Jossy Lee is the creator and mom behind the 2022 NAPPA Award winning board book, Mommy Goes To Work.
We recently chatted with Lee about her company’s mission and parenthood.
Please tell us a little about your company’s mission
Mommy Goes To Work celebrates working mothers and makes drop offs easier, one story at a time. This book series is the first offering from woom, an incubator nurturing working moms through credible insights, actionable solutions, and heartfelt inspiration.
What made you want to start this company?
Mom guilt and separation anxiety led my family to create Mommy Goes To Work. It creates a sense of togetherness, drawing connections between our days at work and at school. As we tested the story book with over 100 working moms and people who support them, we realized that there are so many opportunities to improve the working motherhood journey. We aim to drive innovation that supports working mothers so they can thrive at work, at home, and anywhere they aspire to be.
Did you have a mentor growing up? And what role did that person play in your life and your career?
My grandmother! While raising five children, she co-founded the first hospital in my hometown with my grandfather and built a successful career impacting many lives. Our next Mommy Goes To Work book is dedicated to my grandmother and all moms working at hospitals.
I was the third girl in my family and Chinese culture values boys a lot more than girls. My birth would have been a disappointment for others, but fortunately, my family was different. Grandma has always believed girls can be anything and everything. She is 93 this year and still active and curious—she has been learning bitcoin and loves using her Apple watch!
Best life advice you received growing up?
“Find your gift and give it to others.” I am a firm believer in combining your passion with your unique superpower, and using that to create things with purpose and meaning.
How has parenthood changed you?
My ability to switch from one task to another significantly increased. One time during the pandemic, I was changing a diaper the minute before I jumped into the zoom meeting room to host a board meeting—and it didn’t bother me at all! I am proud of my agility in managing my work and life to be the best I can be.
When not working, where will we find you?
Enjoying big and small things with my family in Boston or Taipei!
What would you tell your middle school self?
I spent a lot of effort trying to be like everyone else so that I could “fit in.” I would tell myself, “Stand out. Be you, be the unique you, and be the best you.”
Best advice on parenting you’ve received?
Involve kids in your work. My husband and I often talk about our work with our kids, fill them in on our projects and take them to our workplaces. We’re constantly amazed by their ability to come up with creative solutions. One time I shared with my then 4-year-old that I was worried my colleagues wouldn’t like a new idea I was about to propose. He said “Mommy, even if they don’t like your idea, I still think you are the best. You just tell them, let’s keep trying, don’t give up, and together we’ll find better ideas.” Wow!
What do you enjoy doing most with your family?
Snuggly story time. Reading together every night sparks conversations and our imaginations. Mommy Goes To Work was inspired by our love for storytelling and we hope it brings joy and inspiration to many families.