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Mother of Invention

First she took on the fashion world. Now Kristin Ahmer is the sweetheart of the “mompreneur” world.

Kristin Ahmer

Before becoming a mother, Kristin Ahmer worked in the action sports industry designing accessories. Eventually, she gravitated toward the production side of the biz, becoming a liaison between local companies and their overseas manufacturers.

But motherhood gave her a new opportunity: entrepreneurship. After another on-the-go snacking accident ruined her 10-month-old son’s clothes, Ahmer got an idea for a spill-proof, reusable squeeze pouch to hold homemade baby food and purees for children. That night, the first-time mom sat at her dining room table in San Clemente, sketching out the prototype for what would become the Sili Squeeze.

Eighteen months later, the first 5,000 Sili Squeezes filled her garage. The initial shipment sold out within four weeks, thanks to social media marketing and what Ahmer terms the Mommy Underground. “Moms and babies are our best sales reps,” she says. In less than two years since the first rollout, The Sili Co. has launched new items (containers for kids with special eating needs and a sports line out this summer called Sili Sport), opened in new markets (like Europe) and received testimonials (such as the one from a yogurt-loving, blind 9-year-old who was embarrassed to eat the snack at school until the Sili Squeeze).

To fund the firm, Ahmer and her husband used some of their savings and downsized their lifestyle. “I’m lucky to have a husband who is so supportive,” Ahmer says. She also was helped by something unusual—the sense of freedom generated by a near-death experience. She’d suffered from a bleeding brain after the birth of her first child (her tots are now 3 and 1). Surviving the close call, she vowed to “live every day as if it were my last.” She didn’t hesitate to follow her dream. Says Ahmer: “I had the tools and drive and courage to make it happen, so why not?”

Ahmer’s Hots
Dance party in the kitchen with my toddlers, date nights, red wine, finding inspiration in the little things

Ahmer’s Nots
Toddler tantrums, baby-sitter cancellations, sunburns, frowning