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Nursing Covers – New and Improved

Nursing Covers – New and Improved

I have been super busy improving our nursing covers.  We have made changes based on your feedback.  We added a little pocket to store your breast pads or wipe your babies cute little face. Made from super soft terry cloth.

We have also decided to only use organic cotton for this round of patterns and first up is these beautiful sweet cloud pattern.  We doubled up this particular pattern because it was slightly too sheer but still very lightweight. We also added about made our covers longer by about 3 inches and wider by a couple of inches. More coverage and privacy for your baby.

I’ll keep you posted when it’s up in our Etsy shop and when it comes available on Amazon.

So excited.

Etsy: Wool Felt Tags

Etsy: Wool Felt Tags

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$15

Our felt tags are up at the etsy shop!  Handmade by us! I am loving the rockin’ robot which my cousin drew and we had it digitized and embroidered to give it that lovely handmade look.  The felt is made from wool and we added a punch of colour so that you could recognize your luggage in an instant.

I made a few adjustments to my old design.  They are smaller measuring 7cm x 10cm. and we have a contact card included but you can  slip in a standard business card.

We are hoping in the future to include more embroidery designs and also personalized monograms.  Convo us at contact at lilsoak dot com for these custom orders or visit us at Etsy.

Feels like spring over here

Feels like spring over here

I know it’s a perma frost over in the East but here in the Pacific Northwest, it feels like spring is about to pop up. I’m sure it will all grey over in the next few days but I’m going to take advantage.

We have been busy sewing over the winter with a toddler and a preschooler around our feet. We are almost ready to show you lovely wool felt luggage tags and we have a little sneak peak for you.  Really happy with the results and the re-design.

We hope to really push forward this year, making adjustment and changes to help bring Lil’Soak Designs into the spotlight and continue with this social business.  We have appreciated all the feedback and support we have gotten in order to really find our signature voice and to keep our goodies ethical and eco-friendly.  We want you to love our stuff and be sure it’s a “happy” product made fairly and ethically.

I’m actually excited about making handmade things again.  It’s getting the creative juices flowing. The parental thing is so thankless sometimes that it’s theraputic to make something from start to finish, hold it in your hands and go “Wow, I made this!”  It helps me wind down after all the day time busyness.

Speaking of — I have to get back to the sewing machine to finish up the oh so sweet tags.

So this is Christmas…

So this is Christmas…

The John Lennon song was playing in my head as I’m writing in this post and it reminds me to be thankful and to be patient and wait for good things to come. 2013 has been a roller coastery tough year with many challenges but it’s making our wee family stronger.  The hustle and bustle or retail shopping was felt since Black Friday but it’s starting to quiet down. Christmas will be a chill one with family our family unit.

We want wish your family and friends a wonderful and happy Christmas. Don’t stress yourselves out with the gifts, food and so forth — people remember the moments and all that other stuff become fuzzy.  Enjoy a good cup of hot cider, nog, toddy, whatever suits your fancy and enjoy a good laugh with your loved ones.

We look forward to 2014 with you all!

 

Market displays for small spaces

Market displays for small spaces

 

We’re off to Starbucks for their holiday markets. I’m excited because the second time around, I’m more prepared.  Last year when Carol mentioned that we ought to do this fair to showcase our lovely fair trade items, I had no idea what to expect.  Meira was barely a month old (she came with us to the market) and I was feeling a little schlubby with all the fancy Starbucks employees but I met a lot of really great people that also champion the fair trade ethical fashion cause.

This year I’m prepared.  We are only working with half a table space as there are many vendors in one of the Starbucks HQ conference rooms. I had to curate what to bring and I decided to do a dry run through and display all the products I chose to make sure it would all fit and look decent.  I think I brought way too much stuff last year and this year I’m lean and trim (my stuff not me!) and I have one tote, the crate and one small box. And no babies.

I’ve got some tips and tricks for you all to not spend a ton of money to display your vintage finds, crafty goods, jewelry or fair trade items at the market:

1.  Build UP. Think apartment as opposed to a single home dwelling. It’s also more eye catching to people who pass by our booth.  You want to think of display items up high.  To display the jewelry, I took a acrylic and wooden frame and used it portrait style.  I spent 3 dollars and bought some cup holder hooks and screwed them into the top of my frame to display necklaces. The great thing here is that I could use a dry erase market and write the prices at the bottom.  I used a easel to hold the frame up.

2. Stagger your items.  Tall things in the back, shorter things in the front and then your flat items at the front edge of the table. I bought the white cra box from IKEA. I think it cost about 5 dollars. I chose to use plastic so that I don’t have to worry about cracking or worry about vintage wooden boxes.

3. Double duty displays. I chose a wooden crate so that you could see through the gaps and placed my soft items.  I used the top part to display my poster of our business and I added some hooks in the front for my DIY banner which are so easy and quick to make. I can also lean products against the wooden crate and the white box to display more items.  I have seen people use vintage suitcases which is another great idea and also cake displays

4. Mantle hooks. Oh I’m so glad it’s Christmas so mantle hooks and weights are in abundance in the shops right now.  So awesome to be able to use the space below the table to hang items like bags, shirts, or your business name.  It adds a little flair to your table. Hooks run from about 10 – 20 dollars depending on the style and number of hooks you want.

5. If you can — bring a coat/hat tree.  They look awesome and then you are able to display things like bags and soft items.  You can try finding one in the thrift shop and then going out and buying more hooks to add to their tree.  That way you can display a lot of products at once without taking up a lot of space.

