BRANDS WE LOVE - GOAT-MILK

We've been obsessed with GOAT-MILK kidware since they launched years ago. Living in New York and on the search to find the best organic cotton shirts for our kids, we stumbled upon this brand and have been fans ever since.  Created from a desire to dress their own children in beautifully crafted, simple clothes and inspired by European classics, they allowed form to follow function and quality to be the foundation on which they built this brand. GOAT-MILK kidware offers a pared down collection of children’s underwear and basics that are made of 100% organic, prewashed cotton and produced with a resolute commitment to quality, fair trade and the environment. 

We caught up with the brands founders Tania and Roland earlier this summer when we saw them at the amazing ShopUp event.  We are so excited to feature this brand in our BRANDS WE LOVE series. Every baby and kid should own some pieces from this brand. Like our kids, it will become their favorite!

How did you launch your brand? By accident. My partner and I have worked together for the past 15 years in the advertising world. Roland as a photographer / creative director and me as an agent and photo producer. One of the art directors we worked with has a mother that imported clothing from Spain and sold them to a few shops on the East Coast. This was a family business going into the 3rd generation. She was ready to retire and wanted her son to continue the business. It was a bit overwhelming for him to do on his own, so he asked if Roland and I would join him. We went from an excercise in branding and really excited about the market to the mother getting cold feet and not ready to give up her business. Roland and I were so excited about the prospect, we decided to do it on our own. (Just before we were going to partner with our friend, the running joke was that whenever Roland traveled to Europe for work, I would make him go to the little boy's department and buy underwear for my son. At that time, there were limited options in the kid clothing world. The need for simple, well made and understated undergarments were lacking at that time, so that's why we decided to do it on our own.)

GOAT MILK

What inspires you/keeps you inspired? Living in NYC inspires me. There is so much energy, diversity and hope in this city.

What’s the best business advice you were ever given?  That sometimes it's more important to make a product affordable than it is to get your full margin. We do that with the boy's underwear. Which is the best, BTW. It costs us $7.50 landed. Which means it should wholesale for $15 and retail for $30. We sell it exclusively ourselves, on-line for $16. But we feel strongly about this product as it is the cornerstone of our business (really deep thoughts for a pair of underwear, I know). 

What is the biggest lesson you've learned as you run your business? We have learned so many lessons along the way.The biggest one is perseverance. As a business owner and entrepreneur, you have to weather the storm no matter what comes your way. 

Every women should own? A pair of clogs. No6 are my favorite. They are comfortable for being on your feet all day long and they give you a little height too. 

What are your favorite brands? Helmut Lang, Uniqlo, No6, Madewell, A.P.C. 

One item you can't live without? My phone. 

Whats your favorite app? Or app that changed your life? Instagram @goatmilknyc Amazing platform for dicovery and community. 

Favorite place to travel? Montauk.

Happiness is? A day at the beach with friends. 

One tip? Take time to reach out to other business owners and experts in and around your field and build up those relationships. I feel the more we share our experiences the better it is for all of us to succeed.

Your favorite go to gift? A candle from Dyptique or a Comme Des Garcons bag

SHOP GOAT MILK

BRANDS WE LOVE - LEGEND OF LIDO

In our constant search for the perfect gift, we stumbled upon this amazing brand. Inspired by travel, adventure and the colors of the world, Legend of Lido pouches are our favorite go to gifts. 

Legend of Lido was launched by west coast native, Krista Lissner and east coast native, Benita Litt.  Beginning with the idea of creating the perfect travel pouch, Legend of Lido has since evolved into a collection of travel-inspired carryalls for everyday use.  Every bag is designed from an exotic, one-of-a-kind print inspired by the world's vibrant colors and whimsical essence.  They are perfectly designed to mix and match with one another and come in a variety of sizes. 

We sat down with Legend of Lido founders, Krista and Benita to find out what how they launched her brand, the best business advice they've ever been given and their favorite brands. 

Legend of Lido

How did you launch your brand? We were inspired to launch Legend of Lido because we wanted to create a line inspired by our travel. Our product is designed for the global nomad. All of our designs capture the amazing beauty we have seen traveling, whether it's through the vibrant colors of our prints or the nature we see first hand. 

What inspires you/keeps you inspired? TRAVEL!!!! We are a travel inspired brand. We take inspiration from our travels and use it for our prints and vibrant colors / moods of designs.

What’s the best business advice you were ever given?  Don't try to wait to launch a brand or idea until it is "perfect", instead just go with it and have faith in your idea. 

What is the biggest lesson you've learned as you run your business? We have two! Be authentic & don't take no for an answer.

LEGEND OF LIDO

Every woman should own? A great pair of sunglasses - our favorite LA based sunglasses store is Alexander Gray Optical - best selection!

What are your favorite brands? Banjanan, Natalie Martin, LemLem, Boys & Arrows Swim

One item you can't live without? Our morning cup!

What's your favorite app? Or app that changed your life? Dark sky - the most accurate weather planner that we have found in the app world. Plus, it's great for our travels because helps us figure out what to pack!

Favorite place to travel?  Sicily. The photo provided is of Benita, co-founder of Legend of Lido, in the streets of Sicily this summer. 

Happiness is? Waking up in a new city for the first time 

One tip? Life's to short to drink bad wine 

Your favorite go to gift? A Legend of Lido pouch..... of course! :)

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Source https://legendoflido.com @LEGENDOFLIDO

BRANDS WE LOVE - PONCHO + PARKER

Childhood friends Adele Berne & Brooke Whiteside Pollard share their love of beach, babes and all things fun through their Poncho + Parker Collection.  Founded in 2016 and out of necessity for a functional and fun cover up for their babes, they designed these ponchos to be carefree for the kids and functional for the parents all while staying fashionable and super chic. Poncho + Parker ponchos are made out of the original Turkish towel, which is extremely absorbent, light weight and quick-drying. Perfectly packs in a suitcase for vacation or easy to throw in a beach bag for the summer.

We originally met Brooke at a fun summit in Palm Springs. While discussing our favorite brands and our love for NYC, it was there that we learned of their amazing brand Poncho + Parker.  Fast forward to this summer and we've become completely obsessed with these ponchos. Our kids use them after pool parties, beach days and we even took them on our trip to Yosemite and rocked them through out the vacation. They are perfect for any occasion and have been great to keep in our beach bags. 

We recently spent an afternoon with Brooke and Adele, the founders of Poncho + Parker to get an inside look into their brand and what inspired them to start Poncho + Parker.  Let's just say, we left completely inspired and grateful that there are people in the world like Brooke and Adele. They are kind, smart, passionate and always smiling. We know they are truly invested in making this brand a favorite in your household. 

poncho and Parker

BROOKE

How did you launch your brand? Adele and I have been friends for over 20 years and have always had an easy going friendship that easily translated into a partnership. The brand began over a bottle of red wine in the dead of winter in NYC, as were dreaming of our next seaside visit. Growing up on the coast, our hearts both beat for the sound of the waves. Now we that we both have little ones, we wanted to build a brand that exuded the carefree spirit that we experienced when we were younger. We launched about 9 months later with a brand that was both functional for parents and whimsical for kids. Chic yet practical. Stylish yet useful. The Poncho + Parker poncho was born.

What inspires you? The coast. All things coastal... coastal colors, salty smells, fresh air, the way you feel when gazing into the endless ocean. 

