The Rising Popularity of Push Presents: Podcast Episode #198
Kristin Revere chats with Melissa Mor of Mrs. Push about the rising popularity of push presents. You can listen to this complete podcast episode on iTunes, SoundCloud, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Welcome. You’re listening to Ask the Doulas, a podcast where we talk to experts from all over the country about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting. Let’s chat!
Kristin: Hello, this is Kristin with Ask the Doulas, and I am here to chat with Melissa Mor. Melissa is the founder of Mrs. Push. Her passion for fine metals and gems began at an early age. Her loving family celebrates every milestone with a gift of fine jewelry. Melissa still treasures her first bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, each of which carry a special memory. Melissa is on a mission to make push present gifting simple. Mrs. Push was born following Melissa’s husband’s frantic, unsuccessful search for a personalized push present that he found overwhelming. Melissa recognized an opportunity to streamline the gifting process. She stocked Mrs. Push with endless customization options featuring signature birthstones, sculpted initials, and engraving services. Melissa also pays tribute to the unique mother daughter bond with a showcase of related upscale jewelry for moms and their babies. Not everyone who has a baby is a Mrs. Melissa believes that all women should be honored for their labor. Melissa curates jewelry that pays tribute to the diverse families of today. As a former fashion buyer, she selects on trend jewelry with the mindset that it can become a unique family heirloom. Mrs. Push is Melissa’s labor of love. Welcome, Melissa!
Melissa: Thank you.
Kristin: I love the story of your business and how you had an unmet need and created exactly what you needed for your family. I would love to hear more about your journey as an entrepreneur and also a mother.
Melissa: Sure. Back in 2020, my family and I had moved from New York to Atlanta during COVID, and I knew that I wanted to start a business, and I was just kind of playing around with different ideas and what would work, and I kind of had that ah-ha moment. I was sitting on the couch with my husband, and I was pregnant with my third. And it became this running joke – and I’ll get into the story, I guess, later about my push present saga, how I never really got one, and I told him, well, what am I getting for my push present for the third one? Like, we need to do it big. I haven’t gotten anything for the other two kids. And he was like – we kind of looked at each other and it was like – we were like, wait. This is the business. There is no one stop shop of somewhere that you can send me that I know I’m going to get something a little more meaningful than what you would get at a traditional jeweler’s. You know, everything we have a birthstone added or an initial or a name. Or it can even be a regular diamond with an inscription of a name. We can really customize everything. So that’s where the idea was born, and since then, I kind of went with it and have kept going.
Kristin: I would love to hear what is the latest as far as trends. What are you seeing more orders of?
Melissa: I’m definitely seeing a lot of stackables, like things that you can add on as you have kids, which was also one of my issues when I – with my first because I knew I wanted to have more kids. I was like, do I get one beautiful piece that has his name when I know that I plan to have more kids? So I think stackable, like rings with initials, are great. Also, I have these birthstone hearts that are great because you can just layer on and you can add initials, so you don’t have to feel like you’re investing and then you’re going to have to buy the same exact thing, or you’re not going to have one for your next child or have to wait until you’re done having kids. I feel like those are all great options. As well, we’re seeing client-owned stones, like revamping family stones, which is something that I didn’t expect.
Kristin: Oh, I love that!
Melissa: Someone will say like, oh, this was my mom’s stone. I’d love to create it into a ring for a push present or something that has a little more meaning, and then we can engrave the kid’s initials on the bottom of the ring. So I’ve definitely been doing a lot of that.
Kristin: And then with again the fact that it can be a family heirloom – I had never really – you know, when talking to clients who’d received push presents or with baby registry consultation clients, it’d never really come up to have it be something you can pass down one day to your children and their children. That’s such a beautiful sentiment.
Melissa: Thank you. Yeah, my five year old daughter is waiting – because I have all their initials – is waiting until the day she can have hers. Every day she asks me, can I have it now? When I turn six? I said no, not yet. Maybe when you turn 16.
Kristin: Yeah. And I love we got connected through Hey Mama, and I had been interviewed in an article about push presents, so we had a chat. But really, the average price point that I was seeing was around $200. I know that you work with a variety of budgets, certainly especially with the engraving or custom gems, and that would be pricier. But what are you seeing with your clientele and their average budget?
Melissa: I would say we’re around $600 to $700 for a traditional initial necklace or if you got a few stackable bands. But we’re able to work with any budget. If someone loves a necklace and they want to do it a little smaller, the gold will weigh less, so the cost will come down. So we’re really open to making your push present dreams come true, and I just love to chat with other moms about this story because I think about push presents because I think it’s just so – everybody has a funny story. No matter what it is, it’s like I didn’t get one, or I got one and my husband totally messed it up and bought something so ugly, you know, or wow, they did such an amazing job, and they bought the most special piece. Everyone has a story, and I feel like it’s just so interesting to hear everyone’s stories.
