Hot dads in headwraps

Ok, made you look! 

This is a love song
to the ones who roll up the sleeves
who plan adventure time with the kids
visits to PoCo with Nanna

This is a love song
to the ones who model the headwraps
who rock the Parklife T’s
and the feminist steeze

This is a love song
to the ones who understand our hopes
who still listen when it’s late
and support our dreams to create.


Notes on raising daughters... part 1

I grew up in a household of three daughters. My sisters and I are very close in age; all born within three and a half years. Looking back now, it’s safe to say that we were good kids. Today, we’re the kind of people who (I think) have strongly centred ethics, sense of justice, and progressive views of the world. My sisters are the kind of people I’d love to get seated next to at a dinner party so I can absorb from their brilliance. I may be biased but I’m willing to bet you would too.

Even if I wasn’t conscious of it back then, I was taking notes on how to raise daughters; or more specifically, how I’d like to raise daughters. Of course what I mean is, how I’d like children to be brought up in general — but for now I’m dropping ‘him’ and sticking with ‘her’. Anyway, if my sisters are any indication, I think I’ve got a pretty decent set of notes to go on.

The three of us, in flight... 

The three of us, in flight... 

I find it disappointing that a lot of people — women — refrain from using the word ‘feminist’ for fear of… heck I don’t know what. Actually, I find it remarkable. Why do we fear that word, fear the label? Who are we afraid of offending? People who don’t believe that all humans should be afforded the same opportunities, the same political, social, or economic rights? People who think labels are dangerous and we should hum along with the status quo? 

Well, fuck it.

As long as we still experience big opportunity gaps amidst the genders (which includes men, women, and everything in between), feminism continues to be worth championing. My own immigrant parents took it up when they drilled in the importance of higher education and strong careers for their girls. They wanted their first generation Chinese-Canadian daughters to knock down some barriers in the workforce and be independently successful.

I also want my kids to be independently successful. And I want them to know they have choices in life; maybe some choices I didn’t think I had. That they can live a certain lifestyle that might not fit in ‘mainstream’ definitions, as long as they’re not hurting others. That they can choose an education or career path that makes their hearts sing. That they can choose to love openly, even marry that person, if that’s what they want.

Ultimately, I believe feminism is about choice. But before we have choices, we need the opportunity. So here we go — feminists, let’s do this.

Just a bunch of feminists contemplating a hot summer's day.

The Wuchild Interview: Bernice asks Yvette

Damn is it already October? We've been busy enjoying the summer, stretching out the sunny days as much as we could. Oh — and our co-founder Yvette got married! She married the love of her life and baby daddy, Chris, on a gorgeous sun-filled day on the greens of Stanley Park. It was the ultimate tribute to #parklife, ha!

Mr and Mrs Hild!

Even though I know Yvette pretty well, I still wanted to get her take on certain aspects of getting married, and on the wedding itself. She's always had such a laid back vibe about the whole thing, but I was curious to know what the big moments were for her.

B: You own a home together, have a daughter together, so now that you're officially married, what's changed in your relationship with Chris?

Y: So many people ask us this question! Funny thing is, I usually pause to ask myself  — hmm what has changed? —  and in those microseconds of silence most tend to answer for me: “I bet not much has changed, eh? You guys have been together forever and have a kid!”

And you know what, they’re right; nothing has changed — in our relationship. But there was something so undeniably magical about celebrating our love in front of all our people that it profoundly changed us as individuals. To be celebrated like that and experience that much happiness and raw emotion in one day... how could that not change you, right?

Gettin' jiggy with it in Hawaii.

B: I know it's a really personal decision: what went into yours to take Chris' last name?

Y: It became a pretty easy decision after we had Henny. It really bothered me that she had a different last name than me. Like seriously I grew the kid for nine months and gave birth to her and we have different last names? WTF!

I suppose I could have had Chris change his last name or have us do the hyphenated thing... but maybe out of laziness and not wanting to over think things, it just felt right to go with his. And who am I kidding... everyone will still call me “Wu” anyway!


B: Most brides have the luxury of focusing solely on planning their wedding, while you had a young family, full-time job, and Wuchild to manage all at the same time. Why did you and Chris decide to go ahead with the ceremony?

