Two years into this lovely craziness that is Hey Pomelo and I probably ask myself this on a weekly, even daily basis. Sometimes in despair but most of the time to remind myself what this is all for and where I hope for it all to go.
The answer really lies in how the business started, which was with the birth of my son; It was like that moment in the Grinch Christmas story, where the Grinch’s heart grows ten times the size. I think that is how to best describe it. Suddenly everything changes, your capacity for love grows in a way you didn’t think could ever happen, like becoming a big ball of raw emotion. I mean yes, you do feel that over the moon loving feeling (for me anyway, I know the experience is different for every new parent) but I started to see the rest of the world in a different way. The world looked at lot more broken through the eyes of a mother and to be honest, looking around I just started to feel overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, with too many stories of people using others resulting in general suffering. Stories of garment workers suffering to make our cheap clothes really stuck with me and I just plain wanted to believe that the world could be better, that there was still a chance at a beautiful life for our children. And so I started this business with a Hope, a Dream and a Wish…
A Hope as in; ‘Crap, I hope this isn't an epic embarrassing failure.’ Because when you start a small business of any kind, there is the inevitable risk of failure. Once you have put it out there, and told everyone that you are moving away from your almost 20 year career in food, the one you’ve obsessed over and worked yourself into the ground for, to sell organic baby bibs, it kind of needs to be a success. Or for the rest of your life you’ll have to hear about the time you started that crazy business and lost all your money and your dignity. Plus you’ll be broke so it’ll hurt even worse.
A dream, my dream, The Dream of having my own business where I am able to eke out some sort of a living making something great, that I really love and would be happy to show or give to anyone. The dream where I get to do something I love while being there for the people I love more than anything in the world.
The wish, that all the kids in my life could live a happy existence in a free society with fresh air, clean water and all that good stuff that makes life worth living. Those are the dreams we all share, the really big ones, a clean world where people can breathe freely, where farmers are paid a fair living wage to grow crops they are proud of. Where people in our own communities work and live happily, where the shirt on your back was not brought to you by the suffering of others.
So every day I work a little harder to make this dream happen, and do the things I can to support the big future we all wish for; Start my own business (and one day hope to employ other hard working Canadians). Support other small, green businesses by purchasing fabric and packaging in a way that is small, green and local. Support sustainable farming and ethically produced goods by sewing with fabric that is oeco-tex or GOTS certified, ensuring social and economic standards all along the supply chain.
That is why I am doing this, and will keep doing this until these goals are reached. Or until I hit that epic embarrassing failure, whichever comes first.