Birch Blog

So this past weekend we got a hell of a lot of traffic on our IG stories because we felt the need to comment in defense of Jillian Harris’s IG story.

Here’s the back story……

Jillian posted to her IG stories visibly very upset over some comments other women had made on her blog posted titled “5 Steps to Becoming a Boss Mom". In the post she goes on to give advice on how to balance life and work after you have a baby….super helpful right?? Well she also mentioned a few of her favorite products in this post, namely Nike Air Max Thea Premium’s which she is also wearing in all the pics. Which I guess a lot of people thought was inappropriate, so they took to the comment section.

The comments were pretty scathing, one woman said she’s a sell out, another said she’s using Leo as a marketing tool (BTW don’t ever mention my child or my parenting skills….I will cut a bitch) they said her entire blog is motivated by her getting free shit. Some people commented on the fact that she pays all her friends to work for her, all the comments have since been taken down but I’m giving you the G rated Cliffs Notes…..these bitches were ruthless and cut throat in their comments.

Here’s what I gotta say about all of that!

First off the sell out comment….at the end of the day she’s a business woman people!!! If Nike called me tomorrow and said we’ll send you some free shoes if you mention them in your blog, you best believe I be sportin some friggin Nikes!!! I’d make Kaitlyn tattoo that shit on her forehead! Call me a sell out all you want but have you bought a pair of Nike’s recently??? They’re $170!!! And I should know because I own several pairs, so does my husband and my daughter in fact, we're a Nike family and proud of it......did I go too far??

Second, and probably the most disgusting, the amount of women commenting on her mothering skills. I have said a lot of shit in my life, as you can clearly tell Im very opinionated and have a big mouth but I DO NOT ever comment on other peoples parenting skills. You guys mom-ing is hard, like really hard. You stress about whether or not you’re doing a good job every second of every day so to have women who most of which don’t even have children go out of their way to tell you you’re doing a bad job??? I can’t imagine what an awful feeling that must be!!

Third, and the most comical to me, her friends working for her. I don’t see the problem here?? If I made enough money that I could pay my closest friends a great wage and work with them all day why wouldn’t I? Isn’t that the ultimate goal in life?? Wouldn’t that make going to work everyday awesome?? Kaitlyn (my shiny new bestie) taking care of online sales, Jocelyn (my OG bestie) running my accounting department, Robyn (sister bestie) baking me fucking cupcakes all day, Megan (fellow crafter and Gemini bestie) running my social media department, Cindy (ex roomie bestie) basically making sure I just don’t eat all the cupcake all day. We'd work hard and play hard and have fun doing it and gossip ALL FRIGGIN DAY!!! We vacation together because we can write it off as “research and development”.

And lastly what I find the most disturbing is that people were so “disgusted” by her post that they took the time out of their days to sit and write huge lengthy negative comments about her. If you don’t like what you read or see stop following!!! And why are we cutting each other down?? Do you know how much harder it is for women to be successful in business than men?? Did you know that only 36.5% of self employed people in Canada are women? ? Did you also know that globally 33% of firms have NO women at all in senior positions?? We have to work harder than men do to accomplish our goals. So one woman (Jillian) is out there killing the game and we have to cut her down?? We should be proud of our fellow Canadian! We should be cheering her on and taking pointers! God dam Birches be hating!

Anyways….in conclusion…..Nike, if you’re reading this I wear a size 8 and Kailtyn wears a size 8.5 and we’re both rather partial to the pink. And Jillian if you ever read my blog...call me 250-938-4890, actually no, just text me I hate when people call me especially from an unknown number. 

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I’m writing to you from my couch today, with a super shitty cold and nothing new to binge on Netflix. I’ve spent most of my day rotating between Twitter, Snapchat and IG to get Coachella updates from my favorite celebrities. Here’s the cold hard truth guys…..I have a serious case of FOMO.

This may sound shocking to most of the people reading who know me (let’s be honest the only people reading this are Kaitlyn and Robyn). The fact is I am not a festival girl!  hate dirt, I hate being hungry and the constant need to find food, I hate being exposed to sun of any kind, I don’t do drugs or drink, I don’t like large crowds of people, I certainly don’t camp, and the amount of money you’d have to pay me to use a port o potty is unthinkable. 

