I am not bossy, I am the boss: female entreprenureship

I am not bossy, I am the boss: female entreprenureship

I have always said, entrepreneurship chose me, I did not choose it. Even growing up in a self-employed household and seeing the struggles first hand, I was always drawn to the passion, hustle and ambition of an entrepreneurial lifestyle. I was always the child to organize and instruct others: a leader in the crowd. I always liked to perform in front of anyone who would watch, and try to articulate my big thoughts from a little mind. Even though I was outgoing and confident, for most of my life most people simply called me “bossy”.

What always drew me to entrepreneurship were the strong female role models around me, and mentors I looked up to. I was always drawn to their dedication, undeniable work ethic and determination. These were values that resonated within me, and fuelled the fire to start my own business. It was not the rich male CEOs that motivated me; it was the women around me rubbing elbows with the best and making their own definition of success.

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My number one source of inspiration was my Mom. My beautiful, creative, talented Mama has worked so hard in her life. She used to get up at 5am and work until we left for school, and then work all day, make dinner, then go back to work when we were in bed. She has only ever worked for herself, and managed to balance her family life and create the job that made her happy. Wow – living your passion and being financially independent? How inspiring is that for a young girl growing up?!

Since becoming an entrepreneur I have been surrounded by so many incredible girl-bosses. In my own small community of Truro, Nova Scotia, there are dozens of female entrepreneurs paving the way and living their dreams. Downtown meetings and town events are filled with women entrepreneurs who are helping to put our little town on the map. The strategic plan for our Downtown was entirely developed by strong, intelligent women. I have so much respect for their own passion, hard work and resilience.

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Downtown Truro, the place I call HOME!

I have attended conferences run by powerful, highly successful women entrepreneurs, who have let nothing get in their way. I have enrolled in life changing courses with other women starting out, just like me. We have wiped each other’s tears, celebrated each other’s successes and been each others’ cheerleaders. All of these moments were guided with love, support and tenderness that I believe only other women entrepreneurs can provide each other.

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Alberta Cangift 2018

I travel a lot for work, and attend a lot of trade shows and retail shows. Many of these booths are run by females starting out or veterans in the business. Many trying to balance work and family, and have little ones at home, just like me. I am constantly inspired by their belief in their business and the fire that is lit within them. At a recent show in Alberta, I met so many incredible women, paving the way in their industry and making their mark. We shared in each others’ achievements, created collaborations and new friendships. All girl bosses, working together.

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P/C: SlideShare

 

After having met and interacted with all these amazing women entrepreneurs, I have realized we are all The Boss. No matter how big or small, we are channeling our passion into a career and leading our own way. All of the women share common traits: confidence, strength, ambition and “bossiness.” So now when we see our daughters, nieces, friends, granddaughters, students and neighbourhood girls that are fierce, strong- willed, confident and independent, recognize that they are are not “bossy,” but they are The Boss. They are next generation of female entrepreneurs that will lead us, inspire us and make a difference in this world.

Through my own entrepreneurial journey, I realized I was not bossy as a little girl, I was always meant to be the boss.

-Miriah xo
CEO/Founder
My Home Apparel

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Girl Bosses: International Women’s Day

Girl Bosses: International Women’s Day

One of the most amazing parts of owning my own female run company is getting to work with other women entrepreneurs across Canada. When I opened my gift shop, I couldn’t wait to bring in handmade products and unique designs from girl bosses all across Canada. I am so grateful for the incredible women makers and dreamers I have met, and inspiration I have received from them. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, here are just a few of the amazing women entrepreneurs found at My Home Apparel.

Foxhound Collection: hand blended and hand poured candles made by Kelsey Weir in her studio in Truro. Her aesthetic and eye for design, has everyone swooning. She works hard in her business, and is also devoted to making Truro the best it can be!

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Foxhound Collection Candles smell sooooo good!  Photo Credit: Foxhound Candles

Halifax Paper Hearts: Stefanie’s cards are “made with love, care and salty air from the East Coast” and are full of the cutest designs. We have created meaningful collaborations and supported each other through the ups and downs. Her growth is remarkable! Watch out for this firecracker- she is going places.!

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Halifax Paper Hearts adorable cards. Photo credit: Halifax Paperhearts

Justine Ma: Based out of Edmonton, Justine Ma’s has created the most incredible line of cards, prints, home items and accessories featuring witty phrases and gorgeous hand lettering. The popularity of her designs, shows how incredibly talented she is!

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Justine Ma‘s popular mug! photo credit: Justine Ma

Bad Mouth Soap Company: Sarah’s soaps are handmade in small batches using a cold press method and free of harmful chemicals. Her designs are witty and products are top quality. I have loved our collaborations and we can’t keep her East Coast Hangover Soap on the shelves!