Favorite Brands? A few of my faves are Olivia + Ocean swimsuits, Rose + Rex curated line of toys and Mignonne Gavigan jewelry.

What app changed your life? Planoly. Hands down best app for planning social media posts, in particular Instagram. This one app has given me some of my life back. 

One tip? Be present. Whatever you are doing, whomever you are with, be present. 

Happiness is? Happiness is sitting seaside with a glass of rosé, my husband, two kids and goldendoodle on our favorite, tucked away, little island - Bald Head.

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? I LOVE gifts! I am a huge gift giver and love every part of it, from curating to wrapping to presenting it to the recipeint.

Children - Every year I make a board book of best friends for all my children's friends. It's a perfect birthday gift and a good way to remember friends at such a young age. Also, doubles as a way to learn letters and read names as they get a bit older. We love the board books from Pinhole Press.

Husband - Every year my husband looks forward to updated pics for his office from Artifact Uprising for his little wooden block. They make the best rotating photo display!

Dad - My dad LOVES a good tear-away calendar. And what can be better than customizing it with the hundreds of shots that we take of our kids? If you are like me, you tend to only use about 30 quality shots per year in frames/prints/etc... but what do you do with the other 300 (okay, more like 3,000!)? BINGO! Social Print Studio does such a nice job with these tear-away calendars and it’s a gift that keeps giving all year long, every single day!

New Mom - My favorite go-to gift for new moms is this receiving blanket teddy bear. After I had my first, I had a few hospital blankets laying around, collecting dust, with no idea what to do with them until I found this gem of a woman who makes these bears (or bunnies!) out of hospital receiving blankets. Now I always request a receiving blanket from my expecting mamas and present them with the gift a couple of months after the baby is born

Hostess - One of my faves is this set of pineapple shot glasses, which we actually use as salt cellars in our house. With the pineapple being the symbol of hospitality and warm welcome, this gift just makes sense for the discerning host.

ADELE

What inspires you? The beach! I live and work right by the beach and try to get in as much sand & sun time as possible. 

Favorite Brands? Kids brands: Mini Rodini is awesome, their prints are outrageous and their sustainable message is admirable. I also adore Oeuf for playful knits and Bonpoint for those special pieces.  For my own style I love to mix it up with vintage pieces, Marc Jacobs and Prada when I can.

Biggest Challenge of running your business? Finding enough time in the day to do it all. I have another business I run with my husband, Epaulet so that is extremely important to me. And then of course family time with him and my daughter Josephine.

 Best advice you've ever been given? Be flexible. A part of being creative and successful is also responding to the changing world around you.

 What app changed your life? Kinda nerdy, but I love my banking app - makes transactions and keeping tabs on things so easy. And I'd be a fool not to say I love Instagram, staying connected and inspired to my community. Lastly Chatbooks is pretty awesome, an easy way to make photo books for our family. 

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? I love photo gifts, honoring a memory with a real print.

 

 

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BRANDS WE LOVE - LOVELANE DESIGNS

LOVE LANE DESIGNS

Lovelane Designs, a beloved maker of handcrafted children's imaginative superhero capes and beyond make the perfect gift for any little.  These whimiscal superhero capes empower both boys and girls to be creative, imaginative and help them bring their adventures to life.  From the animal capes to the fairy tale wings and hat set, Lovelane Designs is one brand we absolutely love. 

Founder Lane Huerta initially began her Lovelane adventure by designing and screen-printing tea towels, pillows and other home décor. It wasn't until 2014 when she discovered the joy of making capes and crowns for children, including her own daughter Clementine. Then, Etsy.com featured her work on their homepage, and suddenly the demand for these empowering costumes soared. Today, Lovelane has expanded beyond their superhero cape sets into other creative themes like fairy tales and animals. 

We sat down with Lovelane founder, Lane to find out what how she launched her brand, her biggest challenge in running her own business and some of her favorite brands she's loving right now. 

LOVE LANE DESIGNS

How did you launch your brand? Lovelane almost began as an accident. I had been selling printed tea towels on Etsy, when I made a cape and crown for my daughter. We took some fun photos, posted them, and they sold out! 

What inspires you? I'm so easily inspired. I'm like a bird... distracted by shiny things! I love talking with/listening to kiddos that love dressing up. They'll tell you specifically what makes a super awesome costume!

Brands I'm loving right now. STATE: from her smocks to the secret catalog! Gunner & Lux: Our go to for awesome necklaces and swag Baby Jives Co: My go to for special baby gifts, gorgeous mobiles and swaddles Wash With Water: Organic skin/hair care for little ones (and I use it too) All these brands are made in the USA! 

Biggest challenge of running your business? The biggest challenge for me is the business side of the business. I love the design and sample making, I love the physicality of screen printing. As Lovelane has grown, I'm in front of the computer more often. I'm trying to allot time where I can print and sew some each week. It's my meditation. 

What app has changed your life? I'm embarrassed to say I just stared using Hootsuite. I have this feeling it's about to change my life! 

Best advice you've ever gotten? Know your worth and it's ok to say no. 

Tips? Be nice. Support your peers. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and listen to your gut.

Your biggest aha moment? My biggest aha moment was when I realized I could not do it all. Finding help can change your life.

Happiness is....Happiness is my daughter telling me she's proud of me.

Favorite go to gift? Probably the same answer as my favorite brands. This holiday season I will gift my new book, Superhero Sewing: Playful Easy Sew and No Sew Designs for Powering Kids' Big Adventures by Quarto Publishing. This has been a labor of love and I can't wait to see what folks create!  SUPERHERO SEWING BOOK

LOVE LANE DESIGNS

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BRANDS WE LOVE - SOLLY BABY

 Photo by Jackie Wonders

Photo by Jackie Wonders

Meet Elle Rowley, the woman behind Solly Baby, the super light wrap used to carry your baby. Closeness, touch, being together and building that bond are so important for your little ones, and these Solly wraps provide comfort to take on your daily life while providing the essentials to your newborn and baby. 

 Elle made the first Solly Baby wrap in 2011 in the sewing nook of a little house in Salt Lake City after the birth of her second child, Solomon (hence the name Solly Baby).

After using migraine-inducing carriers that left her feeling like a packhorse with her first baby, Elle wanted something comfortable and chic to wear, that could not only best meet Solly’s needs, but also enable her to still chase after her toddler as well.

Elle worked while her babies were sleeping and while her husband, Jared, was finishing school – lining the living room with tape as cutting guides, experimenting with fabrics and sewing on her Craigslist serger design a wrap that was functional, beautiful and felt like her.

We were honored when Elle agreed to be featured on our site. We sat down with her to learn more about their brand, what inspires her collections and her favorite go to gifts. 

 

How did you launch your brand? Solly Baby really began with making  myself a wrap six years ago, falling in love with the experience, and finding every way I could to share it online.

What inspires you? The idea of helping women experience life with their little ones while retaining a sense of their own style and aesthetic at a time when it’s hard to recognize yourself in the mirror.

Favorite Brands? So many!! There are so many female designers in fashion who are killing it right now. I think motherhood used to be seen as something crippling for your career and your sense of style, but that is changing and I am so inspired. I love watching Ulla Johnson, Doen, Mara Hoffman, Jenni Kayne, Christy Dawn, Storq, our children’s line ARQ the list goes on!

