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.

 

 

SHOP PONCHO AND PARKER

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 - 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 - 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

#MADERIGHTINLA

#MADERIGHTINLA

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