Updated: Oct 4, 2018
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” - Jane Howard
Thanks to the generosity of an individual who has asked to remain anonymous, we were afforded with the opportunity to attend the Calgary Baby & Tot Show over the past weekend. This was both exciting and challenging in the sense that it was very last minute (we had only 24 hours to put a booth and materials together), but we certainly weren’t about to say no to an opportunity to get our message out there.
Because of #IKEA and #STAPLES Print Center, we were able to create a warm and welcoming stall that brought visitors of all ages. Some wanted to learn more about The Nest Calgary while others simply came to cuddle the stuffed animals, cozy up on the couch or take a load off their feet. It was quite amusing to have one tired grandma fast asleep in our chair only minutes after sitting down and then heart warming to be told later by another wise soul that we had obviously created a warm and safe environment for her to do so.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this show or its attendees and so must admit to ‘winging it’. At times I also recognized after the fact that I did not necessarily give the most politically correct answers, and this is something to work on. I do believe that a difference in opinion or outlook is healthy and should bring about opportunity to learn and grow even if in the end, we agree to disagree.
In no order, these were my top three take-aways:
1. The stigmatization and stereotyping of unwed mothers is alive and well in 2018. When approached, many women of all ages quickly pointed out to me that they were not single mothers even though we were only trying to create awareness and garner support for our chosen cause.
2. Some LOVE our vision and the home that we aspire to open whereas others disagree with it in its’ presented form. Where ours is an intimate and holistic family-centric focus, others feel the needs of displaced mothers and children are better addressed in a more clinical manner and left to the ‘professionals' as opposed to the notion of mothers helping mothers.
3. I need to fine tune my 30 second elevator pitch plus simplify the message so to help the public at large understand how they can help build this nest and why it is a wise investment of their time, money, and/or effort.
We are next going to be at The Calgary Woman’s Show the weekend of Oct 20-21. If you are around, stop by for a visit as we would love to have you. Booth 425.