Y: Short answer: my dad.

For the longest time Chris and I thought we’d just elope or have a super small ceremony. Like you say, I have a kid, full time job, and Wuchild to focus my time and energy, so seriously, who has time to dedicate to a wedding?

I’ll never forget one evening when I proposed the idea of a small civil ceremony to my parents. My dad almost sprung out of his seat and said “but I want to walk you down the aisle!”. That actually makes me tear up just thinking about it.

Anyway, that evening when Chris came home from hockey. I remember saying to him “Hey we need to have a wedding; my dad wants to walk me down the aisle. Do you want to walk Henny down the aisle one day? Yes? Right, so let’s get planning my friend.”  And that was that!

To be honest though, we didn’t actually spend a lot of time planning our wedding. I think we spent more time finding the perfect suit for Chris than our wedding planning. 

But everything seemed to just fall into place. I randomly found my dress at  Union Bridal's pop up in Chinatown (they’re the best!!!). Tried the dress on a whim. Sent photos of myself in the dress to you and a few other girlfriends. Bought the dress and forgot to get it altered until a month before the wedding. But it was totally fine!

 

B: I remember you telling me about the dress and thinking, is she for real? You're hilarious! Ok and what about the rest of your wedding set up?

Y: Oh yeah my wedding shoes! Remember I was eyeing up those Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals from our go to local gem Umeboshi Shoes? I had no idea if they would actually "go" with my dress but at that point I didn't care because I needed them!  

For a while there I didn't think I'd even get a wedding ring because I didn't have time to scope them out or get one made in time. I know, it's so ridiculous! But of course on my weekly dreamy after work trips to Much & Little, I found the perfect  silver ring - and bought it.

We didn't have any decorations for our wedding — we didn't have any time to think about colours and flowers. So the day before our wedding, we were sitting at Bean Around the World on Main Street. It dawned on us that maybe I should get a few flowers to hold (as a bouquet) and we looked across the street and bam — there was the Flower Factory. So we went there and spent $20 on a few gorgeous flowers. Done. I think that was the theme of our wedding planning; less is more. We took a very laid back approach. The day went so smoothly though!


B: Was there anything you were most anxious about on the big day?

Y: Walking down the aisle with my dad — AHHHH!! Envisioning it made me super emotional. I was so worried I would be balling my eyes out the entire way down. Admittedly I do sometimes like to be the centre of attention, but only in small groups, not big ones!

Yvette walks down the aisle with proud papa Reggie.

B: We love Top 5's... What were your Top 5's from all your wedding festivities?

Y: Only five?! Okay so besides marrying my best friend, here's my top five...

#5: The collective "awwww!!" gushing from the crowd as Henny and her two grandmas walked down the aisle. I can only imagine how cute the three of them were.
(B: They were really freaking cute.)

#4: The incredible speeches. Not a dry set of eyes in the room.

#3: My mom getting tipsy! After one glass of wine. #cheapdrunk.

#2: Walking into the Fish House and being announced "Mr. and Mrs. Hild!" — the cheering was so AWESOME!


#1: Last but not least, walking down the aisle with my dad.

 

What's #parklife?

Yvette and I are beyond stoked about our very first Wuchild tee: #parklife. It came from a concept in Yvette's brain and was brought to life by the super talented (and the most patient and accommodating) designer Aly Youssef.

This design means a lot to us, both having enjoyed our fair share of beautiful green space in our first years of motherhood. And until last spring we lived within eight blocks of one other along Main Street, so these Mount Pleasant parks are especially near and dear. 

But #parklife is more than a bunch of parks. Every location is special to us because they served as the backdrop to some truly magical memories.

It's that place they discovered grass for the first time. And had their first swing ride.

That place we dash to, oh, any time between sunrise and sunset when they are getting a little crazy and nothing at home will do.

That place we gather for impromptu play dates as soon as the weather clears.

That place with the bigger kids who showed them how to climb, just put one foot up like this, now pull yourself up!

That place with the piano that saved my life many times over and kept me going when it all felt too hard.

We know you all have your own magical spots, and we hope #parklife captures just a little of that magic for you.