I sound like a ton of fun right. 

And then there’s the fashion, I am not a crochet girl, my thighs rub together too much to be a short cutoff jeans girl, I don’t think I’ve ever in my life owned anything tie dyed, I look ridiculous in ALL hats, I can’t pull off combat boots to save my life, (the more and more I write the more and more this sounds like the perfect place for Kaitlyn), I still haven’t lost the baby weight in my mid section even though my “baby” is 5 years old so crop tops are out of the question, I don’t think I’ve been in a bathing suit in public since the summer of 1997 when Stephanie Leach and I went to Penticton for the summer and I thought I was “fat” so those super lavish pool parties all the celebrities are at in their rented villas are out too, I spend way too much energy keeping on top of my grey hair to bother dying it pink or purple. Plus can we all acknowledge I would easily be one of the oldest people at Coachella!!!

Side note: Is there a music festival where loafers and button down shirts with cute jeans are the required attire?? Where I can simply nod my head with my legs crossed on a comfortable stool like the small town white girl I am while enjoying Kendrick and Lady Gaga?? Where waiters serve me my food at an actual table and the bathrooms are clean with scented hand cream and free tampons and plungers in all the stalls in case you happen to be the dickface who plugs it?? No....this festival doesn't exist yet....maybe I'll plan it myself.

Anyways, Kaitlyn and I went over all these details last week when we both rolled our eyes saying “get ready for all those obnoxious Coachella posts!” but then Saturday rolled around and all those same people posting were getting geared up to see Gaga perform her new single and Kendrick take the stage after he released a killer new album. I came into the shop and sheepishly admitted I’m super jelly I’m not there and Kaitlyn quickly admitted she feels the same way!!

And than I had a brilliant idea, you see we had a huge sale at the store on Good Friday and it was so successful we’ve decided to make it an annual event and we simply called it the Good Friday sale. But as I sat there looking at those girls dancing in their flowy skirts to Tove Lo showing off their wrist bands I thought “why don’t we have our own Coachella…..Birchella??” I instantly snapped Kaitlyn and we spent the next hour snapping back and forth ideas for next years sale and our outfits of course. 

So, this time next year we will have our huge blow out sale again but it will aptly be called Birchella…..we’re also getting our first Gypsy Soul order in this week so we’ll definitely be able to outfit you all for the event!

And remember, Birches in flower crowns get an additional 10% off their entire purchase!

 

 

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For those who don’t know, we’ve been working away on something exciting at Birch Hill Studio for some time now. This little project has been in the works since before Gerran and I even moved to Vernon in early 2015. Our own clothing line….Birch Hill Apparel.

We walked into this little project very naively thinking we could come up with an idea, print it on some sweaters and just watch the money roll in…..not so love.

First came the graphics, I had an idea but I strongly believe in hiring a professional, they’ll bring a completely fresh point of view to your idea. Plus I’m not terribly techy so taking my crappy drawing and turning it into something we can work with is beyond my capabilities. Enter Lisa, my sisters best friend. Simply put, she’s the tits. She has years of experience in graphic design from simple logo design (she designed my real estate logo years ago and is also the genius behind Birch Hill Studio’s logo) to major projects with the Winnipeg Museum of Art and now she works on her own from home. She gets emails from me weekly that start like this “I have an idea…” and she always humors me and creates something amazing. If you’re at all interested, contact me for her info. 

Next came the sweaters themselves. I have stacks of sweaters and t-shirt samples from every brand you can possibly imagine. I have been consistently ordering sweaters from different companies from all over the world for 2 straight years and we just recently finally found one we love. But here’s the kicker, we can’t get them without THEIR own tags sewn into them so we have to have these exact sweaters custom made by another company out of Toronto. So now we’re just waiting to have that company make us a sample to see if they were able to duplicate it. Seems like a lot of work for a sweater right?? The reason we’re being so picky is that people will come back and buy the same graphic on a sweater over and over again if they love that comfy cozy sweater. It has to be soft with a little stretch to it but still look cute with a pair of skinnies and your #BasicBirch white Adidas. But they also have to appeal to dudes, they can’t be too tight or narrow but they have to able to withstand the dryer because guys don’t hang shit to dry…..ever. 

