I have to be brutally honest here. This is a love letter to all of you, Babes in Arms’ customers. Forgive me if I get overly mushy, please.
The past five years of my life have been pretty unbelievable. I had secretly dreamed of owning a store since I was a kid, but I never believed that it was a real possibility. When the idea for Babes in Arms first came to me (when Neko was nine months old), it was simply, “I’m learning all these things (don’t wash your diapers in Gain; the baby’s knees should be up, not dangling while you wear her in the wrap; how to use a ring sling; which cloth diapers actually work at night) the hard way – and I’m so lucky to have resources like La Leche League and the Attachment Parents Village Calgary… what if there were a place in Calgary where parents could go and get the help they need with baby carriers and cloth diapers, and know that they were getting correct information, in a way that really helped them?”
The store always wanted to exist, and so, no matter how many times I told myself it was impossible, it came into being anyway. People appeared who had the same idea and the motivation and resources to make it happen, together. Once the ball was rolling, everything happened fast.
Babes in Arms was born in June 2007, when Neko was just 18 months old. We opened the doors to our first location in December 2007.
Some of you know us from that first year, when we had a 120 sq-ft. office space in the Birth Partnership midwives’ office. This was an amazing opportunity for us to start out. Starting small allowed us to manage our growth rather than growing too big, too fast. In those days, we were only open Tuesdays-Thursdays, and Saturdays! The best part of being in our first location was that we got to know our first clients on a very personal basis, seeing them through their pregnancies and up to their six-week post-partum appointment. People would regularly stop in just to chat. It was so lovely. Many friendships were born in that first year of business.
Jaime came on board in late 2008, and we have been partners ever since. Soon after, we moved into our current location in Mayfair Place. It has been an absolutely amazing four years of growth and change. We have changed our product categories somewhat, and brought in so many new and exciting products as well! We have extended our hours and welcomed many new staff. From the days when it was just two owners running the store front, we have grown now to two owners, a babywearing instructor, and nine staff members.
But, things are about to change. Jaime and I are each preparing ourselves for new opportunities and challenges come 2013. As of the new year, I will no longer be a co-owner of Babes in Arms. The store will be moving ahead without me, in the skilled and visionary hands of Jaime alone. Don’t worry! This doesn’t actually mean any changes for you, our clients! Our vision will remain the same. We will always remain committed to supporting families in attachment-based parenting and a more simple, natural and beautiful way of living. We will be in the same location, with the same staff, and the same commitment to education and service.
I might still stick around, in the store, for a while. Or, I might not. We don’t know yet. I’ll still be around, though. I have plans to continue to be involved in the attachment parenting and new parents world in Calgary, along with a few other career plans, and focusing more wholly on homeschooling Neko (who is now nearly seven!).
So, in short (she says, at the end of a really long post), I want to thank you all, sincerely. I have made so many amazing friends through Babes in Arms. I have met so many really incredible people whom I would not have had the good fortune to meet otherwise. You all scoff when I tell you I feel bad for not remembering each of your names, but it’s true – I feel like I know each one of you, and it feels strange when I can’t remember your name, because you are each so familiar to me. Every one of you has made this experience so wonderful, and I mean that.