From Leaside Life, February 2019
By Suzanne Park
Imagine if we could count the number of Leaside friendships, innovations and businesses launched by schoolyard conversations. They would likely number in the thousands. A few years ago, one such conversation started with a simple hello and is today an innovative new business, called Born to Shine.Two moms crossed paths at Rolph Road when their children were placed in the same primary class. Their friendship blossomed, as many in Leaside do, at daily drop-off and pick-up plus the multitude of school events created by volunteers and backed by school staff.
Over many conversations, Natalie Healy, with 20 years’ experience working with special needs children including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Hailey Eisen, a freelance writer on parenting, education, wellness, empowerment and self-help, discussed a common interest and compelling question: “What contributes to building or undermining girls’ confidence?” During those many conversations, “without realizing it, we were learning that we were friends with different yet a very complementary skill set,” they said, finishing one another’s sentences.
“Nat is a fast and creative thinker on multiple planes,” said Hailey, while Nat followed with, “Hailey tames it all down. She is a carefully meticulous planner able to incorporate and build on my ideas. Our combined talents seem to be the exact mix we need to succeed.”
Things changed in Dec. 2017 when Nat announced to Hailey, “I’ve decided to create a program for girls based on my professional insights and personal experience. The what, how and when aren’t yet clear to me. The purpose, however, is crystal clear – to contribute to building girls’ confidence. Any chance you’d like to join me on this journey?” The question had Hailey sit up straight. After a brief pause, she answered, “Count me in.”
Enter Born to Shine.
Today Hailey and Nat are working together on growing their Born to Shine business and refining their offerings. Over the past year they’ve conducted PA day sessions, weeklong summer camps and on Jan 7 this year launched their inaugural and sold-out 10-week Monday evening program.
The 12 girls enrolled arrived Monday at 6 p.m. with yoga mats in hand and ready to join in. First the yoga teacher and then the two founders opened with, “Welcome to Born to Shine, where you’ll learn what makes YOU shine. In this safe space we’ll learn together about building confidence, enjoy kindness and acceptance, discuss media messages and embrace mind, body and spirit wellness. Tonight, we’ve enjoyed yoga and now we’ll get acquainted and collaborate on an inspiring-messages craft and discussion.”
Asked about their ideal business trajectory, Nat and Hailey both said, “that our investment of time, enthusiasm and resources pays off by contributing meaningfully to girls’ lives and generating capital to expand the business. As with most start-ups, we are learning and improving with every offering and look forward to the future we’re creating.” Learn more at www.borntoshinekids.com.