Name: Ellen Hockley
Number of kids and ages: One 17-month-old son
Location: Maplewood, NJ
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is the list of things no one told me. In pregnancy, I felt very informed and supported. Then, post-birth, it was literally a free-for-all. That experience—and hearing the stories of so many others who faced the same surprise—propelled me into birth work and continues to fuel my fire to create postpartum change every single day and normalize all the ups, downs and in-betweens of the fourth trimester. Real talk isn’t “spoiling the pregnancy.” It’s supporting parents in a loving, empowering way! My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was I thought it was going to be beautiful and easy, and it was so far from that in the beginning. My son had a bad tongue tie and torticollis, which made our initial breast feeding journey very, very hard and extremely physically painful for me. With a combination of a lactation consultant and PT we finally made it work and I happily nursed my son until he was 13 months old.
The best piece of advice about motherhood is trust your gut and ask for help. Both of these are so hard, but you know your boundaries and needs. As moms we are often pushed into situations we aren't comfortable with, but especially now (in a COVID world), it's so important to be able to ask for help, but also know when it may not be the right thing for you and your family. (I'm terrible at asking for help!)
About Ellen and Evergreen Activewear: Originally from Portland, OR, I traveled the world before settling in NYC (and now NJ). I earned an MA in Political Science and Security Studies, but when I moved to NYC the only jobs I could find were in events. I worked my way up the ladder and started my own business Greater Good Events. During COVID we were mostly on pause and I used this time to found Evergreen Activewear.
Evergreen Activewear is a sustainable maternity activewear brand for everyday movement. We created this brand to support pregnant and postpartum moms with high quality gear, made from 73% recycled materials. The impetus for the business was a padded cycling short. As an avid peloton rider I was extremely uncomfortable as my belly grew, and there was nothing out there in the market. So, we created it! We are so excited about our products and hope you'll love them as much as we do!