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While we may have struggled to publish a blog post in the past few months, it was more an active decision to pull back for a while than a desire to no longer publish content. Over these past few months, blogging was like that old friend that we always meant to get in touch with, but just never seemed to find the right time. We would see the laptop, like a forgotten gym bag that sits in the corner of your closet as a reminder of what you had once committed to doing. Someday, you will be right for me gym bag and Nike runners that are 8 years old and look brand new...someday...
But with blogging, we knew we were coming back, we really just needed some time to find our footing after so much change in 2018. Now that we have found our way back to you, our friends and cherished supporters, let us catch you up on all things Bubbler;
Home, as a child, was always a location...as we age, we realize that home is a feeling. A feeling of safety, welcome, warmth, support...we needed some time to find our home in New Brunswick. With each evening passed in our new house, each moment spent by the brook, each meal shared on the ever changing furniture, we started to find that foundation. We spent meaningful minutes and hours with friends and family. We re-engaged with the natural aspects of New Brunswick that can be so enchanting. Slowly, we have found that feeling of home sneaking up on us. We have too many wonderful people to thank to list them all, but they know who they are, and we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.
2018 was as challenging as it was rewarding. In November, we lost our companion, Bella. She had criss-crossed Canada 3 times, living in various parts of New Brunswick and Alberta, always at our side and ever-eager to alert us to visitors at the door, cars pulling into the driveway, the wind, squirrels, the thought of squirrels, the memory of squirrels, pictures of squirrels, things that look like squirrels, and trees that were absent of squirrels...her bark will echo throughout the ages...and she lives on in our Finnegan, whom she trained to be a great dog, just like her.
After taking a few months away, we quickly realized that our happy place is in crafting retail experiences that support and surround our products. After considering different options for the future of Bubbles & Balms, we opted to dive back into bricks and mortar retail with a location in the Saint John City Market. We had to work by flashlight at times to get the displays and counters built in time for our launch, but after 8 weeks of renovations, product manufacturing and display building, we opened on Dec. 3, 2018, four years to the day from the opening of our original location in Claresholm.
Our baby bubbler product inspector, muse, and all-around light of our life is hitting milestone after milestone as her beautiful soul flourishes and rejoices in the everyday. Whether she's helping her father strategize, helping her mom crunch numbers, or helping around the house by taking all the Tupperware out of the cupboard, she's always playing a big role in our lives. She spends LOTS of time with her grandparents, exploring and learning and eating yummy foods. She spends most days with friends in child care, getting the social skills of sharing Cheerios and flu bugs down pat.
Justin's Work in NB;
We bubblers always want to build things up and leave things better than how we found them. Monday through Friday, Justin does this by helping to advance the work of the Saint John Community Loan Fund. This includes small business mentorship and financing, but also leading special projects in renewables (60 panel installation on our Social Enterprise HUB) and affordable housing (2-unit restoration in priority neighbourhood). The work is rooted in community economic development, with blended social and financial returns. The ultimate goal is to help attach more people to the economy and improve social conditions through entrepreneurship.