Biggest Challenge of running your business? I am an introvert in my own way so the relentless pace of social media and “sharing” can make me want to hide under a rock sometimes. Still, I am so grateful for the way social media has opened up the business world for mothers.

Best advice you've ever been given? Well, Oprah didn’t say this to me specifically :wink: but in a speech she gave years ago she said to align your personality with your purpose and then no one can touch you. That really stirred something in me.

What app changed your life? I’m in the middle of a move and a product launch so right this minute Uber Eats is literally saving my life.

One tip? Be kind to yourself.

Your biggest aha moment? When I realized success is so relative and that I didn’t need to compare my definition with anybody else’s or let anybody else’s define my own.

Happiness is? Chocolate chip cookies! Kidding, but not. They really make me so happy.

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? Candles and a good book for my friends. To me that says luxury.

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BRANDS WE LOVE - SAM MALOUF

SAM MALOUF - LUXURY BOUTIQUE

sam and gloria malour

Meet Sam and Gloria Malouf. The owners and buyers of Sam Malouf Luxury Boutique in Burlingame California. Their store offers a amazing selection of luxury and contemporary apparel and accessories. And since we love perfectly curated fashion and believe in shopping local this is the store for us. 

sam & gloria malouf

The list of Brands is off this chart... including Chloe, Herno, Eton, Sea, Moncler, Common Projects, Zegna, and the list goes on. 

In addition to their amazing list of luxury and contemporary brands, Sam also offers a selection of private label shirts branded as Sam Malouf Orange Label. And with Father's Day just around the corner we think these make the perfect gift pick. 

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ABOUT THE BOUTIQUE

Sam and Gloria's luxury boutique for men and women is nestled in Burlingame California, just south of San Francisco. This special shop is one of kind. It was recognized by Esquire magazine as the top 35 specialty stores in the county! They both call the Bay area their home and enjoy serving their long time clients, many who are friends, the local community, while continuing to support our local charities.

Whether your style is Savile Row or SoHo, they will help you discover your authentic look. As experts in cut and fit, and the use of classic tailoring, Sam and Gloria ensure every client looks his/her best. Their world class associates possess a rare depth of product knowledge and extensive industry experience. We fit every garment we sell and we offer custom construction for those seeking a truly unique product.

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http://www.sammalouf.com/home.php

FOLLOW 

https://www.instagram.com/sammalouf_authenticluxury/?hl=en

sam malouf

BRANDS WE LOVE - MINNOW SWIM

 Photos Curtesy of Morgan Smith 

Photos Curtesy of Morgan Smith 

Anyone else counting down the days until summer? With beach and pool days around the corner, we can almost taste summertime. We've been obsessed with Minnow Swim since they launched last year, obsessing over their classic ruffled one-piece. Their suits are timeless, modern, simple and offer such sweet romantic colors that make you want to get whisked away to the beach.

Meet Morgan Smith, the founder and creative director of  Minnow, this Laguna Beach resident has an eye for adorable swim wear and we were so excited when Morgan agreed to be featured on our site. This brand is definitely one you need to know about.  Made and designed in California and crafted to be worn over and over again, you will fall in love with your mini in this suit. 

 

How did you launch your brand? My background is in premium product marketing, I had always worked for brands that I was passionate about/believed in but knew someday I wanted to create a brand of my own. After my son was born, I began consulting to allow a more flexible work scenario to be with him. Because of the freelance work, I was able to work anywhere. So we did a home exchange in London one summer, the inspiration for minnow came to me while abroad. I was searching for a swimsuit mid-summer for my son, and wasn't happy with the lack of options. Since the beach was our lifestyle back home, I thought it was time for more classic, well-made, simple options for my boy --- and girls!

What inspires you? Definitely my children, a la minnow ;) but really everything around my from a great conversation, being around talented friends, a great book, to traveling to a new place I haven't been before.

Favorite Brands? I love brands that have a true, authentic identity. Clare V. does an incredible job. I always love brands that value the details and the experience.

Minnow Swim

Biggest Challenge of running your business? It never stops. No clocking out. I had a very nice maternity leave after my son was born (while I was working at Bugaboo) and after Georgia, I was on a photo shoot 2.5 weeks postpartum. (Luckily though, she gets to be with me).

Best advice you've ever been given? Do what makes you happy, live your best life, be present (all cliche and all so so true!)

What app changed your life? For Business: Shopify + Instagram (Honestly my husband always tries to get me on apps that will simplify my life but I am still a handwritten to-do list girl)

One tip? I feel like were really fortunate in this digital age, to be able to create the life we want. If you want to work, but be at home with your kids...you can! If you want to live in Australia half the year, or raise your kids on a farm but still bring in an income online, you can. The arrangements are endless, and I love that. I feel really grateful, and I plan to utilize this era we're in. 

minnow swim

Your biggest aha moment?  When the idea for minnow came, I waited for that feeling for years but it came organically which i think is key.

Happiness is? For me, being with my family + traveling. The two together is my happiness. 

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? I love buying people experiences as gifts. They truly last forever ;) For mother's day i bought my mom, a boat ride to Catalina island -- she used it the next weekend! 

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BRANDS WE LOVE - LA MER COLLECTIONS

La Mer Collections was founded by Martine Ilana in 2001. Unable to find a stylish and feminine watch to wear, she took a soulful approach and created what has come to be known as the company’s signature wrap watch.

Inspired by travel, adventure and the colors of the world, La Mer Collections designs and assembles all of their unique timepieces in their design studios in Los Angeles. Each piece is handmade with close attention to detail and with utmost care. The brands’ focus is to create pieces that are affordable, chic and act as a souvenir for memories, moments and experiences had by the wearer.

LA Mer Collections

Each La Mer Collections wrap watch features a classic face and Italian leather straps both custom designed by Martine. The collection features over 200 styles, from Simple Wrap watches to embellished chain, stone & charm wraps. Diamond and custom options are also available.

Each season, a new destination sets the tone for the color palette. For the Spring of 2017, Martine choose to take design inspiration from the dramatically beautiful and wildly natural island town off the coast of Sicily, Salina, The Aeolinan Island. Crystal blue waters, green caper farms and picturesque vineyards lining the sparkling coastal landscape are featured in this season’s styles.

La Mer Collections is available at Nordstrom, ShopBop.com, Anthropologie and better boutiques worldwide. The company has retail locations in Japan, Korea and their flagship store sits in Jakarta, Indonesia. For more information, please visit www.lamercollections.com. 

We sat down with La Mer Collections founder, Martine to find out what how she launched her brand, her biggest challenge in running her own business and one tip she swears by when she travels. 

La Mer collections
LA MER COLLECTIONS

How did you launch your brand? I launched La Mer Collections in 2001 after taking a year off of my design studies to travel overseas to Africa and Asia. I love souvenirs because once I’m back from any trip I can look at an object and dream of where I picked it up. I was so inspired by my time away that when I returned home, I wanted to design and create a line of watches that reminded me of my travels. In addition, I wanted to create a brand that allows women to express themselves in a fun and interesting way so that when they look down and check the time, they are reminded that fashion can also be paired with a piece of simple technology.  

La Mer Collections

What inspires you? Traveling the world - I try to go somewhere new and ‘off the beaten path’ at least once every two years. I live by the Pacific Ocean and that too inspires me. I also am very inspired by the team in my office – they each bring a unique style to the office each day.

Favorite Brands? Sandro Paris, Missoni, Ivy Kirsner Shoes and Teeki Yoga pants.

