Growing up in Garden City, Kansas wasn’t very exciting for Jaime, so as soon as she turned 18, she moved to Colorado. “I was like, I’m out!” After Colorado came Alaska and finally in 2005 she moved to St. Louis for an internship with the World Bird Sanctuary.
Only a few months after moving here she went rock climbing at Upper Limits. Little did she know that decision would lead to her staying in St. Louis indefinitely. While there, she met a guy and “pretty much the rest is history!”
Almost. Life doesn’t usually take us in the direction we predict for ourselves and neither has Jaime’s. After graduating college in 2011 with her teaching certificate, she was prepared to teach middle school science. But once she had her son, plans changed. “I thought ‘I can do this, I can put him in daycare’, but I have a soft heart.”
I recently read an article about how it can be challenging for women to begin a career again if they have been out of the work force for awhile. Because technology is changing so rapidly, skill sets are difficult to maintain. With this in mind, Jaime began working at Cotton Babies, the worlds #1 retailer of cloth diapers, based right here in St. Louis. Until her son was able to walk, she brought him into work with her, but after he began pulling things off shelves, it was time for a change.
That is how AmberSky was born. Jaime had grown to love photography over the years and had begun doing shoots out of her home, so this was the perfect time to start a studio. DON’T peg this as just another photography studio, yet. She told me that AmberSky also has a lactation consultant for new moms, a doulah, a play area for kids and even a boutique that sells items for preemies.
Because Jaime’s son was born healthy (although she did endure 13 hours of labor and the umbilical cord was cutting off his oxygen), I wondered why she decided to sell clothing for preemies. Apparently, many parents who deal with premature birth are forced to purchase clothing at Build-a-Bear because there are no stores that sell clothing small enough. The regulations surrounding the dyes and chemicals used are much less stringent in doll clothing than in baby clothing. Jaime looked mournful as she told me that formaldehyde is commonly used. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
As we concluded our coffee chat, I asked Jaime to tell me her favorite thing about St. Louis. Her answer lines up with what you’ve heard in my blogs before and what we pride ourselves on in the Lou. “I would say… probably the community. Especially with having a son, it’s opened a whole new world of all the moms that are out there and they are just so supportive and it’s just a wonderful community.”
I have met some wonderful St. Louisans, but I’m not even close to being finished. Sign-up!