MERIDEN — Losing her job during a pandemic and at home with two young daughters, Taira Cominsky was inspired to create a baby goods collection that is safe and aesthetically pleasing.
“It was when we got our first stimulus check,” Cominsky said. “I used all of that and kind of just started the business. I didn’t have a job because of COVID and my boyfriend also wasn’t working.”
Cominsky had worked as a nanny but because school was closed and with summer vacation, she was out of work.
“I already knew as a mom what kind of products would be functional, but also look nice in the house,” the city resident said. “I went towards that because it was something I knew and could relate to myself.”
Modern Mama sells utensils, bowls, plates and more online. The baby goods are all FDA approved, toxin free and made from 100 percent food grade silicone. The products are dishwasher safe and microwavable.
Cominsky has two young daughters, London Rain, 3 and Rowyn Capri, 1, who often model for the company’s photos on Instagram. She said being home with them and running her business is not always easy.
“It’s very hard,” she said. “They don’t go to school, so they are with me all day. I also work another job as a nanny so they come with me to that. I usually do most of my work at night.”
Cominsky said she has noticed an increase in traffic and support for Black-owned businesses following the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement in the last year.
Her business page currently has over 8,000 followers and she said products sell out quite fast.
“I feel like after the Black Lives Matter movement, people really put a focus on my company because I’m Black-owned, woman-owned and young,” Cominsky said. “That’s when everything took off on social media because a lot of influencers were posting and acknowledging the business.”
The Modern Mama owner said she has noticed that in Meriden, many of the successful Black-owned businesses were led by Black men. One of those businesses is run by her father Khalim Hunt.
Hunt owns Summer Time Shine, a mobile detailing business that began 11 years ago. However, Hunt soon realized that detailing is a seasonal business. The father of three now also owns STS Maintenence.
“I started a landscaping business by accident,” Hunt said. “It did better than the detailing business so I just stuck with both of them. I started plowing first just to supplement my income because that’s what I’ve always done, I know how to do that. One thing led to another and the landscaping business took off.”
He does work in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire but also travels as far as Bristol. He is currently revamping his business and website for potential customers.
Hunt said it feels good to see his daughter following in his footsteps.
“I’m proud of her. I’ve always told her as a kid, sometimes you have to open doors for yourself,” he said. “Especially people of color, we kind of have to make our own way.”
Cominsky said her dad really influenced her to start a business of her own. Moving forward, Cominsky said she doesn’t want to open her own storefront, but she has a few goals in mind.
One new product the business will be introducing soon is a toddler backpack, decorated with small children of different races and hairstyles that says “Raised Kind.”
“I definitely see it mostly online,” she said. “I do eventually want to get it into stores like Target and Walmart and wholesale through them. I’m starting off with food but eventually, I want to get to every section of the house, like bath toys, clothes and go up from there.”