Biggest Challenge of running your business? One of my largest challenges is keeping up with the customization of our collection, as there are so many options to offer! We want to accommodate all of our customers. As with running your own business, there are always 10 more things that I want to do each day and there is never enough time!

Best advice you've ever been given? 'Take one step at a time’ and 'think about the moment after’ if there is anything that seems like a challenge to face.  

What app changed your life? WhattsApp - I can call my 96 year old grandma all hours of the night in South Africa!

One tip? On international flights bring some mint tea, it always makes me feel recharged after a long trip.

La Mer Collections

Your biggest aha moment? Seeing a woman wearing one of my watch designs in NYC who served me my coffee after getting off the train. I secretly did a happy dance!

Happiness is? My newborn twins Opal & Oscar, my husband and my Brussels Griffon, Frank! Also a Saturday morning Yoga class in Venice.

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? Aviator Nation hoodies and monogrammed leather bags from Clare Vivier.

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BRANDS WE LOVE - STARLING JEWELRY

Starling Jewelry

Ethically produced and transparently priced fine jewelry and crafted from responsibly sourced precious metals and gems in Downtown Los Angeles. Starling Jewelry has become our latest obsession and our new favorite affordable go to gift for all our family and friends. 

Starling is Chelsey and Tracy’s vision for timeless and affordable fine jewelry without the standard markups. It’s jewelry they want to wear, and invest in for their children, too.

We sat down with Starling's founders, Tracy Burnett and Chelsey Bartrum, to find out what inspired them to launch their brand and take on a transparent business model, what their biggest challenges are running their own business and their favorite go to gifts for everyone in their family. 

Starling Jewelry
Starling Jewelry

How did you launch your brand? Tracy & Chelsey: We created the idea of Starling over a brunch in the valley almost three years ago and still feel like we are launching! But over that brunch we discovered we were both at places in our lives were we had been working for other people/companies for long enough and wanted to do something that was ours. Tracy has worked in large scale accessories manufacturing for amaing brands like, Micheal Kors, Tracey Reese and Pam & Gela, and Chelsey for high end jewelry designers and manufactures everything from couture to costume. We wanted to combine our two paths of high quality handcrafted jewelry and large scale manufacturing by using the direct to consumer model of other online only companies.

What inspires you? Tracy: My daughter Olive. She is so positive and optimistic, two things I am trying to be more of every day! One time around Christmas, after picking her up from school, there was this giant truck blocking her favorite decorated Christmas tree. I was disappointed and expected her to be as well (and prepping for a toddler meltdown), but instead she said, “Silly truck! It’s okay Mom, maybe it won’t be there tomorrow!”  It was a moment that clearly stuck with me and inspires me everyday to look at the bright side of things. Chelsey: I love being around and learning from passionate people that are so into what they do, study or make. And mother nature always!

Starling Jewelry

Favorite Brands? Tracy: True Botanicals an amazing skincare line that we just discovered and are seriously already obsessed ­ it makes your skin so dewy! For clothes Ulla Johnson and Madewell are my favorites. Chelsey: Muji for trying to keep organized and live with less stuff. Amo jeans.

Biggest Challenge of running your business? Chelsey: There are no short cuts. Building a successful business takes time and perseverance, and we are still learning to trust our instincts. Tracy: Wearing every hat from product to marketing to finance is challenging but also exciting. It makes everyday a learning experience and constantly keeps us on our toes!

Best advice you've ever been given? Tracy: Always approach challenges from a problem solving perspective. Ask what you can do to help, instead of placing blame on other people. Chelsey: Someone once told me to get up each day without thinking. It was right after I graduated college and it seemed revolutionary at the time, to never hit snooze or spend one second fretting about the day in bed and just get up and take it on. It’s still my goal every morning!

What app changed your life? Tracy: Unroll Me! It cleans up your inbox so fast and has streamlined my entire life!  Chelsey: Google Maps ... maybe lame but I would be pretty lost without it.... literally

One tip? Tracy: Don’t stress about stuff, it all works out in the end! Chelsey: Go towards the uncomfortable, don’t hide from it. It forces you to grow and learn.

Your biggest aha moment? Tracy & Chelsey: Starting Starling! Realizing we could create our own dream and didn’t have to continue working for other people. 

Starling Jewelry

Happiness is? Tracy: Enjoying an iced latte by myself. Chelsey: No traffic and pancake breakfast with my family 

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband?  Tracy: Babies and little ones­ I love Jellycat Stuffed Animals. They are the softest and cutest­ perfect for new babies as a lovey.  Toddlers: My toddler was just gifted a pair of Unicorn Vans for her birthday that we are all obsessed with. These are my now my new go to gift for kids this spring! Bestie: Girl time with a manicure at TenOverTen, or our new diamond stud earrings. Both are simple luxuries that are always appreciated!  Hubby:­ vintage Lego sets. Always a hit with him (and with our daughter!) They love to build together.

Chelsey: Hubby: He’s a writer so I finding him nice pen’s and notebooks. ­ I love these pressed cotton ones from Postalco and these pens for sketching.

Bestie: Coveted Things Blankets ­ I just got Tracy the “shit just got real” for her second babe. Tracy Tanner Pouches such a fun gift, that is so versatile and she makes the coolest patterns.

And not surprisingly but I love to gift jewelry! The Starling Personalized Bracelet with a single or double initial is my favorite for new moms or brides.

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BRANDS WE LOVE - SARA HAPP

sara haps the lip expert

If you don't know about the The Lip Scrub™ we are here to tell you it will change your lips FOREVER.  This brand has been around for over 12 years and we've been completely obsessed with this product for sometime. Known for her lip scrub, which comes in a variety of wonderful flavors, she's also known for her lip slip. 

Sara Happ is the founder and CEO of Sara Happ Inc., a beauty company creating luxury lip products sold in 400 stores nationwide and distributed in 20 countries.  Started in 2005, they are best known for launching the first-to-mass lip exfoliator of its kind, The Lip Scrub™

We were so excited when Sara Happ, agreed to be featured in our Brands We Love series. We sat down with her to learn more about her brand, what inspired her to be the Lip Expert and what her biggest challenges are to running your own business. She's one inspiring Mama and we are completely OBSESSED with her and that wonderful Lip Slip! 

And check out her latest product, the most amazing Sweet Clay Lip Mask which launched earlier this month, you will LOVE it! Plus her products make the most perfect gifts. 

SARA HAPP

A little bit about Sara:  “I’m a mom first and foremost, and a girl’s girl, for sure.” she says, “But before that, I was and will always be an entrepreneur who loves watching people create something from nothing.” Happ is a believer that, despite how quickly things move these days, we still often settle for sub-par experiences and products because they’re what is obvious and widely available. “I live for watching holes in the market get filled. Spanx. Drybar. Those ‘Why-Didn’t-I-Think-Of-That’ companies that began in someone’s house and changed gigantic industries forever... Thrilling.” Happ is a native of suburban Chicago, and a proud USC Trojan who calls Los Angeles home.

Sara Happ Lip Mask

Tell us about how you got started?  I created The Lip Scrub in 2005 out of sheer necessity. I’m a magazine lover and beauty junkie who kept reading editors say “Exfoliate lips with a wet washcloth or toothbrush.” That seemed crazy to me! I have a scrub for every other part of my body, so why were there none for my lips? To my kitchen I went, and The Lip Scrub was born using mixing bowls and spatulas. I was obsessed with my formula, and had a strong sense that other girls would be, too. I felt like I was sitting on gold. Sugar-covered gold. 