So than came the screen printing…..here’s where a lot of time got wasted. Friends of ours in Terrace who own a shop called Ruins (check them out, it’s a rad shop that’s been around for almost 20 years) had all their own screen printing equipment. They used it to screen print everything from their own line to big jobs for major companies allover Terrace. But they decided to sell it. Gerran and I have always been into fashion so we decided to try our hands at this new venture which was the catalyst to Birch Hill Apparel. Once we set everything up in the back room of the store I put hours of blood sweat and tears into learning the craft with Kaitlyn by my side cheering my on. It’s not that difficult once you get a good rhythm going but it takes a lot of time, and with the store and the restaurant and a 5 year old it became pretty clear pretty quickly that I just don’t have time to take on this much work. 

We decided to contract out the screen printing, we found a local company and they do a really great job….we should have done this from the get go seriously.

 

So here we are 2 years later and the one small idea we had has evolved into 2 completely different clothing lines, one aimed at our wonderfully loyal #BasicBirches and one super rad unisex line for the whole family. We’re also launching a special #Canada150 line in honor of our beloved countries birthday this year!

I realize the blog isn’t terribly interesting this week but we’re so close to having the line ready to launch that I just wanted to give everybody a little peek BTS. 

So, my loves, stay tuned and get ready for something kind of amazing…..I get goose bumps just thinking about it!!

xo

S

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So I’m trying something new for the blog.

I’m constantly feeling so inspired by fellow Canadian business women that I’ve decided to have a special feature on the blog once a month.

I’ll be featuring one female #BossBirch by asking them 6 simple questions and have them take a selfie in their element. Now my big project will be reaching out to all these amazing ladies hoping they’ll agree to be on the little blog that could.

My first guest is a gooder guys....Rachel Doell of Daily Routine Fitness.

I was first introduced to Rachel a few years ago via Jillian Harris’s Instagram post when Rachel was training her. I immediately started following her social media because I’m a slave to all things Jillian. I was quickly inspired by her passion for what she does. Encouraging women to love themselves and their body while simultaneously educating us on good exercise and eating habits. She doesn’t just talk the talk guys, she walks the walk. Posting videos on IG of herself doing push ups and squats in her kitchen while cooking a meal for her family of 5 or doing yoga in her living room with little Adelaide doing laps around her. At the time she was living in Kelowna being so close of course I hoped she would pop into the shop......and than one day it happened!

Truth be told I actually missed it, I was at Noir getting my hair did when Kaitlyn texted me that someone named Rachel came in and asked to talk to me about doing a collaboration, Kaitlyn didn’t recognize her at first and felt like an idiot for not realizing who it was. Long story short, we outfittted Rachel’s whole fam jam for a photo shoot she did with Abbie Rose, the pics were beautiful and sometimes I still see the clothes in other IG pics and get a little thrill. 

So here they are, Rachel’s answers to our 5 little questions along with her beautiful selfie from when she was in Cali looking tanned and happy!

 

1. What is your mirror mantra? You know, that thing you say to yourself in the morning to brighten your day

You're enough

You're a great mom

You're brave

You're loved by 3 amazing little humans and the hottest man in Canada!

2. What is your guilty pleasure music choice?

Country! American girl through and through

3. What is your favorite Canadian-ism?

I don't know if this is a Canadian-ism exactly "because I'm American" but I love how Canada always seems to fight for the under dog. Canada is a kind, open minded and makes space for individuality.

4. What has been your biggest business learning curve?

Taking a stand for being authentic to who I really wanted to be as a business woman, mother and wife as I walked through the process of suddenly having complete strangers have an opinion about my life, my worth and what should matter.

5. What makes you laugh till you snort?

Catch ups with the friends who you bare the good and bad to. They make me laugh till I snort, cry through tears and make me feel safe to be the realist form of myself.

6. Name a fellow Canadian #BossBirch you admire

Kendall Barber from Poppy Barley, I love her as a designer. The positive influence she has on our community and the stands she takes to make woman feel they are strong, beautiful and worthy of greatness.

