A story about our embroidered Intuit Tee collaboration with Vancouver-based photographer Inga Avedyan.
It was somewhat of a long drive from my studio to Inga's home. As I weaved from one freeway onto another, I softened the radio and became immersed in my thoughts. Running a small business by yourself can really take a toll on your energy reserves. I reflected on my day-to-day as cars sped past. On the surface, I was the girl boss of Vestige. Beneath, I was also the entire "staff team" — toiling away each day to execute the tasks my creative self sets. Tasks that meant driving long distances for photo shoots.
As I merged onto a road of unknown territory, I knew I was close to my destination. I glanced at the t-shirt that was designed for the shoot, draped gently over the passenger's seat. "Beautiful sacrifice" — it read, embroidered in Inga's handwriting. I smiled at how pretty our collaboration looked. The fatigue I felt suddenly seemed distant.
It was Inga. She peered out from her kitchen, with a golden-haired baby on her arms. As she called out, I spotted a large pair of soft brown eyes. Her silky locks gently spooled out from the window sill. It was our first meeting, and I noted right away how pretty she looked.
Inga is a woman of many roles. On top of being mama to Amelie, she also plays the part of being an established photographer and the co-editor of the beloved Mother Muse magazine.
She looked posh and elegant — but her poise was modest and unassuming.
As part of our Mother's Day campaign, I asked Inga to write a phrase on motherhood, which I turned into an embroidery design for the Intuit Tee. "Beautiful Sacrifice" was the line she chose. It was a simple oxymoron that conveyed volumes of truth. Setting Amelie down by her play tent, Inga tried on the t-shirt.
"I love supporting local brands, especially ones who produce quality clothing like Vestige. Like this embroidery, it adds a personal touch to the tee," Inga reflected.
"Long lasting pieces with stories to tell are important."
Full of curiosity, Amelie peered out from her teepee. Catching our attention with cute baby noises, it seemed as if she also wanted to take part in our project. We chuckled at her giggles, and Inga swooped the little one up in her arms.
"For me, motherhood is a sacrifice," Inga explained as she held Amelie tightly, "but I welcome it with much grace, as I feel comfortable within myself to accept this change."
Sacrifice often comes with rewards. For Inga, all moments spent with Amelie are filled with enjoyment. From piano time to neighbourhood strolls to watering flowers to simply sipping tea together, all time shared by the two are memorable. In fact, she is thankful for the new perspectives her daughter invokes to her life.
Inga drew Amelie close, and their daily session of reading time began. I listened as as she morphed from mother to teacher, and read out the story of little brown bear with warmth and patience. For a moment, Amelie was transported to the animal kingdom and she beamed with joy.
When the story ended, the child broke out of her quiet spell and sought for exercise. She decided to climb the mountain that was Inga's suede sofa. We observed and laughed at her silly tumbles as we chatted about womenhood and entrepreneurship.
She said, "As a part of a magazine that is women-centric, I am always searching for methods to give back to my community. But I think shopping local is definitely a great way to start."
"Supporting the small business around us — especially those operated by women — is important," Inga nodded.
Our afternoon finally came to an end when it was nap time for Amelie. As I waved goodbye at the sweet mother-daughter duo, the little child began to sob at the departure of her new friend. If all sacrifices were as beautiful as Inga's, I'd say they are well worth it.