I’m constantly inspired by other mothers. I know now, first-hand, how this gig feels, and it’s not for the faint of heart. While the days are full of precious moments that replenish our joy and enthusiasm, it’s tough to ignore the physical and emotional challenges that accompany all the goodness. However, moms seem to figure it out – finding a perfect balance of energy and grace to love their children well – over and over again.
I’m particularly blown away by moms who find avenues through which to share their child-ignited passions and wisdom with other people. For that reason, I was honored to interview Michelle Simmons of Slow North on how motherhood carved her path in the entrepreneurial world.
Michelle and her husband Jon are the founders of Slow North, a local company creating small-batch, botanical goods that support whole living. Founded while Michelle was on maternity leave with their son, Slow North was the Simmons’ response to a recognized need – a need for clean and safe products in the home, and a deeper need for a life inspired by simple and natural beauty. Where the market was lacking, they decided to fill a void, beginning with all-natural candles made only with transparent ingredients.
Understanding the necessity of a healthy home, especially for children, Michelle and Jonathan took the leap to open a family business that is now as much a part of their identity as the family members themselves. Because the birth of their son was the catalyst for a greater vision, Slow North’s products exude a unique level of care, consideration, and intention.
On the balance of raising a two-year-old son and growing a business, Michelle explains that it’s all interconnected now. While she works hard to maintain work/life balance, her identity as a mother is an undeniable driving force behind their products and determination to expand their brand for the sake of others.
“Becoming a mother helped me discover my capacity is much larger than I ever knew,” Michelle said. “My capacity to love and my capacity to care for another little human – when I feel like I have nothing more to give – is powerful because it helps me realize I have it in me. It lifts a self-imposed limit I’ve created in my self-talk, which extends to every part of my life.”
Michelle explains that even in the most challenging moments, Slow North feels like the right work to be doing. Together, Michelle and Jonathan are building something greater than themselves – they’re hand-crafting products that support a daily renewal for all people while instilling in their son a real-life business sense.
“I hope our son sees and appreciates the amount of effort and energy that goes into starting something from scratch, and shares with us the rewarding glow of little wins along the journey,” Michelle says.
Only a year and a half after it was founded, Slow North has become a national brand and trustworthy guide for healthy living. Michelle and Jonathan do everything from design to production 100% in house. Their backyard studio (yes, in their own backyard!) is a place of joy, energy and rejuvenation. It is only in this sweet oasis that Slow North products come to life.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: moms are incredible, and moms need other moms. Any wisdom or guidance we can impart on one another, in whatever way is possible, is worth sharing.