Good morning everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY! Holy smokes the last two weeks have been INSANE … but in a good way. Between the brunch fundraiser at my home and the Mamas for Mamas renovation, we have certainly been burning the candle at both ends … but it was all worth it when I saw the looks on the Mama’s teams faces when we revealed the space to them last Thursday. I honestly cannot believe this project has come to an end … it was months in the making. Endless amounts of work for my team, the Sticks and Stones team, and everyone else who helped us pull all of this together in record-breaking time.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this project and WHY we did it … let me bring you up to speed. I originally heard about Mamas for Mamas when I was on the hunt for somewhere to take all of the gifts and things we either received or purchased for Leo that we no longer needed. I was SO fortunate that we were covered in ALL aspects of baby items …. heck I had two of everything so that I could outfit our homes in both Kelowna and Vancouver while we were filming Love It Or List It Vancouver. By the time Leo outgrew something, we had 2 sets of EVERYTHING to deal with and giveaway!!! When I was in Vancouver we were working with a similar charity called Baby Go Round (if you’re in Vancouver, I recommend taking your items here!!!) and that’s when the Mamas for Mamas team reached out to me and let me know that they were in Kelowna and that they were also looking for gently used baby items. It made it so much easier for me to take items there since Kelowna was soon to be my hometown base!!
This project was SO important to me because after having Leo I realized how hard it is to not only get everything you need to support your baby and your family … but also trying to afford everything if you’re not receiving as high of an income (baby items are EXPENSIVE)!! I started going into Mamas for Mamas to bring Leo’s gently used items and I saw first hand how many families are in need in our community and just how many of them didn’t have the help that I did. I was so lucky to have the support of my family, Justin’s family, our cousins, our friends, companies … we had all of the necessities and more. Not everyone is as fortunate and has this kind of support … so many families come through the doors at Mamas for Mamas who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families, there are single moms who are trying to work but also have a newborn … the list is endless and the number of people who need help was really eye-opening to me. I had such a soft spot for this charity when I saw the amount of hard work and dedication this team put into helping every struggling family … from outfitting them, to making sure they have enough money to make rent, to finding a way to feed them … when I saw how hard these women worked for others WITHOUT being paid … it was important to me to TRY to help them in whatever way I could.
So, fast forward a few months, I was back in Kelowna and on hiatus from Love It Or List It Vancouver … so I had more spare time than usual … the Mamas for Mamas team reached out to me and asked me what my favourite paint colours were because they had just moved into a new office space. I decided to swing in so that I could see the space and get a better understanding of what they were looking for. That’s when it hit me that this place needed MORE than just some fresh paint … so without realizing what I was about to take on, I told the girls to “leave it with me” … and that’s when I reached out to the talented team at Sticks + Stones to see if they would be willing to help me out on this project! They said YES … and that’s where it all began.
With a renovation value of over $200K … and 85+ AMAZING donors and sponsors … PLUS a donation of over $70K to Mamas for Mamas … go fill up your coffee because this is going to be a LONG one!! LOL!
After many meetings, phone calls, and floorplan adjustments … we knew that this was a MUCH bigger project than we had originally anticipated … we knew we had to raise some moola to help out and that’s WHY we organized the Mamas for Mamas Fundraising Brunch (check out all of the details here!), we had an incredible outpour of support, the donations were rolling in and so many amazing people, brands, and companies were reaching out to lend a helping hand. We were so grateful that we received such a positive response!
I honestly don’t even know where to begin here as we had so many people donate their services and products … so much so that we couldn’t even get to all of the offers … we apologize if you emailed us, private messaged us, or called us, offering to donate your time or products and we didn’t get back to you … we just couldn’t physically address every single offer which is just as much shocking as it is INCREDIBLE … THANK YOU!
Before I dig into more details … let’s start off by taking a peek at what the Mamas for Mamas space looked like BEFORE we completed this space … this was just the beginning!!!
First off, to the amazing (and extremely talented) team at Sticks + Stones … Katie, Kara, Carla and Carla’s hard-working son, Daniel, who took a half day off school AND missed hockey practice to volunteer … and to Ross, from Solaris Group, who kept us all on track and helped manage and execute the renovation. Without all of you, there is no way we could have pulled off this project … thank you, a million times over for your vision and your dedication!!
To Okanagan Handywoman (the BOSS BABE herself), you worked so hard on this project, even carrying your little one around with you!! Jake and Scott from Bridge Energy for doing all of the electrical work around the space and looking good while doing it … LOL!!! All of the plumbing was done by Aaron from GLE Plumbing & Heating, Steve Noon installed ALL of the wallpaper throughout the space, which was generously donated by Milton & King … recognize any of it?? Yup … that’s Tropic Like It’s Hot and Leo’s Spots and The Parlour!! Jared and his son from The Eco Floor Store made the trip from Vancouver and installed the gorgeous white wash wood feature wall in the main entrance which compliments the stunning faux marble desk perfectly!
Actually, Merit Kitchens not only supplied the kitchen cabinetry BUT they also supplied the front ‘desk’ (which was basically a set of shelves) and Steve Webb from Spectrum Cabinet Gallery constructed the wall for it and installed it, and THEN they installed the laminate counter that FLOFORM (Brigitte Kotler) donated!! Pretty cool, hey?!
