Folks We Love with Susanna McMillan of Native Wilds
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here. Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Native Wilds grew right along with my family! My son Judah (3 years) and daughter Willa (2 years) are only 13 months apart which is the reason why I designed the Nest! I suddenly found myself needing so much baby gear to go out during the day and wanted items that were multi-purpose, easy to transport, and helped me to be hands-free!
Growing Native Wilds while simultaneously mothering two small babies has shown me how similar raising and baby and a business are! With any new dream, there’s that pregnancy phase where it’s just barely an idea and hard to articulate, but you begin to feel it stirring inside you and start longing to bring it forth. There are those tough newborn days where you’re doing so much work with little growth, but then things start to catch momentum your business begins to move without you having to carry it. You see it evolve into an extension of yourself that is out there communicating in the world and it’s a very magical experience to see how people respond to it.
Our family is based in Atlanta and we travel to Los Angeles every 6 weeks or so where the Native Wilds magic happens!
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
Right now, I’m really cherishing the walks we take as a family at the end of the day. My husband and I have a chance to talk, while Judah rides his balance bike and Willa pushes her baby stroller. It’s simple but definitely my favorite.
What are some things you really believe in?
After spending a lot of time feeling drained and out of balance, I’ve come to wholeheartedly believe how important it is for women to carve out time to stay connected to their passions and the things that make them feel alive when they become mothers. It’s easy to totally get lost in the daily exhaustion of raising kids and to feel “mom guilt” if you choose to do anything outside of the immediate needs of motherhood. I think that if you are honoring yourself and feeling fulfilled, then you are ultimately a happier, more present mother.
Where do your passions lie?
I am so passionate about empowering women which is the heartbeat of Native Wilds. Whether it’s designing products that make a mom’s day a little easier, or supporting our partner organizations that empower women in developing countries through job creation and maternal healthcare, it’s a part of everything we do.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Having kids is such an ego killer (in the best kind of way )and I think that our relationship has become much deeper and less self-centered because of it. We’re very intentional about taking time to be alone together and we value it so much more now because it’s not an every day thing!
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
I used to always live in the future, and I’ll forever be grateful to my children for teaching me how to consciously enter into the present just by observing how they experience life totally in the moment!
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
The most challenging thing about being a parent is not my kids, but how they are mirrors for things I need to work on in myself!
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
I hope my babies first live in a state of self-acceptance and love within themselves, and then can eventually go out into the world creating that environment around them.
Can you tell us more about the Nest?
The Nest™ is naturally derived, 100% USA made nursing scarf, car seat cover, shopping cart cover all in one with a handy, built-in pocket! Babies recognize colors and patterns as early as two months, so the Nest provides a familiar environment wherever life takes them! It was designed without tapered ends to offer light, flexible nursing coverage, so you can maintain eye contact with your babe while they nurse to establish a strong breastfeeding bond and help keep them focused on eating!
Fabric: Our eco-friendly, custom knit fabric is harvested from the raw wood of sustainably grown trees. We mill it from scratch right here in downtown Los Angeles. There’s really nothing it can’t do! is ultra-breathable, silky soft, temperature regulating, moisture wicking, hypoallergenic, and antibacterial. It’s 3x more absorbent that cotton, so whether it’s absorbing milk while your nursing, naturally keeping germs away on a shopping cart, or wicking rain off your car seat for that last minute errand, it can keep up with you!
The Nest was created by SAHM mom to Irish Twins, Susanna McMillan whose vision was to create a product that simplified motherhood and empowered women. The Nest™ is patent pending. Here you can learn how to use it.
Can you tell us more about Native Wilds?
We believe in U.S. manufactured products that are ethically made and locally sourced start to finish. We are proud to be part of the 3% of products made in the U.S and ensure our Nests are made by people we know and trust.
Dye House: We work with an eco-friendly dye house that uses solar panels to run their entire facility! Our Shibori Nests are each dyed by hand using non-toxic dye, so not one of them is the same!
Production: Our family run cut and sew factory is a few miles from our mill in downtown Los Angeles! Each Nest is handmade start to finish by local artisans!
Can you tell us more about your amazing giving back program?
When you purchase a Nest™, you are also investing in a lifesaving birth kit for a mother in a developing country! We donate $1 from each sale to our partner Worldwide Healing Hands who distributes Clean Delivery Kits and provides healthcare to women and children in the most underserved areas of the world. For centuries, a clean birth has been recognized as essential to the health and survival of both mothers and children. When babies are delivered in unsanitary conditions and without proper care, an otherwise healthy child can be at risk for getting an infection and possibly even death. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one million babies die from infection each year. Most births in rural areas of developing countries take place at home, often without medical assistance. In these settings, the Clean Delivery Kit can reduce maternal and child mortality, and begins a cycle of health and well-being that stretches much farther than the home it is used in. When women thrive, all of society benefits!