We met Babiroo’s founder Michelle at a service station when Coraline was a small baby, sat on neighbouring tables in a coffee shop. She told us she was about to launch her business of organic baby clothing and accessories. Kevin, my partner at the time, now husband, loved what she was doing as he loves everything organic. As soon as she said it, I knew Kevin would love it.
We exchanged cards. Michelle’s passion when she talked about her business was infectious, you could feel the bubbling of her belief about what she was doing, and this reminded me of the way Kevin talks.
Kevin is a great character – he grew up in London, he’s very streetwise, could tell you the easiest way to get anywhere in London, he’s confident, funny and full of beans. He is also passionate, and I mean passionate, about what we put into our system but just in his own centred way; not in a way where he will ram his point across to others. It’s more a lifestyle, underpinned by a quiet knowledge. I believe this is where Michelle comes from too with her natural babywear.
I asked him how he came to care so much about food, and its origins. It’s almost like he’s a maverick in terms of his belief that we should eat organic food at all times. He said to me it came from being a chef for 17 years (he isn’t a chef now), and that this teaches you respect for your ingredients. He said that the most skilful chefs understand that elevating a dish is all about the respect you have for your ingredients, and that the ultimate respect is growing your produce, and raising your animals, with minimal interference and ensuring they are grown without toxins and pesticides. That can only ensure that both the integrity and the flavour of the ingredients are celebrated.
Since our daughter Coraline was born two years ago, he’s said she is a blank slate, and that we have an opportunity to really look at the food she is eating and the impact on her system and energy.
And it’s only now, after I listened to a fascinating podcast about toxins recently, that I have begun to say, “I get it”. And I, after years of keeping on doing what I always did, have shifted my course. I have decided to begin with the natural toothpaste (Kevin uses an all-natural toothpaste, and an all-natural deodorant). I have begun to understand what he’s saying about ingredients, and about how what your food has come into contact with, or the conditions it has grown in, are coming into direct contact with your body. I suppose I only write this to say, wow, I get it, I finally get what he’s saying. And when you understand it, you think, gosh why aren’t we all doing this? Why are all these foods allowed to be grown this way?
Kevin’s goal is to begin his own fully-organic natural soap company. I see his vision and his goal, and I know this will happen. And I see the need. I think people like Michelle and Kevin are the pioneers. They are the visionaries who are seeing what needs to be seen. So, I am hugely respectful of Michelle’s goal, and purpose, which stood out that first time we met her, when we happened to sit next to her table. For her baby clothing range, it’s a bit like with the food, it’s the ultimate respect for our children, to think organic in terms of the materials they are in closest contact with. You think outside and you think inside. You think of the environment of their future. I get it! I get that too. It’s just a logical next step from diet. Thank you Michelle, and thank you Kevin, for showing us this way.
Michelle sent us a gift for Coraline once she launched her business. A beautiful organic baby quilt which we take on our travels as boy, do we like to travel. It’s plush. It feels beautiful. It’s great to have on the floor for her to play on, or just being cosy in. It’s that feeling when you buy something that’s a bit pricier, but every sensation around it feels fresh, clean and delightful. We love her range. And we love her vision. Michelle, “I get it” and, thank you.
You can follow Liz’s blog, Coraline and Us here:
Blog: www.coralineandus.com (Down’s Syndrome Awareness)
Winner, Wellbeing Category, BAPS SEND Awards 2019
BiBs 2018, Finalist, Fresh Voice Award