A huge thanks goes out to Eu Roc Interiors (Karol Sokolowski) for all of the drywall (plus install!), to George Gibson from Gibson Installations for all of his hard work (if you would like his info, make sure to contact Sticks + Stones!) … along with Dash of Modern who built all of our IKEA items … aka … LIFE SAVERS! Also to IKEA for their amazing donations of organizing systems, shelves, tables, chairs, mirrors, light fixtures, etc. Metrie who donated all of the doors, baseboards, and casings … Canadian Tire who provided ALL of the paint along with a ton of furniture … and STROLLERS! Speaking of paint … the team at Fawdry Homes came in every night after work to help us get all of the walls painted … thanks so much guys!! Splashes Bath and Kitchen in Penticton provided us with all of the plumbing features … toilet seats and pedestal sinks in the bathrooms and Cintas for the laundry bins (for sorting!) … which are on route.
The fine folks at Article also provided us with some gorgeous furniture for the space, our FAVE piece is the brand new PINK couch that we were able to replace their very old and dated velvet pink couch with!! While some of their old items we replaced with some new up-to-date items … some things we WERE able to keep, such as their huge boardroom table. We wouldn’t have been able to keep it if it wasn’t for Victoria and Brad from The Fat Paint Company who made it beautiful again and sourced “vintage” chairs to paint and match … with a fresh coat of their colourful chalk style paint (and they drove all the way from Vancouver to help us)!Hunter Douglas generously supplied all of the window coverings and the fantastic team at Stor-X provided and installed all of the storage units throughout the space. Rug & Weave sent along some stunning rugs and pillows … which we couldn’t help but drool over! LOL! Deer Child sent along the CUTEST little tent for the kids play area … if you haven’t seen these before, make sure to check them out! Minted also donated some incredibly cute AND inspiring artwork!!
We have to give a huge shout out to Craig from Bin There Dump That for coming to the rescue with a huge garbage and recycling bin for us which we quickly filled and he replaced for us several times … speaking of bins …. a HUGE thank you to BigSteelBox for donating not one, but two bins for us to store all of the new furniture that we needed for the space and move the old items into so that we could start fresh. To Stutters Kelowna for helping us out when both bathrooms flooded … LOL!! Nothing like a reno without a little flood … right?!
Carmen from Better Earth and Garden supplied a gorgeous fig tree for that POP of fresh, greenery! CMYK Digital and Inter Mtn provided us with new signage to use throughout the space to mark the washrooms, staff only rooms, and shelves. CMYK Digital also provided us with the HUGE CHEQUE we presented to the Mamas team at the reveal!! That was fun … LOL!!
To our loved ones and the amazing volunteers who came in each day to make sure we were able to meet our reveal deadline … Justin, my Dad, Glen, Tori, Charles, Steph, Luke, Cam, Briana, Chris, Stan Segan, Sarah Waning (General Manager of Old Navy here in Kelowna!!), Taylor …. to people in the community who watched my insta stories and brought us warm clothes for the shelves, Shay’s friend Emma who brought us brand new winter cardigans, and to everyone who so generously donated books for the bookshelf …. the list goes on!!
Melinda from A New Leaf Floral dropped off the most beautiful flowers for us to place around the space, Men in Kilts made sure all of the windows were spotless and Flawless Green Clean did an amazing job cleaning up behind us so everything was sparkling and ready for the final reveal!
We want to also give a massive shout out to Loblaw who provided us with gift cards to Shoppers Drug Mart, President’s Choice and Joe Fresh so we could not only grab last minute items that we needed but so that we could also stock the shelves with necessities such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shampoo, conditioner … this list goes on. They actually gave us so many gift cards that we were able to supply the Mamas team with gift cards so that they could pass them along to families in need who may need help with groceries or gas, etc.
Before we get further into the amazing people and companies who helped stock the shelves … let’s take a little look at each room and how amazing they all turned out thanks to everyone!!
Shannon and Candace’s Office
Additional Offices for Mamas Team
Designated Office Space for Women in the Community
Counselling / Intake Room
So with the reno complete we STILL had to stock all of the shelves to ensure families in need had access to warm winter clothes, necessary toiletries, books, laundry soap … the list goes on … we reached out to some of our favourite brands to help out and then we had an outpouring of brands who offered to donate without us coming to them … the results are mind-blowing. I will like them below for you, in no particular order, without each and every one of them, this reveal wouldn’t have been complete!
- The Breast Feeding Bottle
- Obviously Chic
- Philips Avent
- Lil Fox Shoppe
- The Printed Bow
- Bebe De Luxe
- Kewe Clothing
- Mosie’s Cosies
- Otherware Teethers
- Ellie Ears
- Happy Spritz
- Naked Snacks
- Zoe Organics
- Love Child Organics
- Sweet Caroline Creative
- Sweet Kyla
- Life in Play
- Genuine Health
- Nature’s Fare
- Petite Hippo
- Madeline Bee Home Store
- Thyme Maternity
- Raw Canvas and Co.
- Wheat Kids Clothing
- Chelsea King
I think I speak for everyone here when I say I also want to thank those who brought us food, smoothies, coffee, and BEER when we were pulling long days! Thanks so much, Starbucks for the coffee and treats, Labatt for the brewskis, Nature’s Fare for the snacks and Jillian Harris x Mamas for Mamas Everyday Smoothies, Panago Pizza, and to Jason and Jeff from Fitness West Kelowna who brought us all a delicious and HEALTHY lunch when we really needed it!
Last, but certainly not least, to Team Jilly, Shay, Mindy, and Mackenzie … thank you for listening to my ideas and running with them, for pulling long hours and working until every muscle in your body ached just to get the job done, thank you.
If you still want to donate items to Mamas for Mamas, please go ahead and send them directly to their office, or pop by and say hi (and check out their awesome new space!) or, if you want to just lend a helping hand, feel free to reach out to them. All of their contact info can be found here!
Once again, thank you, to EVERYONE, who made this dream a reality, you have no idea just how many lives you have impacted!!!
LOVE YOU ALL!