As we are approaching Go Green Baby’s 15th year in business, our family’s 5th year running Go Green Baby (GGB), and coming up on the 3rd year of operating a business in a global pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and planning. It wasn’t a quick journey, but I wanted to share some of these contemplations.
I think one of the things that brings people back to our shop is the sharing of our stories and the lessons we can learn from each other.
Before stepping into the role of Go Green Baby owner, I was a regulated healthcare worker in the wellness and rehabilitation field for nearly a decade. I studied and worked hard to build my practice, and I loved it. It was also really hard on my body and it could be lonely at times. Despite that, it really filled me up to be able to provide meaningful help to people and to be able to teach others about their bodies. (It’s always bothered me just how few hours our public education system gives to learning about our bodies and how they work. We deserve to know ourselves!)
So, almost 5 years into owning and running Go Green Baby, I've found myself sitting with the question, “WHY? Why am I doing this retail thing?!” Of course I’m passionate about the need for local access to sustainable, practical, and high-quality necessities for young families. We need to turn around our shopping habits in order to turn things around for the planet. But there's more there.
I decided to start by stepping back and reflect on the HOW we got here.
I got a part-time job at Go Green Baby when my baby was 9 months old and I was just beginning to feel like I was getting my feet under me after a challenging pregnancy and postpartum period. We didn’t know many people as we had just moved back to Ontario from a number of years of island living in coastal BC. I had full intentions of building my massage therapy, yoga, and birth doula practice back up here in the Kingston area. Working at GGB was one of the things that kept me grounded; the incredible, supportive community I was introduced to and suddenly immersed in welcomed us with open arms.
There was really something special happening here and, like many of you, I couldn’t keep away! One couldn’t help but see that founder Natalie George had created an incredible business that started out of her garage in 2008. Each new family, soon-to-be parents, and grandparents coming in through the doors, fed this entity with the love and wisdom of generations past and made space for bright new hopes for the future. This place was and is so much more than your average baby store.
Of course GGB is a great spot to get trusted, sustainable and healthy products for your baby and family: but it’s SO much more. It’s a place to connect, learn, share, cry, laugh, remember, and feel safe. A place that recognizes your strength and power as you grow, birth, and breathe new life into the world. A place where you belong.
This is my why. I am here because someone needs to tend to the space that a community grows from and right now that's me. I believe my background in and passion for perinatal & postnatal care, rehabilitation and overall wellness has primed me for this opportunity. This space is evolving and growing in the ways it needs to and it always will. And one day, (hopefully far in the future!) it will be someone else's turn to take care of this little green baby.
After 3 years of operating in the breakneck speed of change a global pandemic deals, it is more obvious now more than ever, that the time is here to slow down, collectively regroup and figure out how we’re going to move forward. We don’t need to be tied down to how we used to do things. We can decide what we want to keep and what we’re ok with leaving behind. We can decide to keep doing our best to protect each other and hold each other up. We can come together, knowing when we leave, we all go home to different situations. And we can choose to respect, understand, and love that about each other. In some ways, we’re figuring out how to socialize all over again, right?!
I hope you'll continue to join us over the coming months and years as we are building a community studio space for small group gatherings. Let's spend some time with each other, healing, growing, sharing and learning. Thank you for being here with me and for joining us on this journey.