In 2012 at the age of 22 I became a single Mother. Not qualifying for maternity leave, I decided to live off my savings and stay at home with my new baby girl. Only I didn’t realize how quickly money went once you had a baby to care for. I had graduated as an Esthetician but I didn’t really enjoy it. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I did know I wanted to stay home and raise my daughter for as long as possible. When she was 4 months old I enrolled for a course called Women in the Workforce and met Nancy Allen (Snaz Designs) who was instructing the course. She would become my mentor and help me make my dreams come to fruition. In 2013, Close to the Heart was born. Originally a hand stamped jewelry shop, things quickly grew. In 2014 I expanded to a workspace in Artisan Village. In 2015 and the news of a second baby girl on the way, I expanded and built a She-Shed, or Shedquarters as I liked to call it. In 2017 I followed my passion of baby wearing and became a retailer for some very popular baby products. In 2018 I took my passion to the next step by becoming a Certified Babywearing Educator.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
I am most proud professionally when someone recognizes and appreciates my efforts to provide for the community with our events. Aside from retail we also have a community space which hosts a wide variety of parent/child based events such as Mothering Support, Baby Led Weaning and Mama Self Care which are hosted by Dr. Sarah Hardy Walsh, Kids Paint Night, Girls Empowerment Workshops, Car Seat Safety, Book Swaps and so much more.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
My biggest stage of growth was going from a 300 square feet Shedquarters to a 1500 square feet store. Growth had to happen, our community needed it and so did I.
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
PicklePlanetMoncton Podcast! It touches on some very important topics such as sibling rivalry, sleep training, and being touched out. It’s a must listen for any parent! However their episode about The Play Cafe Story with Marley McGinnis brought me to tears and made me speechless. I always appreciate when someone is candid, and they really brought a much needed spotlight into the overall health of our economy here and the importance of supporting small local businesses.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year?
To be completely candid - I've learned many lessons since opening the new storefront, but the hardest was learning I have been very naive, and it was sickening to me to realize how some people in business can take advantage of you and leverage you to their benefit.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
All the amazing, talented Mompreneurs in our community! They're what keep me pushing forward.
What would you have done differently?
I should have asked for more help when I needed it, but when something has your blood, sweat and tears in it, it's hard to trust others or step back.
What are the principles you live by?
I have found out first hand that one small step every day will get you where you want to be, surrounding yourself with the right people will make that process much quicker and more enjoyable! As an entrepreneur, it can be very lonely and stressful, and there aren’t always paycheques, so you have to make sure your heart is fulfilled along the way. Taking time to disconnect and be with who matters most is my top priority and that is reflected in our business hours, everyone that works here is a parent and family time for all of us is extremely important to me. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Momtrepreneur, Certified Babywearing Educator, Minimalist, Handmade & Local Lover, Feminist