Who We Are

Cleftopedia was started by two mommies, Danielle Zierer and Dara Smith. Both mommies have cleft affected children only five days apart. They came together on the Cleft Mom Support Facebook group, where Danielle has since become an admin.  Although Danielle and Dara live on opposites sides of the country, the experiences they came across were almost identical, which created an immediate bond between the two.

One of the experiences they shared was the trouble they went through in selecting a cleft team. They got together and decided that they could help future moms facing the same troubles by creating a document with all the information that they wished they had. With the help of fellow cleft mommies on the Cleft Mom Support facebook group, they received over 200 submissions to create a list of cleft teams like no other. But it didn’t end there – what started as a cleft team list grew into so much more… and Cleftopedia was born. To find out more about how Cleftopedia came to be, you can read the Blog post from Danielle and Dara: A Word from the Founders.

The mission for Cleftopedia is to help new cleft moms with all of the choices they must make by offering a place to evaluate all options in one easy to read location. Cleftopedia is here to educate new and existing parents, and is in no way meant to sway anyone in any direction. Remember – you, the parent, are your child’s best advocate, and only you know what is best for your child. We’re just here to help along the way!

Meet the Team

Dara and Danielle are both second time moms, with their second child being bilateral cleft affected. To read more about their personal experiences, please read each of their blogs which are posted below. To find other moms in and around your area that are also going through the same things as you, please join the Facebook group, Cleft Mom Support.

Dara Smith


Mommy of two, Gemma and Isla (bilateral cleft lip & palate). From California. Web Development and Marketing. www.cleft-notes.com

Danielle Zierer


Mommy of two, Sadie and William (bilateral cleft lip & palate). From Pennsylvania.  Research Marketing and Social Media. www.cleftcutie.com

Nikki Hudson


Mommy of two, Maddy and Emmy (bilateral cleft lip & palate). From Washington.  Creative and event coordination

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