Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week we meet Glenview pediatrician Sarah Donahue who’s helping other mothers comfort their babies by making the transition into this big new world easier! Welcome Sarah!
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
I’m Sarah Donahue, a mom of three, a pediatrician, the founder of Mini Ducklings, and the creator of Soothie Sleeve! I am originally from Chicago and have lived in MI, SC and NC. I moved back home to Chicago (Glenview area) in July 2006 for work and family.
You’re a Mom! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have 3 kids, 18, 16, and 13. My son, Andrew, attends IU and is majoring in business. My daughter, Ellie, is 16 and loves acting and is excited to do a summer screen acting program at NYU this summer. And my youngest daughter Audrey is 13; she loves acting and horseback riding and is just about to learn how to jump on her horse, Peter!
We also have 3 dogs that we absolutely love, Riley and Molly (Goldens) and Chestnut (Cavachon).
What are one or two things people would be surprised to know about you?
People might be surprised to learn that I love to go to bed early (like 9pm!) and I started playing the piano again during the pandemic. I played in high school and it has been so fun learning again—my current favorite songs to play are Memory and Sonatina.
What are your favorite local stomping grounds to hang with the kids?
My kids are older now so they do their own thing a lot! When they were little we spent tons of time at the Kohl Children’s Museum and the library. Pre-pandemic we loved going to the movies together (especially Northbrook court with the reclining chairs). We also love going for walks with our dogs and love to go out to eat.
What are your favorite local “date-night” restaurants?
Definitely Wildfire and Bluefish! Every time we branch out, I always wish we had gone to those faves instead!
Please introduce your professional endeavors. How did you get started in your field? What did you do before this?
I am a pediatrician and love working with families and caring for children. I worked in private practice in South Carolina from 2003-2006; when we moved to Glenview, I started working as a pediatric hospitalist. I am still practicing medicine today.
In December, 2020, I had the idea for my product, Soothie Sleeve™ and I literally had to make it a reality. I started Mini Ducklings™ and went to work on Soothie Sleeve!
Soothie Sleeve is a pediatrician-designed, patent-pending, scientifically- supported plush animal line which uses a parent’s scent to comfort their child when they are apart.
Here’s how it works:
- Wear sleeve to absorb parent’s scent
- Place sleeve on plush animal as a t-shirt
- Parent’s scent comforts child when apart
I’m thrilled to announce that my website www.miniducklings is live for pre-orders for May delivery. Early orders get a discount! And I’m already hard at work developing a second product line as well.
What is the most rewarding thing about this endeavor?
I have loved learning something completely new and building something for myself. In medicine everything is very structured and one thing leads to another. I am excited and energized learning something new and creating a product that will help both parents and their children when they have to be apart for any reason.
Who are your influencers and/or mentors that have helped you get to where you are today and/or continue to inspire you?
My parents are both quite entrepreneurial, and I think that sparked an interest from a young age. My dad is also a pediatrician and always ran his own practice in addition to his side interests, which included a school success center and a bank. My mom is a teacher and also ran several businesses including a second-hand store with her mom and a fun balloon business.
What advice can you give other mothers out there who are looking to start a new business in the current climate?
I would say that if you have an idea within your expertise that you are passionate about, truly believe in, and it will bring good into the world, then go for it! It is super scary but also the most amazing experience.
Strangest thing in your purse right now: dog poop bags! Lol
Last book you read: The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella
Your Current Binge Series: I just finished Love is Blind on Netflix and I love all of the Below Deck seasons. My husband and I also love to watch Amazing Race and Survivor together.
What’s on the horizon for you both personally and professionally?
I still love my work as a pediatrician and plan to continue working clinically. I also plan to grow Mini Ducklings and my dream is to appear on Shark Tank!
Thank You Sarah! How can we connect with you for more information?
About Our Meet a Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here!