Today we wanted to feature our friend and amazing business entrepreneur, Lea Garner.
Meet Lea! Lea's work ethic and drive are inspirational, she manages to do it all everyday! Lea owns and operates Hi Baby in Kailua, a boutique baby store, and also home to Oahu Birth Services where she offers her services as a doula. We love partnering with her and think her shop is so warm and homey, and she sells lots of cute baby and motherhood related items, so you should definitely go check it out. We thought you'd enjoy reading about why she does what she does, as well as some few funny little facts about her.
1. Tell us how you started your business and what your motivations were behind it (HOW and WHY and WHEN).
Summer 2016 my dream of opening a baby boutique, home to my doula services; came to fruition! Hi Baby first opened it's doors in November, although it's true beginnings were much, much earlier!
In February 2007 I attended my very first birth as a birth doula, this birth changed me and the course of my life. While something of a new passion, this birth would mark the first of dozens, and eventually become the cornerstone of Oahu Birth Services.
In 2004 I became a mother, my daughter was born without complication and yet, I felt I had lacked something from the birthing experience. Instinctively I asked a close girl friend to be present at my second birth, and while this was much improved, I was still missing a significant "something". On first hearing the word "doula", I was immediately intrigued, devouring every resource I could, and soon attended my first birth. Having experienced childbirth twice, implored to read and learn all I could, and finally seeing birth from the outside perspective... I knew what my life's calling was, but more importantly, I knew what that "something" I was missing was!
Checking into the hospital my nurses did everything in their ability to keep me comfortable, due to my own negligence I was very much detached from the entire experience. I felt no birthing waves, I couldn't move my own legs, I was in no pain and yet lacking any or feeling any control over one of the best experiences life has to offer. Hours and hours of lying in bed, feeling utterly helpless, clueless about what was happening to my body; while pain free, my mind and heart were utter chaos. Soon I held a beautiful newborn in my arms, my mind and emotions needing to catch up with what my body had just accomplished. My mind and body were not one, my mind, emotions, and spirit had not experienced any of this journey my body had just accomplished, and I found it very unsettling.
After having challenged what I thought I knew about pregnancy, birth, and even motherhood, I was ready to do things differently. Iprepared, I carefully chose my provider and hospital, I had an amazing doula, and had the birth experience I wanted when my son was born in 2008. This solidified my desire to serve women, families and the babies they welcomed into their lives.
As a doula my role is not to decide, but yet encourage, provide information, and support a mother to decide... In deciding we take responsibility for our preparations, choices, and this enables us, regardless of events, to have a better experience.
2. What is your favorite thing about doing what you do?
I love meeting new people, challenging what society has told them to expect, encouraging them, and even ensuring that they walk away excited about their own parenting journey!
3. What is one long-term business goal OR life dream that you have?
My life's objective remains the same, to rear healthy, happy adults that are impacted by the time and efforts I've made. I am not raising children, I am raising four potential parents, and if only in the smallest way, I hope to leave this planet better than I found it.
4. What inspires you?
I am inspired by my own "holy moments", those moments that seemingly stop time, and demand that you remember just how great this life is. Watching a new baby come into the world, photographing a mother holding her baby for the first time, and witnessing a father fall in love with his child... or just a stunning sunrise here in Hawaii nei!
5. Who are your female heroes?
My mother, even at my age I look to her for guidance, reassurance, and know that I'm who I am because she loved me. And my three daughters, they've seen the best and worst of me, and they love me regardless.
6. What's the best book you've read so far this year?
In His Steps by Charles Monroe Sheldon
7. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
A cat, I'm not a cat person, but I can nap like it was an Olympic event...when I get the chance ;)
8. What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
I once lost my car in a parking garage, I looked for an hour before notifying security. Security was offended, cars weren't stolen in their garage, for another hour we looked for it again. Four hours in, Security called HPD to make a formal report. Regulation dictates another search, my car was gone... I went home that night feeling violated, upset about the electronic items I stupidly left inside, and then the phone rang... My car was found, in the same spot I had parked it... I have NEVER felt embarrassed in my life, I hope I never have to make another police report, more so, I hope I never have to retract one. How do you loose a parked car!!
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Hawaii Birth Collective is a connecting tool and a resource that mothers and families can access quality content through our blog to help them in their journey, written by your local vendors. Operated by Noelle at Sweet Rain Media and Amber at Amber DeCicco Photography, they believe in the beauty of birth and love their jobs documenting births.