Detroit Mom’s Local Love Spotlight: Michigan Family Doulas

Detroit Mom’s Local Love series highlights local women and the businesses they have built. We love supporting small business! Today’s Local Love Spotlight belongs to Jodi Graves, owner of Michigan Family Doulas.

To start, we asked Jodi to share a few fun facts about herself with us!

  • She is a long-time doula who started this work in 1999.
  • She owns the largest birth and postpartum doula agency in Michigan.
  • She is a clinical nutritionist and a huge fitness buff so in her free time, you can find her at the gym, lifting heavy weights with her honey!

We asked Jodi to share a little bit more about her business with us, too. Get to know Jodi and her business, Michigan Family Doulas, below!

How did you come up with the idea of your business, and how did you start?

“I have been a doula for a long, long time and only started this work after a horrific birth and postpartum experience, personally. I knew what I went through wasn’t okay and felt called to help others have a better outcome.

“I started as a birth doula way back in the day (some might say I am an OG doula!) and as time passed and postpartum care became a more normal thing, I added this support service to my roster too.”

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?

“I would have started an agency back in 1999 so that I could have had other doulas to build a community with!”

What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?

“Don’t get hung up on the small stuff . . . and it’s literally all small stuff!”

Have you faced adversity in business due to being a woman? How did you navigate that?

“I have absolutely faced adversity in business as a woman, but I have a circle of amazing mentors and friends who are where I want to be, so they have helped me navigate some of the more difficult things that have come my way. I am so grateful to know these women (and one man!).”

How do you persevere in challenging times?

“I take a breath and a moment to acknowledge how I ‘feel’ about what’s happening if needed. Then, I roll [up] my sleeves and dive in. The best way to handle a challenge is to get to work. Thank goodness for my mentors to help me along the way.”

What impact do you want your business to have?

“I want to be the owner of the largest doula agency in Michigan and serve the entire state! (check!) Then, we have the opportunity to reach as many birthing people and their families as possible and we can have a huge impact on birth and postpartum outcomes in our state. Birth and postpartum services in the US have so many things wrong with them and we have so many horrible outcomes, change is imperative!

“Plus–and this is a really sensitive subject for women and some will look down on me for this–I want to be successful and make a really good living so that I can help my children as they start their lives too.”

Photo by Brooke Leigh Photography

What are the pros and cons of being a woman business owner in 2024?

“The pros are that there are so many amazing women that have come before me (not just in the birth world but successful women in business) that I have people to look up to and utilize as mentors.

“The cons include the fact that this is still a bit of an old-fashioned society in that women aren’t ‘supposed’ to be successful business people. Society looks at women as though our purpose is to have children and families and that men are supposed to own businesses. To some extent, this will never change. However, because others have blazed a trail before me, I have so many mentors to help me overcome the stereotypes and feel more confident in the trail I am blazing.”

What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?

“Gather your resources and dive in. Don’t wait. The time is now! And . . . find your mentors and have conversations with them about where you are and where you want to be and let them offer you advice for your goals.”

What do you do for personal and professional development?

“I do have a couple of mentors–both female and male–that I call regularly. I take continuing education seminars and courses so that I am always improving. I don’t have much time for professional development podcasts . . . I mean, I am too busy listening to true crime podcasts. Isn’t that why podcasts were created? (haha)”

What mantra or quote do you live by?

“Let go of the small stuff . . . and it’s all small stuff!”

What’s your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?

“I have so many favorite places that change seasonally. We have the most amazing restaurants here so I try to explore new ones all the time. In the summer I love The Eastern Market in Detroit or to drive up north to experience all Northern Michigan has to offer. I do love the change of seasons here!”

Where can our readers find you on social media?

You can follow Michigan Family Doulas on Facebook, Instagram, and on their website!

We hope you loved getting to know more about Jodi + Michigan Family Doulas. Be sure to check out our previous Local Love Spotlight featuring Tamara + A Life You Love Now, LLC!

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Whitney Cornelli
Whitney lives in Rochester Hills with her hard-working husband, their three daughters, and their German Shepherd. She is an MSU grad (Go Green!) who taught elementary school before trading in her classroom to become a SAHM. At naptime, you can find her editing blog content for Detroit Mom and running the community groups on Facebook. She loves to find new places to take her kids to, and one of these days she will figure out how to get out the door in a timely fashion. She enjoys connecting with other moms and sharing the triumphs and struggles of motherhood with them!


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