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Bad Mouth Soap Company: Soap for filthy people! Photo credit: Bad Mouth Soap Company

Sarah Duggan Creative Works: Sarah’s art is “influenced by her love of the natural world,” which can be shown by the beautiful colour choices and floral prints. People can show their provincial pride with her popular provincial art and whimsical Canadian inspired prints.

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Sarah Duggan Creative Works: Provincial map print. Photo Credit: Sarah Duggan

Anther Apiary: From comb to home, Suzanne’s honey is a true delight. From flavour to passion, and adorable packaging, this honey needs to be on everyone’s list!

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Anther Apiary delicious Honey. Photo Credit: Anther Apiary

These are just a few of the incredible women entrepreneurs I have had the chance to work with and support. I hope you love them as much as I do, and check out their work. When in Truro next, stop in and see all the amazing women makers found in our shop. Over 75% of our products are made by women! These include: Harbourside Designs, Femmebroidery, Buck Naked Soap Company, Lindsay McMullen, Rhubarb Paper Company, Smitten Kitten, Bread and Butter Pottery and MORE!

Women need to support each other, work together and inspire each other not just today, but everyday!

Way to go Girl Bosses, we got this!

-Miriah
CEO/Founder
www.myhomeapparel.com

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Your body is your HOME

Your body is your HOME

In recognition of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, we have invited the inspiring, Danielle Crowe, owner of Body Solace Yoga and co-founder of Find Solace Within to write a guest post about the importance of taking care of our bodies. Her words are powerful and impactful- be prepared to start loving yourself a little bit more today. 🙂

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Danielle Crowe, Find Solace Within

Often when we think of our “home,” we think of where we wake up, and where we come back to after work. It’s our house, our apartment, our dorm, wherever. We could also take it a step further and consider our “home” to be our current town, province, country, the place we were born, or where our family immigrated from.

But do you ever consider your home to be the one place that you never leave? That’s right, I’m talking about your body; your skin, your organs, your senses… the place where your soul lives.

Now before you click exit and think I’m about to get all “woo woo” on you, don’t worry, I’m not. But I am going to be real. You see, your body – along with the place that your body lives – is your home. We often think that we are our bodies, but we’re not. Our body is our shell, no different than the siding and insulation that surrounds us, and just like the paint on the walls and furnishings around the house, we like to decorate ourselves with stylish clothing, makeup, dying/styling our hair, etc.

But here’s the thing: I am doubtful that you would just walk into your home one day, or every day, and start trashing it. Sure, there are exceptions, like during renovations when you’re smashing down a wall, or when you’re pissed off and you throw a couple pillows… but in most circumstances, you wouldn’t insult and hate on the place you called “home” every day.

So why do we do it to our bodies?

Now, I understand that we can’t choose our bodies in the way that we can choose the town we move to, or the house we live in, but our bodies are the greatest home we’ll ever have. Our bodies allow us to travel to exotic places, to see beauty all around us, to smell fresh cookies, to hug our loved ones, and to taste summer berries… our bodies allow us to experience life!

Our bodies need us to treat them with the respect they deserve. Sure, some bodies will be small homes, some will be big homes, some will have nice landscaping, and some will be called “haunted,” when really, they’re simply wise. But regardless of the shape or exterior of the home, we need to treat our bodies like the palace they truly are.

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Stop comparing your home to the rest of the homes on the street. Our bodies are not meant to be perfect or designed to fit into some mold that society currently deems as “best.” (What does that even mean?) And wait 5-10 years… just like home design, some other part of the body, or body shape will be glorified.

You can change your hair color, your weight, or your clothes, but one thing will always remain the same: your body is your home. And until you start accepting it exactly as it is; all its creaks, cracks and character – then you will always feel like a visitor. You’ll never unpack your bags because you won’t feel comfortable as your true self, you’ll always expect an eviction letter because you’ll feel like a fraud, and you’ll complain that your garden won’t grow because you won’t tend it and help develop it.

There is a reason that some houses make you feel more comfortable, and certain towns make you put down roots… I think it’s because of the sense of familiarity, the memories that have been made, and the potential to make more. Your body isn’t any different. It’s been with you since day one, it’s grown with you, taken care of you, been through ups and downs with you, and will continue to be with you until the end of your life. There is nothing more precious than the very place that your soul resides in; it’s the only place you truly live.

Take a moment to look in the mirror, and tell me, what do you see? Maybe it’s the lines on the wall where your height was measured each year as you grew, maybe it’s the scratches on the floor where you and your girlfriends had too much fun dancing in your heels, or maybe it’s the hole in the wall where you finally realized that it was time you learned to control your emotions and ask for help. Whatever you see when you look in the mirror, see the memories, see the experiences, see the life.