 

You make us feel pretty worthy of greatness too Rachel.

xo

S

 

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So it’s Spring Break and not realizing it’s 2 whole weeks long rather than only 1 week like when we were kids, we didn’t plan a lot of activities for Stella. We also didn’t realize that her scheduled activities, dance and tae kwon do, would be cancelled. So I’m trying to keep her busy and do fun stuff but I’m failing miserably. 

You see I have a big confession, the kind of confession that will make other mothers give me dirty looks. It may also deter other mothers from wanting their children to play with mine but let’s be honest none of the other moms from Stella’s school are reading this shit anyways.

So here it is folks….I hate playdates. I’ve kept this dirty little secret to myself for years but I recently read an excerpt from Kelly Oxford’s new book of essays where she touches on the subject and it inspired me “to live my truth” for lack of better wording. 

Side note: I hate the term “spirit animal” but I can’t think of a better way to describe what Kelly Oxford is to me than my spirit animal. I just imagine someday if I ever get to meet her we could sit around drinking our iced vanilla lattes discussing all the people in the world who fucking irritate us while we Google mysterious illnesses that we both surely have. Oh and did I mention she’s Canadian AND a lover of the McDonalds Filet ‘O Fish?? All these years I was convinced the only reason it remained on the menu was due to my unwavering loyalty, years of being chastised by friends for eating it and I find somebody who proudly shouts from the rooftops how much she loves it as well!! So Kelly if for some reason you someday read this….visit me in the Okanagan next time you’re home in the Great White North.

But I digress…I think the real reason behind my hatred for playdates is I’m not a huge fan of other parents, yuck….that sounds so ugly!! I’m so sorry but it’s the truth!! That being said there are a few little buddies of Stella’s that are rad kids, most of them though are kids she’s met because I have become friends with their mothers first (Crystal) and they just happen to have kids Stella’s age (Neil). I want to make plans to have play dates with kids from her school but when I pick her up in the afternoon none of them seem too interested in her, and she them. As soon as she sees me she’s like “peace out I’m going home to listen to Bey with my mom”. 

When Stella was a baby/toddler the mom’s from my “Mommy and Me” group would try to arrange playdates at each other houses once a week and I rarely made it to their houses and HATED it when they came to mine. It was so crazy and loud and the kids would destroy my house pulling every single toy Stella owns out of every single labelled bin. But then as everybody is leaving and offering to stay and help clean up Im so anxious to get people out of my house that I just say “oh don’t worry about, it’s not a big deal.” But it is a big deal, I spent 3 hours cleaning the house before you even got here so you would think my house is aways this clean and organized. I could also always tell when the mom’s were 100% judging the lack of outlet covers on all the outlets, or random small things lying around the house (we never had a problem with Stella putting things in her mouth). Or god forbid they look in my pantry and find the no name brand zesty cheezies from Safeway, you know the ones that come in the big clear bag with red printing on them, that Stella had most definitely munched on. I once had a mom say to me in my own house “you know the candle you’re burning in your bathroom is full of toxins and is awful for your child”……ya but it’s my favorite candle from Bath and Body Works so….. 

I’ve basically avoided them unless it was just one other kid. 

I’m also not very good at entertaining kids, complete disclosure here guys, I’m the mom who’s gonna throw on a Disney movie for them and make a pot of KD…and I don’t feel bad about that. My husband is the fun parent, he will take Stella and a friend to the pool or the movies or sit on the floor and play Lego with them for hours!! 

But here we are, 1 whole week left of Spring break and I gotta do it for my kid….I gotta make the ultimate sacrifice and host a playdate. 

Because I’m SUCH a good mom you guys. 

But no more faking it for this working mom, the snacks will be chips and the lunch will be PB&J, we’ll watch a movie….maybe 2. But will the other mom really care?? No, because she’s getting an afternoon off to herself….she’ll probably come pick up her kid with a fresh manicure or no groceries in her car because she had time to get home and unload them by herself. She might have a little spring in her step because she got to poop in private while going down the rabbit hole of Instagram.

So in conclusion….let’s all give each other a parenting break once and a while. Also my kid would think you were the coolest mom ever if you gave her McDonalds for lunch during a playdate!

S

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