for before, during and after the birth of their babies. As a Black woman, she’s well aware of statistics that show women of color face greater challenges in getting what they need in pre- and post-natal care. Not only do they not receive the same standard of health care, but maternal health experts say many women of color choose to struggle on their own rather than seek care. Diana intends to change that. She knows there’s a direct connection between self-care and successful motherhood. And she has already witnessed the big impact a small box of wellness goodies can have on a mom’s emotional and physical well-being.
Diana’s vision for WSCH continues to evolve into something much bigger. She’s creating a movement to normalize self-care for moms. She’s building an empowered community of women who understand their own needs must be met first. She’s using her platform to amplify the stories of women who are moms and entrepreneurs. And she’s trusting God to help guide her as she continues her own entrepreneurial journey. “Proverb 16:3 says, ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.’ He has yet to fail me,” Diana says.
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.