What inspires you?  Female bizlebrities and women with a platform who use their influence for good inspire me. Alli Webb, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Sheryl Sandberg, Maria Shriver. These women get up and go to work every day, balancing their careers with their families, never losing sight of their goals, while giving a voice to communities and causes that need it most. Honestly on days that I’m tired, I look at their Instagram feeds and get moving. 

What has been the biggest challenges of running your own business? The biggest challenges came in the beginning. Because the product didn’t exist, labs wouldn't talk with me. They were happy to make me a lip gloss, a lipstick, a balm. But they didn’t understand this concept of a “Lip Scrub.” Many of them said “Everything lips exists. If it was going to be successful, the big guys would have thought of it already.” I disagreed, strongly and loudly. I knocked on doors until one opened, convinced them to invest in the machinery it would take to scale up from my mixing bowl to 1,000 pound manufacturing vat, and we were off and running. Many, many no’s lead to one yes, and that’s all that mattered in the end. 

SARA HAPP SWEET CLAY LIP MASK

Obviously your brand has been around before social media really took off, do you think that social media has been helpful in expanding your brand? Of course. Social media is the ultimate democratizer. Basically, everyone has the chance to brand themselves with an image and a click, every single moment. How amazing is that?  I have to hand it to print media, though. Placements in People, InStyle, Allure, and Vogue were huge to our success early on. It’s why I still love a real magazine in my hands. Why I still subscribe to everything from Fast Company to Glamour and read them in my nightly bubble baths. There’s something so lovely about being able to flip through actual pages, not swipe a screen. 
What are your favorite brands? I love brands who do one thing, and commit to doing it best. Drybar. The Honest Company. Shoshanna. Then there are the indies who have managed to go mass while staying true to their focus: Josie Maran, Alice + Olivia. I will always love JCrew because they keep it classic but are constantly reinventing themselves. I’m also a LaCroix addict, as is our whole office, and seemingly everyone I know. 

What app changed your life? Instagram. Hours of my life I will never get back, and don’t regret for a second. 

What has been your biggest aha moment? I had a decision to make in 2012: do we do for the entire body what we do for lips? Do we exfoliate and hydrate head to toe? Or go the color route and do makeup? No, I decided. I wanted to focus solely on lips. My aha moment was that I wanted to do one thing, and do it perfectly. I’m obsessed with lips, and I believe the lip industry is empirically broken. Most lip products dehyrdate. It’s why people tell me, every single day, that their lips are chapped. My thinking was: what if we went the other way? What if we made products that truly hydrate? That exfoliate instantly? That leave out the dehydrating stuff. Won’t people be equally addicted to product that actually works? So, I became The Lip Expert. 

One tip for running your business? Surround yourself with people who:  Have strengths where you have weaknesses and Aren’t afraid to tell you “No” and disagree with you. You can be yes’d to death, and it may not serve your company one bit. 

The best advice I’ve ever heard is simply: "Show Up. Dive in. Stay at it.” From Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago. So much of success comes from showing up when no one else will. From diving in when you may want to sit on the beach. From staying at it when you feel like quitting. 

Favorite place to travel or favorite places in Los Angeles? Tokyo is a visual delight, so I’ll always go there. I side with Hamilton that New York is the greatest city in the world. I love my town, Manhattan Beach in LA… it’s close to everything, but feels like this beachy, removed little hideaway. 

One item you can't live without? Beauty wise, The Lip Slip in our original pot. Can’t stop won’t stop. 

SARA HAPP LIP MASK

What is your favorite go to gift for your daughter? Husband? Bestie? I love giving luxe Chadsworth & Haig robes. They’re what luxury resorts use, so why not have them at home? I’m also big on sending people to get massages. I believe in the power of touch. For my daughter, who is three, anything ballerina-themed and / or fuchsia. She’s obsessed and has been since she was about a year old. She dresses like a ballerina every day, no matter where we’re going, and will always, always choose anything fuchsia. 

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BRANDS WE LOVE - VITAJUWEL

Well ... we're obsessed. Vitajuwel are the new amazing gem infused water bottles . People have been using gems to infuse their drinking water for thousands of years. This amazing company is helping everyone of us change our drinking water with the developed tradition called "crystal healing". 

vitajuwel

VitaJuwel has rediscovered this tradition and created glass vials that contain different blends of crystals, following tested and tried "recipes". VitaJuwel is the only way to inspirit water naturally and revitalize it with its original quality like fresh from the spring.

Each of our VitaJuwel gem vials is handcrafted by master glassblowers in Bohemia. They use premium, lead-free glass and hand-selected gems. The process of heating, melting and cooling of a single vial takes about 24 minutes and is patented worldwide! All of our gems are fairly-traded. Before used in our gem vials, they are cleaned thoroughly in a special, 8-step process. The special liquid inside the gem vial prevents the crystals from getting mossy and the vial from getting dim. It's natural and harmless.

Preparing gemwater with a VitaJuwel gem vial is easy: Simply place your gem vial inside a pitcher (preferably made of glass), fill it up with regular drinking water and wait for 7 - 10 minutes. That's all it takes! You can either leave the gem vial inside the pitcher or take it out. 

www.store.vitajuwel.us

The best part about these amazing water bottles is they start at $78 and make amazing gifts. 

BRANDS WE LOVE - ADINA REYTER

ADINA REYTER

ADINA REYTER

Adina Reyter is a jewelry design company based in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2001 by Adina Reyter, the company has become a leader in creating classic, everyday, fine jewelry. 

Since the brand’s debut almost 15 years ago, the distinctive aesthetic of Adina’s clean and understated jewelry has continually piqued the interest of celebrities and the media alike. 

Each Adina Reyter piece is designed with longevity, wearability and beauty in mind. Jewelry should feel good, it should be easy to wear and it should be enjoyed and worn everyday. Whatever the occasion, from day to night, Adina’s pieces are the perfect accessory. Truly, the jewelry that you never take off.

Some of our favorite pieces from her current assortment have an edgier twist. And we can't get enough

www.adinadesign.com

The jewelry collection is also getting some amazing press. Featured in InStyle, GOOP, The Zoe Report and TheCatWalk!

Which just confirms this coveted brand is here to stay. 

ALSO..... She recently launched a collaboration with Jacey Duprie from Damsel in Dior. And if you can only buy one piece from this collab we suggest the Left Ear Wing in Yellow Gold with White Sapphires!! amazing....

 

Other places to shop this collection....

www.shopbop.com

www.stoneandstrand.com

BRANDS WE LOVE - KIRA KIDS

KIRA KIDS

Kira Kids is one brand you MUST know, created with the coolest designs, this organic baby and kids clothing line is one of our favorite brands ever.  It's whimsical, fun and extremely fashionable. We've been major fans of Kira Kids for sometime and we were super bummed when their last collection sold out before we could even get our hands on a piece for our kids.  Their unique designs and amazing collaborations, make this one cool brand that our kids love to rock. 

We were so excited when Christine Tang, Founder and Creative Director of Kira Kids agreed to be  featured in our Brands We Love series. We sat down with her to learn more about her brand, what inspired her to start Kira Kids and the excitement of what's to come this year. Check out her latest collection "Life's a Beach" which launched today, you will fall in love too!