Kristin: Yes. And I would love to hear your personal story of when you received your push present. Was it immediately after the birth? I’ve seen different scenarios or heard them if I wasn’t in the room when my client received it. So I would love to hear what you are hearing from not only your clients but your own personal story of when you received it. Was it immediately after baby was born? Was it quite some time later?
Melissa: My story is a little different because I didn’t end up getting really a push present, and then I started the business. So I ended up ordering everything in my kids’ birthstones in samples for the site. So I went from having zero push presents – I couldn’t decide on anything, and for me, it became this obsession of it needed to be perfect because let’s say you get married and you get an anniversary band or something like that. There’s always another anniversary that you can make up for it. But this felt like such a big decision. My friends for years were sending me Instagram links. Could this be it? Could that be it? And I just didn’t find the piece. And then when I started curating for the site, I really got everything in my kids’ initials and their birthstones, so now I went from zero push presents to 100 push presents.
Kristin: I love it. Yeah, I never had a push present. I don’t think it was a thing when I had kids. I didn’t really even have many friends – I had some friends who received jewelry and so on, but my kids are coming up on 11 and 13 soon. It is definitely more of a recent trend that I am seeing and hearing about, and I love your take on it again about having it be an heirloom and not just a reward for pushing a baby out or having a surgical birth; just a really beautiful way to remember that special moment and cherish your child that you worked so hard to bring into the world.
Melissa: Right. Some people will say, well, isn’t my baby the push present? Or sometimes the husband will say that, or sometimes a dad will say that. Sometimes the mom will say that. But for me, it’s not really about, like, what am I getting. It’s not about receiving something. It’s about just having something to have that memory and being able to hold onto, wow, I remember when I got this, and everything that I went through and the experience that I had.
Kristin: Yeah. And Melissa, I would love to hear more about your mother daughter sets and how that came about and when you’re seeing that gifting done. Is it for a birthday or special holiday or – yeah, I’d love to hear more about this trend.
Melissa: Yeah, so that I’ve seen mainly for birthdays. We’re fairly new. I only really launched around last holiday season, so I hadn’t seen any orders of those yet at the holiday time. But I have been seeing it for birthdays, and that really just came about knowing my daughter, who – by the time I started working on the business, she was probably three and a half, and by the time I launched, she was four. And she’s just into everything. I mean, she could spend hours, even as a baby, in my jewelry box just going through everything, taking it out, putting it back, nonstop. So when I found some pieces that were for kids – I have one style that’s like a kid’s bracelet and another that’s a mommy and me. I knew that would just be a hit because what daughter doesn’t want to match their mom? At least when they’re little; not when they’re older.
Kristin: Yes, and I see so many matching outfits, especially – even for 4th of July recently, there were so many cute mother-daughter outfits out there, or entire family matching outfits. It’s not just the annual family portrait anymore.
Hey, Alyssa here. I’m just popping in to tell you about our course called Becoming. Becoming A Mother is your guide to a confident pregnancy and birth all in a convenient six-week online program, from birth plans to sleep training and everything in between. You’ll gain the confidence and skills you need for a smooth transition to motherhood. You’ll get live coaching calls with Kristin and myself, a bunch of expert videos, including chiropractic care, pelvic floor physical therapy, mental health experts, breastfeeding, and much more. You’ll also get a private Facebook community with other mothers going through this at the same time as you to offer support and encouragement when you need it most. And then of course you’ll also have direct email access to me and Kristin, in addition to the live coaching calls. If you’d like to learn more about the course, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check it out at www.thebecomingcourse.com. We’d love to see you there.
Kristin: So any advice for dads who may be listening on how to curate – I know your husband really tried to find you the perfect gift and wasn’t able to match your needs, so of course, again, you created this business. But how can we help dads out or partners in this process?
Melissa: Well, first of all, that’s where I come in. So if a dad is interested in buying a push present and they’re not sure what direction to go, first of all, they should reach out to me. We can go through pictures of the mom-to-be, and we can – like, I can help with their style and see what they look like they would gravitate towards, and we can go from there. They may know that she wants a name plate. They may know that she wants something with a birthstone or that she wants a ring. And then we can kind of curate from there. But that’s what I’m here for, and I’m happy to help all dads to kind of hone in on what the perfect gift it.
