One night in October of 2014, after putting my son to sleep I sat in my small kitchen of my small lakeshore apartment and contemplated the meaning of all of this. When I say all of this I mean life in general. The question that burned me always is why. Why do we humans do what we do, day in day out? Why do we say what we say, wear what we wear, drive what we drive, live where we live, why are we the way that we are, and are we being authentic to our true selves, and what is that anyway? Before I could contemplate any further my son woke up as he does every hour (still to this day) to get me to help him fall back asleep. Those are his needs, so I help him.. come back and resume my life plan, I make these for a friend of mine, we usually get a good laugh at them, and never see them again. But this time I was alone, and I was serious.
After working for nearly 8 years as the personal and executive assistant to one of the busiest people in the world (in my opinion) I knew there was no way I could ever provide as much value to him now that I was a mother to this new human being who too needed me 24/7 it was simply not feasible in anyway. As my mat leave was approaching its life span I knew I was staying home regardless of what that meant for us financially. At the end of the day that is the only thing that I knew for certain so I went with it. I called my boss and said we need to talk, I walked into his office and told him to fire me, that I can't come back he said he already knew that and smiled, as he too stayed home when his children were small to raise them. There was one problem, Its against the law to fire a woman on mat leave. So my option was to come back or to quit, and walk away with nothing. Which was an option, but not one I liked.. I had a few months of mat leave left to think about my next steps..
Meanwhile it was time to part with the luxury lifestyle I worked way to hard to achieve.. We moved out of our nice condo, found a quaint apartment in a house in Mimico, returned my Benz.. sold my LV bags, cut my credit cards..donated my heels and blazers to friends.. As my brother observed, motherhood had changed me 360 and there was very little I could control about the fact., nor did I want to. The person I was before becoming a mom was emotionally numb, confused, often deeply depressed about the decisions I've made in the past which only resulted in addictions followed by tears which were strictly kept inside simply to torture me. Change is a great thing. Motherhood was a blessing.
It did not bother me to let go of the material things in order to be home with my son, I was happy to let it all go and walk around the park staring at trees and the clouds as my son crawled around. Being on mat leave slowed me down to such a degree I began to see the point in things. And the more aware I became the more I was able to see my path at least for the next couple years.. and it didn't include a corporate office.. Thankfully I work for some of the most remarkable people who were able to sit down and make a plan that worked for everyone, including my son.
My long term plan was to become a holistic nutritionist. Still is, it came to me when I was reading Vitality magazine which I usually pick up from my neighborhood health store on Lakeshore and First. I saw this ad and it hit me - this is what I should be doing with my life, helping pregnant women eat right, as this is when I began to care and question everything about life. The responsibility of this new human being inside of me overwhelmed me, it all started with picking a name, how huge is it that I get to decide another human being's name? I was happy when this task was done by his father. We didn't know anyone by that name, so Vitaly (Vito for short) was perfect, although he was almost Dominic.
Back to that night in October, when I decided to write my life plan, on the top of the page I wrote my dream life in ten years. It said that I was going to have a beautiful space where I was going to practice my holistic nutritionist business with a specialty in maternity. Because that is where it all begins, this is where it brought meaning to me and I could finally bring value to other people. I started to describe all the details of my new space, what books I was going to put on the shelves, what plants I would have on the floor. And that I would also feature my then hobby gift baskets for new moms. I loved making gift baskets for my friends and family, come to think of it I have always loved making and giving meaningful gifts. If I couldn't come up with one, I wouldn't give anything at all..
And that is where it hit me and I wrote down, why not start the gift business now? That night I wrote down my ideas as they came, I must have written for hours. And every night I would write and write and write. My main purpose was to create gifts that included essentials for new moms that they actually needed as new moms, not just cute things but meaningful and safe products which they would feel good about using. Not only on themselves but on their new babies. Over a year or so I researched many natural skincare and wellness companies. I wanted everything to be made locally here in Ontario. I knew there had to have been enough amazing people out there who were crafting truly natural and loving products for the entire family, for the right reasons. I am very proud of my suppliers today. Most are farmers, who grow their own healing herbs and do it for the love of helping others, and not for financial gain. Non of this is for financial gain, I genuinely want to help mothers and fathers see that there are healthier options right here in Ontario. That is another reason I offer free shipping, because no one likes to pay shipping fees. People already think organic and natural costs more, imagine if I told them to pay me $15 shipping on top of their order?
I chose the name becauseVITO because ultimately its all because of my son. By coming into my life he has opened my heart and mind to possibilities I never would have dreamed of. His birth empowered me to live life on my terms. If I was able to give birth to him naturally it meant to me that there was nothing that I couldn't achieve the same way. It might be painful, it might be exhausting it might push me over the edge but at the end of the day its possible. Anything is possible. The question is how bad do you want it and do you believe you can do it. That is my philosophy. Having a purpose and a dream made me feel alive, and in January of 2016 I launched my website. I may have done a happy dance.. one you know no one is watching..
Thank you for reading and giving me a chance!