Founder Profile: Emily Motayed Lancaster (WG16)
“This is my second business that I’ve started, and this one has a lot of Wharton grads on the cap table! The network and connections I made at Wharton certainly has helped Nurture& tremendously.”
Meet Emily Motayed Lancaster WG16, Founder and CEO of Nurture&, a premium, DTC nursery and family brand.
Emily was named to Forbes “30 Under 30” in 2017 after co-founding the interior design company Havenly with her older sister Lee Mayer. At that time, she didn’t know much about interior design — other than that she couldn’t afford it. She and Lee built a totally new business concept — for a flat fee, you get set up with your own personal interior designer who works with you virtually to decorate your home. By 2019, Havenly had raised nearly $60mm.
So — as soon as Emily found out she was pregnant with Olivia (pictured above!), her nesting instinct kicked in and she immediately started designing her nursery. Emily wanted to find pieces that were high-quality and gorgeous, but also focused on functionality.
Nurture& was born out of a desire to create thoughtfully designed and premium quality nursery furniture for modern parents. Emily interviewed hundreds of parents to come up with their first product — The Glider. This glider won the Good Housekeeping Award in 2022, and was just covered in Forbes as being the most versatile nursery glider. Nurtur& is now expanding their product line.
Tell us a bit about your company
Nurture& is a premium, direct-to- consumer, nursery and family brand.
What inspired you to start your business — what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?
I am a first time mom (my daughter, with my husband who was also WG16, is almost 2) and when I was pregnant, I realized how old school many of the nursery furniture products were and homogenous. Someone needed to redesign and shake it up for the millennial parent.
What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?
My previous company that I co-founded Havenly was also in the home decor space, so I live and breathe furniture.
What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?
Winning the Good Housekeeping Parenting Award for The Glider Plus!
What has been one or two of your biggest learnings so far?
That operating leanly in the consumer space forces you to be scrappy and innovative
What is an obstacle that you are grappling with as you continue to build this venture?
How to cut through the noise — there’s brand overload towards the consumer nowadays.
What has been the most rewarding thing about starting your own business?
This is my second business that I’ve started, and this one has a lot of Wharton grads on the cap table! The network and connections I made at Wharton certainly has helped Nurture& tremendously.