It was the banner that started it all.
I was first introduced to birth affirmation banners a few years ago when I was asked to make a fabric banner for a friend's Blessingway ceremony. Fabric was picked, cut, layered, and sewn onto string. It was beautiful, but it was also fairly labor intensive and a tad pricey to put together. (Not that I don't LOVE fabric birth banners....I actually have plans in the works to bring a fabric option to Heart2Heart Store sometime in the near future) A few months later I was pregnant myself and I attended our local Birth Circle's Community Blessingway where they were using construction paper as the flags, and then stapling them onto yarn for each of the expecting women to bring home and hang in their birth space. It was brilliant. I loved the versatility of the paper, how easy it was to decorate compared to writing on fabric, and how many different ways there were to decorate them. The possibilities were almost endless! I brought my construction paper birth flag home, and the wheels started turning. I imagined bright colors, thicker paper, possibly layered with white for easy decorating...
I hit the craft store and spent way too much on supplies to make myself a second banner. When I got home, I had stuff everywhere. Spray adhesive all over the living room, cut paper and scraps...but when I was finished, I was really excited about what I had come up with. And I had a ton of left over supplies. So I made a couple more banners and put them in my Etsy shop, which had been sitting idle for a few years.
To my surprise, people bought them! So I made more. I evolved my process, added packaging, and eventually decided to give my shop and banners a name. My friend and doula requested that I make one with affirmations on it, so I did, and since I had made it digitally, I decided to add that as an option in the shop. Again, I was surprised when it started selling. I changed and updated a few things along the way, but not much changed until the fall of 2015, when I realized that I was at almost 100 sales, and I really hadn't tried--no real advertising, mediocre product photos, and people just finding my shop and purchasing banners. I decided then to dedicate my heart and energy into building my business and doing work that matters--providing birth affirmation and advocacy products to help shift the way we birth in a positive direction.
Since then, I have been working to design and create birth affirmation temporary tattoos, mugs, shirts, and more. I am lucky to have a few close friends and family who support me and assist without question by sharing opinions, advice, and even a little cheerleading. I wouldn't be able to do any of this without them, and without the women out there giving birth, advocating for themselves, and of course our wonderful birth workers who are pushing for change and growth. You guys are amazing!