My Story of Antepartum and Postpartum Anxiety

The beginning of May this year has been a lot about reflecting back to just over 9 years ago when I became a new mother. The company I work for – Sweet {Jolie} believes in starting conversations on issues that affect women and their families in order to help support and empower the women in our community. Sweet {Jolie} decided that for the Month of May the Lois Hole Hospital for Women would be the chosen organization to give back to. With this, I read a number of articles through the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation/Lois Hole Hospital for Women on initiatives the hospital has started to research impacts on reproductive mental health and how to better assist women from an emotional and mental standpoint as well as a physical one. From my own experience I full heartedly agree that mental health needs to be a focus and applaud the efforts of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

Here is my story:

May 2007 – My doctor gave me the green light after a lifetime of chronic illness to “start trying”.

July 2007 – I took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! My husband and I were thrilled. Baby was due March 10, 2008.

The following 5 months I was tired, but felt fairly good. I continued to work full time at my job in diagnostic imaging at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

December 2007 – Work was becoming more difficult on my body and then I got sick with a nasty seasonal virus. The holidays came and went quickly as I slept most of those days. I was NOT feeling well anymore. I was completely drained and my hands and feet started itching ALL THE TIME - But… itching is normal in pregnancy, right?? I saw my obstetrician right after New Years and told her was wasn’t feeling well and also mentioned the itchy hands and feet on the way out.

January 2008  - My first day back to work in the new year I felt terrible. By mid-afternoon I left and went to the women’s hospital for an assessment. Something was not right…. I knew. Luckily my own obstetrician was on duty there and she happened to have my recent bloodwork in hand. I did not return home that day. I was admitted to the antepartum ward at 29.5 weeks pregnant. I had severe cholestasis.

I was told that my baby would need to be monitored very closely and she would be delivered early. The goal would be to keep her in-utero as long as possible without going too long. Too long would result in devastating consequences.  The first week I was in denial about what was really going on. I thought going for a tour to the NICU was a ridiculous waste of time. My baby would maybe be born a week or two early and then we would all go home and live happily ever after.

I felt so trapped. I had to stay where I was for the safety of my unborn baby. But the baby room was not set up. The Christmas tree was still up. I was supposed to be “nesting”, not feeling like a prisoner at the hospital. It wasn’t fair.

My amazing family and friends helped my husband take decorations down and set up a room ready for a baby. I was grateful, but felt so left out. I was told my job was to pass the time, rest and relax. I felt out of control. All I could do for this baby was wait. Wait. And listen to swishing sounds from the fetal monitors, the beeps of machines from regular vital checks, the cries and whimpers from other expectant mothers and the never-ending sound of  rushing doctors and scurrying footsteps of nurses in the hallway outside my room.

It was difficult to feel positive in an environment where I felt the stress levels were incredibly high 24/7.  Regular bloodwork, monitoring and ultrasounds resulted in constant review of numbers and statistics. I couldn’t help but obsess over the numbers like medical staff do. It made me more anxious and scared than I had ever been in my life.  What if my baby died? How would I go on? Did I bring all this anguish upon myself for wanting to be a mother?

Thankfully, my mom gave me the best advice one day while I was crying on the phone to her. She told me that in the given situation I was not the medical staff., I was the mother. She said; “Let the doctors concern themselves with the numbers. YOU are the MOTHER. Put your hands on your belly, close your eyes and talk to your baby. Concern yourself with just loving your baby”.

I wanted to cry all the time but tried to keep it in as to not disturb the lady sharing the room with me. I didn’t want my friends to see me cry. They were worried about the baby and they didn’t need to worry about me too. I would lay at night and silently let the fearful tears fall. I felt so alone.  I would finally fall asleep with Mom’s advice in my head. I would put my hands on my belly and imagine all her tiny sweetness in my arms.