Kristin: And it sounds like it doesn’t need to be selected and given immediately after the birth, like at the hospital, or if it’s a homebirth, immediately upon delivery. It can be given at any time near that postpartum healing phase?
Melissa: Yeah, I think so. I mean, a lot of times, the women will be involved. It’s not like the dad is going out to surprise the mom. That would be great, but it’s not often the case. I do also have a feature on my site for drop a hint. So if you’re a mom or a mom-to-be and you’re browsing on the site and you see something you like, you can drop a hint and sent it.
Kristin: That’s incredible. Yes, I noticed that on your site. It’s great.
Melissa: Yeah, so you may be in between three or four styles, and you can send it to them, and they can come to me and tell me, okay, this is what she likes. How can we – you know, maybe we want to custom something. How can we combine all the elements of all these and create something? Or which one do you think is the best if she’s a new mom, doesn’t have any other kids, and she’s really going to be a stay at home mom? What’s great for wearing around with kids that might be tugged on, that will last, all of that.
Kristin: Yes. So any other things that you’re seeing or hearing about or that you did for your own children beyond the typical push present to commemorate the birth of a child? Are you hearing of any other ideas or as you’re doing research, coming across anything beyond – you know, planting a tree or a flowering plant? Are you hearing of anything else?
Melissa: Yeah. I personally didn’t really do anything else. With my oldest, I did encapsulate my placenta, so I had them, like – they made a little memento from that. With my others, I didn’t. But what I am seeing is different types of mementos that eventually I would like to bring on the site. I didn’t currently have that. Right now, we’re strictly jewelry, but as we grow and expand, it’s something that I’m interested in doing. I’ve seen some gorgeous – almost like a treasure box, like a memento box, and you can put in the first onesie, a clean diaper, some pictures, just things to have that – like a time capsule almost.
Kristin: Yes. And they have the clay footprints and handprints and different mementos and gifts. Some people make lockets with their breastmilk, or again, there are different placenta prints and things that can be included in a box like that. That’s great.
Kristin: I know that my mom had lockets for each of us – like, my siblings and myself with our newborn picture in the locket.
Melissa: That’s so special.
Kristin: Yeah, and I have mine, and it is so special. Of course, I did not think to do that for my own children. Let’s get into a bit more about your own story, since you are willing to share a little bit about your individual births.
Kristin: With your first birth, how did everything go compared to how you imagined and planned for your birth?
Melissa: I guess you really can’t plan for birth. I think that’s the common theme. I had hired a doula, and I planned for an unmedicated hospital birth, since it was my first. I didn’t really know what to expect. And in the end, I apparently – and this will be the theme through the other births – I have terrible prodromal labor.
Kristin: So you were exhausted, obviously, with the starting and stopping and contractions spacing out. I like to call it a little bit of warm-up labor, so your body’s taking a bit longer to get going.
Melissa: Yeah, so I had a very long labor with my first. I was planning an unmedicated birth, but I hadn’t slept in, like, three days. I had a doula. She would come with me to the hospital. We would go back home, the whole thing. Finally, by the time – one night, I was just so frustrated, I was like climbing up and down my bed, and I guess my bed was a little bit higher, that all of a sudden, when I got down from the bed, my water broke, and I said finally, that’s it, they’ll accept me in the hospital.
Melissa: That was with my first. So we went, and I ended up not even – like, I went, and we checked in and everything like that, and they told me, like, okay, you can call the doula now, and I was like, no, because they had given me the epidural, and I said, okay, no, I want to sleep. So by the time I woke up, I was ready to push, and I was like, oh, I don’t even know if I need her now. I’m fine. So I think I called her, and I was like, if you want to come, you can. If you don’t want to come, I got this. And that was that. Then with my second, I had a very interesting situation. I had vasa previa, which is – you probably know how to describe it better than I do, but if my water was to break on its own, the baby wouldn’t survive. So I had to have a C-section at 36 weeks. And I was not so happy about that because I didn’t want a C-section, but not only because of that, I just didn’t – you know, I thought 36 weeks was too early. Risks of having to be in the NICU and all of that. But in the end, I had to get a steroid shot for her lungs.
Kristin: That makes sense, yep.
Melissa: I mean, I don’t know if that was it, but I got that, and then she was born and totally fine and we were able to avoid the NICU and all of that stuff, also.
Kristin: That’s wonderful that you avoided a NICU stay with her and were able to bond and connect and feed right away.
Melissa: Yeah. And then with my third, I was planning a home birth, but because I had a – it would be a VBAC. I had dual care at a regular OB and a midwife, and we had the pool set up and everything, and I was in active labor. My midwife came, and I didn’t have such a great experience with her when she showed up. She was kind of like making demands and making me a little bit nervous and saying that certain things weren’t set up properly to my husband and all that kind of stuff. And that’s it. My body shut down. Labor stopped.