KIRA KIDS BRANDS WE LOVE

What inspired you to start Kira kids? Growing up with creative parents - they always encouraged me to do what I love. I wanted to start my own creative business and my nephews were the ultimate inspiration.

Kira kids

 Where do you find inspiration for each season and your products? Hanging out with my mischievous nephews, listening to music, watching movies and traveling to new places. My last trip to Honolulu inspired my new SS17 collection called "Life's a Beach." It's filled with surfing sea creatures, pineapples, bananas, and even some brunch prints!

Favorite place to travel? New York and Hawaii (big city and paradise)! Still dreaming about going back to Japan. Each year, we try to explore a new country - last year we were lucky enough to visit Australia, Turkey and Israel! Not sure where we will go this year... still keeping an eye out for travel deals (haha!). 

Biggest challenge you’ve run into running your own business? Finding more time in the day! When you run your own business, you have to wear a lot of hats and you're always bouncing around handling day-to-day activities so it's hard to find time to focus on one thing.

Kira kids

Any advice for anyone looking to launch their own brand? Do your research, ask questions and just put your product out there! You can dream all day about the perfect launch and collection, but you won't learn and grow unless you go through the experience and embrace your mistakes and wins!

What app most changed your life? Instagram! You can follow me at: @kirakids. 

Happiness is.. Being at peace with yourself and the world around you.

One tip: Live life with no regrets!

One item you can’t live without? My iPhone.

Favorite go to gift? Anything sweet!

We can't wait to see what you have in store next.. any fun insights? So much fun planned for 2017! The new Spring collection "Life's a Beach" launches end of March. We just sold out of an amazing limited edition collection with local SF artist, Pacolli, and we also have a capsule collection in partnership with Dreamworks... We can't wait to share! There are lots in store for us! 

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BRANDS WE LOVE - COVETED THINGS

BRANDS WE LOVE COVETED THINGS

Modern, contemporary and beautifully crafted organic swaddle scarves, Coveted Things is a contemporary children's brand you MUST know about. When founder Meridith Layne created her brand it was out of a desire to combine her modern design aesthetic with functionality and the belief that being a parent does not mean sacrificing personal style.  She found it surprising that there were no contemporary blankets in the market place that parents could love as much as their babies, and wanted to create a unique product for creative parents looking for something more. These beautifully crafted swaddle scarves are made with high quality super soft GOTS certified organic cotton and printed with non toxic inks.  Their Swaddle Scarves are created to get softer and more lovable over time.  

We were honored when Meridith agreed to be featured on our site. We sat down with her to learn more about her brand, what inspired her to start her company and what inspires her today and the challenges of running her own business while being a full time mom with no nanny and no family close by.  She is one inspiring Mama and we couldn't be more proud to feature her brand on our site! And these adorable swaddle blankets have become our GO TO GIFT for all our friends and family expecting babies this spring.  

How did you launch your brand? I worked in the apparel industry for years before I had children, designing private label contemporary lines for many retailers including Urban Outfitters, Delias, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, etc.  When Stella was born in 2011, I decided to leave my career to stay home with her.  We don’t have family in LA, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of not being with her all day.  After a few months I began to feel antsy, and needed to find a creative outlet.  During that time, there really were no contemporary items in the baby industry.  Everything was very ‘cutsy’.  It was so hard to find anything baby related that had a modern or minimal feel.  I had a ‘light bulb’ moment, realizing that I could take from my previous life and develop something that could fit into my current life.  Instagram was just starting to take off at that time, and I thought it would be funny to create swaddles with large scale prints that parents would want to take pictures of their babies on and post.  Voila, Coveted Things was born!  I started with nothing, just an idea and have navigated my way through this crazy entrepreneurial maze with a lot of hard work, sacrifices, tears, sweat, exhaustion, you name it, I’ve been through it!

COVETED THINGS

What inspires you? I am a true believer that everyone has not only a story, but an interesting story.  I am fascinated and inspired by the paths that bring people to their current situations.  We started having mamas (and hopefully dads soon) take over our instagram account about every other weekend.  It has been fun for me to sit back and watch their stories unfold along with everyone else. 

Favorite Brands? In my dreams, you will only catch me in lovely flowing Zimmerman dresses. However when I wake up, you will usually find me in Madewell jeans, and a woven zara top.  

Biggest Challenge of running your business? Balancing everything, making sure everything and everyone gets enough attention and focus.  I think that is just motherhood in general though.

How has motherhood changed your perspective on running your own business? I started my business after my first daughter was born, so motherhood and owning my business have always gone hand in hand.  I think when you have a child, you find this crazy inner drive.  Nothing will stop you from doing whatever it takes to be successful for your children.

What app changed your life?  Amazon prime now.  Once I had a toaster delivered to my door at 10 pm using that app.  All the play dough dried up?  No problem, 25 new play dough containers will arrive at your door in less than 2 hours!  I don’t have nannies or family to help, so my kids are always with me, when they aren’t at preschool.  Sometimes you need 25 containers of play doh to arrive at 10 am just to answer a few emails.  I wish it had been around when my girls were babies, it would have been so helpful!

One tip? Take a second to be thankful for what you have every single day.   At the beginning of this year, I started writing down one thing every day that made me happy.  I titled it ‘2017- A year of good things’.  It has been great, because so many little things that have brought me joy would have gotten lost in time, and now I can look back, smile at them, and enjoy that moment all over again.  

Your biggest aha moment? (see my first question) 

COVETED THINGS

Happiness is? Baby weight.  Not the leftover pounds after having had a baby, but the actual weight of a baby asleep on your chest or in your arms.   There is no greater feeling in this world than baby weight.

Favorite go to gift for your kids, bestie or husband? I love Michael Shield’s ariel photographs of LA.  We have a few blown up huge in our house.  This would be a great gift for any LA loving friends.  - MICHAEL SHIELDS

Gifts for Friends that always make me happy are these LE LABO CANDLES- This is one of my most favorite scents 

I have this set of wind chimes, and I’m telling you it is the most perfect sound ever.  I am obsessed with them. - CHIMES

This blush coffee cup - COFFEE CUP

I’ve given so many people this book, I love it - BOOK

Love these handmade soaps that are inspired by classic literature - SOAPS

I recently bought this book for my girls who are 3 and 5 and we read a few of the stories at night before bed.  I am learning so much along with them.  I like to read them stories about strong, intelligent, fearless women. - BOOKS

My girls are a little old for this now, but there is something about stacking blocks on pegs that is so calming for kids.  They go to a Montessori preschool, and very minimal, simple activities are a big part of the Montessori philosophy. - BLOCKS

My best gift for a new mom would be our ‘shit just got real’ blanket.  I always say that it is sort of like sending a bat signal to a new mom that you get it, you know what she is going through, and she is not alone.  - BLANKET

Husband-  My husband is pretty minimal, he doesn’t like a lot of ‘stuff’, so I usually buy him interesting design books or magazines.  We both grew up big fans of design/ art/ music magazines, so that carries with us to this day.  We actually started dating 14 years ago when we both worked for the Fader magazine. He would also enjoy a bottle of WHISKEY

When the kids go to bed, we like to make fun drinks for each other, so something like this would be fun - COCKTAIL SUBSCRIPTION

BRANDS WE LOVE COVETED THINGS

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Brands We Love - IZZY AND FERD

izzy and ferd logo

 

Story telling is one of their favorite past times and they created this brand to do just that. Imagine if your clothes could talk.. that's what Joe and Cindy did when they went out to create Izzy and Ferd. Whimsical, fun, creative and cozy, this brand has become one of our favorites. 