January 25, 2008 – I was 33 weeks pregnant.  My husband came to the hospital to be with me for the ultrasound I was scheduled for. After the technologist finished her scan, the radiologist came in and said it was TIME. It didn’t completely register that he meant I needed to have this baby NOW until my husband started rubbing my foot. Why was he consoling me?... Oh. OH! My heart started racing. I had really believed I wouldn’t have to deliver for another 4 weeks. At 33 weeks she would still be so little. Too little to bring home.  But if this doctor said she needed to come now did that mean she was in danger? I felt PANIC like never before. I was taken back to the antepartum ward and the induction process was started.

January 27, 2008 – 36 hours after induction began I gave birth to my tiny girl. I held for 30 seconds and then the NICU team swept her away. I told my husband to go with her. I was without my baby and without my husband as I lay there numb and exhausted. My body collapsed to sleep with a smidge of comfort knowing that she was ALIVE.

After a much needed rest I was wheeled to the NICU to see my baby. She was just over 3 pounds.  She was a perfect little dolly but I did not like the tubes going into her. I did not want to leave her side but had to rest and recover from complications of the labour. I stayed 2 more nights at the hospital.

Despite being told to stay in bed I clung to the railing down the hallways and walked to the NICU carrying the small bottle of the first breast milk I pumped for her. I finally felt like I had done something right.

The next day I was discharged. I went home with my  husband – but without my daughter. My parents had kindly made us dinner and were at our house waiting to support us. I could not eat. I could not speak. I walked up to the baby room and held onto the edge of the empty crib. I couldn’t breathe. And then I shook and sobbed. Everything I had held in for weeks poured out into the strong arms of my husband. I felt guilty for the tears as my baby was alive - Others are not so fortunate and shouldn’t I feel happy and grateful? But I couldn’t help it. My baby was hooked up to tubes and machines in a plastic box. I wanted my new baby in my arms. I wanted to know exactly what was happening in every minute of her world – I am the Mother and I need to be with her.

My daughter spent 3 weeks in the NICU. When she reached 4 pounds we were able to take her home. The day we brought her home was the most bittersweet experience of my life. It was liberating to have my baby in our home to live as our family without the audience and interruption of the hospital. But I had become so accustomed to monitors and numbers that measured her existence that I could not sleep in the unfamiliar silence. I had to watch her. I had to protect her.

I did not have postpartum depression. I did have massive anxiety though. Oddly enough as much as postpartum depression and the baby blues came up at postnatal checks, I was never asked about any other aspects of my mental health. At the time I was so engrossed with the circumstances that I would have not been able verbalize to anyone – “I am dealing with severe anxiety”.  The anxiety started when I was pregnant and escalated when I was admitted to the antepartum ward. When you are there as an expectant mother you are educated about a lot of scary things but you are not educated on how to deal with that fear.

As my daughter grew into a typical goofy, handful of a toddler I struggled with inner anxiety of being a good mother while trying to be everything else I was before I had her - She was a miracle and shouldn’t I give her my everything??   I dealt with life the best I could and I am sure on the surface it would appear everything was peachy. But the anxiety that was not dealt with - that started when I was pregnant was an unhealed wound that spread wide open when my daughter was 2 and half years old. I fell apart and finally asked my doctor for help. My anxiety was finally treated.

My daughter is now 9 years old. She is smart, funny and beautiful. When I look at her smile now, as difficult as the first couple years were they are part of our journey and I do not regret anything.

Teresa Bolinski
COO – Sweet {Jolie}

Teresa Bolinski
Every Mom is a Mom

"It takes someone really brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone more than herself."
- Anonymous

Over this past Mother's Day weekend we highlighted 10 different unique stories of Motherhood on our Facebook page. The journey of motherhood is not the same for us all but when we are honest and share our stories we discover we are not alone. Thank you to all the brave Moms who shared their stories.

C-Section Mom - as written by Nicole:

My first daughter was born 5 weeks early in August of 2009. I became severely pre-eclamptic and no longer able to clot blood. I was at high risk of strokes and seizures and because of this, I had to undergo an emergency c-section under anesthetic.

At the time it felt like I had failed myself and Amy. We had a Doula and had done our Birthing Classes with the hopes of having a Natural Delivery and EVERYTHING changed within a matter of minutes. Because of all of this, I suffered from post-partum depression after having her.

