And just like that, it’s December! Naughty or nice list, To-Do list, checking it twice list or I got no list to work with, I want to make things a little bit easier for you by sharing some of my favourite small shops and the reasons why I have mad love for them.
Buying for my boys is not always easy. There are a lot of factors that I take into consideration when I buy for them. There are lots of options for boys fashion, accessories and toys but not a lot of options of representation.
So, below are a few small businesses that I admire and had stumbled upon. Short and simple list of three, but with meaning behind it.
NOTE: the shops below are for everyone (not just people who look like myself or my boys).
Handmade one of a kind dolls, quilts and taggie blankets
When I was pregnant, I was constantly looking for boy dolls that would represent my them. Many small shops made dolls mostly for girls and even when I told them I would pay for a boy doll, they just didn’t have an appetite for it. I met Kathryn two years ago at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and when I walked by her booth she had rows of beautiful handmade dolls in ALL shades of colours that literally made me stop in my tracks. Without hesitation, I bought the boys their dolls and to this day, they love their “baby” and “baby baby”.
The dolls are a perfect gift for anyone, not just a child. Since then, we’ve added Coco the Monkey, Skoy Yoy the Dog and most recently, two custom made Brown Santas, which the boys have named “Santa Baby” and “Santa Baby Baby”.
Started off making mittens, has now expanded to children’s accessories. She also launched another business called Some of the Parts.
When my boys were itty bitty, I was on the hunt for a good pair of mittens that would stay on and would keep the boys warm. I did my online research which led me to mimitens. I love their awesome designs and high quality mittens. The boys won’t wear anything else. Somehow Anne Maria (owner) and I connected and every encounter with her, she just oozes energy, integrity and a passion for her designs.
SIDE NOTE: she also has a store in Toronto called Some of the Parts. She carries her line of adult bags that she designed and it fits securely on wheelchairs (this she discovered after the fact). That made my heart swoon!
So really, Mimitens and Some of the Parts can be a gift for anyone on your list! Cheers to that!
Clothes and Toys that kids will love. Bright Colours, Bright Patterns and Ethical Production
I can’t believe that I only met Jana in person a couple of weekends ago! I’m blaming it on #momlife. Jana reached out to me in early 2017 and felt that the brands her online store carried would be great for my boys. I played it safe when it came to dressing them … in greys, black, blues and white and she got that. Then as I started engaging with Modern Rascals and understanding her brand of bright colours and patterns, and seeing the beauty of bright colours in her feed, I switched cold turkey to all the colours in the rainbow. I love the quality of the designers that she selects and no joke, the boys get stopped on the regular by strangers complimenting them on their style.
Jana’s feed and carried brands are a true representation of our society. From Pride socks to sourcing a company that makes handmade wooden toys that resemble all children, she really gets her customers.
A gift for that special kid(s) in your life, you’ve got a rainbow selection of goods to choose from. She also carries adult sizes with some brands, so that you can matchy match with your little one(s).
Hoping you got your bit of learning from my write up and I encourage that the next time you shop, take into consideration that we’re not a once size fits all society and that we all can gain from representation.
I know that there are so many other shops that I have yet to discover, so if you know of any, share please by leaving a comment below.
Sunshine Lily aka @shinelily
Links to Shop: