Hope Through the Unexpected
Like many, I welcomed in 2020 on a hopeful note. The world finally seemed to be focusing on the important issues of climate change and poverty. Personally, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of my second child, due at the end of March. As I made preparations in my home one-hour outside of Toronto — booking hospital tours, setting up the crib, laying out mittens and booties — little did I know that everything I had planned would be turned upside down.
In the chaos of the early days of the pandemic, my son Finn, reading the room, delayed his debut and arrived on April Fool’s Day. When he first saw his mother’s face, it was half covered by a mask. I was alone; my husband was required to leave immediately after the birth. There were no grandparents or friends waiting outside the door. While cradling my newborn, I looked out the hospital window and watched a COVID-19 unit being constructed in the parking lot below. Eerie white tents and staff head to toe in PPE contrasted starkly with the children running carefree along the boardwalk by the lake, and my baby bundled and sleeping warmly in my arms. I sat there, a turmoil of hope and dread, excitement and fear at what was to come.
As a mother and working professional, raising young children and re-entering the work force after maternity leave is stressful enough, let alone during a global pandemic that has devastated the poorest and most vulnerable people and businesses. After a brief respite in the summer, we in Canada were confronted with the prospect of another long, unforgiving winter in lockdown. It was then that Adriano Basso, a former colleague and mentor, invited me to SkuSpring, a company he had recently co-founded. I immediately jumped at the chance to work with Adriano again, and to be part of this exciting startup.
SkuSpring’s mission is to bring new un-utilised revenue streams to small businesses, helping them to compete and succeed in a corporate dominated world. We put technology and data normally limited to big brands into the hands of local retailers. Not only do I believe in this mission, two months since joining SkuSpring, I can personally say it has been a game changer. As we all navigate this brave new world of Zoom calls, working from home or anywhere in the world, it is incredible to work with such a creative, experienced and, quite frankly, genius team of people. I am consistently blown away by the level at which the SkuSpring team operates, with humility, grace and good humour.
2020 didn’t bring what I expected, yet joining SkuSpring brought me something I needed: hope, innovation and the opportunity to help small businesses grow.