Top 10 mic-dropping moments at Conscious Divas 2015

Yvette and I were two of the lucky women to attend the sold out Conscious Divas Summer Soiree, an annual event produced by the multi-talented Kate Muker. This year the soiree was hosted at Nicole Bridger's new Gastown studio, and we were tingling at the prospect of meeting some very talented women entrepreneurs in our city. 

Conscious Divas is marketed as a heart-centred networking event, and this intention was made clear right from the start. As Yvette and I entered the space, we felt warmly welcomed, the two of us being brand new to the entrepreneurial world, and became engaged in some great conversations around running small businesses, juggling family demands and our (super cute) kids, and everything in between. So much was packed into three hours (including trying on some pants at the store) but here are our Top 10 mic-dropping moments from Conscious Divas 2015:

Number 10: Reconnecting with some familiar faces from different times and places in my life. Bianca from Bee Communications and I have a mutual childhood friend, and the last time we saw each other in a professional context we were working for big corporate entities (she, the Vancouver Canucks, and me, the BC Automobile Association). And Lisa Princic, I had connected with several times in the past through local networking events. What I loved was seeing these women now in a different context and each of us in a different phase of our careers and lives.

Number 9: Kombucha and wine. Mixed together in one drink. Oh yah, it's pretty good.

Number 8: Meeting Stacey Foley, Orgasmic Meditation Trainer. Stacey's a certified trainer in Orgasmic Meditation and a Desire Life Coach. For her, the orgasmic experience should centre all our interactions: whether it's work relationships or family dynamics. And it's all about taking control of things and listening to our inner goddess, not so much about focusing on those few seconds of physical pow. (Which are also great, by the way.)

Number 7: Talking shop. We met Sam Skelly, the founder of Hungry for Happiness. At such a young age, Sam has amazing dreams to create a complete and useful resource for men and women seeking help for eating disorders. After quickly getting familiar with each other, we proceeded into gritty shop talk, like tactics to work our social media and how to get the attention of certain community investors. What I loved was how trusting and open we were with each other and that there was no "icky" feeling or strings attached to our exchange.

Number 6 and 5: Giving away Wuchild headwraps as door prizes. Two of the winners were Ruksyrocks and PureSouls, rocking the Heather Pepper and Wave of Triangles. Oh it really was quite a moment and an honour to accessorize these women in our wraps! 

Number 4: Finding a soul sister in Vagabond Babe. Yvette and I have been admirers of Vagabond Babe for some time now, first stumbling upon her Instagram months ago. We love the grit of her brand, and she's hustling from Squamish, BC! We talked about our dreams for our businesses, the day-to-day struggles with bringing up small kids, and how awesome it was to be able to connect with each other at an event like this. We just got each other.

Number 3: Beside every great man, is a great woman. April Bellia, founder of Granola Girl (among many other businesses) dropped the mic with that little twist on the famous line "behind every great man..." The context was some wisdom to us women entrepreneurs, to let some masculine energy into our businesses. It was definitely one of those moments you could feel the goosebumps in the room.

Number 2: As with our babies, we should never compare our businesses. This a-ha moment was brought to us by Jen Wilson, the founder of Von Bon, one of the most successful baby businesses in town. She was so down-to-earth and accessible during her short talk, and later gave me and Yvette a lot of her time. We picked her brain, she gave us some useful advice we could apply immediately, and she shared very candidly the challenges she's facing, now into her third year of running her business. She really couldn't have been more gracious and amazing.

Number 1: We are so lucky to have each other. It was mid-way through the lightning round of introductions that it dawned on me and Yvette that we might have been the only set of business partners present. We had each other for moral support, to back each other up, to double our networking capabilities. Doing it on our own, like most of the other women in the room, would have been a much more daunting proposition, and the same goes for running a business as an emerging entrepreneur. We're here for each other to celebrate the gains, sweat through the pains, but most importantly, to have fun and remember why we're doing this. High five, girl.

The great headwrap vs headband debate

Oh yes, the great debate. I might have an affinity for headwraps but that's just because I feel like it's a more versatile way of using a piece of fabric to wrap around my head. But is there a difference? The question popped up as Yvette and I started working on this website and here, I present you, the Top 3 compelling differences between headwraps and headbands. 

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