The next time you find yourself wishing you could move bodies like you can move houses, I ask that you remind yourself that your body is your one true home.

By: Danielle Crowe, co-founder of Find Solace Within

Website: www.findsolacewithin.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/findsolacewithin

Instagram: www.instagram.com/findsolacewithin

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To learn more about Eating Disorder Awareness Week read here.

If you feel you need support and/or resources, please reach out to NEDIC:
1-866-633-4220

Lead with you heart: the legacy of my brother

Lead with you heart: the legacy of my brother

I can remember being four years old and laying on my Mom’s pregnant belly, trying to comprehend that she had a human being growing inside of her and that I was going to be a big sister. I already loved that little human doll that I was going to get to play with and dress up for my daily tea parties. My big sister and I were so excited for a new baby in the house. Then, very early on October 7, 1985, the phone rang and my Grandmother shared the joyful news that our baby brother had been born. The first boy in our family had arrived.

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Like most siblings, we went to meet him at the hospital in the same room that all 3 of us had been began life in. My sister and I giggled in delight and could not wait for our gorgeous blue eyed brother to come home. The sad part was, it took months for Lucas to come home. He was a sick baby and spent months in the IWK receiving surgeries and fighting for his little life. Our prayers were answered and my brother and mom got to come home… the five of us were finally all together. As a result, we always over protected Lucas, never wanting him to ever feel pain again. Sadly, Lucas felt a lot of pain in his life, deep pain we never knew was there and on November 15, 2014, Lucas tragically died from a drug overdose.

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Lucas’ drug addiction was fierce and debilitating. It was all consuming and incredibly horrible to watch. We felt helpless, lost and heart broken. We watched our loving, smart, charismatic brother slip into a dark hole. Lucas had deep mental health struggles that we never really knew about or understood. He struggled emotionally in life and was always very sensitive, but we always thought it was “just his personality”. We were never aware of the demons he was fighting inside and the incredible pain he felt. He masked it well under his charming smile and insightful thoughts.

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He found relief for the pain in drugs, and became heavily addicted quickly. We watched a star student at Dal Architecture lose his schooling, apartment, friends and his independence within months. We were angry and frustrated. Why couldn’t he just stop? Why wouldn’t he get help? We loved him so much,  couldn’t he see that? Wasn’t that enough?

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He knew we loved him. However, despite, our deep love for Lucas, we struggled with asking him how he was truly doing. We were fearful in many ways to ask him about his mental health struggles and how he was feeling. We thought we were protecting him by keeping him out of the tough talks and family discussions. It takes courage for the person struggling to speak up, and it takes courage for family and friends to speak up as well.

The day Lucas passed away was truly the worst day of my life. I experienced grief I never knew was possible. When I looked at my sister and mother, their faces were unrecognizable from the sadness they felt. I would never wish such loss on anyone. Through the past year and a half I have worked everyday to stop asking, the “why question” and starting finding the gifts that Lucas left behind for us. He left so many, it’s just having the strength to find them.

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Family is everything.  This was one of the last family photos taken before my Dad passed away.

One of the greatest gifts was the creation of Lead With Your Heart, which is an organization that raises funds for art therapy programs. Lucas’ family and friends came together to create programs, raise awareness and build a legacy. It helps to fill the deep hole that Lucas left and brings comfort knowing that the programs we fund may help save another person’s life or bring people happiness.

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This week, May 2-8 is Mental Health Week but the entire month of May is actually Mental Health Awareness Month. This month is about speaking up and talking about issues that are hard to talk about: our mental health. Go out and have a conversation with a stranger. Talk to a family member or friend that you might be concerned about. Trust me, those conversations can save lives. They also help end the stigma around mental health. Together, we can help give a voice to those who feel silenced and helpless by their illness.

At My HOME Apparel we have partnered up this week with Laing House, in Halifax, Nova Scotia and with Find Your Light in support of programs at Laing House. Both Find Your Light and My HOME Apparel, will be donating 15% of all profits to Laing House from May 2-16, 2016. Laing House is a wonderful peer support organization for youth living with a mental illness.

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Find your Light Warr;or Tank top!

My HOME Apparel would not be, without Lucas. He inspired me to create a company focused around giving back and gave me the courage to bring a dream business to life. I witnessed how precious life is and I don’t want to waste a second of it.

I challenge you all now to be a warrior for mental health and continue to spread love and kindness as far as you can. Together we can end the stigma around mental health!

