Whenever I give a conference on autism I am forced to reveal different parts of myself. I want to connect to the audience so I share stories of me being a mom to a boy with autism, explain why I started a charitable organization, what I wish for my family, my athletic endeavors, my past, my insecurities, my dreams for the future and sometimes more. I want the audience to trust me, hear me and see the vulnerable side of me. I never claim to be an expert on the topic of autism but I am there to offer up my own life experience(s).
For the past 5 months I have been working on a secret project to add to my resumé – that of business owner. Last week I officially launched my new website. My focus is to create a Mama Bear brand with items exclusively made in Canada. I want to create a line of items that allow mom’s everywhere to show off their “Mama Bear” spirit. The site will be an on-line store that rolls out new products every few months. The site will also be home to my BLOG. In fact, it was the BLOG that gave me the courage to move forward with starting a business. I received so much support that I felt it was my time to pursue my dream.
The first item I created is the “Mama Bear” pendant. I worked alongside some very talented Montreal designers, artisans and craftsmen to come up with the final product. This Mama Bear pendant represents all that a mother is: strong, fierce, feminine, gentle, loving, patient and nurturing. When I look at this gorgeous piece of jewellery it screams to me that the woman wearing it is making a statement that her role of mother is of utmost importance to her.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to run my own business. I guess I get that from my dad, who was a dreamer. Those plans got tossed side when in 2009 I organized the initial Autism Awareness Run. Truth be told I had no idea that the Autism Awareness Run would grow into a successful charitable organization. I simply did what I thought was right at the time. Out of the run S.Au.S. was born and for almost 10 years I have dedicated my time and energy to the cause. In the role of President and Founder I have learned the skills required to start and build a business. I am hijacking those skills to follow my dream of being a business owner.
Over the years I have received numerous messages from women who live the same reality as I do. Often times referring to me as inspirational. The truth is I find women who support women most inspirational. When a woman takes the time to write me words of encouragement it fills me up. I thrive on that connection…woman to woman…mother to mother…friend to friend. Aside from my family there is nothing I am prouder of then the women who surround me. They are encouraging, discouraging, honest, supportive, tough, gentle, competitive, confrontational, irrational, strong, loyal, persuasive – they are a vast array of things and that is what makes them so important to me. The women who surround me have helped me to become the best version of me. Thanks to social media that circle of women has increased to include: runners, triathlete’s, special need mom’s, business owners, etc. As women, especially as mothers, we are forced into roles we don’t always want to play but we show up – we figure it out. Fellow women remind us of our worth and help us to solider on regardless of the challenges we face. I would call “Mama Bear’s” a sisterhood of sorts.
So here I am once again sharing of myself – the part of me who has waited a long time to take this leap.
Thank you to all those who have chosen to be part of my journey and that means to those who read this BLOG.