We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Norton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
The most important impact I’ve made for my children, and will continue to make, is taking the time to experience life with them. I never knew truly satisfying work until I became a mother. Being thrust into the role of keeper, as each mother is, to take charge over my sons’ lives so that they can become good men, strong stewards, and responsible Americans was a heartening yet challenging duty which I felt compelled and blessed to meet the moment I learned I was first pregnant.
With that duty in mind, my goal was to balance a career that brought me satisfaction with being a present and focused parent. Having spent much of my adult life in the healthcare world before becoming a mother, I knew my heart was primed to continue working within it. I took stock of what I had been able to accomplish as a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and what more I could do with the addition of my own breastfeeding journey and realized that I already had the tools to create a fulfilling home-based career. And so, Pure Milk Mom was born swiftly on the heels of my first son.
In being a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and full-time entrepreneur, I haven’t taken an easy road. When one part of my life suddenly requires more attention, the whole family may feel the neglect elsewhere for a little while, luckily my husband is there to be my helpmate and pick up some slack. He may not be able to take a Pure Milk Mom meeting for me, but he’s wonderful at distracting the boys so I can handle it.
I have always believed that prioritizing the people right in front of me has the best impact both personally and professionally. Not only does my client, the mother struggling to nurse or the father trying to help his wife, know that she is listened to and respected, but my children see that dedication to the task at hand is a worthy and important aspect of life.
My eldest son, who was a sweet baby of six months when I began Pure Milk Mom, is now six years old with two little brothers and I couldn’t be prouder of where we are today as a family. We continue to live an unconventional lifestyle where there may be odd work hours and unique stresses, but we are also afforded the flexibility to live on my own terms. I haven’t missed one minute of truly being there for my boys. My hope is that the impact of this resounds through their lives supporting their needs and encouraging their hearts to place people above other perceived priorities.
What should our readers know about your business?
Pure Milk Mom is a nonprofit striving to help make the breastfeeding journey as joyful and accessible as possible by offering breastfeeding resources and lactation consultation. We are proud to have been firmly rooted in telehealth for the past five years through our virtual lactation clinic. With this flexibility embedded into our services, we are able to help families across the country, wherever there is the most need.
Pure Milk Mom’s growth has come naturally in many ways, but there have been a few hiccups, as there is in any new venture. On one hand, I was able to feel confident in my mission and goals for developing a public health nonprofit because of my background working at various healthcare nonprofits in the Phoenix valley. I was fortunate enough to work with a variety of people who became mentors along the way, including two who have their own successful lactation businesses, and who all helped in one way or another to inspire the idea for Pure Milk Mom. On the other hand, I found that having the ability to fully and properly address the needs of clients is of the utmost importance, it directs the flow of my work, and it takes a fair amount of boundless energy. As such, I’ve had to learn how to be flexible on this entrepreneurial journey.
Being a business owner has also taught me that some seasons will be fast-paced and exciting, while others will be more humdrum due to those little day-to-day business needs like replying to emails and keeping my certifications current. Learning to enjoy the peaks and valleys is part of the process.
I want my future clients to know that at Pure Milk Mom we are aware how daunting it can be to choose a provider to help with something as intimate as lactation care, so our first goal is to be compassionate and considerate, or what we call being human first. That is to say that we see the family sitting in front of us, not just the breastfeeding challenge at hand, and we will always strive to meet clients wherever and however they are most comfortable.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Arizona offers a great time! My family often hosts guests from out of state, especially during winter, and there is never a hard time finding things to do or places to go. If a friend was in town we would go for a morning hike at McDowell Mountain trail followed by a brunch date at either Hash Kitchen or Snooze. Afternoon would be well spent shopping at Kierland Commons or poolside and we’d have to end our day at either The Mission or Zinc Bistro for dinner.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Pure Milk Mom truly is a family affair. My sister, Clara, an attorney, has been involved in the nonprofit since we began. Her dedication to our mission and willingness to dive into different projects along the way has been instrumental in our success. Her time and focused energy assist tremendously with our unique needs as a healthcare nonprofit throughout the years, but most importantly she’s simply a delight to work with! I must recognize my other two sisters also and mother who cheer me on and back me! My husband, John, supports me fully in all aspects of my life. Our 13th wedding anniversary is this month and I’m reminded that his dedication to our family is the reason I thrive in many ways. I’m a lucky woman!