As we approach 4 years of business, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I started this shop. Last Friday, Kaylyn from McLachlan Studios came over to do a “Life in the day” shoot. We hung out all day while she captured photos of our everyday life- tantruming children, messy floors and all! I got the opportunity to make a nest necklace for her right in front of her, and also got to gift it to her right then and there. I loved being able to make sentimental pieces that mean so much to mamas!

I started this shop as a hobby, because I LOVED making pieces of jewellery that could become keepsakes. Something that told a story, unique to the person wearing it. I started this business because I saw so much joy in people’s faces as they opened up their little box that contained a nest in it with their babies in it.

Fast forward 4 years and I have something to admit: I have lost sight of the very reason I stated this business. It’s has become all about selling, growing my numbers and logistics. And I have to say- it is so exhausting and draining to be focused on things involving only numbers and statistics. It’s also easy to get caught up in the social media frenzy as a shop owner. There is a lot of pressure I put on myself to post great giveaways that yield results, to post the perfect product photo, and to portray myself a certain way. I will admit- I have become a little bit shallow because I am so caught up in being a “shop owner” and all the glam, glitz and pride that that naturally brings. There is nothing wrong with being proud, but when it becomes shallow pride, it is a problem. I’ve gotten caught up in the numbers game and quite honestly, and embarrassingly, I’ve forgotten to focus on why I love to make jewellery. As a result, running my business can be a chore sometimes. I still enjoy and lo handmade everything, but the social media frenzy/logistics/numbers has gotten in the way of me truly connecting with my business and the passion that I have for it. I did a short post on it a little while ago here.

Some of you may know, but I did not grow up in the most ideal environment. I never had nice things, the newest trends or the coolest clothes. I had a bowl cut for the first 8 years of my life. I felt inferior, unworthy and very insecure. I’ve worked through these issues as an adult, but on social media, it is so very easy to have these uneasy feelings surface again. I know that this is not uncommon- how many of you have scrolled through your Instagram feed to see a perfect kitchen, a perfectly stage photo or a “perfect” mom bod, only  to feel a little bit inferior or insecure? I know I feel this every single day. The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as perfect. There is beauty in imperfection, and within every one of our “imperfect” lives, there is a story to tell. And this is where my passion lies… to tell the story behind each  beautiful “imperfect” life.

So, within the next 6-12 months, I want to make a shift in how our business runs and feels. Right now we are posting and focusing on products, giveaways and sales, but I want this to change because I want to hear more from YOU. If you haven’t already checked out the tag #minttobemama, please do so! I want to feature everyday, real moms like YOU on my feed, and in exchange, gift you a piece of jewellery. We want to feature everyday mamas because we want to celebrate the beauty of things that are not staged, but instead, things are real, raw and from the heart. We don’t look at your following count, we don’t look at how many friends you have, how nice your kitchen is, or what you wear. We want to hear from YOU.

We’re going to be shifting to post #minttobemama stories in conjunction with our jewellery, because this is the very reason I started our business. While our business is our livelihood in that it feeds and clothes our children, this business is something I created to celebrate moms and to celebrate the real, raw, unedited aspects of our stories. In short, I want Mint & Birch to be more about community and sharing, rather than about simply selling necklaces.

Are you in? Submit something to share to jessica (at) mintandbirch (d o t) com along with a photo!