We originally met Cindy and Joe when they hosted their first ever Los Angeles playdate. Cindy greeted us at the Tiny Town Trains in Griffith Park and lets just say it was one of our favorite play dates ever. She handed us a little bag with train facts, delicious cookies and a Choo Choo whistle that we have been playing with ever since. As a family, we love to explore Los Angeles, but for some reason we have never been to this part of Griffith Park so the kids were delighted to enjoy a new spot catered towards exploring trains, riding trains and touching all things related in this old train yard. It was a match made in kid heaven. 

We were honored when Cindy and Joe agreed to be featured on our site. We sat down with them to learn more about their brand, what inspires their collections and to find out other amazing places to explore in Los Angeles. 

How did you launch Izzy & Ferd? Where does the name come from? We launched Izzy & Ferd (I.F.) in Fall of 2014 a year after we had our first child.  We founded Izzy & Ferd because we believe in the power of clothes to tell stories. Stories about who we are and who we want to be. It is our mission to inspire kids to go out and explore the world. Through our textile design, our kidswear collections become portals to real and imagined worlds.

IZZY AND FERD COLLECTION

A  famous voyage inspired the name. We named Izzy & Ferd after Queen Isabella  and King Ferdinand of Spain. Sponsoring the first voyages to the New World, their intrepid explorers asked “What if?” and found the Americas.

We kind of love that the initials to Izzy and Ferd is “I” and “F”. Together the initials spell “if”.  The word “if” looms with such possibility. That’s what we want Izzy & Ferd to represent. Possiblity.

Where do you get your inspiration from for your line/what inspires you? Childhood curiosity.  A well loved book. History. Science. The men and women who make a difference in little and big ways.  We want to tell stories that inspire children to explore and to dream the impossible. And we do that by reimagining stories of discovery and adventure through our textile design. 

What do you love about your work? Besides reliving our childhood? We love that we have the opportunity to learn new things and to share these things with a generation of kids.  We love that our clothes become well loved sidekicks who go on to have grand adventures with their new friends. What gnomes and fairies will they meet together? Will they discover sunken treasure deep in Atlantis?  We especially love that our clothes get to help form a child’s sense of identity.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned as you run your business? There is no such thing as being too detailed oriented.  Managing production, inventory, accounting, forecasting, etc. None of this sounds particularly exciting, but being able to manage the details in these areas of our business has been imperative to the growth of our business. 

Did you know you always wanted to be in kids fashion? Not exactly.  Although, if history were to repeat itself, we shouldn’t be surprised that we wanted to do something creative.  My grandfather was a tailor who used to design beautifully tailored men and women’s clothing.  Joe’s great grandmother was a famous painter.  We both knew that we wanted to do something creative and we both had a passion for storytelling. Izzy & Ferd is a perfect marriage of the two.  Our children became the spark that ignited the idea and transformed it from a concept to a business.  In truth, our children made us braver. We wanted them to be inspired to pursue their own dreams. What better way than to lead by example?

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? In 3-5 years, we hope to expand our collections and enter new product categories like accessories. We’d also like to introduce new collections based on stories that we’ve created. 

Most treasured item your own? Family photos. Even now, as we look back on the baby pictures of our kids, we can detect changes in their faces.  Our family photos mark the passage of time. Looking back in fond remembrance brings so much joy.

Happiness is? For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.  Ok… this quote is from “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”, but the sentiment holds true for us.

What are your favorite brands? Schleich, Miller Goodman and Monroe Workshops.  Our kids have gotten hours of play with their Schleich dinosaurs , Miller Goodman PlayShapes, and Monroe Workshop wooden animals.

IZZY AND FERD COLLECTION

Where is your favorite place to travel? Spain and Vietnam. We hope to take the kids in a couple of years.

Heritage is a big thing for us. It helps us feel rooted in our identity and to our history.  Joe’s family came from Spain and mine from Vietnam. We had the opportunity to visit both countries early on in our marriage.

We loved wandering the streets of Toledo, Spain looking for hand painted ceramica and wooden carvings of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. We brought a Don Quixote and a Sancho Panza wooden sculpture home. They sit on our bookshelf at home and remind us of our time in Spain.  We like to think of them as little patrons who remind us that it is ok to dream.

As for Vietnam, our trip to Nha Trang, Vietnam will always be vividly impressed in our mind. The lush ripe fruits that we would have for breakfast. The picturesque beaches and the chaos of motorcyclists driving all which way. These things can only be experienced in person.

What is your favorite thing to do in Los Angeles? Eat. We love exploring all of the new restaurants that pop up in Los Angeles. Gjelina and Bay Cities Italian Deli remain favorites.

We love how much you explore LA, any great places you recommend? There are so many places to choose from. We love the Huntington Library, the Kidspace Children’s Museum, and the Griffith Observatory.  If you go to the Griffith Observatory, get tickets to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.  Check for designated show times if you’re kids are under 5. Take them. It is well worth it.

 

About IZZY AND FERD:

Izzy and Ferd Founders

We founded Izzy & Ferd because we believe in the power of clothes to tell stories. Stories about who we are and who we want to be. It is our mission to inspire kids to go out and explore the world. Through our textile design, our kidswear collections become portals to real and imagined worlds. Each season we embark on a new journey.

Our designs spur your little explorer to ask “What I.F.?” What if I traveled the Silk Road in a camel caravan, surrounded by brocades of silk, and painted pottery? What if I entered the great city of Xi’an, and saw the earthen faces of the Terracotta Army?

Some day, when they strike out on their own, our children will wonder what they are capable of. And then they will remember our stories.

We design clothes that are comfortable and able to withstand any journey. The last thing your little explorer needs to worry about is tripping over his pant legs.

Adventuring and exploring can sometimes be a dirty business. That’s why our clothes are 100% machine washable. When the inevitable happens, just toss our clothes in the wash.

MADE IN LA

Our clothes are proudly designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, USA.  We believe in supporting the community where we live, work, and play. We know our suppliers on a first name basis and take care to be involved in the entire design and production process. We're proud of our clothes, how they're made, and the people who make them.

THEIR NEW COLLECTION PECOS BILL JUST LAUNCHED

HEAD TO THEIR SITE TO SHOP THE COLLECTION

Source: https://izzyandferd.com

Photos by Nicki Sebastian http://www.nickisebastian.com @nickisebastian

 

BRANDS WE LOVE - GARDNER AND THE GANG

GARDNER AND THE GANG LOGO

Fun, whimsical, inspiring, with each season telling a story and taking you on a journey through designer Kristin Nystrom's characters. Gardner and The Gang is one cool clothing line you MUST know about.  All garments are super soft, super cozy and extremely fun and playful. 

We were HONORED when Kristin Nystrom, the owner and founder of Gardner and the Gang spent time across the country to answer our questions and give us an inside look into her brand and the excitement of what's to come next season. 

Gardner and the Gang

How did you launch your brand Gardner and the Gang? We launched the brand in 2012 inspired by my daughter in a combination with my huge interest in fashion and illustration.

Where did you learn to draw and create your prints? I went to art school in Singapore. Raffles Design Institute.

