Jessie Collins of Hello My Tribe talks toxic-free candles with Slow North Owner Michelle Simmons.
By Jessie Collins, Photos by Vanessa Cerday Photography, In collaboration with Hello My Tribe
I’m constantly inspired by other mothers. I know now firsthand how this gig feels, and it’s not for the faint of heart. While the days are full of precious moments that replenish our joy and enthusiasm, it’s tough to ignore the physical and emotional challenges that accompany all the goodness. But moms seem to figure it out, finding a perfect balance of energy and grace to love their children well.
I’m particularly blown away by moms who find avenues through which to share their child-ignited passions and wisdom with other people. For that reason, I was honored to interview Michelle Simmons of Slow North about how motherhood helped carve her path in the entrepreneurial world.
Simmons and her husband, Jon, are the founders of Slow North, a local company creating small-batch botanical goods that support whole living. Founded while Simmons was on maternity leave with her son, Slow North was the couple’s response to a recognized need for clean and safe products in the home and their deeper need for a life inspired by simple and natural beauty. Where the market was lacking, they decided to fill a void, beginning with all-natural candles made with only pure ingredients.
Understanding the necessity of a healthy home, especially for children, Simmons and her husband took the leap to open a family business that is now as much a part of their identity as the family members themselves. Because the birth of their son was the catalyst for a greater vision, Slow North’s products exude a unique level of care, consideration and intention.
Balancing raising a 2-year-old son and growing a business, Simmons explains it’s all interconnected. While she works hard to maintain a work/life balance, her identity as a mother is an undeniable driving force behind the company’s products and her determination to expand the brand for the sake of others.
“Becoming a mother helped me discover my capacity is much larger than I ever knew,” Simmons says. “My capacity to love and my capacity to care for another little human when I feel like I have nothing more to give is powerful because it helps me realize I have it in me. It lifts a self-imposed limit I’ve created in my self-talk, which extends to every part of my life.”
Simmons explains even in the most challenging moments, Slow North feels like the right work to be doing. Together, she and her husband are building something greater than themselves. They are handcrafting products that support a daily renewal for all people while also instilling a business sense in their son.
“I hope our son sees and appreciates the amount of effort and energy that goes into starting something from scratch, and shares with us the rewarding glow of little wins along the journey,” Simmons says.
Only a year and a half after her company was founded, Slow North has become a nationwide brand. The husband-and-wife team do everything in-house, from design to production. Their backyard studio is a place of joy, energy and rejuvenation.
Moms are incredible, and moms need other moms. Any wisdom or guidance we can impart to one another, in whatever way is possible, is worth sharing.