I have been in love with Simply Merino since my boys were babies and wearing their infant sleep gowns. This is not the first time I blogged about them! (For more cute photographs see Monkeys Jumping!, My Sweet Squamish Boys and We Love our Simply Merino)
If I can sum up Simply Merino in 3 words it’d be comfort, durability, health.
Comfort: I always thought of wool as itchy and scratchy until I was introduced to the sweet softness of Merino wool – so comfy!
Durability: I was just camping with some family and my little nephew was wearing the sleep set that we passed onto his older brother a couple years ago… this will be the 3rd generation of kid and the clothing is still in great condition!
Health: I am a sucker for natural fibers and that is exactly what merino is… so I feel good about putting my kids in it. They sleep, play and do sports like skiing, all in their Merinos.
Enough from me, now let’s hear from Shannon, the fabulous owner of Simply Merino 🙂
Tell us a bit about Simply Merino. What makes you awesome?
Simply Merino is our family run online store specializing in 100% Merino wool sleep and play wear for babies and kids up to age 12. We are awesome because we have beautiful 100% New Zealand Merino wool products which are locally made here in Vancouver. I get excited just writing about Simply Merino, because I truly think that our company is one of the most important and beautiful clothing stores around.
What is your most popular product and why do people love it so much?
Do I have to pick just one? I am going to pick two… Our infant 100% Merino wool sleep gown is our most popular product for the little ones. Infants can’t regulate their body temperature which has been proven to be a cause of SIDS, and Merino wool naturally regulates body temperature which helps babies sleep better and ultimately reduces the risk of SIDS.
It also lasts forever, as my 2 year old now wears his 3-6mths infant gown as a night shirt on warm nights. Our thermal under layers are our number one seller for kids. We sell a lot to outdoor nature schools and/or to outdoor enthusiasts. Merino wool wicks away moisture from the body, keeping children warm and dry while playing and learning outside. Our customers love our products, because unlike most wool, Merino wool is so incredibly soft and not itchy.
Where would you be if you hadn’t started your own business?
I am a French Immersion teacher working at the Vancouver School Board, so I imagine I would be working full time as a teacher instead of part time.
What do you like most about having your own business?
I love being creative. I love laying awake at night thinking about different designs, adding different colours and creating ads. I also love making people happy, and when we receive emails or reviews that our customers love Simply Merino then I know that we are doing something great.
I know that work-life balance is a myth, but tell us what you do to keep things fair between your business and your family?
Oh geez! I don’t think I have a balance, and probably never will. I tend to put my family first, then Simply Merino, then feeding myself and cleaning the house. Basically I go to bed wanting to continue to work or cringe at the idea that I have to fold laundry in the morning. One thing that works well for me is scheduling certain days to work hard on my business, and then make sure I schedule some days that I relax and do absolutely nothing.
Do you have family photographs in your home? If yes, what value do they hold?
We actually just developed some family photos and I have hung them in my son’s room. We are all laughing and hugging in the photos, which when I see them I forget about the hard times that we have and only think of the love that we have for each other. My son always smiles and talks about the photos which always makes my heart full.
What advice do you have for Moms out there who are thinking of starting their own business?
If you are passionate about something, and you know that others need to know about it, then go share it! It is ridiculously hard work, but it is much like having a child…. there are hard times, but so many more amazing times. There are really great resources for women entrepreneurs, and such a great community of moms who own their own businesses on social media, which makes starting your own business so much easier.
Outside of business and family life what would you say is your most meaningful pursuit?
Being healthy. It is so easy to put yourself last, and I have really tried hard to better myself and become a good role model for my son. I follow food blogs, I bike everywhere and try to run as much as I can. Being healthy makes me happy, and I have to remember that my happiness will ultimately make people around me happy. It is a life long journey, but such an important one.
What do you daydream about?
Travelling, for sure. I daydream about eating my way around India and indulging myself into their culture. I love travelling, but find it hard to do so when owning a business and having a family. My friend and I have already started planning our 40th birthday (we are 35 now) which will include us going to a yoga retreat somewhere on a far away island ;).