28 October 2010

Things That Are True - Shout Outs Must Be Made

In the early days of my relationship with HWSNBN, we were sitting around my apartment one evening, and I was playing music for him, some on the stereo, some on my guitar. Songs I loved, lyrics that said something I believed in, music that was important to me. After half an hour or so of this, he looked at me and said, "Your music is really earnest."

Me, being earnest with my guitar this summer

I bristled a little. I suppose I'd never analyzed the music I loved, just well, loved it. To have him put a label on it made me a little cross, offended even.

That was almost ten years ago. In the time since, I have come to accept that my music is, in fact, earnest. That I am, in fact, earnest. And that I'm okay with all this earnestness. More than okay with it, I seek it out. It drives my relationships, my parenting, and the way I run my business*.

And it is because of this superfluity of earnestness in my life that I was close to tears numerous times today.

A few weeks ago, I was approached about making a donation for a silent auction from my company, Chill Monkeys, to the BC Cancer Foundation's Inspiration Gala. I immediately said yes, and then because I don't do anything halfway, suggested that I could not just donate one of my hats to their silent auction, but that I would put together a package of mom and child focused items from local mom-entrepreneurs for them. I made a couple of phone calls, had a few conversations; things were well on their way.

And then I got sick. Apocalyptic life-on-Earth-ending sick, with the nastiest, most persistent Virus of Doom I have ever had. I do not recall in my adult life ever feeling so sick and being so debilitated for so long. It's been two and a half weeks, and I'm not 100% yet. Gah.

In my fuzzy-head cold-meds just-get-through-the-day mindset, I thought that the big event was this weekend, giving me a couple more days to pull things together. For some reason I decided to check this morning what date the event was being held. Good thing I did. The gala is tonight.

Gulp. I had in my possession only three items for the basket. And no actual basket. Not good. Serious loss of face if I couldn't pull this off.

So I put out the call on twitter, and yea verily, twitter responded. I spent the day driving all over the place, picking up donations of really great stuff. Then I went and bought a basket and some tissue paper. I had hoped to collect items enough for a total package value of $100-$150.

I underestimated the generosity of my peers.

This is the part where shout outs (shouts out?) must be made. I am continuously humbled and inspired by the support of the Vancouver mom- and women-entrepreneur community, and the outstanding way that we are all able to connect on twitter.

Zoe, Anna, and Rachel from Playpants responded with a lovely package of three modern bloomers. So adorable I almost wish I had a girl. (In addition to The Imp, not instead of!)

Erica and Lorraine of The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms donated a copy of their great book.

Maria from Little Jots gave me one of her delightful books of notes for children.

Patty from Zoolu Organics sent me the softest, most covetable long sleeved lion graphic shirt. Had it not been sized 6-12 months, I might have been seriously tempted to keep it for The Imp.

Maureen from Emily Press labels didn't hesitate to give me a $25 gift certificate for use on her site.

And Sue from Raspberry Kids came through with Leah Douglas' Gourmet Pregnancy, (a fantastic cookbook that had me wanting to run home and cook directly from the Raspberry Kids warehouse), a Sprig Toys excavator, a Seedling kit (the Creature Creator Kit) and a sushi-themed bib from the awesome Mally Bibs.

And I, of course, added a Chill Monkeys cap to the mix.

I was fighting back tears with every item I picked up. Such response! And as I rushed home with all the goodies, and the basket I'd bought to put them in, I was very pleased at being able to promote these generous companies, and to contribute to fundraising for such a worthy cause.

But I was gobsmacked when I made the list of items for the event organizers and actually added it all up - doing math in my head has never been my strong point.

Total value: $265

Two hundred and sixty five dollars worth of local entrepreneur donations in a few short hours. Wow.

The photo above was hastily taken on my kitchen table as I prepared to zoom over to the event venue and drop it off. The basket will look even better in the elegant surroundings and soft lighting of the gala tonight.

Also: I should've bought a bigger basket. When I put everything together, there was not enough room for the toy excavator - so I placed it outside the basket as if it was digging through all the fantastic goodies inside!

I can not thank everyone enough. I am overwhelmed by your generosity, by your spirit of community, and by your instant response and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And when I dropped it off to the event organizers, they were very pleased. So they thank you too.

Earnest's not so bad.

Yay for people coming together, in earnestness, I say.

*I don't talk much about my business here. This is my personal blog, and I like to keep things separate. I don't hide the fact that I have a mom blog. I don't hide the fact that I have a business. But I don't link much from one to the other. For one thing, I've been known to swear in this space, which is maybe not the best thing coming from a designer and manufacturer of children's clothing.


  1. Hooray to you, and to all the contributors. Their generosity is amazing - but you're amazing, too, for pulling it all off.

  2. An impressive odyssey...and on the subject of earnestness, a resonance. Your cousin my daughter is transcribing a notebook of material put together by your great-grandmother when she was a young mother. It's not her own stuff, rather, in the late nineteenth century, she copied poems and articles she liked. My daughter's description of the content: EARNEST.