I have heard about Iona Bonamis' workshops before and stumbled upon on of her posts on Facebook. She was giving away free Kefir grains which I attempted to use for a homemade goat's milk kefir. She has some great homemade recipes on her website. Read on to learn more about how she started her business and how she helps the community.
As an Eco-Maternity Consultant and founder of A Healthy Beginning, I I help new and expecting parents, and caregivers create greener and healthier homes, bodies, and environments for themselves and their children. Through one-on-one consultations and group workshops, I empower parents and caregivers to become advocates of their own health. There is a lot of information out there warning us about various health hazards and harmful chemicals, and it can be overwhelming and even paralyzing to think about it. I help people overcome this fear by breaking down the information and focusing in on what’s important to them. We concentrate on what they can easily and realistically incorporate into their daily lives, and what is really important to them.
How do you juggle running a business while being a mom?
My family always comes first. I always ensure that I dedicate enough time to my son and husband. At the same time, I have to grow and maintain my business, while remaining effective in my other part-time job as a transportation planner on the North Shore. And of course, I have to find time for myself so that I am mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. To accomplish all of this, my husband and I share a detailed calendar of our activities, and I schedule in recurring events and tasks such as lunches with friends and family, date nights, play dates, massages for myself, and times to write new website material. By doing this, I ensure that things don’t get neglected and forgotten, and the important relationships in my life continue to be nurtured.
I also have a business plan, where I have identified my personal and work objectives. By identifying both sets of objectives at the same time, I have ensured that they complement each other. It also helped me set more realistic work objectives instead of lofty goals that would be impossible to achieve or would require me to sacrifice elements of my personal life.
What do you find most challenging?
While I am very comfortable talking about my work, talking about myself and promoting myself does not come naturally to me. Self-promotion is definitely something that I find most challenging.
What advice would you offer mothers who would like to start a business?
Go for it! Don’t let others put doubts in your mind. If your intuition tells you that you have a good business idea, run with it! While it can be scary and nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, it is also exhilarating and very satisfying.
Also, before you start, take the time to thoroughly develop a business plan and a marketing plan. These are not only invaluable when you first start up, but it will also guide the growth of your business.
What are the future plans for your business?
I plan to offer a greater diversity of workshops in the future, as well as continue to work with parents and caregivers on a one-on-one basis. I will also continue to expand my library of recipes and resources on my website so that it can be a one-stop-shop for people seeking green and healthy solutions.
Here are a couple of upcoming events:
Simple Ways to Reduce Your Baby’s Exposure to Toxins
Monday, June 27, 2016, 12:30-2:00pm
Childbearing Society, 3569 Commercial St, Vancouver.
Childbearing Society members: $5, non-members: $10.
All proceeds go to the Childbearing Society. Register here
Being healthy and green doesn’t mean that you have to give up your current lifestyle or that you have to spend a lot of money. This workshop will teach participants simple steps that they can take to reduce their family’s exposure to toxic chemicals. It is perfect for expecting and new parents. Topics covered will include air and water quality, food and nutrition, personal care and cleaning products, baby gear, nursery design, and more!
Newborns to pre-crawling infants are welcome to attend.
Top 5 Ways to Create a Healthy & Green Home for Your Family
Monday, July 18, 2016, 1:30-2:00pm
The Juice Truck, 28 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver.
Join us at The Juice Truck for Mama Mondays! Meet other mamas and learn the top 5 things you can do to create a healthy and green home for your family. Come early to chill out with other mamas and babes before the presentation.
A Healthy Beginning
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