Meet the Girlbosses: Missy, founder of Squish & Sprout

It's been a long time since I've done one of these features and I have missed them so much! From the beautiful shops and great businesses, to their inspiring owners and founders, I love everything about this series and it is with great joy that I have the pleasure to introduce you to Missy, founder of Squish & Sprout. I came across one of her perfect mugs on Instagram, loved it instantly, followed the link to her profile, then her shop, and knew I had to bring back the #meetthegirlbosses series for her! Thank you so much for answering my questions Missy, you are an inspiration and a true #girlboss! 

✦ Could you tell us about your business?

Squish & Sprout is my photography business as well as an online shop. I specialize in newborn, children, and family photography and my shop features handmade and unique items for babies, Moms, and nursery decor. I recently started up a blog as well, which can be found on my website. I’m posting DIY projects, recipes, home décor inspiration, lifestyle posts, anything related to motherhood and my life at home with my kids.

✦ When did you start? 

I was a practising lawyer for 5 years (criminal defence, to be exact) before I had my kids. I don’t know that I ever really thought about whether or not I’d like to be a working mom or stay at home mom, but as soon as the idea became real that my husband and I were going to start a family, it became immediately clear to both of us that we wanted for me to be able to be home with our children.

✦ How did you decide to start? Were you inspired by your product and the need for it or did you want to start a business first and thought of the product second? Is it a full time job for you?

I started out as a photographer only (under a different name, “Little Bear Photography") in 2015 in Vancouver, BC, soon after my first son was born. I relearned photography when I was expecting and when he was born I was determined to take amazing photographs of every little detail as he grew. I bought better and better equipment as time went on, started to invest in nice lenses, online courses, and studio equipment. I studied not only photography, but posing techniques, safe and proper handling of newborns, and business. My friends started asking me to do their Christmas photos and newborn photos and it went from there! After I had my daughter I had gotten very interested in making her teethers by hand as well as hand-lettering prints and other fun items for her nursery. I decided to open up the shop and rebrand everything as Squish & Sprout. The names “Squish” and “Sprout” were the names we had given to both of our babies while I was pregnant. We didn’t find out their genders before birth so we gave them cute nicknames so that we wouldn’t have to refer to them as “baby” or “it”. The name felt right for the business and I’m still in love with it. It started out as something I could do while staying home with the kids but it is now becoming a part-time and ALMOST a full-time job, on top of my Mama-duties. I don’t get much sleep!

stay tuned for new Squish & Sprout items, Missy updates her shop with seasonal goodies!

✦  Was it hard to get things started? Can you describe the process?

(See above) The hardest transition for me was when we moved from Vancouver to Toronto last year. I basically had to start the business from scratch because all of my past clients and networks just vanished when we moved across the country. Now that I’m a bit more established here I’m loving my new clients and things have really taken off.

✦ How did your family react? Your husband?

My family has always been supportive of me. I don’t think anyone was particularly excited that I left my career as a lawyer but I don’t think anyone argues that I’m not doing important work. Besides, everyone who knows me recognizes that my calling in life was to become a mother. In the end, I know that I’m doing the most wonderful and important job in the world (raising my kids and making that my priority) and to be honest, its not important what other people think. My husband has always been my #1 supporter and biggest fan. He is always complimenting me on the new things I’m able to learn and execute and he is always encouraging me to do whatever makes me happy. 

my kind of evening - loving those Holiday glasses!

✦ With social media, it is easy to fall in the comparison game. I believe women entrepreneurs (and women in general!) should lift each other up - what has your experience with social media been like?

So many people HATE social media but I think it is wonderful. Aside from the ins and outs of the latest algorithms and the struggle to gain and maintain followers (which sometimes feels like a job in itself!), I’ve had nothing but positive interactions and experiences with my followers and other women in business. I’ve met some amazing and inspiring people and I feel like social media is a great way to inspire and lift you up, if you just look at it from the right perspective. Comparison is an evil and ugly beast - we have to try and focus on what matters to us personally and not what others are doing/not doing, what others have or how someone else looks.

how cute is this basket? it comes in different colors, too! 

✦ What are your hopes for 2018?

In 2018 I hope to get a better handle on balance and I hope to grow the business. I would like to connect with other women (particularly Canadian women or those doing similar things) and I’d like to spend more quality time with my kids, scheduling my “work” time in specific windows. 

✦ What advice to you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I don’t have much advice for aspiring entrepreneurs because I don’t pretend to know more about it than the next person, but I think you have to focus your energy on what you’re good at and what makes you happy. Don’t waste time trying to please everyone and don’t be afraid to say no if you need a break! It is ok to grow slowly and steadily, particularly if you have other interests and priorities that you don’t want to let fall by the wayside. Stay positive! Believe in yourself. All of that sounds really cliché, I know :)


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