January's babywearing-related business profile is for a company that is new to babywearing but is quickly becoming a major hit! I first met Jeanette Puttick of Fit Communit at strollercize with the City of Edmonton, where she was a trainer. The next summer, my friend Katelyn told me about an exercise class she was taking in the evenings called Barre. After one class, which seemed easy to look at, I was convinced: barre was hardcore. And I like hardcore. Somehow, my body got a serious workout without needing my asthma inhaler! Long story short, I am now the babywearing educator that helps Jeanette teach Baby & Barre! It has been so rewarding to do so, not the least of which because I've witnessed Jeanette's love of babywearing grow since the classes begun!
Fit Community's Facebook Page
1. What is your business's name and when was it established?
My business name is called Fit Community (formerly Community Bootcamp), and it was started in May 2013.
2. Where are you located/based? Do you have business hours?
I offer classes in Edmonton communities of Holyrood, Old Strathcona, Bonnie Doon, Belgravia and most recently Millwoods.
3. How much staff work for your business?
Just myself and my husband who does most of the admin side of things. Though recently it's been a wonderful to partner with Portage Babywearing for two of our Barre with Baby classes. The support added to the babywearing side of the class is invaluable!
4. Do you babywear? If you did/do, how did you start?
Before my daughter was born, over 5 years ago now, my husband and I did some thorough research on the best carriers out there. We ended up buying the Beco Butterfly, which we have used since. I don't think we ever used it to its maximum potential until now, three kids later, with my youngest being one. I was only really familiar with the front carry, and until teaching Barre with Baby classes, had not considered wearing my babe on my back. It turns out he really enjoys it, and I've made a point of carrying him this way on our walks, or during Christmas shopping at the mall. I also own a Ring Sling and wore my babies in it the first couple months but always found once they got heavier I couldn't wear them for as long.
5. What do you love about the babywearing community?
I love how supportive the babywearing community is of one another - how welcoming and intentional they are about building community.
6. What prompted you to start a babywearing business?
I have taught a variety of fitness classes, but after being certified in Barre a year and a half ago when I was pregnant with my third, I began to experience and realize the benefits of the genre as a prenatal and postnatal workout. I started offering Barre classes and I had a lady attend class wearing her newborn and was inspired! She did amazing - her baby enjoyed being cuddled up to his mommy. I had been certified in pre and post natal fitness for several years and was able to offer modifications so she could participate in class. In return she was able to get the most out her workout and had the extra challenge of her baby's weight along her torso.
7. What were the very first babywearing products that you ever stocked/created?
Barre with Baby fitness classes
8. What is your latest babywearing-related obsession?
His name is Declan ;) . . . I'm savouring wearing my last babe while I can . . . they grow too quickly and my little guy really likes to snuggle!
9. What advice would you give to a new babywearer?
Try out a variety of different carriers and seek out the advice of somebody who has experience and can help you get the most out of your babywearing. Reflecting back, I probably would have worn my oldest two a little more or a little longer had I known what I know now.
10. I am a bit of a reality TV junkie so just for fun, if you could be on a reality show, which of these would you choose? (Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, The Real Housewives, Naked & Afraid)
The Amazing Race