Last week I launched a giveaway competition to win a bundle of Eco and Zero Waste products under the Contented Earth section of the website.
To say that it was popular would be an understatement! We had 800 entries in just over four days!!! Wow! I am so happy eco friendly products create such a reaction!
And with all interest in the competition, The Contented Company has gained many new followers. So to you, and those who've followed from the early days, I just wanted to say a big 'Hi and Thank You', and basically re-introduce myself.
I'm Elena, Owner and Founder of The Contented Company. I'm 40 years old (eek!) and mum to two girls - 9YO and 6YO. I'm an accidental entrepreneur, never intending to start a business - I simply didn't have a job to go back to once I left on Maternity Leave.
Let's start with a Fun-Fact for you: Contented Hubby and I were born one year and one week apart in the same hospital in North London. But after he was born and before I was, he moved away.
I then stayed in North London until I was seven, when I moved to Kent. Hubby travelled around the world with his family, from Ghana, to Scotland, to Brunei and settled in Yorkshire. We then met at university when I was 18 and he was 19.
I used to think that moving round the world sounded exhausting, having had a very stable childhood. But I think deep down I must have always had a traveller's soul...
Almost every summer from the age of three, I would head off to France in the back of my parents' car, in between pillows and suitcases and we would spend up to three weeks in a 'rustic' (in the early years there was no electricity) farmhouse that belonged to my Aunt's friend. My cousins, sister and I would explore the rambling garden, and sometimes venture into the neighbouring fields, if that year there were no cows. We learnt very basic french phrases, and use our over-flowing childhood confidence to ask for ice-creams or sweets, or 'encore un coca-cola s'il vous plait'. I look back at those holidays with incredibly rose-tinted glasses.
But I also realise that they must have planted a seed or two about a world existing away from my own home.
However it came about, the second year of my university degree found me getting on a plane to go and live on Long Island, to live and study at The State University of New York, at a small town called Stony Brook. After that, I worked for three years, then took a month to travel back to New York to visit friends, and to Kenya to visit another friend. Five years after that, more work and marriage, my husband and I quit our jobs and took six months to travel round the world.
And then we were back. To settle. To work. And to have kids.
In Summer 2009, I was catapulted into the whirlwind world of motherhood – and joblessness.
I was very much a neurotic, sleep-deprived, deer in the headlights kind of a being in those early days. Of course I loved my daughter fiercely, but it’s safe to say, I was a bit of an emotional wreck. At the time I put it down to the sleep deprivation – it’s really enough to send anyone a bit over the edge isn’t it?
My first product was dreamt up during those hours upon hours spent feeding our first baby - The Contented Calf Cookbook: Nourishing recipes for breastfeeding mums.
One more baby girl later, our wanderlust, took us to California.
After a dabble back in the work-work world later, I settled into another accidental role as stay-at-home 'mom' and housewife. (California is a pretty amazing place to raise kids.)
However, not content with solely enjoying the truly blessed of Stay-at-Home-Californian-Mom (I fully appreciate the irony of this statement, considering the company name), I created and published The Contented Kid Cookbook of Treats & Eats (as an iBook).
We re-located BACK to the UK at Christmas 2017, and now we're pretty much settled back into life in Twickenham (Greater London).
And for me, this meant being able to focus on the business again - time to really focus on what I am passionate about. I’ve always been a bit of a quiet eco gal, plugging away, doing my bit, going the extra mile and trying to inspire others to make a change. Well, the time has come to make a bit more of a noise, properly inspire, drive and support others making changes.
And so now, at the end of 2018, along came Contented Earth.
I am super excited and totally thrilled to be adding this fabulous collection of Eco and Zero Waste products to the Contented Family!!! As with all the recipes in my cookbooks, the products we are offering have been fully tried and tested by our family. Our family continues to make changes in our lives, which are better for our own health and the health of the planet, and I hope we can help you and your family too.
Contented Calf, the concept, was really born when I was pregnant with 9YO. I was worrying about something, probably small, and certainly nothing I could really have any control over. I remember it now. I was at my husband's childhood home, sitting on the sofa, and my amazing mother-in-law so kindly, but firmly, and full of wisdom said:
"Contented Cow, Contented Calf..."
That's all she had to say for me to understand her message. Stop worrying so very much about your baby and look after yourself, your own health. If you are well, and happy, and strong, you'll be able to do the same for your baby.
And so, the company has grown in the way that I've grown in my own life.
The more you look after yourself, and as your children grow up, the more your focus has the ability to turn outwards and towards the world around you, towards the health of the planet and the environment.
And this is how I see everything knitting together.
This is me, Elena and this is Contented Company
As always, with love from our family to yours,
Healthy You. Healthy Family. Healthy Earth.