We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Natterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cara, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I am a pediatrician by training, who morphed into a writer almost by accident. I write parenting books and books for kids in middle and high school, but they all converge around one big theme: puberty. As I got deeper and deeper into that world – and as my own kids went through it – I found myself wondering why there wasn’t a company out there that made things specifically for kids whose bodies and brains were transforming? How was it possible that no one was aiming to make puberty comfortable, literally? So that’s why I started OOMLA – which stands for Order of Magnitude, Los Angeles. Because everyone grows by an order of magnitude that’s right for them. Felt like a doctor/writer/puberty expert could help.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started down a very prescriptive path: college then medical school then training and then practice. It was all amazing – a true gift to be part of people’s lives in such an intimate way. But I think the thing I am most proud of is having jumped off that path. I think of myself as the most risk-averse person I know, but then I look at my professional route and see that I’m am quite the opposite. Taking a risk, trying something new, being willing to fail… these are not things that were highly prized when I was growing up, but I treasure them today.
The biggest lesson I have learned is to trust my gut. To have faith in knowing what I know. Given my work-past, I can see holes in places that people don’t realize they exist. Filling those holes, solving those problems, has been amazingly fun. But far more often than I have succeeded, I have failed. I have spent months writing books that never saw the light of day (I learned the hard way that I am not meant to be a novelist!) and I have invested years in projects that fizzled in the end. But I am the person who always has seven irons in the fire, so when one flames out, I’m okay. The variety keeps me on my toes – there isn’t a day when I would ever describe myself as bored, which makes life exceptionally fun.
OOMLA is the ultimate act of throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick. I know kids want (and need) product specifically for their changing bodies. They have told me so for years. I also know they want content – not stuff written for their parents or packed with legal disclaimers, but real and accessible info. I am so lucky to be part of a book series read by millions of grade school kids, but there’s not a lot out there for older tweens and teens. With this brand, I took everything I knew and applied it in ways that no one had before. It’s intoxicating to read what’s on the site and wear my own products – I hope others love it as much as I do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my college roommates came for the weekend, this is exactly what we did (pre-COVID, of course, but life will get back to normal one day!) FRIDAY NIGHT: dinner at Gjusta in Venice, followed by a walk down Abbott Kinney and Main Street
SATURDAY MORNING: yoga at YogaHop (which is sadly gone now) and the coffee at Peets and Blue Bottle – yes, we compared and contrasted
SATURDAY DAYTIME: an LA driving tour, including West Hollywood/Melrose and points east/the Hollywood sign; then lunch at Urth Cafe
SATURDAY EVENING: a drive up PCH, walking on the beach at sunset followed by dinner at Malibu Farm
SUNDAY MORNING: biking on the bike path through Santa Monica, with breakfast stop along the way. Then back to the airport… with a drive-by of Randy’s Donuts so they could see the icon.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, for sure – particularly my kids! Everything I have done for the past 25 years has circled around child health and wellness, but there are 2 kids in particular that I would do absolutely anything for.