A letter from our founder...
Lover’s Tempo was my first baby. It started as a spark - a little idea in my mind. I wanted to make pretty things and share them with the world.
When I started Lover’s Tempo - I never imagined what it would be like to have an actual baby and a business. My business partner, Leslie, and I both manage our roles at Lover’s Tempo while raising our babies. We look around and see how many other women do the same thing - managing careers, school, life, with motherhood. Women are incredible.
As we were growing Lover’s Tempo, we recognized that being able to share our success by helping others was critical to our souls. Through a charitable organization that we sponsor, we learned that by helping women specifically, the impact on society was profound.
“Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities, and they improve prospects for the next generation” - UN Gender Equality Report.
Imagine - helping women creates benefits for whole communities and even future generations?! We knew that we needed to focus on supporting women. When we first learned about Mamas for Mamas, we instantly connected with their goal. Motherhood is a challenge even if you’re fortunate enough to have all of the tools - it’s unimaginable how difficult it would be in poverty.
Through our discovery process we learned about the selflessness of the mothers and caregivers who use their services. They prioritize the needs of their families and are often reluctant to request the bare minimum. They want to ensure they have food on the table and diapers for their babies. They’ve gone so long focusing on their families, forgetting what it feels like to be seen. We saw this as an opportunity to create something truly special as a reminder to these women that they matter and that we see them.
Jewelry carries so many meanings. From the necklace you received on your graduation day to the bracelet your daughter made you at art camp. Jewelry can symbolize a time, place or person in your life - it is a mark of something important to you. That’s why we created the buy one, gift one initiative - in hopes of showing those in the Mamas for Mamas community that they matter too.
"For every necklace purchased, we’ll be donating 1 to Mamas for Mamas to distribute through their Christmas hampers. While the mother’s will be focusing on their families this holiday season, we’ll be thinking about them. It’s simple, really: we only shine when everyone around us shines too. We hope you feel the same."
About Mamas for Mamas
Mamas for Mamas is a national charitable organization that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis by providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. Their mission is to change the landscape of poverty through innovative approaches to financial barriers faced by struggling families. They envision a future where no Mama or child is left behind. The most recent statistics from Citizens for Public Justice reports that a staggering 5.8 million people in Canada (or 16.8%) live in poverty. Mamas for Mamas are committed to giving a hand up, not just a hand out to those struggling by providing them with essential needs.
Self-care for Mamas and Caregivers
Self-care for Mothers and Caregivegrs shouldn't be an unattainable luxury, it should be about saying "I matter, too." Often, when people come to Mamas for Mamas, their main focus is getting help for their family. When it comes to Christmas Hampers, their wish list will have food, toys, books, or clothing for the kids, but rarely anything for themselves. We're doing what we can to make sure that there's something just for Mom, something beautiful to act as a reminder that they are important, and that they can get through hard times
THE KARMA MARKET
Struggling families can access crucial items such as clothing, diapers, formula and gear at no cost.
Navigating the available resources for food security, affordable housing, and education.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Access to an in-house mental health team where counselling is available at no cost for those who qualify.
Q & A with Stephanie and Celena
During a tour of their Vancouver facility, we had the chance to sit down with Stephanie and Celena from Mamas for Mamas and ask some questions about their organization. Stephanie is the National Partnership & Social Media Coordinator and Celena is the Partnership Coordinator for the Greater Vancouver area.
What is Mamas for Mamas mission?
S: Mamas for Mamas is a poverty relief agency and our biggest thing is making sure that no caregiver or child is left behind. And we do this by bringing in the community and making sure that everyones looking out for each other so that we can really work together to build those longer tables instead of higher fences.
What are some of the ways that you help Mother’s specifically?
S: This started as a community project, it was all Facebook and peer to peer based and from that we started recognizing the different needs that were in our communities. Shannon Christianson, our founder, started it all in her garage with a small swap. And it’s now expanded to 62 branches across Canada. We have 2 physical locations. We still help with the peer support but now we have our social workers, we have our victims service workers, we have programs that we run which are more peer to peer. We have our Karma Market where families can come in and collect the items that they need. We also have our self-care areas, so we can get women to have things that make them feel beautiful, that make them feel worthy.
Can you describe the selflessness that you see in the Moms you work with?
S: I can’t even begin to describe what you see when Mamas come in. We’re all wired to feel like we can do everything on our own. But at the end of the day that’s not sustainable, at some point Moms are going to burn out and be exhausted. So when they come to us it’s in a very vulnerable state. They’re asking for food, they’re asking for things to help their families. And it’s not very often that we see women asking for something for themselves. That’s when we get to step in and we can help them, and we can create not just a child with everything they need, we can set up a Mom with everything she needs so that she can thrive moving forward.
What would receiving a new piece of jewelry mean to a Mom who uses your services?
S: It’s more than just a gift. When we gift a piece of jewelry to these Moms, sometimes it’s the only gift they’ve received since they came into Motherhood. This is a piece that says you’re doing a great job, you’ve got it. We know life is hard, we know that mothering is hard, but this is a piece for you to celebrate who you are and what you’re going through in this moment.
How does wellness and self care play a part in what you provide?
S: I think so often we misinterpret what self-care means. Bubble baths, we think of massages, but at the end of the day self-care is taking care of yourself. It means filling up your cup so that when you come back to your family, you can be the best version of yourself. Self care could mean something like, not doing something for yourself, but even just saying “no” to something. Not stretching yourself thin, not exhausting yourself to the point where you can’t give anymore. There are so many versions of self-care that we really need to focus on the individual's needs.
Is there one moment that sticks out to you as special since your journey with Mamas for Mamas began?
C: The one moment that sticks out for me is when I reached out when I was in need. I started out with Mamas for Mamas as a Mama in need with my son. We had no car at the time and I reached out to Mamas for Mamas in Kelowna before Vancouver was operational, and Shannon Christianson actually sent me a brand new stroller all the way from Kelowna. Brand new in a box! It arrived and I was like, “That’s interesting..” because nobody else would ever do that! And since that time I connected with Anna Carr, our brand coordinator. She helped me with a dresser for my son and that’s when Vancouver was just starting out so she asked me to start a community garden with her. From the community garden in Ladner, I went from a kindness volunteer to a resource coordinator in North Delta, now I’m the partnership coordinator for Greater Vancouver. So that one moment when Shannon believed in me, that was it for me. Now that I’m here it’s been full circle, not only do I get to provide for families, I get to provide for thousands upon thousands of families in Vancouver year round. I love that because there are so many families that are in the same or worse situation than I was, and I’m able to provide with our team, items and essentials, and everything a family may need.
How can people beyond purchasing partnered products?
C: There’s so much beyond donating monetarily. You can donate your time, you can donate your used items, you can donate your voice and join the movement. We’re not just a moment, we’re a movement. The more people who believe in us, and join the movement, the bigger Mamas will grow. It will reach out to so many more families. Our name is getting out there in Vancouver, but I would love all of Vancouver to know about us, because when in doubt, you come to Mamas.
Megan, Jessica and Elaine from Lover’s Tempo with Stephanie and Celena from Mamas for Mamas at their Vancouver, BC office.