I got pregnant again VERY quickly - when Amy was 8 months old and ALL I wanted for my 2nd delivery was for it to be natural. We went in to see my OB and after several ultrasounds, realized that my c-section had not fully healed from the inside and that it was too dangerous for me to push and put strain on the incision. I cried because I felt like my body had, once again, failed me.

5 months after having Kate, I got pregnant (AGAIN!!) and I knew going in that it would have to be a c-section delivery. This is something that I had made peace with. I've come to realize that it doesn't matter HOW a Mom becomes a Mom, just that her babies are Healthy and Thriving.

 

Adoptive Mom: as written by Liane:

Six years ago, faced with infertility, we decided adoption would be our journey to parenthood.

I learned a lot through the 5-year long rollercoaster ride of adoption. And holding my newborn son (in 2012) and daughter (in 2016) in my arms I felt the euphoria of a dream.

The moment I laid eyes on my children, I was in love. I was immensely grateful to the couple who were making it possible for me to be a mom to both my son and my daughter.

Not a day goes by that I do not look at my kids and think how lucky I am to be their mother but also how it all really seems meant to be! There is no doubt that adoption is a roller coaster, and I am not a big fan of roller coasters, but, as I have been told about childbirth, once your child is in your arms, the joy you experience erases from your mind any pain you experienced.

I am blessed!

 

Cat Mom - as written by Danna:

My Husband and I rescued Cali three years, ever since then we have been best friends and she has been there for me everyday. I honestly dont know what I would do without her. People always say "she is just a cat" but she is so much more to me than that, she is part of my family.

 

Preemie Mom - as written by Teresa:

I spent the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy on the antepartum ward at the hospital under careful watch knowing that I would have to deliver my baby early. The anxiety and stress of not knowing whether or not my child would be born alive was difficult. Luckily the medical staff who was incharge of my care were amazing (SHOUT OUT TO LOIS HOLE HOSPITAL) and my daughter was born 7 weeks early. She weighed 3lbs, 4 oz. As much as I was relieved that she made it into this world with a heartbeat it was a trying time while she was in the NICU. There was no picture perfect moment of taking a new bundle home to a perfect little nursery. It was monitors beeping, nurses scurrying, and constantly watching numbers. 9 years later I cannot believe my 3 pound peanut is now a smart, funny, beautiful vibrant girl.

Preemies are miracles!
(Read Teresa's full story on Antepartum and Postpartum Anxiety HERE)

 

Epidural Mom - as written by Melissa:

I have 4 beautiful children and I delivered each of them with the glorious help of epidurals. With my doctors and nurses and the pain relief and support they provided, I was able to rest and be calm for the hard work of delivery and the excitement of meeting each of my babies when they were born.

Each of my pregnancies was a little different, with the 4th resulting in partial bed rest, but all ended with happy healthy babies. I'm grateful for each experience of pregnancy and childbirth and couldn't be more proud of my kids.
Happy Mothers Day to every Mum especially the Mums in my life.

 

Overseas Adoption - as written by Janna:

I always knew I'd be a mom, I just didn't know how that would come to be. With great difficulty conceiving our daughter, we knew that in order to compete our family we had to take a different route. When we explored adoption we looked at all the different avenues and decided that international adoption was the right route for us. We knew we had so much love and opportunity to give children that needed it most. We explored a variety of countries but were immediately drawn to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We knew there was an incredible need there and that we were in the position to love our children unconditionally.

25 months to the day after we first saw their pictures, we landed in Edmonton to finally unite our family of five under one roof. Our daughter was beyond excited to meet her brothers for the first time. What and adventure! It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I feel like it will always hold that title. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

I am so proud of all my children and grateful that I have the honor of being their mom. I am truly blessed. At the same time, Mother’s Day is a hard one for me. I may be their forever mom, but I am not my sons' only mom. I think about the women who gave them life as well as the amazing woman who cared for them as their foster mama until they could be home with us. These women are incredible and have given me more than I can explain.