6. Lastly, TEST it out. I have gone out and bought items that may work for display but inevitably it doesn’t.  I would try to use the item during my set up time and it just wasn’t working.   Building my display at home helped me out a lot because I did have a few items that I bought that I thought would work but doesn’t so I can return it and save some money. The picture above is my “dry-run” for my display for the market that happens tomorrow.  I took a few pictures so when I set up, I know where everything goes.  Testing is super helpful because it will save you loads of time. and you can just enjoy chatting and meeting customers.

Happy market days!

 

Made in Bangladesh: Fast Fashion

 

Picture courtesy of Michael Biach/Transterra Media

I recently saw a very compelling story on products that are made overseas via the Fifth Estate. It was so devastating to see pictures of men and women wrapping their arms together to protect themselves from the debris of a fallen building.  There was no way out.  All the windows were barred, there were very few toilet facilities.  They deal with bad chemical dyes to make the fun cheap fashion we wear.  If you are in Canada (damn I hate geo-blocking sometimes because everyone should see this), the story is online and shows you how hard people are working to make a living and also their poor working conditions.

What is the right answer?  We shouldn’t urge manufacturers to shut out Bangladesh as people need jobs but there has got to be a way we can change their working conditions and wage.  I want to see our wee company make a difference not just buying fair trade and ethical clothing but also just to be able to work with more artisans and companies that are ethically, have fair and safe working conditions.

I came across a story from the Toronto Sun on how she worked in a garment factory as a sewing assistant and her boss was a 9 year old girl.  Their dream was to be a seamstress as it brought a higher income and they would be able to provide for their family. I can’t even imagine relying on my children in about 5 years time to bring  income to our family.  It wasn’t so long ago that here in the US and Canada we also had young children making a living for their family. It still happening though around the world.

There is a happy news. There are more and more companies popping up in providing fun stylish fashionable wear that is ethically made.  Either in the US, Canada or fair trade made around the world. Fair trade is much more than coffee and chocolate now and that’s a good thing.  Ethical Ocean is a great starting point in looking for more ethically made products.  We partnered up with Raven + Lily and Good & Fair  and they produced ethically made clothing, jewelry and accessories. Those are just a few suggestions.  We are always trying to find more sources but I encourage you to check out the links and read the stories of these people who produce your clothing.

Ethical Weddings: Wedding Headpieces

 

I’m not getting married but I love any bride that can rock a statement headpiece.  I’m so inspired.  This is beautiful. I love the feather details.

Love the simplicity of this.

For the natural gal — this is beautiful and I can’t resist braids.  So beautiful, whimsical and you feel like frolicking in the meadow when you see this.

Love it. For all your lovely brides to be out there, Wed Altered is having a pop-up in NYC on Oct 12/13.  It’s an ethical/green wedding pop-up shop which if I knew about it when I was getting married, I would have been all over that. Check out their website, they have lots of lovely inspiring wedding photos and ideas for your own wedding.  They have even partnered up with Fair Trade Winds, a retail shop for ethically made fashionable goods.

Wow, I think I’m going to continue drooling over the headpieces on pinterest.

Underwear going fast!

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Our Good & Fair underwear is going fast!  We are have only 2 pairs left in stock. The price is awesome and really a comfy pair of underwear. I like the low cut boy style shorts style.  Fair trade organic cotton! You can’t beat that price. Our last Starbucks pop-up was a lot of fun and now I’m busy trying to figure out how to fair trade Hallowe’en for the kiddos. I am taking inspiration from my cousins and dressing up the kids on a well treasured book Pax likes us to read.

The costumes are fairly simple and yet not.  I’m making the costumes instead of buying so I just went to the fabric shop and bought the fabric. I couldn’t find the right fabric for Pax’s  costume so I have to search online. I can’t wait to share it all with you once I have all the pieces put together.

Hope you are having a happy Monday! The weekend passes by way to fast for us and we didn’t even do much –I tried to catch up on sleep but it wasn’t working with two kids under the weather.

 

 

Pop-up market at Starbucks HQ

We’re at Starbucks HQ tomorrow from 11-1pm.  It’s a really fun outdoor event that happens rain or shine.  We have loved doing this event at Starbucks because the fellow vendors are fun, have lovely products and there is always yummy food and music to boot. Now all the great Starbucks fall drinks are in season and I’m loving the Evolution juice drinks they have partnered up with.

People either love their Starbucks or just avoid it all together.  I think Starbucks has done a great job of brining fair trade coffee to North American public to light.  The other cool thing is that a lot of Pax’s favourite parks/playgrounds has been made possible by the Starbucks foundation so we are really thankful for that.

If you are in the Seattle SODO (south of downtown) area, come by Starbucks headquarters and do a little early Christmas shopping, eat some really yummy quinoa salad and grab yourself that famous pumpkin spice latte. I’m going to have special discounts just for the event!

 

Reduce, re-use and organic! Sweet.

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Look at the cute baby! Now draw your eyes towards the re-usable organic GOTS certified organic cotton grocery bag and get one for yourself! It’s a super super deal at $6.99.   It’s very sturdy with a thick canvas cotton.  I often use it to carry all of Pax’s library books so it can carry a lot of weight without breaking.  I like the side pocket where you can carry a water bottle or small umbrella (since it rains so much here in Seattle).

It has our slogan on one side “You help the artisan, who makes the product which delights you” and our lil’soak print on the other side. These products are ethically and made with fair trade practices. Free shipping if you order from us but you can also get it at Ebay and Amazon.

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.  Our Paxter got to bowl for the first time and let me say — he’s not a big fan of those bowling shoes but he got an angry bird tattoo and life was good again.

 

 

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