November's babywearing-related business feature is for a local mama and her mom! I love mother-daughter teams and it is exciting to see babywearers respond to their own needs and translate that into filling a void in the community!
You can GO SEE THEM this Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Ardent Sparrow Craft sale in the Woodcroft community hall in west Edmonton! That's right by my house so I'm crossing my fingers to pop in there between a consult and family dinner!
1) WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS'S NAME AND WHEN WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
NellaBee Handmade was established last spring, I think? That's around when we made our first sale.
2) WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED/BASED? DO YOU HAVE BUSINESS HOURS?
We work out of my mother's home in west Edmonton. We don't have a storefront or shopping hours, but you can contact us via facebook anytime for questions or purchases. We do have an Etsy page, but we prefer dropping off orders for locals- it saves them shipping and then we get to meet the people who are using our stuff!
3) HOW MUCH STAFF WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
It's just me, Erin, and my mother Phyllis. My mom does the hard work, the sewing and designing, and I do the online side.
4) DO YOU BABYWEAR? IF YOU DO/DID, HOW DID YOU START?
I started wearing my baby in a mei tai right away, I think we went for our first dog walk when he was two days old! I didn't really know a lot about babywearing before getting pregnant, but I was lucky to have a friend, Sarah, who knew all about it and normalized it for me right away. Anyway, I fell down the rabbit hole pretty quickly: after the mei tai I got a stretchy wrap, then a girasol, then a ring sling, then my husband got a Manduca, and finally I got into handwovens when I got my first Mama Minnow. We still reach for that mei tai though!
At first, when my mom saw me fumbling around with the stretchy wrap, she'd say that it looked like a lot of work. Once I got around to back carries, she remarked how much that would have helped her when she had her kids! She had twins though, so maybe not.
5) WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE BABYWEARING COMMUNITY?
The simplicity. When it comes right down to it, all babywearers are just parents who like to hold their babies close. No matter the brand, accessories, price, or look of the carrier, that's what we're all doing. I just love that, and I think our babies love it too.
6) WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START A BABYWEARING BUSINESS?
Well, my mom has always been an expert seamstress, and I've been getting her to whip things up for me my whole life: dresses, Halloween costumes, you name it. When I had my little boy in September of 2013, it wasn't long before I started thinking about how I'd need something to cover him up while I wore him outside. Naturally, I turned to my mom. After she made my vest, we started making them for other babywearing friends of mine, and things just went from there.
7) WHAT WERE THE VERY FIRST BABYWEARING PRODUCTS THAT YOU STOCKED/CREATED?
The first item my mother made was my babywearing vest, but the first item we officially sold was suck pads for soft structure carriers. After that came the teething bandannas, which are probably our best seller. My mom can't get over the fact that she now spends her time sewing items that are destined to get drooled on! We laugh about that a lot.
8) WHAT IS YOUR LATEST BABYWEARING-RELATED OBSESSION?
Shortly after discovering handwoven wraps, I went a little insane and got myself a 4 shaft floor loom. I've been working on learning how to weave ever since. I don't really see myself becoming a full time weaver or anything, but hopefully in a month or two I'll be able to share some simple woven creations on the NellaBee page!
9) WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BABYWEARER?
I would say seek out other babywearers. Learning any new skill is hard, and wrapping is no exception. I probably would have quit early on if not for Sarah and then for the Edmonton Babywearers facebook group. I think we are really lucky in this city to have such a fun and active babywearing community.
10) I'M A BIT OF A REALITY TV JUNKIE SO JUST FOR FUN, IF YOU COULD BE ON A REALITY SHOW (multiple choice list provided), WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
The Amazing Race