 

Dog Mom - as written by Blake:

My husband and I decided many years ago that having human children wouldn't be in the cards for us. My mom struggled very severely with post partum depression and my own personal mental health has been a battle for 20 years. It was a personal choice for us, but we decided that human babies would have been too much of a risk my mental health. I support and love the humans my friends have made. Moms blow my mind every day and are my heroes in so many ways.

I wanted to nurture and love a little being too...so almost three years ago we got Maggie. Maggie is our white cairn terrier/havanese ball of love. She instantly became my best pal. She's sweet, kind, and is only happy when she is outside. Slightly over a year ago we got Murphy. He's a miniature schnauzer/miniature poodle mix. He has the most amazing eyes. He's a very anxious dog but the world's biggest snuggle bug.

A few years ago, long before we got the dogs, my husbands friend started calling Jay "Scruffmuffin." And it stuck. Being that our dogs are really scruffy we call ourselves "Team Scruffmuffin." It's ridiculous...but we love it.

These dogs are the loves of my life. When I was really sick with depression this year I had many times when I felt that my only option was to end my life. But what kept me alive was "what would my dogs do without me?" When you're that sick you find things to grasp on to to get you through...and my dogs were what I clung to. So they saved my life. I am so grateful for them.

 

Natural Birth - as written by April:

I am blessed to be the mother to three beautiful children. I am privileged to be one of ~4.1% of mothers in Alberta to have a midwifery care for the birth of my third child and I was also lucky enough to be able to give birth in the amazing Lucina birth centre (Edmonton). The third time was a charm I suppose, and I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful, peaceful, gentile, natural birth in the water. My birth experience this time was something my husband and I will never forget and so vastly different from my previous, somewhat medicated hospital births. Having the freedom to trust my body, trust my baby and birth in a peaceful environment was nothing short of incredible. The intimate involvement of my husband during and after the birth was so much more meaningful and memorable for us this time. Plus, the amazing care I received from my midwives was indescribable. Although initially hesitant to have a photographer present at my sons birth, I am so grateful I have incredible images to remember & re-live just how remarkable my birth experience was.

 

Angel Mom - as written by Ally:

I used to hate the expression “everything happens for a reason.” There are some events in a person’s life that are hard to put “reason” to. But time has a way of changing your perspective on things. It’s time that has led me to believe that while bad things can happen from good intentions, I’ve also come to see that there is an inherent beauty that can be born from tragedy – if you know where to look for it.

My story begins on July 7th, 2012, when my husband, our 2.5 year old daughter and I were vacationing at our cottage. It was a regular Saturday morning, and we were getting ready to head down to the lake. A routine movement – helping my daughter climb on the bed so I could change her, suddenly became a defining moment that would change our lives forever. I was five and a half months pregnant with our second child – another daughter, and that moment, as I bent down to deal with a diaper, my water broke.

Three days later, on July 10th at 4:55am, our daughter, Annabelle Joy was born – and died. At 22 weeks gestation, she was too small to be viable. She weighed 1 lb and was 11 inches long, and already had the start of a good head of brown hair, just like her mom. She was the tiniest person I’d ever seen – or held. And she was perfect. She lived for 20 minutes – spending each precious second in the arms of her mom and dad. I try to think that in a way, she got something that none of us ever get – a life that is completely full of love. And in return for that love, she gave us some of the greatest gifts of all: the courage to move forward and live our life, even without her in it. The strength to believe that our family is strong and will be together through anything. The love of amazing people who touched our lives (and hearts) during and after Annabelle’s short life. And the greatest gift of all, her younger sister Autumn. A bright, energetic almost 3 year old who shows us every day her infinite capacity for love and adventure.

This July will mark 5 years since we last held our sweet Annabelle in our arms, but she is forever with us in our hearts. And while to the outside world, we look like a family of 4, to us we will always be a family of 5.

 

IVF Mom - as written by Kristy:

I never imagined the journey I'd have to take to become the mom I always knew I'd be. My journey finally ended because of medicine, both Western and Chinese. Chinese medicine helped me get both my physical body and my spiritual self ready to accept the help of InVitro Fertilization. As women we often resist help in the areas we feel are "our job" and for me not being able to conceive successfully on our own made me feel very much like I was failing as a women. I wanted this journey to be "natural" and when I finally dropped all my preconceived notions of what natural was I saw that for us IVF was the natural way. I'm the mom I always knew I would be because of IVF and I wouldn't change my journey for anything because looking into the face of my little girl makes the whole journey a beautiful walk through the woods.