What inspires you? People and Life

Favorite brands? For Children: Christina Rhode, Hugo Loves Tiki, Caroline Bosmans.  For Me: Gucci, AcneStudios, Bow Label, Ganni, Vintage Levis 501( obsessed) 

Favorite place to travel? I love New York but for Beaches I think I choose somewhere in the indian ocean.

I know you’ve lived in a few places, what has been your favorite place?   Looking back I have picked great memories from all places and feel extremely grateful for the privilege it is to have experienced many different cultures. I lived in Singapore for 9 years and just moved. South east Asia is quite something and will always be in my heart.

Biggest challenge you’ve run into running your own business? Self doubt

Gardner and the Gang

Any advice for anyone looking to launch their own brand? If you have an idea you feel is solid, - go for it 100%  ( and believe)

How has motherhood changed your prospective on your business? I was always a mother while having my business. But I think my way of looking at my business keeps changing as I grow and mature. I feel more relaxed in some ways and more aware and stressed in others.

Did becoming a mother change your perspective on the world? I used to be very carefree and unafraid. This has somewhat changed and I feel being a mother has made me more careful and aware of the preciousness of life.

What app most changed your life? Instagram ( haha)

One tip: Do one thing every day that scares you.

We are obsessed with your latest collaboration with Jamie King, The Lion Heart, how did that come about? Thank you!  We mutually created this collection with lots and lots of love and passion and it truly means a lot to us both. Jamie and I became friends on Instagram and started to discuss a possible collaboration that came to life in 2016.

One item you can’t live without? It would definitely be a lot harder without my Asthma Inhaler.

Favorite go to gift for your kids and bestie? An experience that we do together. Memories are the best gifts.

We cant’ wait to see what you have in store next.. any fun insights? For this year there are a few really exciting new projects in the pipeline.  For now all I can say is please keep us on your radar, we will soon reveal the first step ;) 

 

Gardner and the Gang Lion Heart
Gardner and the Gang
Gardner and the Gang wall

About Gardner and the Gang

Gardner and the Gang©is a children's clothing  line by  Kristin Nystrom, a Swede living in Singapore. All garments are super soft,comfy and play friendly with a high dose of fashion.

Kristin draws all prints and makes characters that all have a story to tell. We love to come up with different themes for each range, ones that children and parents alike can relate to and fall in love with. Our original art is all hand-drawn, and these drawings are turned into screens, which are then screen-printed on organic cotton.

 

SHOP GARDNER AND THE GANG

Brands We Love - BERU KIDS

Beru Kids Logo

BERU KIDS

Bold, beautifully crafted, with locally sourced fabric, Beru Kids is one clothing line you MUST know about. After personally spending years in retail and merchandising, it's refreshing to find a brand that is helping to recycle and repurpose surplus fabrics, known as dead stock fabric.  This brand is focused on sustainability and making sure they know exactly where their cotton has been sourced. Their clothing is soft, durable and our kids have become huge fans.  This is one brand that their core values are creativity, passion and loyalty, all values we believe in and trust when we shop for our kids clothes.

We recently spent an afternoon with Sofia Melograno, the owner and founder of Beru Kids to get an inside look into her brand and what inspired her to start her clothing line.  Let's just say, we left completely inspired and grateful that there are people in the world like Sofia. She's kind, smart and is always smiling. We know she's invested in our kids future and making sure she's helping the environment with every thing she does.  

How did you launch your line Beru kids? I originally decided that I wanted to start a clothing line after living and working in sub-Saharan Africa in non-profits focused on poverty reduction initiatives. I was originally very much inspired by the beautiful textiles and colors used in all of the local garments. I then met a woman in Tanzania who started a sewing cooperative to employ women who were living with HIV/AIDS and it was my first glimpse into the world of ethical fashion and fashion initiatives making a positive impact. I sat with the idea of starting a kids line that was ethically and sustainably made and ended up moving to Los Angeles to pursue the line. That was 2 years ago. It’s been a whirlwind since then!

As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? I feel like what I wanted to be changed weekly as a kid. I did want to be a filmmaker for a while. I always knew I wanted to work in a creative industry. 

What do you love about your work? The creativity aspect is by far my favorite part of my job. I love designing and developing the garments and seeing the entire line come to life. It’s also a blast working with kids. We have fit models in our studio weekly and they make my job so much more fun. 

BERU KIDS

What is the biggest lesson you've learned as you run your business? My life lesson list is growing everyday. As female entrepreneur I have to stand my ground quite often. I’ve had to learn how to stand up for myself and not feel bad or worry about hurting people’s feelings. It’s purely business and doesn’t need to include emotions. The other big lesson I learned is to hire people who have very different experience and expertise. You have to be on the same page about the vision of your company but the people who work with and hire need to fill in the gaps that are your weaknesses. 

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? I definitely want to keep growing and scaling Beru Kids but I also can’t wait to become a mom myself. I’m around kids all the time and I can’t wait for that next chapter. I’m also excited to see if my design aesthetic changes once I have kids…also, it would be great to have a fit model available all the time ;)

What inspires you? I get a lot of my ideas for design from when I travel. I draw a lot of inspiration from textiles and goodies I find when I’m in a new city or country. Some of my first collections with Beru Kids had a definite African feel in terms of prints and color. At the moment, I’m loving neutrals and being drawn to a more contemporary aesthetic which I think I attribute to the amount of time I’ve been spending in NYC for work lately. I used to live in NYC and I miss the energy and accessibility of living there.

Most treasured item you own? I own a floral Osh Kosh denim jacket from when I was 4 that my late grandparents gave me. It still sits in my closet. I can’t wait until I (hopefully) have a daughter who can wear it. 

Happiness is…a choice you make daily. 

 Favorite brands: Vince, Reformation, Rag and Bone, Frankie’s bikinis, La Perla, Joie, Patagonia

Favorite place to travel? Greece, Italy, Spain, ANYWHERE. I have the travel bug. I’m always up to travel. 

What does your week look like? What's your favorite thing to do on the weekends? I split my time between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara so I usually drive down to LA on early Tuesday morning and work in our office near Silver Lake Tuesday-Thursday evening. I work from Santa Barbara on Mondays and Fridays.  I try to be super active on the weekends and be outside as much as possible in Santa Barbara. I love going to the gym and hiking. We also live near wine country so occasionally we’ll drive up to the vineyards for the afternoon. We also have a French bulldog named Pierre so we take him to the beach every weekend.

Sofia was recently featured in Forbes to discuss how she came to launch Beru Kids.. click here to read more

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About BERU:

Beru is an ethically made children's clothing company locally-crafting soft, durable styles for kids. All of our limited-quantity garments are created in partner factories in downtown Los Angeles using sustainable methods and materials. We are committed to having a zero waste output, to reduce the amount of waste produced by the fashion industry. Our acutely close connection to the supply chain allows us to produce beautiful, original clothing consciously. We aim to inspire and uphold pure, positive practices that propel fashion forward without leaving any footprints.

Beru does not cut corners for the sake of costs. We take our time searching through thousands of rolls of leftover fabrics to upcycle into our speciality deadstock garments. The fashion industry is the second largest offender of waste, and we are committed to producing responsibly and not creating any more. To combat our nation's propensity for overconsumption, we produce in limited quantities, which also means not overwhelming our garment workers.

At Beru Kids we like to keep things local so we source all of our raw materials from Los Angeles. We love LA and we do what we can to support the local economy.

 

 

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Source: http://www.berukids.com