Kristin: Yeah, you need to feel safe in your space to labor, yeah.
Melissa: Yeah. I started to get red flags from her towards the end. She was just, like, very abrupt and blunt, and I guess it was fine while I was going through my appointments and everything like that. I thought it was funny. But when it came time to me being in labor, it wasn’t funny. So she ended up sleeping at the house. Like, we thought, okay, we’d wake up in the morning – we thought I was almost ready to push, but everything stopped. So at that point, she was trying to encourage me to go on a walk and everything like that, and I know ultimately – oh, I forgot this part: my water had broke. So because it’s a VBAC and all of that, we had to pay attention to the time frame. And she said I was still good, but I was a bit nervous that we were cutting it close, that I would get to the hospital and I was going to need a C-section just on the fact that my water had already broke. So after we gave it a little while and we started walking and doing some things and nothing really changed, I said, you know what, I’m just going to the hospital. And that’s what happened. They had to give me pitocin, which was insane. For any mom who has had that – it was like out of a movie, one of the craziest experiences.
Kristin: Yeah, it can intensify and make the contractions closer together and stronger, certainly, than your own body.
Melissa: Yeah, it went from zero to a hundred. It was like everything had stopped, and then all of a sudden – I mean, I think it was about, like, 40 minutes and she was out, from giving me the pitocin. They said they’d never seen anything like it.
Kristin: Your body just needed that.
Melissa: Yeah. We didn’t know the gender, but it was so, like, crazy that when the baby comes out and they’re cleaning her off and everything like that, and I’m like, guys, is it a boy or a girl? Totally forgot because it was just so crazy.
Kristin: Yeah, that is quick! So you had three totally different stories, and yeah, different experiences from working with a midwife with the hospital, transfer by choice, to birthing in the hospital to a surgical birth for medical reasons. Yeah, that is – it definitely shows how unpredictable, and as much as we plan, sometimes we just have to release some control. But one key point is trust your instinct as moms, and I’m sure you again mentioned you had some warning signs that the connection wasn’t there, and you need to feel trust and really feel like your provider has your best interests and you feel safe birthing with them. You can always obviously switch providers, even at the last minute. It may be difficult, but you don’t need to accept that if you’re feeling like it isn’t a good match.
Melissa: Yeah, I would just say use your intuition because it’s usually never wrong.
Kristin: Exactly. Yes, so true. So, circling back to push presents and your business, Mrs. Push. Any advice for our listeners, again related to communicating what you want for a push present or really trying to look at how to have something beautiful to pass down to your children one day?
Melissa: Yeah, well, first of all, I wouldn’t be shy to communicate what you want, if you know what you want and you know the style you want, even if it’s something you may not be able to get right away or you can’t necessarily afford at the moment. As long as you know what you want, not to give up on the style and idea of what you have. It can always be done. But a lot of times, what I’ve seen moms do is settle on something and then – or they don’t really like it, and then they don’t voice their opinion. This also goes for engagement rings. I’ve seen that happen, also. And then you say, okay, for my one year anniversary, I’m going to upgrade, or with my next baby, I’m going to get something that’s exactly what I wanted, and then life happens and you don’t. So I think the most important thing is to really – if you know what you want, vocalize it.
Kristin: Yes. Totally agree. And the engagement ring is a great example of that.
Kristin: So Melissa, how can our listeners find you?
Melissa: So on Instagram and TikTok, we are @shopmrspush. You can go to our website, which is mrspush.com. And if you’re interested in customizing anything, there’s a customize form. You can email me, ask any questions. And we’re also offering a coupon code for all Gold Coast Doulas clients or podcast listeners, which is GOLDCOAST15.
Kristin: Yes, thank you so much for offering such a wonderful discount to our listeners and doula clients! That is very generous! Will that expire in time, since this podcast will be continuing on for many years?
Melissa: It’s for a little while. I believe as of now, we had set it for six months.
Kristin: Okay. So basically, it will still be good through 2023, but if you’re listening beyond 2023, then just go directly to the site and see what kind of sales there are then.
Melissa: Yeah, or they can always reach out to me if it’s a one-off situation and we can honor it.
Kristin: Yeah. Well, thank you so much. I really enjoyed our chat, Melissa, and appreciate all of the work that you’re doing in curating such beautiful items.
Melissa: Thank you for having me.
Thanks for listening to Gold Coast Doulas. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If you like this podcast, please subscribe and give us a five-star review. Thank you! Remember, these moments are golden.