What’s New For LilyBee? Summer 2020

In November of 2019 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Nora. Since then I’ve taken a bit of a maternity break from working, but since it’s my own business it is always on my mind in the background. Especially since I work with new moms and babies, having my own newborn again (she’s my third) reminded me of the challenges and joys and sparked some new ideas.

Travels & Trainings…

In March of this year we went to the States to visit family. We had been thinking of going for Easter, but there was a training that I had on my wish list for a while that was taking place in March (more on that later). Looking back, of course, we are really glad we went when we did! We had a wonderful time with family, but things were tightening up and we could tell this Corona thing was getting serious. At one point the Swiss government asked citizens to return, so we booked our tickets back three days before our scheduled flight. Our original flights ended up getting cancelled anyway so we were glad we left when we did.

Nora doing tummy time during my BBH training

So what was the training? It’s called Bringing Baby Home and was created by The Gottman Institute in Seattle, Washington. They saw a need for new parents to have information about how to keep their relationships strong amidst the multitude of changes that come with starting a family. What signs of relationship trouble do couples need to look out for and how can they be prevented or changed? I’ve had my eye on this training for some time. I love Dr. Gottman’s work and I think keeping your marriage strong is an integral part of raising secure, healthy kids. So when they offered the training in March and we had planned a trip to the US around that time I made sure to align the dates so that I could go. Nora was four months old and I was apprehensive about how it would go. She was amazing! She nursed when she needed to, did tummy time on her play mat next to my seat, and got lots of compliments from the other participants. I had to leave the room about once each day (the days were long – 10 hours each) to walk around outside with her in the sling until she fell asleep, but otherwise she was very content. I enjoyed the workshop and am excited to be able to bring back what I’ve learned and offer Bringing Baby Home workshops here in Zurich (and hopefully virtually once I work out the details). I think it will be especially relevant to expat couples who are expecting or have just had their first baby. You can find out more about it here.

New Product Range: Personalized Baby Clothes

Before we left for the States I was invited to have a booth at a secondhand clothing sale taking place at Academicus in Zürich. The idea was to have people bring their secondhand baby items and sell them to other new parents. There would also be space for booths of several local entrepreneurs who have products or services for parents of 0-1 year olds. I thought this was a great idea and I was excited to be part of it. I was planning on representing my babywearing consultations at my booth and also debuting a new idea I had been working on for a while – upcycled personalized onesies. The idea was that I would have a booth there with pre-made onesies with a few cute designs on them and then people could have them personalized as they wait.

When we got back from the States it was clear that this market would not happen thanks to Corona. The good thing was that the market had set a deadline for me to make my ideas more concrete and to make some finished products to show people. I had those in place, so once I got back I was able to put the onesies on Etsy and start talking about my new products. I got particularly excited about a humorous one I made for Corona times announcing a pregnancy. I really like the idea of making something fun and light that brings a smile to people in the midst of all the other mixed emotions that come with having a newborn.

…Even More Trainings

Another thing I have had on my professional bucket list for some time is becoming a doula. A doula is someone who supports a couple through pregnancy, childbirth, and/or postpartum. It’s not medical like a midwife or doctor, but someone who provides information and emotional support to help the birthing person get the best possible outcome. Thanks to Corona the course I wanted to take was offered online, so I was able to join in from abroad and complete the workshop from my living room. I think being a doula would be a challenging and hugely rewarding job. At the moment I still have a 5-year old son, a 3-year old daughter, and a 10 month-old daughter who is breastfeeding on demand. This means I’ll have to put off actually providing doula services for a while, but I’m glad I got the training when it was available and I’m looking forward to being able to accompany women through such a life-changing event.

All of this requires a lot more marketing than I realized. I am really passionate about all my services (and now products), but terrible at relaying that to the people who would benefit from them. To that end I took a “Digital Bootcamp” class recommended by a friend and fellow entrepreneur. It was very interesting and informative and helped me reassess a lot of things about my business. I really liked that the class wasn’t about what time and at what intervals to post to instagram for the best outcomes. I’ve heard those tips before and it just doesn’t resonate with me. Instead, this was focused on finding your core values and posting the things you’re thinking about and working on and being authentic with your audience. So even though Instagram often makes me feel old and out of touch, I will continue trying to connect and inform as best as I can.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been to my website before, you’ve probably noticed it has gotten a major facelift. An amazing, talented friend of mine, Christine Weeks, made me a new website and I could not be any happier with it. She has such a good eye for design and included so many lovely details that I would not have even thought to ask for. She was super responsive and helpful and wanted to make sure that my website really represented me and what I have to offer. If you’re looking for a new look for your current site or a new website from scratch I can highly recommend her.

You can tell a lot has been going on over here and I assure you there is more to come. I have a huge list of things I would be interested in providing the community, especially to people who are embarking on the adventure of parenthood far away from their own families.

Don’t worry, even with all of these new exciting additions, my babywearing consultations and baby sign language classes aren’t going anywhere. I’ve adapted both to work within the Corona restrictions and do my best to keep everyone safe.

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Christine Bliven

Christine is a babywearing consultant and parent educator who is passionate about helping new families get a good start by providing resources, tools, and practical tips. She lives in Zürich, Switzerland with her husband and three kids.

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