Breastmilk, Macremé and the Craft Hive

March 2023

Milk Matters

Dr. Moira Haggarty Edwards has a vision for Breastfeeding Healthcare Transformation in Thunder Bay. A family physician who specializes in lactation, Dr. Moira provides essential medical care to young mothers and their babies. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Dr. Moira chose to stay here and begin her medical practice after studying nursing and medicine at Lakehead University and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

“I continue to choose to live and work in Thunder Bay because the quality of life is so high. Here, I have more time to enjoy what matters, while being at the helm of innovation of healthcare for the North. I enjoy raising my family surrounded tightly by community and grounded in nature.”

Inspired by her own challenges with breastfeeding after the birth of her son,

Dr. Moira recognized the need for specialized support in the field. She acquired substantial training in the field and completed training at Dr. Jack Newman’s International Breastfeeding Centre in Toronto. She became the first physician in the Thunder Bay region to offer a breastfeeding medicine clinic in July 2022. Since then, she has seen a tremendous response from families and healthcare providers who appreciate her expert support and guidance.

“Breastfeeding is so important, and the benefits are far-reaching,” says Dr. Moira. “I’m thrilled to be able to offer specialized care to help mothers and infants overcome the complex challenges that can arise.”

Dr. Moira’s role as a breastfeeding medicine physician overlaps with that of a lactation consultant, but with a more medical focus. She offers comprehensive assessments to diagnose underlying issues and provides medical interventions such as medication prescriptions or tongue-tie releases when necessary.

Her clinic is accessed via referral from a midwife, physician or nurse practitioner, and her eConsult service is also available.

Despite the challenges, Dr. Moira is optimistic about the growing momentum for a more breastfeeding-friendly society. “Breastfeeding is the biological norm, but it’s not always the cultural norm in our society,” says Dr. Moira. “I’m excited to be a part of teaching and doing research to grow the field.”

As a family physician and a breastfeeding medicine physician, Dr. Moira offers a unique perspective and the ability to provide a range of medical care to her patients.

Her work is a testament to the innovation in healthcare in the North. The future is bright for Dr. Moira and the field of breastfeeding medicine, and Thunder Bay is lucky to have her leading the way.

Macramé + Driftwood

Tiffany Allen’s passion for macrame started as a creative outlet for DIY projects and quickly turned into her full-fledged business, Macramé + Driftwood. Based in Thunder Bay, Tiffany’s stunning macrame wall hangings and plant hangers incorporate driftwood and natural fibers to bring a touch of bohemian elegance to any space.

“I was immediately drawn to the textures, colours, and eye-catching patterns and the decorative element that they add to a space,” Tiffany explains. “I really loved how the macrame pieces that I had seen in photographs were made with natural materials like jute, cotton, wool and driftwood.”

What started as a simple hobby turned into a thriving business with requests for commissioned pieces pouring in from all over the world. Her designs have been featured in home decor magazines and even made appearances in weddings as stunning backdrops.

Tiffany’s intricate designs take time and effort, with some pieces taking over 30 hours to complete. But the end result is always worth it, with each piece crafted to be symmetrical, with consistent tension and clean lines, and lots of texture.

Her love for the craft has also inspired her to share her knowledge with others through her book, “You Will Be Able to Macrame By the End of This Book.” This complete beginner’s guide to macrame teaches all the basics, including common macrame knots, techniques, tips, and tricks.

Despite her success, Tiffany remains humble and grateful for the support of the online community and the local Thunder Bay community that has helped her business grow. You can purchase her ready-to-ship pieces and her book on her website or through major book retailers.

Tiffany’s business is a shining example of the talent and entrepreneurship found in Thunder Bay, and her dedication to using natural materials and creating beautiful, intricate pieces makes Macrame + Driftwood a true gem in the world of modern macrame.

The Hive

Nestled in the heart of Thunder Bay, The Hive is a unique studio where customers can enjoy coffee, beer or wine while painting a piece of pottery of their choice. The concept is simple yet brilliant: pick a piece of pottery, paint it, leave it at the studio, and come back 10 days later to pick up your beautifully glazed creation. What a great way to unwind, relax, and let your creativity flow!

The Hive, formerly known as DIY Studio, opened its doors in 2019 and changed its name to The Hive on February 1, 2023. Tyler Breukelman, the new owner of The Hive, shared that he didn’t come up with the idea himself, but he loves it! The addition of an espresso bar and a liquor license has made the studio even more successful. As Breukelman puts it, “You can grab a beer or latte, unwind, relax and paint!”

The community response to The Hive has been overwhelmingly positive. People love the space and being able to create something of their own. The local pottery makers have also been amazing. The Hive recently started offering local pottery to paint, and local makers such as P0TS2G0 (Crystal Sohlman), The Clay Pottery (Melesa Hane), Sunshine Pottery (Michelle Arnold), and pottery by Myzylyn have been very supportive of the space.

Being a business owner in Thunder Bay has its challenges, but Breukelman is grateful for the supportive community. Breukelman shares, “I couldn’t think
of a better place to own a business.”

Breukelman himself has no prior experience with pottery, but he saw an opportunity when he was painting with his daughter and heard that the space was for sale. He says it was a way to branch out for himself and potentially pass the space down to his daughter someday. “The staff in the studio are the back bone of this business. They work hard, they are extremely knowledgeable, creative, fun, and they go the extra mile for every person that walks through our door. They have taught me a lot in a short month and the studio wouldn’t be what it is today without them.”

Pottery and hand-crafted artworks and functional pieces are increasing in popularity in the Thunder Bay community. As Breukelman says, “People are willing to try something different, they want to get out of the house after being cooped up for the past how many years, and our place is a fun energetic space where all ages can find their creative side.”

The Hive has a lot of exciting things on the horizon, including take-home kits available at various locations throughout the city, hand-building clay mug classes starting at the end of March, and fiber arts building nights in the near future. .

The Hive is a great example of a place where people can come together, have fun, and create something beautiful. If you haven’t checked it out yet, stop in and get your creative juices flowing.

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