It only takes a couple minutes of talking with Ashley to realize that she is the epitome of an entrepreneur. She is a mom of four all while running her wildly successful business LoveBird Baby Nests. She was born and raised in Grande Prairie, moved around a bit and eventually settled in Armstrong, B.C. where she now calls home. I am thrilled to share someone so creative and talented with you all!
Q: Tell us how LoveBird came to be?
I designed and made my first BabyNest four years ago when I was pregnant with my third baby as a resting place to use while I was working. I had to return to work three short weeks after he was born. I was the first maker in Canada to start selling nests via Etsy in 2014 and I was also the first person in the world (as far as I can tell) to start chevron quilting the centre resting space on the nests. Unfortunately, I am unable to patent my design (as nests don’t serve a ‘function’) but I find it very flattering that to see other moms using the same design or spin off. Admittedly, it can be a bit frustrating as I wish for everyone to find their own niche and set themselves apart like I did. My 12 year old daughter has really struggled with this aspect of the business, she has been my right hand man helping to make nests since she was only 8! However, she has learned some very real and raw life lessons from this business experience and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Q: Where did the name LoveBird come from?
I actually have a tattoo of love birds on my arm and as I thought of them being called nests, it seemed perfect!
Q: What do you believe sets you apart from other makers?
I have always challenged myself to be a step ahead. Last year, I started working with artists to design my own exclusive fabrics and created an outdoor inspired line called WilderNests! Unfortunately, another maker has copied the idea but I did trademark it and it has been quite successful. I also have a small team of people helping me now as I would not be able to keep up with the demand alone anymore.
Q: What are your favourite benefits of Nests?
I love that you can literally use them anywhere! The nests in our living room are used repeatedly throughout the day by all 4 of our kids (and dogs!). Kids love hanging out on the floor and the Nests give them a cozy space to read, watch movies or just play. I also love the versatility of being able to take them camping- Kids always struggle with sleep when they are away from home and this gives them a familiar space that’s easy to bring along. My 3 year old and 8 year old love using their WilderNests!
Q: Have you always been an entrepreneur and a creative?
Definitely. I initially went to college with hopes of becoming a Midwife but my life took a turn and I started a dog hiking company in the early 2000’s. Then I moved to Canmore/Calgary and owned a crossfit studio for about 3 years before moving to B.C. As far as being a creative, yes! I have always painted/sewn/crafted, some might even say obsessively- If you asked my family they would tell you that I was born a maker. I love photography as well, I probably post too many photos to my personal Instagram page, but I think one day my kids will appreciate my incessant picture taking!
Q: What do you do outside of making Nests?
Haha! Well, that doesn’t happen much, I literally work every single day. When we do get out though, we love to unplug and escape into the wilderness. My husband and I both love skiing and snowboarding, although with 4 kids that happens less than it used to! We try to take them camping and hiking as much as we possibly can!
Q: What inspires you?
Mostly my children, they are what drives me to do better and be better every single day. LoveBird is our family’s sole income so when they see me working hard and succeeding it makes me very proud! I want to show them that the world is theirs and to always follow their hearts.
Q: Do you have a favourite nest?
There have definitely been a few that I didn’t want to sell! I am always very in love with the WilderNests we make, they are all much nicer than the ones my children have. Isn’t it always that way?! Ha!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it is so much fun getting to know a little more about the makers behind small shops- small being a relative term when it comes to LoveBird! I just gifted a good friend’s new babe with a nest and the quality is bar none. Ashley’s fabric designs are beautiful and you can absolutely feel the love that is put into her products!
If you are on the hunt for the perfect Christmas present or baby gift this is it, friends!