As a new mom and a writer I sometimes come across sayings or images that grab me or tug at my heartstrings. That’s exactly what happened when I first saw the Mo Green Clothing Co. “Hug it Out” sweater. There are so many moments, especially when you’re raising little ones, that call for nothing more than a hug; a stop everything, hold tight and take a deep breath kind of hug. Seeing this on a cosy sweater made me happy and I had to hear more about this company.
Mo Green Clothing Co. is a family run clothing company created by Jacqueline and Lewis Greenspon and inspired by the adventures of their adorable son Moses. Catering to the whole family, Mo Green has sweaters and Tees for mom, dad and littles. The sweaters and shirts are made of organic cotton, seriously the cosiest sweaters we own, and the messages are perfectly positive. It was so nice to sit down with Jacqueline, Lewis and Moses to chat about their passion project.
I am so happy to share Jacqueline, Lewis and Moses’ story with all of you as this month’s Blooming Boutique!
- I love hearing about creative ideas that were inspired by little ones, and a family business that blossomed out of a new addition to the family is so amazing! What’s the story behind Mo Green, how did it all start?
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit – from running lemonade stands, selling pop and water outside of a major golf tournament, to creating a gluten-free goods company at a farmer’s market, and finally a yoga business. My Dad started and ran his own company for as long as I can remember so it must be in my blood. Lewis (my husband and co-founder) and I both felt passionate about creating something, executing it, and making it our own – this is where our clothing company was born. Mo Green Clothing Co. is inspired by the adventures and experiences of our tiny human, Moses Calvin Greenspon. And why not start something new while you have a brand new little baby? #thisismatleave.
Although I absolutely loved maternity leave, I needed something outside of the ‘baby world’ to focus on. I found the time at home long (don’t get me wrong, I loved when he finally learned to nap), but I was used to being out much more and having more flexibility in my life and schedule. I used this downtime to channel Mo Green and have enjoyed the challenge – along with the even bigger (and life-altering!) challenge of raising our little man.
I found it hard to find shirts for Moses that I loved. I wanted something unique, hip, and functional. I found a lot of clothing was gender specific and had sayings that errked me like “Mommy’s Little Hunk” (no offense if you like that saying). We started thinking of our favourite sayings and the stories behind them. Our first collection was created!
- Ok so the name of your company is obviously connected to both Moses and your family, how did you come up with Mo Green and is there more to this name than family connections?
We named the company after our son Moses Calvin Greenspon and it was one of the easiest decisions we made. As soon as we started thinking about creating a company, we knew the name Mo Green just worked and was unique, but connected back to our family. Moses truly inspired us to do something new!
- Let’s talk about the sayings on your sweaters and tees. As the parent of two little ones, these sayings really spoke to me. “Hug it Out” and “We are all in this Together” both tugged at my heart strings. We’ve been “ hugging it out” over here since the early 2000’s and now, with two little ones, we are hugging it out all the time. Can you tell us more about the story behind these awesome quotes?
Thank you – these are two of our favourite stories and designs (although we do have a soft spot for all of them!).
For THE TRIBE (“We Are All in This Together), the story is:
“Find your tribe, love them hard” – I value my friends and family above everything else and I know how important surrounding yourself with great people is. When I started my maternity leave, I created a Facebook group called #thisismatleave as a way to connect with other parents who were also going through this crazy life transition. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people, make some great friends and develop a new support system. I’ve learned to ask for help, and find people I can lean on. While this saying became very relevant after having a baby, it’s been a saying I’ve loved for years – Jacqueline, co-founder of Mo Green Clothing Co.
For THE HUG, the story is:
Sometimes all you need is a hug. This saying is from two of our favourite shows, “Friends” and “Entourage,” and is something we started saying to each other years ago as a way to quickly make everything better. We now give Moses lots of hugs. – Jacqueline & Lewis, co-founders of Mo Green Clothing Co.
- There are so many amazing stories to share when you are raising little ones, and you’ve found a way to incorporate those stories into your clothing company. In addition to this, you are asking customers to share their stories with you and become a part of your creative process. This is awesome! How does this all work?
Yes, we want to hear from our customers and have created a space on our site for people to submit their ideas. People can share their story and what message or quote they want to put on a shirt. If we choose their idea, they can pick which charity we donate to. The shirt will be named after them and we will share their story on our website. We also promise to send a sweet package. We are very excited to collaborate and create with our customers.
- In addition to making the cutest and cosiest clothes ever, you are also a company that is dedicated to giving back to the community; donating proceeds from your first collection to The New Mom Project, and proceeds from your second collection to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. You’ve also made plans to have your customers take part in this process for future designs. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
Yes it was very important to us that we could give back through the sales of our shirts and we have chosen charities that are close to our heart (and doing amazing things) to support. Every shirt we make will always have a portion of the proceeds that goes back to a charity – it’s an important component of our business and something we believe in.
- I absolutely love small shops and shops that are inspired by little ones. In addition to being entrepreneurs, you are also new parents, which is kind of a whirlwind in itself. What has the process of starting a business with a little one been like? Do you have any tips or suggestions for other entrepreneurs with little ones? And are you able to find a balance between family life and the new business?
I’m not going to lie, it’s been intense and required a new norm of balance, especially once I returned to a full-time job as well. We make time for Mo Green in the evenings and weekends and think of it as less about work, but our passion project. It’s easier to find time for things you love and Mo Green is close to our hearts. We have had to prioritize Mo Green over TV for example J and there have been days when I’ve been packaging up shirts and tried to also keep Moses entertained and it’s been challenging. I don’t think I have any specific tips, but going back to THE TRIBE, it really helps to have great people around to help out and know when to ask for help.
- Mo Green is such a beautiful small shop, with so many fantastic facets and such amazing aspirations for the future, including your goal of giving back $100, 000 by 2021! What an inspiring goal! Can you tell us some of your other hopes for the future of Mo Green?
Thank you – we really hope we can achieve that goal! We want to continue to create beautiful, sustainable products and have them all manufactured in Canada. We hope to have many more designs, collections, and options for the whole family. We want to hear from our customers and be able to share their stories and support their charities. We hope to expand into stores and continue to grow our online business. It’s important for us that we remain a family-run company and continue to love contributing to this business.
We literally live in our sweaters on the weekends and I’m actually starting to wonder if our friends and family think these are the only sweatshirts we own. That’s why I am so happy to partner with Mo Green Clothing Co. to offer my readers 10% off using code: JOANDMO. The code will be active until Feb. 19, 2017.
Also, be sure to check my Instagram page for an awesome giveaway featuring Mo Green and three other fantastic small shops!