April MacKinnon lives and breathes natural living.But how I got here is a winding path.
I am a creative person by nature. I am a maker of things. My career path was initially to become an architect. I was accepted into architecture school only to decide to become a Civil (Environmental) Engineer instead. It was there I met my husband.
During my first pregnancy, I started to read about the ingredients in our personal care products. I went through all the items in our home and relieved our cupboards of about sixty percent of what we owned based on the ingredients listings and their effect on our health and the environment. After nearly losing our daughter due to a combination of prematurity and viral meningitis, my resolve was solidified to make a difference in the world for this little baby who fought so hard to survive in a world she knew nothing about.
I made some difficult choices.
I left my career as an Engineer. We started using cloth diapers. I saw a huge lack of information and environmentally conscious options for babies in our region and began an online business that consisted of educating others and selling cloth diapers and other baby accessories from our home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
In 2007 I had a second child and a growing cloth diaper business. I won the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year award for Atlantic Canada in 2008 and was giving monthly workshops in the community on cloth diapers and baby carriers. I realized that my little diaper business was too big for my home so in 2009 I opened a store in Halifax, Nova Scotia, returning to the workforce full time outside the home.
The opportunity to purchase Anointment was presented to me in 2009 at the same time I was opening the store. I knew the founder well and joked to customers that I didn’t want to lose the line of products in my shop, so I was going to take it over myself. I did exactly that. I was trained in soap making was now spending my evenings and weekends producing skin care products for my own shop and a handful of wholesale clients.
My life felt like it was living me rather than the other way around.
2011 precipitated many changes for our family. We were expecting a third child and the demands of running two growing businesses with a growing family were weighing on me. We decided to let go of city life and continue our dream of living with simplicity and sustainability. I sold the store, we sold our home. We bought a 150 year old Victorian farmhouse on the outskirts of Sackville, New Brunswick – the town where I grew up. I work from home with my three children with a much simpler rhythm to our lives. We have a colony of bees in our backyard. We are preparing to keep hens and possibly larger livestock. We eat fresh vegetables from our garden and harvest apples in fall. We continue to live and breathe natural living.
Ten Things You May Not Know About Me:
- I don’t watch television.
- I am a self-proclaimed vegan-gluten-free cupcake baking goddess!
- I love to sew.
- I have learned to knit about six times and it never seems to “take”.
- My family and I have a love of retired racing greyhounds and usually share our home with at least one.
- My childhood nickname is “Apes”. No one calls me that anymore.
- I am left-handed.
- Spontaneous dance parties erupt in our kitchen regularly.
- I have a goal to one day write a book.
- I don’t like driving.