Co-founder & Vice-President, Product Strategy, Every Little Bit Eco-Shop Ltd.
Growing up, I was never one of those girls who dreamed of getting married and having children; in fact it didn’t cross my mind much at all. Not that I didn’t think I would or wouldn’t, but rather I just didn’t really think about it at all. I had a vision that family was just something that happened naturally and I was more focused on my professional success; I think I was taking my family for granted even before I had one.
Although I enjoyed work immensely, and worked hard at university – completing two bachelors degrees in both English and Psychology – I felt a void in my life that didn’t seem to be filled by career or educational success.
Then I met Ray; we had a fast romance…from friendship to dating to marriage. We hadn’t really decided on children; we figured we might some day but we were busy working hard, travelling and just enjoying ourselves. He was addicted to his job and I was done schooling and moved on to a variety of social activities. I began volunteering for an amazing organization (Soroptimist) jumping right in as Treasurer and then President for two years, I was training for and running in marathons every chance I got and I was becoming increasingly interested and active in environmental issues, all the while slowly changing the way my husband and I were treating the planet.
Five years later, it was time to decide; did we want to have children? We know the big question of having children traditionally should be answered prior to marriage. It is hard to say where we would be had one of us decided yes and the other decided no, but lucky for us we both decided it was something we wanted to experience. Two weeks later we were pregnant.
In August 2006 our stunning daughter Mckenna was born. I, of course, was in love with her immediately. She was a perfect baby – nursed easily, slept wonderfully, and rarely cried – everything a new mom could ask for. Although I loved her, I waited for those sought after “maternal instincts” to kick in. They never did. Fast forward to February 2009, our beautiful daughter Adelaine was born. She too is perfect…and I am still waiting for my maternal instincts to show up. Perhaps they never will; being a mom is a daily learning experience. We are thrilled to have two daughters and finally that void that I was working so hard to fill is gone. Being a mom is easily the hardest job I have ever had…harder than school, work and marathons put together. But being a mom is also the most rewarding job as well.
Everyone will tell you that having children changes your life. And it has. It challenges me in ways that no university class, job or marathon training could. Having kids inspires me to be better – at life, at parenting, at everything. My love for nature and for the environment became so intense once I met the very people who would be inheriting it directly from me. I began asking myself what I was leaving them – not only in the general sense of how beautiful the world we leave for the next generation would be – but also what was I teaching them about the world around them. I now know I need to teach them a respect and admiration for the world that I feel is sadly missing in today’s society. I also want my children to live as naturally as possible. When I began researching the chemicals in our lives, I was shocked and disturbed at the difficulty in finding alternatives to plastic, preservatives and chemicals so prevalent in our everyday lives.
I knew I couldn’t be alone in wanting to have healthy children who respect the earth and themselves. Through my volunteer work with Soroptimist (which helps women & girls locally & internationally), I met my current business partner Alison Ferguson. During a cup of tea, I discovered she had her own questions about living “green”. We are very different people, making us ideal partners in our new venture (or adventure, as we often call it). My frustration with a lack of access to the most basic of natural products matched perfectly with her concerns about the lack of natural products that were convenient and stylish. We soon realized the potential to start a store that could cater to the needs of people who are different shades on the “green spectrum”.
Our online store, Every Little Bit was born from our mutual desire to live healthier, offer choices to consumers and still have an active life revolving around family and volunteerism. We wanted everyday products that were conveniently green. Every Little Bit offers the mainstream shopper an easier way to “green” their lives. We research all products and provide an eco-rating to help shoppers make product choices that are better for themselves, their families and the environment – while not sacrificing convenience or style. You can find us at everylittlebitgreen.com.
I used to define myself by work. None of my colleagues thought I would be able to actually take a full year of maternity leave when I had Mckenna. All were very surprised that not only did I take a year, I returned to work only part time. They still seem to doubt I will take the full year maternity leave with Adelaine, and I guess they are right in a way because I am working on Every Little Bit, a new company, but work is not who I am. I am a mom. I like work, but my children bring me more joy, more laughs and more challenges than I could have ever imagined. They are and will be my greatest success. My life is completely different from anything I thought it would be. I will never take my family for granted. I have an amazing husband who offers me endless support no matter what adventure I dream up. I am so blessed with great friends, supportive parents and an incredibly inspiring sister who continues to teach me and guide me in my attempts at a greener life.
Every Little Bit fits in perfectly as it allows me to continue working and learning professionally while making better life choices for my family.
Every Little Bit
Everyday Products. Conveniently Green.
View the article on WestCoast Moms