I teach an online course called the Maternal Support Practitioner Training for my business bebo mia inc. It is a doula training that covers fertility to the first 6 months postpartum. We offer two sessions a year and running it is a highlight for me! The women it attracts are dynamic and interesting and from all over the world, so their stories and backgrounds make for a wonderful group of humans. One of the exercises we do in the first couple of classes is each student needs to draw the female reproductive organs from memory without looking at Google or any other references for help. I have opened hundreds of emails over the years looking at sketches on scraps of paper, or written on the back of colouring books, or some more Type A gals do colour coded drawings, with question marks as buffers next to answers they are 90% sure are correct. This year my mind was blown.
I received this:
Stumbling Across Little Fox & Froggie…
Immediately, I was sooooo in love. I emailed my business partner, Natasha, and told her about it. We thought it was so fun and different and wonderful and beautiful. Natasha explained that Ella Simioni – the woman who submitted this gem – was an artist and sent me over to her business site. That is how I came to fall in love with Little Fox & Froggie.
I reached out to her immediately. Firstly, she lovingly shipped me the original of the uterus drawing for my office (plus some other little goodies) and then she shared why she did the assignment the way she did. She told me that the female reproductive organs reminded her of an elephant’s head and she vividly recalls waiting in her midwifery office during her prenatal appointments and staring at a poster they had of the lady parts required to make and grow a baby. This was her rendition based on her pregnancy memories and the elephant-faced-uterus and friends.
Lil’ bit about Ella.
Ella is a Toronto mama to two littles called Mia and Kipling, or Kip as they call him, who are 6 and 4. I loved her and her brand even more when I heard her fabulous kid names. Clearly, Ella always had this great talent as an artist, however, she didn’t start her children’s illustrations business, a dream she always had, until after having children – she says that they inspired the name for her business. Kids will do that! Interestingly, her Grammoo (which I am going to assume is one of her grandparents) told her to be a greeting card maker. Such wise words, Grammoo!
Ella just oozes whimsy with everything she touches! It is magical. And she shared some beautiful pearls o’wisdom for women who are considering starting their own adventure in business:
Start from where you know, be true to yourself, be real, and try your best to ignore the inner critics – they’re almost always wrong!
Like most self-employed people, Ella enjoys the flexibility of setting her own hours and deciding when and how much she wants to work. She loves her extra cuddle time with the kids, her ‘spontaneous adventures’ and outings such as trips to the library. On the flip side, when you are running a household while juggling two children and a business, it can be hard to fit in the amount of quality time with your children that you would like to have. I know that struggle is real! I love that I get to pick up Gray from school and have her home with me. AND, I cannot have my work day end at 3pm, so I need to work until at least 5pm which still disappoints her. Every. Day.
And… the partner piece?
OK, then we got into the partner portion of her life and business. When you are doing freelance work, it is unpredictable at best. Some of my friends who work freelance talk about the feast or famine aspects and that can be an added stress for a mompreneur. What does her husband say about it all?
I’m fortunate to have a husband who values my being home and working on my own endeavours. He never challenges my slow times – which I thoroughly appreciate.
Once again I found an entrepreneurial mama who is following her passion and who has the support of her partner. Whoop! I love finding these women since the research stats are clearly showing the support is not there, from husbands, in the vast majority of cases. Thank you, Mr. Little Fox & Froggie!
I wrapped up her interview with an ‘any final comments’ kind of question. Her answer? “Follow your joy.”
I strongly suggest that you head over via any of the ways that you can get a hold of Little Fox & Froggie – She does fabulous cards and illustrations and nursery art – you will be sure to give a memorable and original gift! You can email her here, or go over to her Facebook page or Instagram channel.