Paying it Forward through Community Partnerships

Smash + Tess goes above and beyond to support families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre.

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Pictured above: Mercedes Laporte, Smash + Tess COO, and Genesa Greening, BC Women’s Health Foundation President + CEO, deliver gift boxes for BC Women’s Hospital NICU moms.

Ashley Freeborn, CEO of Smash + Tess, knows what it’s like to have a newborn in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thanks to supportive nurses, doctors, family, and friends, Ashley and her daughter, Stella, made it through a frightening time. Today, Ashley wants other NICU mothers to feel just as loved and supported. 

This past December, Ashley and the entire team at Smash + Tess, along with several other generous donors, gave mothers whose babies were in the NICU at BC Women’s Hospital specially-curated gift boxes. Each of the 40 gift boxes included an array of goodies and comfort items, including a Smash + Tess x Jillian Harris Romper — an outfit that easily zips down for breastfeeding ease. An additional 30 boxes were gifted to other moms in need. 

“I’ve been where these women are, so I know that it’s an uncertain and scary time… I came out of it knowing I wanted to help other mamas gain a little comfort in what might be one of the most difficult times in their lives.” – Ashley Freeborn, CEO of Smash + Tess

Then the following week, Smash + Tess went a step further by holding a virtual fundraiser via Instagram Live benefitting the BC Women’s Health Foundation’s $4.5 million Her Mind, Her Health Campaign in support of reproductive mental health. This engaging event featured Canadian influencers, including Sarah Nicole of The Bird’s Papaya, Adrienne Neufeld, Emily Minion of Chelsea King, and Karen Johnson of K’Pure Naturals, who shared their own personal reproductive mental health stories.

Viewers were given the opportunity to win one of 10 of the exclusive gift boxes for themselves. As part of the fundraiser, Smash + Tess hosted a sale on select products, raising funds for Her Mind, Her Health. Together, the community raised over $13,000 in just four hours.

Donations towards Her Mind, Her Health fund innovative research, treatments, and technology that help new mothers experiencing reproductive mental health challenges. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, there was a glaring gap for women seeking accessible mental health support. And now, this gap has broadened further. For pregnant women, or those who have just had a baby, the risks of experiencing depression and anxiety become significantly elevated.

Within this new context we find ourselves living in, investments and support towards Her Mind, Her Health is incredibly timely. It will benefit many women and their families for years to come.

Did you know? You can start your own online fundraiser for a women’s health cause you care about or in honour of someone you love. Get started here.


BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice.