Launching at last!
Mamas have been awaiting the delayed launch of Free To Me Maternity (now CommUnity Maternity), Vancouver's first free Maternity Community Clothing Closet for Vancouver's pregnant Mamas!
Free To Me Maternity and Holy Cow Baby Boutique are two sister-businesses that I founded this year, and are launching at last!
For those still learning about Free To Me Maternity, we are an ever-growing community of pregnant mamas who share a Community Closet of maternity clothing for the duration of our pregnancy. The Community Closet operates much the same way as a book-lending library. All of our maternity clothing items are donated, are in excellent condition, and are due 3 weeks after the birth of baby. To learn, more, visit our About Us and How It Works sections of the website.
Holy Cow Baby Boutique focuses on selling beautiful, unique, hand-crafted baby goods from a growing number of local artisans, almost all of them women, and almost all of them Mamas! A portion of sales from Holy Cow Baby Boutique goes toward Free To Me Maternity's operating costs in an attempt to keep this maternity service free. So, when you shop Holy Cow Baby, you are not only supporting local artisans, but you are also supporting local, pregnant Mamas!
The idea for a Maternity Community Closet and a supporting, sister Baby Boutique was conceived a little while after the birth of my first beautiful baby boy, Ari, now 16 months old. I have more than a soft spot for fashion so, needless to say, I spent a small fortune on maternity clothing throughout my pregnancy. Like many other mamas, I wanted to look and feel good while my body was constantly changing shapes and sizes every day (and often numerous times per day!). Including pregnancy, and the time it takes post-partum to be able to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothing, it can be a long time! It least it was for me!
Yet, it wasn't until putting a gift of gently-used maternity clothing together for my step-sister, who became pregnant after the birth of my son, that I had the idea for a Maternity Community Closet. I thought, why don't all women share maternity clothing like this?! And voila! Free to Me Maternity was born.
With much energy and inspiration, I immediately began the work of bringing the idea to life. My brother, Justin, an extremely bright, energetic and creative entrepreneur, excitedly began to guide and inspire me to bring this idea to life in a much more beautiful way than I could have ever done on my own. Justin is the brilliant Founder of 2Casa, an app that focuses on making the Vancouver real estate market accessible to millennials by helping bring them together to co-own as well as facilitating co-ownership real estate deals. Yet, before 2Casa could launch, Justin suddenly and tragically passed away. As happens too often, strong, brilliant minds can be plagued by equally strong mental health issues.
It also happened that Justin passed away the very week that Free to Me Maternity and Holy Cow Baby were scheduled to launch. We had invited hundreds of Mamas to attend our first Community Day the following Saturday. Not wanting pregnant Mamas to find a closed door, a close friend ran the event in my place. However, after that, we decided to pause the activities of Free To Me Maternity and Holy Cow Baby so we could grieve.
The months that followed were some of the most difficult I have ever experienced, and oddly enough, also balanced by much joy as our little baby turned a whole 1 year old, a milestone that so many Mamas (and Papas!) look forward to.
Some 5 months have gone by now, and I am finally feeling ready to honor my brother, and all of you beautiful Mamas out there, by getting back to work to offer this service that is so close to my heart. At first, Mamas will select the clothing they would like to borrow online, and then we will meet with Mamas in small groups or individually to deliver the clothing. Then, beginning around Spring 2019, we will continue holding pop-up shop shopping days, which we call Community Days, where Mamas will buy an event ticket (to help cover our costs) where they can shop, nosh, mingle, do prenatal yoga and listen to special parenting guest speakers! We are slowly going to build toward that vision by the Spring/Summer of 2019!
Until then, we hope you enjoy both of our online shops! Just click under the HOME button on this website and you will find both Free To Me Maternity and Holy Cow Baby there. Happy Shopping!
Founder, Free To Me Maternity