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Mama Bear & Cub- Giving Mothers & Families options
$1,767 raised
35% of $5k goal
37 contributors
4 Years running

Hello all thank you for taking the time to read this, and for considering donating. It means alot to us!

I am opening a store on the West Side of Buffalo. We will sell a variety of products relating to pregnancy, birth, infants and toddlers, including new and gently used children's clothing - as well as offer classes and conversations in a community space in the building to expand new and experienced parents options when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. I want to help other mamas and families in my community to be able to get stuff for their babies that gives them peace of mind. Nothing is more important to a Mama Bear than protecting her cub. I don’t want other mamas to have to go through the same exhausting research and process I did to find the things I needed to take care of my child and myself that would do no harm.

This store is the logical conclusion to what has been one of the most rewarding but also one of the most challenging parts of my life. It’s a deeply personal project so I want to share with you about it.

A little about me: I am a Proud African American Women, mother, wife, doula, and aspiring Midwife and not in that order. When I met my husband Nate and got pregnant with our daughter, Nayeli, life changed. It had to. I had to start caring about what I put in my body. I had to care about what I exposed myself and her to. You can ask Nate - it was the hardest change i ever had to do. Because for my whole life I didn't care about the food I ate or the products I put in my body or on my skin. I did not give it a second thought. Why should I right?

I cry a little as I write this because it was not until I looked outside my own scope that I realized I had been poisoning myself with my daily choices and I had no idea.

I was constantly shocked at the ways that my choices about everything from food to what kind of container I drank water from everyday could affect mine and more importantly my future child’s health. I was never taught about the real harm of pesticides, BPA’s or GMO’s. To me organic or more expensive options were just another way to charge more money. As far as birth was concerned I thought you go to the hospital and lay on your back and boom a baby comes out and “if all else fails” you have a C-section. You are told to listen to the experts if you want to be a good mom. “It's what is best for the baby.” And you listen - because all you want for this unborn child is to be good to them.

Though after hearing, seeing and reading enough, I understood a lot more and with new knowledge comes, dare I say, great responsibility. The seed of doubt was planted. If they lied to me about Columbus and food, what else have they lied to me about? BIRTH! So I started learning as much as I could about all of it and I continue to learn about my different options.

I had the great fortune to meet my Midwife on the day I found out I was pregnant, a woman who has dedicated her life to midwifery. I would go on to meet my close friend who has been a mentor as I have learned more and more about birth. The story of birth I was taught by these women was a vastly different from the one I’d been taught for all my life. These women, along with my experiences, have inspired me to become a doula for others and to tell my story.

So, then this amazing child Nayeli was born and so did the overwhelming task of keeping her safe. Real tears I cried after looking into many of the standard baby products that existed. We shouldn't have to worry about the baby mattress we put our child down on or the clothing we put on their skin, or what we bathe them in or when they’re ready to eat, the food we put in their little bellies. How can these companies not care about their harmful products that they label as safe with no conscious? It is wrong and there is nothing more to it.

I want to empower women and families with more options and opportunities to provide a healthy life for their children. I want to give them the peace of mind that before they buy something, they can touch, feel and see for themselves that they made the most conscious choice they could.

I am very discouraged by the statistics of prenatal care, childbirth and infant health in our country generally and particularly for women of color. I know that these options are particularly less available for woman of color. I will offer free classes in the community open to everyone to encourage dialogue, knowledge, and broaden options around pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. We need to work together to make better choices because our next generation deserves that!

To be honest, I was angry. I am still angry that these choices for us and our children are not easier. I am angry as everyone should be. I am taking that anger and I am creating a place for mamas (and papas and grandmas and grandpas, who ever make the choice to come thru those doors are welcome) - to buy stuff they can trust and to learn together.

Nate and I have been saving money for years to make this happen. Some of the money is needed to finish the build out of the store, pay insurance and help to buy the point of sales system. The money will also support classes I am committed to keeping free and to help set up a diaper scholarship so that families in need never go without the essentials . I will use some of the money for classes and certifications to better my knowledge. $5,000 dollars would allow me to do that.

I am extremely grateful for any contribution and we are not a exactly a silicon valley start up so I can offer no percentage return on your investment but I as we proceed, I will honor your contribution by t-shirts, Onesies, sticker or buttons and my everlasting gratitude. I will also be

updating you on the difference my store is making in the community and putting your name in a visible place saying thank you (if desired)?

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