It was January, 2018. Our daughter was days old, and in a few short months we would move 4500km away from a life that was growing beautifully in Southern Alberta and towards an unknown future.
The question that we were asked most often at that time, and still today, is why? Why leave behind a very happy life? Why choose the Saint John area? Why move home to New Brunswick?
We love reflecting on that time because it reminds us that we are willing to be a little crazy in order to live by our values. This is how our values led us home to New Brunswick;
We value family above all else and the Saint John area conveniently lies between our families in Shediac and St. Stephen.
We were heavily influenced by the involvement of our grandparents, and we wanted to ensure that our children had that same access to multiple generations and perspectives during their upbringing. We also LOVE the Friday night sleepovers at the grandparents...one of the little luxuries lost while physical distancing :(
Alberta has a number of breathtaking nature-escapes. We would make regular trips into the foothills and to Banff and Waterton National Parks. Absolutely.......Breath......taking!
But, New Brunswick offers an amazing shoreline and a wondrous river system for fishing and canoeing.
Coin Toss? Not quite. NB does offer something that we could not access as easily in AB, which was land. We were able to acquire our dream property in NB. We will be able to raise our children just feet from a private brook, with a couple acres of woods to explore, and all of the encounters with flora and fauna that come with rural life in NB.
You can be of service to others from wherever you sit or stand, so how did this play a role?
NB is facing challenges. We are a little top heavy in our population age grid. The province needs an influx of youth and families. As we looked at the median ages for NB and AB in 2018, we felt that our young family spending our prime purchasing years in NB would be more impactful for our home province, than our adopted province. We believe that more young professionals and entrepreneurs boomeranging back to their roots will help to diversify rural areas across the country.
The tourism sector feeds a lot of artists. We are drawn to these unique and creative spirits. Saint John, with its' beautiful City Market, uptown architecture, and vibrant tourism (much at risk at the time of this writing) spoke to us.
We thought about Fredericton (love the downtown!), and Moncton (active and growing hub city for distribution), but Justin & Judith had experienced those areas through life and work. We chose the Saint John area because it offered a chance to come home to something completely new.
We believe in being open and transparent in our business and our lives. We're flawed. We're human. We're not ashamed of our mistakes. We have nothing to hide. And we live and breathe that value into our life and business.
For this decision and all others, transparency meant sharing with all of our stakeholders before, during and after the change.
We drove into Hampton, NB and were met with the tagline of 'It's Our Nature.' We drove down the main street that was lined with beautiful flowers baskets. We came across the town square and its' enchanting pavilion for community gatherings. We drove past the nature trails, whose entrances seemed to be everywhere throughout the Town. We crossed two bridges, marveling at the boaters, canoeers, and kayakers in the water. We turned at the most adorable country store, called Kredls, and meandered along the kennebecasis river until arriving at a house that was cozily nestled into the hills. The house had a walkout and back deck that overlooked a brook and the woods beyond. As we listened to the Realtor in the distance, we stood on the deck, looking at each other, and said 'this is home.' We cancelled our other viewings and made an offer that day.
We hope this helps you to understand more about us and our values. These same values guide decision-making in Bubbles & Balms, everyday. If you share some of these values, we hope you will be a part of this Better Bathing journey! After all, 'it's our nature,' and it will take as many of us as possible to keep it that way <3
Justin (Founding Partner)