Teresa Bolinski
March 23, 2017 - a {love} project evening for The Edmonton Dream Centre

Our {BIGGEST} Look Book Reveal Event EVER!!

 

We had the BEST time hosting over 100 people at the Spark Event Centre in Sherwood Park on March 23rd!! Not only did we have Live Music with Paul Woida Music, but we had TONS of Fashion, Desserts from WOW Factor Desserts, and LOTS of Sparkling Drinks!!

Our Silent Auction Tables included everything from Art, Jewelry, Baby Items, Hair Care Products and a BIKE!!! A BIG Thank You to the Following Silent Auction Contributors:

Lil' Stache, Delux Burger Bar, Little Sweatshop, Lauren Mary Holistics, Engravables Design Studio, Jillian Schecher Photography, Hayley Night, Glow Juicery, NailKeeper, Inferno Pilates Sherwood Park, The Original Man Band, Kemba Designs, T.Bolinski Photography, Dear Deer, LOVEPIZZA, Paris Jewellers - Official Page, Simply Stunning Hair and Makeup, To The Moon & Back, Flatter:Me Belts and JACEK Chocolate Couture

 

We stuffed MORE Swag Bags than ever before FULL of Items from the Following Vendors:

Engravables Design Studio, Spark Event Centre, Natura Soylights, Shoppers Drug Mart (2020 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, Alberta), Flirt Cupcakes, Feel Good Syrup - elderberry syrup, Pedaller Designs: Life's Best Moments in Letters Nature's Elements - Sustainable Landscape Design & Nature Education

Our {love} project Give-Back Initiative for the month of March was the Edmonton Dream Centre and we were HONORED to have them on-site with us at the Event. The Edmonton Dream Centre provides a proven, accredited opportunity for women and their children who suffer from addiction, poverty, trauma and abusive situations. They offer counselling, tools for sober living, life skills development, and inspire hope by empowering real change for their clients through their program,  staffed by a team of caring professionals.

Thank you SO much to everyone who made it out! We sold out of MANY styles of Clothing, Jewelry AND Footwear with proceeds from ALL sales that evening, as well as throughout the month going to the Edmonton Dream Centre.

 

 

 
Teresa Bolinski
#SJLoveYourself, February 2017

This February we are focused on discussing the importance of people, especially women and girls LOVING THEMSELVES. Valentine's Day is traditionally a day to receive love from others but we challenge you to look at how much more fulfilling it is to love yourself before anyone else. We believe that to truly help empower women and young girls to feel their very best we need to start honest and open conversations with each other on topics that affect our well-being, self-worth and self-image.

There are a number of ways the Sweet {Jolie} Love Yourself campaign is being unfolded. We encourage everyone to participate in any way you feel comfortable.

• With the help of blogger Marisa Peters of www.streamandstoneyeg.com we are writing letters to our younger selves. If you would like to write and share one with Sweet {Jolie} social media followers, please send your letter to customerservice@sweetjolie.com, Subject:Letter to My Younger Self. Think, what would you tell yourself, knowing what you know now about life & love. This could be a message of self care, body positivity or having safe & healthy relationships. Really anything! You can read Marisa's letter on her blog and we have also put some of our team's letters below for you to read.

• Post a photo or message to Instagram that portrays positivity about self-love, self-worth, advice to young girls.... anything that adds to the Love Yourself message. Be sure to tag @sweetjolieboutique and use the hashtag #SJLoveYourself.

• The organization of choice to give back to through a {love} project in the month of February is YWCA Edmonton's GirlSpace. That means a portion of every purchase you make this month will go to this organization that helps strengthen young girls lives. Read more here.

• Stay tuned into Sweet {Jolie}'s Facebook page and Instagram feed all month for inspirational messages, contests and giveaways!