May you all lead with your heart,

Miriah

www.myhomeapparel.com

Life in a tiny HOME

Life in a tiny HOME

Imagine living in only 200 square feet. Your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office, and all your belongings neatly organized into a 8×24 foot space. These adorable, simplistic homes are referred to as “tiny homes” or “tiny shelters” and are part of a movement for a more minimalistic, sustainable way of living. When I heard about a tiny house in my own town, I was fascinated.

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Kelsey, the owner of the famous Foxhound Candles and graphic designer boyfriend, Ben Brush own the most endearing tiny home just outside of Truro, Nova Scotia. Upon hearing about their home, my immediate response was “how”? How could two people permanently live in such a small space? What about their stuff, their personal space, and how do they truly manage to coexist in a very small space? I am fascinated about the concept of a “home” and what makes up a home, so I needed to ask them about life in their tiny home. What I never expected was to be so inspired.

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Kelsey and Ben built their tiny home and Kelsey’s 8×8 studio in less than 4 months. They took a look at their 3 bedroom apartment, full of things and decided they wanted more from life than stuffed spaces, and  frequent time apart in different rooms. So, they purged. They simplified their life by packing their belongings into 2 car loads. Kelsey described this process as incredibly spiritual. From their tiny, happy space, they have realized that buying things does not create fulfillment. In fact, purging items actually gave them more joy than the initial purchase ever did. The result was a feeling of total freedom!

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Their journey has made them more aware of everything: how they spend their time, the items they buy, how they use our money, and their effect on the earth. They found they have more time to do the things they love: cook meals together, go on walks with their dog, get creative in their own businesses, and spend quality time together. This is something we could all do more of: spend quality time together without the burden of “stuff”.

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Kelsey, Ben and their dog outside their tiny home!

Kelsey explained that their are some challenges of living in a tiny space, such as respecting the space that the other person is using, and have had to learn to adapt to how the space flows. However, they designed their home based on how they wanted to spend their time together and found that the flow of their space and their vision is working for them.

Every person is different, and needs their own unique space. What I find so inspiring about Kelsey and Ben, is that they had the courage to take a look at their lives and their home and found what was making them unhappy. They envisioned a space and built a home around what their values are and how they wanted to live their lives. It really isn’t about the size (but a tiny house is really adorable), but more about creating a home that reflects one’s core beliefs, and most importantly what makes you happy. Because a home is a space to build memories, live together with those we love,  create, decompress, and feel safe.

May you all find your own perfect square footage of happiness,

Miriah
My HOME Apparel

www.myhomeapparel.com

Check out Kelsey’s awesome candles here to fill in your happy home!

 

Traveling is my HOME

Traveling is my HOME

When I was 18 years old with a fresh high school diploma in my hand, I boarded an airplane into the unknown. All my possessions were in a single backpack and I was ready to embark on the scariest, most amazing adventure of my life. At the time, I thought I would discover new parts of the world, meet awesome people, and try cool food. Little did I know that I would find my sense of home.

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18 years old, floating in the Dead Sea, Israel    1999

Since that first backpacking trip through the Middle East and Europe, I have continued making traveling a priority. It is where I feel the greatest sense of belonging and where I discover parts of myself that brings peace and inspiration. Both of my boys traveled to India with me while I was pregnant, so nothing has ever really stopped me. 🙂

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Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Congo (DRC)  2005

People often ask, “what was your favourite country” or “where would you go again”? Those are the hardest questions to answer. There has never been a place I didn’t LOVE! Each place offers a new experience, a new taste, and new inspirations. So many places I felt I could move to, because each time I travel, I feel a sense of belonging. From Everest Base Camp to Ecuadorian jungles, to African safaris or Sri Lankan beaches, I always knew that I was leaving part of my heart behind, but more importantly, I was filling my heart with all my new adventures and people I met.

Since traveling is such a huge part of my life, I have brought it into every business I have owned. One of my greatest joys is traveling, buying goods and coming back to share my treasures. People have asked me why I don’t have everything made in Canada, or how I feel about imported products. The answer is always the same:  I feel alive when I’m traveling and then coming back and sharing my experiences completes me. I feel excited, fulfilled and most importantly: happy!!! I love meeting the locals who make the goods. I love sharing a tea, learning local words and helping them support their family.

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market shopping, New Delhi, India  2009

I recently was so fortunate to travel to Australia with my gorgeous family and then take my supportive and travel loving husband to Bali for 9 days. We ate, we swam, we met new people, we explored, we rested and of course we shopped. It’s what we do. We spent hours talking about going back and how much our kids would love the fresh fruit and warm oceans.  I was convinced we were moving to Bali! However, once back in reality I realized that it doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we do. Traveling is in our souls and lights us on fire. It brings us HOME.

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On the beaches of Bali  2016

So, where are you headed? 🙂

Miriah xox
Founder of My HOME Apparel.

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