Updated: Oct 7
Rebecca Szybunka has been a member of the BBS community since January of 2017 and staple in our classes at Bow Trail and our Mommy & Me classes at our Ramsay studio. Rebecca is a mom of two young boys and is the owner/creator of Kasual Kiddo Handmade.
Making time for one amidst the chaotic day-to-day tasks of running a business and caring for little people isn’t easy. We caught up with Rebecca to learn about her journey. It is so relatable to so many women. Q: You’ve been a member of our BBS Bow Trail community for 3 years. Tell us how barre has impacted your life? When it comes to my own physical fitness I’m probably the most unmotivated person ever. If was to make a plan to work out at home or go to a gym it would never happen. I literally need to be signed up for a class and have someone tell me what to do. This is why it was absolutely amazing when I found Barre Body Studio. The classes are fun, everyone is so kind, and you really do feel like you’ve gotten a great workout when the 50 minutes are up – and it goes by so fast! I was lucky at my first class and wound up booking it with Tara as an instructor, best life decision! Not gonna lie, my hand-eye-foot coordination the first couple classes was nothing short of awful. Tara was very easy to follow and gave great modifications for every level. After doing barre for 3 years now I’d definitely say if it’s your first time make sure you book a class with Tara. I didn’t find barre until after giving birth to my first son. Everyone always talked about how easy it was shedding off the pounds while breastfeeding… this was not the case for me. I was working full time while pregnant, I had a c-section, then honestly was just trying to stay awake and survive being a first-time mama. I gained weight after giving birth … may have had something to do with the bowl of candy I ate every night while sitting in the rocking chair. I didn’t feel like myself, I didn’t look like myself, and I knew I needed to do something. Barre was the best decision. Not only did it help me get back into shape, but my mental self felt improvement too. Our second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage followed up by almost 2 years of reconstructive surgeries and multiple failed IVF treatments. This is when barre really helped my mental health. Life felt hard and barre was one of the only things (for a while) that would get me out of my slumber and take my mind off of everything that wasn’t going right. Plus the community that has been built by Barre Body Studio is absolutely amazing and so supportive. Q: You recently welcomed your 2nd baby boy and stayed true to your daily barre practice throughout your pregnancy. Did you find barre more challenging during pregnancy or how did you feel throughout?
When I got pregnant by accident (or by miracle) for the third time I knew I needed to keep working out during the pregnancy to make post-partum easier than last time. And let me tell you … it worked! Barre during pregnancy was amazing! I was a high-risk pregnancy but the low impact of a barre class (and all the amazing modifications the instructors gave me) was perfect to get me all the way through my pregnancy up until 2 weeks before I gave birth. It helped keep my energy high during the first trimester when all you want to do is sleep. The second trimester I felt like a million bucks. I think I even upped the weights I was using from pre-pregnancy. This mama was strong! And even though I’d waddle into class during my third trimester I still pushed through each class to make sure I didn’t become a fat couch blob. Working out with a giant basketball attached to the front of you isn’t the easiest, nor the cutest, but it’s worth it to keep trucking along. I found the best class for me at the end was Barre + Core + Stretch with Nicole. The 15-20 minutes of stretching at the end of the class was absolutely spot on, especially when your hips are starting to get real sore from pregnancy.
Q: We’ve already established that you are a mom of two but you are also a small business owner. How did you get started and what inspires your collection? I started Kasual Kiddo Handmade when my first son was 5 months old (2015). This drooly kiddo was the first inspiration for me and I originally only sold Bandana Bibs. However, as time went on I started introducing new items into my business like Stroller Blankets, Graphic Shirts, Teething accessories, and most recently Advent Calendars for around the Christmas season – what kiddo doesn’t like the countdown to Christmas?!? I would say that where my inspiration comes from has definitely evolved though. I find I’m looking now at my Mom friends and their kiddos as well for inspiration. I love all the different little personalities kiddos have and I’m working on coming out with a special collection based around that in Spring 2020. Q: Outside of family, what keeps you busy? Oh gosh, family hands down keeps me super busy. I have a busy 4 ½ year old and 5 month old… need I say more? However, in my “spare time” I volunteer with the Tiny Footprints Charity. It’s a foundation that creates awareness around infant loss and miscarriage and helps support families/individuals going through this difficult time in their lives. I also love to cook/bake, crochet, sew, craft, ride my bike, watch a heck of a lot of Food Network and HGTV, and plan/organize. I know the last one seems silly, but I find it so satisfying to organize anything. Whether I’m Marie Kondo-ing my house or planning a girls trip to Vegas or even just a night out with a big group of friends, I love all the details and getting people together and organized. Q: Where can we find you? Kasual Kiddo Handmade can be found in a number of places throughout Alberta and online. You can find me at the Curated Shops in Edmonton City Centre, Crossiron Mills and The Core, The Raven’s Room in the Devenish Building on 17th Ave, Fernweh in the Banff Fairmont, Alberta’s Own Marketplace in Canmore, and online via my Etsy Shop. I also pop up at markets at least a couple times per year. I just love getting in front of the customer and seeing their reaction to my products, it helps me product plan for future seasons. Instagram @KasualKiddoHandmade Facebook www.fb.com/kasualkiddohandmade Etsy www.kasualkiddohandmade.etsy.com You can catch Rebecca at markets throughout the city! Keep an eye out for all the details on her social channels.