• ON FEBRUARY 14TH YOU WILL DEFINITELY WANT TO TUNE INTO SJ ON SOCIAL MEDIA...
just trust us on this!!

Let's get talking!  #SJLoveYourself


Nicole's Letter to her Younger Self:


Teresa's Letter to her Younger Self:

 


Erin's Letter to her Younger Self:

Teresa Bolinski
Inside Sweet {Jolie} – an Insight from Heather
 

I found {Sweet Jolie} at a super important time of my life.

When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, it was a super exciting/scary time in my life. Everything was new, and unknown, and for a type-a, super planner, I had a really hard time. I literally had no idea what I was doing, and it was really hard for me to accept that. I am a perfectionist by nature, and turned my career into planning events… I could plan a conference for 1000 people, anticipate their every need, and yet, caring for a baby was the biggest challenge of my life. When Sophie was about five months, I luckily was introduced to Nicole. Nicole at the time was running a day home while growing {Sweet Jolie}. We immediately clicked and literally have been best friends since. I remember thinking she was (and still is) superwoman. I could only (and barely!) take care of my one baby… she was taking care of 5 babies, her 3 kids AND running {Sweet Jolie}.

Sweet Jolie has been such a huge part of my {Mom-Life}. During my mat-leave for my second daughter I started doing photo shoots to model {SJ} clothing. That was MY time. I got to leave the girls for a couple of hours a week and immerse myself in the {Sweet Jolie} culture. Which for anyone who has had the privilege of being at {Sweet Jolie} headquarters/around the {Sweet Jolie} girls – you know it’s magical. I got to try on pretty clothes, feel good about myself and make a difference bigger than my day-to-day. I remember a specific SUPER hard day/week with my girls and I specifically put on my ‘Happy’ shirt, because I literally needed a concrete reminder that that was what I was supposed to be. I left the girls with their sitter, ran over to {Sweet Jolie} (this was my cardio on mat leave!) found Nicole’s ‘Happy’ mug for my coffee and got into our strategy meeting. By the end of that meeting, through talking about ideas for helping women feel their best and doing good for others, I didn’t need the reminder to be happy, because I actually was.

I LOVE the {love} project – it is my very favorite part of {Sweet Jolie}. I think it’s so important to do more than sell a great product. Because without a great heart, and purpose, what is the point? How are you making the world better? {Sweet Jolie} came into my life at a really big transition period and it sounds cheesy, but it actually has taught me a lot about myself and the person I want to be. For me it actually isn’t so much about the clothes (I’m a jeans and basic tee person 95% of the time!) – it’s about helping other women. Because at the end of the day your heart shows through whatever clothes you are wearing.

Today, I am literally living my dream… (ask me again at 6:30pm after a long work day and tired kids who REFUSE to admit they are sleepy if this is my dream!) But seriously. I started working full-time at the Make-A-Wish Foundation as an Event Planner (literally my dream since I was in university), AND I still get to be involved with {Sweet Jolie}. I get to plan and work with the venues for our amazing Calgary Pop-Ups, and the Edmonton Open Houses. I get to go on amazing look-book shoots. I get to work with THE best group of women who I adore and respect more than I can express. And MOST importantly I get to see the power that women produce. The {Sweet Jolie} community is like nothing I’ve experienced before, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.

 

 
Nicole RIce
September 2016 {Supporting Alopecia Awareness} Month - THANK YOU
 

We can't seem to find a bigger sentiment than {THANK YOU} for the Love, Support, and Encouragement that we have felt from SO MANY of you in the Community.

Our Initiative to Raise Awareness for {Alopecia Month} and the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation was Embraced by SO many people in Media that it was Overwhelmingly Humbling to us.

A {HUUUGE} Thank You to CBC Radio, Shaw TV Edmonton, Sherwood Park News, The Edmonton Journal, Global Edmonton, Dinner TV and CTV Edmonton. The time you ALL took to meet with our Team, and with Kate, brought so much awareness to this Auto-Immune Disorder.

