Striking a work/life balance is a popular and sometimes elusive goal. But Kamloops entrepreneur Ashley Longpre has managed to get the formula just right, running her own business, Pip & Pea Clothing, while caring for her 20-month-old daughter, Arya.
“I was working from home for what felt like 20 hours a day, doing payroll and accounting work for a non-profit group. And I felt like I never got out with my little baby, never got to talk to people,” Longpre said. “And I wanted to do something where I could achieve all of that and still have her with me.”
The store, which Longpre took over in February, features new and used children’s and maternity clothing that provides families with an affordable option to purchase, and also earn in-store credit when turning in items for re-sale.
“I think what we do is really helpful because small children grow out of their clothing so quickly,” Longpre said. “Sometimes, especially with the smaller stuff, they don’t even have time to wear things twice.”
Helping families stretch their clothing budget struck home when Longpre was expecting her daughter.
“When we found out I was pregnant, we checked out all the children’s clothing stores in town, and this one had a special place in my heart,” she said. “So, when we saw Pip & Pea was available, I jumped on it.”
Now she is reaping the rewards of running her own business while having her daughter by her side.
“There’s a play area where she gets to interact with other children,” she said. “And she’s always rocking the little babies in their strollers and talking to them.” Plus, it gives Longpre the opportunity to make connections with her clients, as well as other local entrepreneurs.
“It’s great to get to know so many of the moms in town,” she said. “And we feature products from many home-based businesses. We have homemade bath bombs, bubble baths, handmade toques, tutus, hair clips and headbands, all made by local people,” she said. “And I try and help support them.”
Pip & Pea Clothing is located at 750 Fortune Drive #16. For more information, call 250-318-6023 or go online at www.pipandpea.ca.