How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
Cassandra and Jack (9 and 6) were born in Canada. My youngest, Diana, is two and was born here in Iowa.
What do you love about living in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor?
Iowa city has been a really welcoming and easy place to move too. We particularly like the mild winters (not even joking! Northern Canada is cold yo!)
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the area?
There are so many fantastic restaurants in the Iowa City area but Dumpling Darling has been our pandemic take-out, go to. The Korean chicken dumplings are my jam right now.
Tell us about your career.
I worked as a paramedic for the ambulance service in Canada for almost 10 years. I, and lots of the women I worked with, wanted to look nice during the 14+ hour night shifts so we started wearing eyelash extensions. Even with blood on my shoes and vomit on my shirt, when I looked at myself at 2 am in the rear view mirror, the lashes still made me feel pretty. After I had my first kiddo the night shifts were brutal so I turned lashing into an unexpected career! By the time we left Canada it had grown into two major locations, a training academy, and a product line. I had to sell my beloved business when we moved to America but the new owner has kept it up and running even through the dumpster fire that was 2020.
The licensing rules for lashes are different in Iowa so, while I work that out, I started my hobby business making soap and bath bombs. Its called The Bath Bakery!
Why did you decide to open this business?
I was making boutique soap as my hobby and it may have gotten slightly out of control. One day my husband couldn’t stand it anymore, made me a website, and told me to sell it on the internet. I don’t know what his problem was, but it might have had something to do with the three shelves worth of soap that made our garage smell like a bubble bath and blocked him getting into his car.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Its fun, its creative, and my kids like to sample the products and design their own. Before Christmas, when there were lots of orders, we were running what I affectionately call “the family sweat shop”. My husband was making boxes and the older 2 kids were sticking on labels. The toddler pretty much just ran about the house excited to be included.
How do you juggle work with mommyhood?
My kids have always been a part of my work life. At five, my eldest daughter new how to work the credit card machine and would ring lash clients up after kinder. I paid her in candy. Ha! Apparently it stuck because now she sells soap with me at craft fairs.
How has your job changed during COVID-19?
The Bath Bakery definitely wouldn’t have done as well without COVID and may not even have existed. The most popular product, by far, was the Dr. Fauci soap set (scented with Lysol and tears).
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?
Coffee. Mostly coffee.