Artisan Spotlight: Justine, Human+Mother

May 08, 2017

Oh my, time flies! Every time the month of May arrives I could smell the flowers, the moist green grass and of course who would forget? The very special event honoring the greatest women in our lives, our mothers!!! :) And speaking of mothers, there's nothing more special than to dedicate our artisan spotlight for this month to Justine, the talented and hardworking "mom"preneur behind our Human + Mother baby wraps! Check out our short interview with her about her life being an artist, an entrepreneur and a mom. 

How did you come up with the idea of creating baby wraps?

Justine: I had originally purchased a wrap from a small company based out of the States because I couldn't find a wrap that was lightweight, modern and without added stretch here in Canada. I absolutely loved the convenience and comfort of my wrap and got many compliments on it! I paid a premium price due to our exchange rate and higher shipping costs and wanted to bring a modern wrap to Canadian parents at a fair price. Human + Mother was born.

 

We totally love the simplicity of the design of your baby wraps. Can you share with us a little bit of the creative process on how your baby wraps are made?

Justine: I wanted an incredibly eco-conscious fabric and had discovered Lenzing, who is a front runner in sustainable fibre production. I had our fabric custom knit here in Toronto to ensure that there was no added stretch and that the fabric we used was certified Lenzing Modal. I then started dying our fabric in my washing machine because I was too small to use the one dye house Canada has and wanted very specific colours like our funky 'Neon Dreamin' yellow and gorgeous 'PeriTwinkle of My Eye' blue. It was a fun yet frustrating process as I had never dyed fabric in my life! I certainly enjoyed the creativity of combining colour formulations to achieve the colours I wanted. It was certainly humble beginnings! We now use the dye house and work with a fantastic female manufacture team in the heart of the city. We have our wraps taper towards the ends to ensure less bulk and have simplified the mandatory warning labels by screen printing them on instead of sewing on another label.

What makes your product unique compared to the baby carriers that you see in the market?

Justine: Our wraps are unique because of the fabric we use, the colours we choose and the passion behind our brand. They are 100% Lenzing Modal which is incredibly lightweight and cool-to-the-touch so no one will be over heating while babywearing! It's also luxuriously soft, softer than cotton, which is ideal for baby's sensitive skin. There is absolutely no added stretch so you get maximum security and zero strain on your neck, back or shoulders. You'll also be able to use our wraps to their full potential which is 25-30 pounds! I can happily carry my almost two year old who is 26 pounds. We wanted to inspire the next generation of parents to support brands that are conscious and taking into consideration our Earth and those around us who need help. $3 per wrap sold is donated to two maternal care organizations, Midwives for Haiti and Circle of Health International. Both these women-led organizations work tirelessly to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates in Haiti and other crisis zones around the world. 

Would you please describe to us your typical day as a mother & an entrepreneur?

Justine: My boys, who are four and two, go to daycare three days a week so I can focus on my business. On those days, I get them ready to head out the door for 9am (this takes a solid 2 hours to accomplish!). Once I've dropped them, I typically head to my business partner's house (aka my mom's house) to work with her on anything and everything! Our days fly by as there is never a lull when you have you're own business. I handle all the social media, advertising, collaborations, promotions and creative direction of our next launch. We are busy promoting every chance we get and have had lots to prep for in way of trade shows and mommy markets. Around 4pm, I head back to pick up my boys where we hustle home to make dinner with my husband. I love our chats on the drive home about how their days were and often, we'll rock out to loud music! Night time consists of convincing them to eat their meal, going for a walk, playing on skateboards and long bedtime routines. When our guys are finally tucked in their beds, my husband and I get a few minutes alone, in solitude, with each other, curled on the couch. The perfect end to my day.

What advice can you give to our new moms out there who would like to try baby wearing for the first time?

Justine: Oh wow! It's the best? Haha. If I could have more babies just to babywear them, I would. Babywearing makes your life easier and baby happy - doesn't that sound like a dream? My advice would be to be consistent and practice. I've heard stories of Moms giving up because tying a wrap looks challenging or they tried once and it didn't feel right or baby didn't like it. My suggestion is the sooner the better. Wear baby from the very beginning because that's where they want to be anyway. Mom is home. My son was two days old the first time I tried a wrap and there aren't adequate words to describe how blissful it was. To snuggle him, knowing he was right where he belongs, while I was able to attend to my toddler or hold my husband's hand on a walk, was everything! Enjoy this precious time. It goes too fast.

Photo Credits: Justine, Human+Mother 

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