Business Profile: Melanie Herschorn of Udderly Hot Mama

Published in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

Nature of business: Udderly Hot Mama is a unique nursing top company. We design and sell fashionable shirts that allow moms to breastfeed discreetly, even in public.How long have you been in this business? Udderly Hot Mama’s website went live April 1, so being a “mompreneur” is a new gig for me. I am a journalist by trade. I earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and I’ve worked as a newspaper reporter and as a radio news anchor. I currently have a blog about mom and baby-related issues at www.udderlyhotmama.com and I write for other websites as well.What inspired you to go into this business? My daughter, Deanna, was the inspiration for Udderly Hot Mama. After I gave birth to her in November 2011, I was looking forward to getting my pre-pregnancy body back. But even as I shed the pounds, I couldn’t find stylish shirts that also allowed me to breastfeed comfortably. During one middle-of-the-night feeding session about five months in, I had an epiphany: I should design my own breastfeeding tops. After a lot of research and consultations with friends and family, I decided to go for it.Professional background: I have been a publicist in the entertainment industry, a news anchor on public radio and a newspaper reporter. I even did a short stint on an Emmy Award-winning reality show.

What obstacles have you overcome in your professional life? When I was five months’ pregnant, I (along with 20 other people) was laid off from a radio station. I was then tasked with finding a new employer in the industry that would take me on knowing I would be out again in a few months for maternity leave. Since I knew the local news scene well, I was fortunate to get a freelance position at a newspaper. The job soon turned into practically full time, although I had to leave it behind when I moved to Phoenix last year. My primary focus now is to grow Udderly Hot Mama.

What are your greatest accomplishments? To say that my greatest personal accomplishment is my daughter may sound cliché, but any parent can attest that there is no greater feat. Professionally, I am proud of the awards I’ve received for stories I’ve covered as a journalist. I do, however, believe my greatest accomplishments are yet to come.

What advice can you give other professionals? I believe networking is key to success in anything. You never know who you’ll meet and how they might have a positive impact on your life.

What role does Judaism play in your professional life? I strive to treat others as I would want to be treated. That is a commandment I abide by daily. I’ve worked for people who’ve shown little regard for their co-workers. It made for a stressful and frustrating experience. Everyone deserves respect.

Synagogue: My family moved to the area recently so we have been looking for a synagogue that will be the perfect fit for us. We think we’ve found it in Or Chadash.

City of residence: Phoenix.

Family: My husband, Evan Freedman, is a pain management physician at Arizona Neurological Institute. My daughter, Deanna, is 18 months old.X