This story starts off in a busy startup accelerator at the centre of Toronto where you can hear the loud clanking of keyboards and sales meetings taking place in the middle of the open office space. Dev teams were working out hard problems while support teams were frantically putting out fires. I fondly remember our team crammed besides each other, elbow to elbow, making sure that they do everything they can to get five star reviews from our clients.
This is where Fiona and I first met, working late nights sharing a desk where our mission was helping small e-commerce stores succeed. Here, we learned each other's work ethics, the way the other thought, and became friends in the process. Oftentimes, we’d step out onto Dundas Square where sunlight has been replaced by the lights of advertisements and say goodbye only seeing each other a few hours later. And then we became family.
Fast forward 2 years later, we got some news. We were both going to be moms to babies in the same year! For me it was unexpected and my husband and I made the decision to move back to our hometown so our parents can experience being grandparents. Tough choice and we thought it was the right one. I think it’s still up for debate most days but this is a whole different story.
Before being a mom, I always heard that being a mom changes everything. Before working at the start up, I worked at another tech company with the average age being older and two of my coworkers became moms and wanted to quit their jobs to be full time moms. I brushed it off. A baby will definitely not change this independent woman. But was I ever wrong. I now am responsible for a small, beautiful human. Everything I do will affect her life. During her naps and feedings, which TBH was most of the day, I’d stare at her perfect little face, and think: eventually she’ll grow out of only drinking milk and napping in my arms to make her content. What can I do to make her the happiest little human as she grows and what does that mean?
With raging hormones and lots of tears, I thought of traits I often associated with happy people. These included: loved, confident, smart, kind, and curious. Great, but how do I get her to be those things. At this point, I was listening to hours of classical music to develop her brain and followed upwards to 50 (!) mom bloggers/influencers on IG to teach me how to be the perfect mom with lessons on how to talk to your baby, sensory activities, and exercises for their tiny bodies. One day unshowered for the 3rd day in a row with my hair again in a messy bun, I came across a post that stuck, I forgot who it was from but the story goes something like a mom saw her daughter judging herself in the mirror and was horrified but then remembered her own attitude towards herself the other day when her daughter was in the room. The post goes on to talk about how you are your children’s first role model and your behaviour builds them. I reflected back on myself and my self care routine the months after my daughter was born and thought back to the dream 16 year old me had of owning a fashion company that helped women but kept getting pushed back because of fear. And this woke me up. Am I who I want her to look up to?
This started the conversation with me and Fiona. Knowing that her parenting style was similar to mine, I talked to her about the challenges of motherhood, dreams for our daughters, and what were our thoughts for next steps. Both in our mom uniforms of sweats, t-shirt, and messy bun, we agreed we wanted our daughters to be proud of us, for our daughters to have the best role models we can be. And this led us to countless days/nights dreaming of a company where we create possibilities, empower, and lead change. It’s evolved from idea to idea but we are in love with this one (and we hope you are too).
We call our newest baby ellylla. The name combines our inspiration, our daughters, Ella and Lyla, mine and Fiona’s respectively. With this platform, we not only want to take to become role models for our daughters but change the world they live in through our choices to use ethical practises, sustainable fabrics, and empowering women. Read more about this in our upcoming blog article about values.
We’re excited for you to try on an outfit and teleport into a dimension where you believe anything is possible.
Keep Sparkling ✨