Another {HUGE} Thank You goes out to LOVEPIZZA for choosing to support this cause by making September 12-18th their {Love Gives Back} Week with Funds going to the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation <3 Because of their generosity (and YOUR love of Pizza), they were able to raise $1500 for the Foundation!!

Thank you to {ALL} our Incredible Swag Bag and Silent Auction Sponsors at our {Fall Look Book Reveal Event}: Anchored Collective, JACEK Chocolate Couture, Bread and Butter Basket Co., The Factory Hair +Body Inc, E-Tech contracting Ltd, She Does Create, Berg and Betts, Hillberg & Berk, Teresa's Cakes :), Quinnzie Handwoven, Comfy Cozy Knits, Justine Ting-wai Ma, Engravables Design Studio, Little Grey Elephant, My Daughter Fragrances, Just Married Photography, Delux Burger Bar, Farm Wife Style, Jibe Prints, ILOVETHEMOON and Crystal Driedger. We couldn't have raised as much money as we did without ALL of your {INCREDIBLE} Products!!!

Thank you x a MILLION to Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co. for allowing us to invade their {INCREDIBLE} space yet again!! If you haven't had a chance to check out this location, it's a MUST!!!

We also have to thank our {AMAZINGLY} Hard Working Team for working a TIRELESS Amount of Hours this Month to make this Vision a Reality: Teresa Bolinski, Melissa Sorobey, Erin Boyd, Randi White and Heather Harcott - You are all {SO} Loved and {SO} Appreciated!!!

You can't know how much this means to the Local Alopecia Community, as well as to Nicole and Kenneth's Family. You have brought so many incredible Young Women together because of your Love and Support.

We are {FOREVER} Thankful. Kate is Thankful.

It has been {Overwhelmingly Emotional} in the best way possible.

THANK YOU

 
Teresa Bolinski
Inside Sweet {Jolie} – an Insight from Teresa

At first glance one may see Sweet {Jolie} as “just another clothing boutique”, but stay beyond that first glance and you will learn there is so much more going on than a shopping and a fashion show.

I first took on Sweet {Jolie} as a photography client three and a half years ago. Nicole, the owner and I had instant rapport and connection of many levels. We both get excited over design and details - creative magic if you will, and we both have a strong work ethic and grounded morals of honesty and responsibility. Numerous photoshoots lead to many laughs and great discussions. Learning Nicole’s personal story of“why” she started Sweet {Jolie} and her dream for the company was inspiring to me. Every opportunity I was offered to work with Nicole in building her dream was taken without hesitation. Why? What is this dream?....

The Dream – Women embracing being REAL WOMEN. Celebrating the bodies they are in. Accepting the battles (big and small) that they have fought. Relishing in the tools they have given themselves to empower themselves.  Our now team of 6 women is diverse. We have walked some similar paths and many different, but we support and encourage each other. This celebration of each other is what we aim to pass onto all the women of the Sweet {Jolie} community.

It has been said before that within this company the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry…. They are the vehicle that drives a growing force of community building in which women are encouraged to love themselves in the present moment and find support from others if they are having difficulty finding that self-love.

My personal path of being a photographer has lead to a place where I feel my heart fits and my abilities can help a vision I see clearly come to life. You know you are doing what you should be if you feel an inner rush of passion and positivity. I am on team Sweet {Jolie} because my heart is on FIRE!

xoxo Teresa

Teresa Bolinski
Pamper Event with the Factory Hair + Body Inc. Was a Success!!
 
PamperJul22SQ.jpg

On Friday, July 22, 2016 we partnered with the newly opened salon, the Factory Hair + Body Inc. in Sherwood Park for an amazing pampering and shopping event that filled the salon ALL EVENING LONG! Even HOURS before, ladies lined up at the doors to ensure their claim to one the {typically} over-the-top swag bags we give away at events. Guests mingled, enjoyed tasty refreshments, sat for makeovers, hairdos, mini portraits, and of course enjoyed some Sweet {Shopping} with us. It was great to see familiar faces and meet some new ones as well. Thanks to all those who came out to make this an extraordinary evening. And, thanks to the Factory Hair + Body Inc. for being a fabulous team to collaborate with.

 
Teresa Bolinski