I'm Ashley - mother of four children and I am the designer, maker, and owner behind the LoveBird brand. The story of how LoveBird started is a long one, but I am going to try to condense 8 years for you.
a new beginning
I owned/operated a successful family-oriented CrossFit Studio in Calgary at the time and was in need of a comfortable place for my new baby to rest comfortably with me while I was coaching. I had seen a ‘Nest’ that a fellow crossfitter was using in Europe and I figured it would be a good option to try. Since there was nothing even remotely close to it online or available for purchase in Canada, I free hand designed my own.
My first attempt turned out pretty neat and I was really proud of how it looked so I posted pictures of it to my personal social media accounts. To my surprise friends and followers started placing requests and ordering that same day!
In a relatively short amount of time, I was selling quite a few Nests a month. I was sewing as much as I could in my free time, which there wasn’t a lot of with three kids and running a gym, but I loved it. It was a great way for me to have a creative outlet and provide a bit of extra income every month.
In early 2014, life unraveled as it sometimes does and I unexpectedly found myself a single mom of 3. At this time, I was forced to make a tough decision to sell my CrossFit gym and move closer to my parents in the Okanagan. This also meant that I was going to need a steady income to support my children.
So I worked as hard as I could to grow LoveBird into a sustainable venture. I literally sewed morning, noon and night! I was beyond exhausted and I don’t remember a lot between 2014 and 2016 but I do know that the kids were fed and we were happy!
But one important thing I do remember from late 2015 though, is that I was able to hire my first employee! At the time she was my saviour!
a fresh start
In early 2016, as luck would have it, I met my current life partner Raph. He jumped in with two feet and started helping me sew, everything and anything else that came along with LoveBird. And as our family grew, so did the business.
finding a balance
We were so busy by 2017, our house had become a literal sewing workshop.
By September, we were growing at such a rapid pace we had to hire another full-time seamstress. At that time, we knew we knew we needed to rent a commercial space and attempt to separate life and work.
By 2018, we were able to hire about nine more women who were moms in our community. While helping to contribute financially to their families income, they had and continue to have the flexibility to raise their children around schedules that include child pick-ups, drop offs, cold and flu season, and all of their extracurricular activities.
2019 was an amazing year.
In January, Spoonflower (the company where I source all of my fabric) wrote a “Meet the Maker” article on me. This was the absolute highlight of my career up to that point.
Check out Ashley's Spoonflower feature here.
In April, a jaw dropping moment for us as LoveBird won Mid-Size business of the year in Armstrong, BC!
We began to outgrow the commercial space, and I knew that I needed to follow my dream and build a bigger workshop on our property. Commercial space in Armstrong is very, very limited. We decided to try and scale back what we were using the shop for, move our workshop back into our home and try to start saving some money to make that happen.
We delegated our employees to contract work which enabled all but one to work from their homes.
learning to pivot
In early 2020, when the pandemic hit we were all already working from home, so it made running LoveBird easy.
In December of 2020, we finally broke ground and started the new build. We were able to make that part happen in just under a year, which was incredible.
Due to COVID inflation and manufacturing delays, the build hasn’t gone as quickly or as cost effectively as we were hoping. But we are getting there, and soon this will be LoveBird’s new home.
handcrafted + curated
We have recently started making DollNests, a venture that I am so incredibly excited to share with you all. Alongside the DollNests, I have carefully chosen handcrafted and curated items, dolls and accessories that compliment our craftsmanship and lifestyle. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our journey and for your support!