My Boobie Barnacle - Toddler Style from A Gifted Baby
Products featured in this post were provided to me in exchange for a blog post. All opinions and photos are my own. Please visit my disclosure page for more information.
When Katrina from A Gifted Baby told me about their new Boobie Barnacle breastfeeding onesie, I knew I had to have it. My nursling was in the process of weaning, but he still finds a lot of comfort cuddling up to me. Katrina told me that the Boobie Barnacle onesie was created as a fun way to celebrate breastfeeding. Mamas often work hard to breastfeed their babies during the first several weeks postpartum. Once things get better, women understand that breastfeeding provides more than just food; being at the breast becomes a safe, warm, loving place of comfort. Whether you've had your boobie barnacle for a month or three years, you know the comfort that breastfeeding brings. A Gifted Baby graciously gifted me the Boobie Barnacle Onesie and a pair of leggings worn by my little barnacle below.
I learned more about A Gifted Baby and found out that they're a small mom-owned business. They aim to work with small brands that employ working parents, particularly those in at-risk communities. A Gifted Baby also strives to work with brands that focus on being environmentally conscious. They like to give back to the community by working with children's and mothers charities. I was so impressed by their mission that I had to ask Katrina and founder Amelia more to share with you. Read on to hear about A Gifted Baby's origins, the one mom skill that helps them as business owners, and a 20% off code just for my readers!
Q&A with Amelia and Katrina of A Gifted Baby
How did A Gifted Baby come about?
Amelia: A Gifted Baby was born after the loss of my first daughter, Aurora. I needed to throw myself into something I felt passionate about, and be part of a project that would make the world a better place for babies, as a way to honor Aurora. That's why we are so mission-driven, and always asking ourselves, do these designers, these projects, these events, all really do something that makes a difference? Katrina was my biggest ally from the beginning and nothing would have happened without her.
Katrina: When I discovered Amelia had founded A Gifted Baby, I was immediately drawn to it. It was so inspiring to watch a mother go through the most difficult pain imaginable and channel it into helping other babies & families. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
How do you select the products and designers sold through A Gifted Baby?
Amelia: We pick our designers based on a combination of rational criteria and emotional response. We are always looking for brands that make a beautiful, quality product, with a relatable perspective. The brands must also fit into our viewpoint and mission, which means they should meet at least a few of the following criteria: a focus on ecologically sound production practices (non-toxic dyes, organic fibers); a commitment to socially conscious practices (payment of a living wage and safe work conditions); a small family-run, women-owned enterprise; innovative practices that increase jobs and wealth in disadvantaged communities. We are also always looking for designers at a range of price points. We believe cute is for everyone. If all the other ingredients are there, we have to ask ourselves the hardest question: "do we love it and believe in it, and want to bring it to all our clients?" There needs to be an element of magic. Once we've picked the designer, each season we select part of the collection to carry. This is basically impossible. We can spend hours debating the relative merits of a romper versus leggings, pink versus purple. The decisions always comes down to a combination of instinct, and what we've discovered our clients want and need. I think we get better at that every season.
Katrina: I think this is one of the most difficult parts of our business. We put so much time & thought into each and every piece we pick for our shop. Transparency is so important to us, so make an effort to know everything about a designer, so we can pass that information along to our clients to enable them to make an informed decision. People really seem to respond to the “story” behind a brand. For example: Haiti Babi is a designer we carry in the shop. Their mission is to teach moms to knit and crochet, empowering them to earn a living wage and provide for their family.
What are your mom/baby must haves, whether from A Gifted Baby or elsewhere?
Amelia: A reliable and simple diaper delivery partner (if you're doing disposables). Be it Honest, Amazon or Grove Collaborative. Just pick something that you can set and forget. Those puppies run out SO fast. A really comfy workhorse carrier like the Ergo 360, and a reliable stroller with good wheels. One each of a thousand kinds of swaddles. One will work and the rest will be useless, but you don't know until you try.
Katrina: Rompers are my baby must have. Having a one-piece outfit for my little one always made my life so much easier. My mom must have suggestion is to get a BIG, diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. We carry these stunning bags by Nest Designs, and they look like over-sized totes. This was important to me as a new mom, because I didn’t want to lug around my purse and a diaper bag, but I also didn’t want to give-up my love of gorgeous bags.
Does work/life balance exist? If so, how do you achieve it?
Amelia: I think it exists in the sense that you can learn to toggle between one and the other so that you're really working when you're working, and really doing family time when you have that opportunity. But it also means seizing opportunities for both and being super disciplined. Is your little one awake at 3am? Believe it or not an awesome time to catch up on emails. Is your little one sick and needing you during prime work time on a Tuesday? Ruthlessly postpone deliverable that are non-essential. Practice being okay with your choices.
Katrina: The question that is on the mind of every working mom. There is a balance but I believe that balance is different for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all. I work a 9-5 p.m. in addition to A Gifted Baby, so every day is a juggling act. One of the ways I’m able to find balance is by including my 9 year old daughter in my work. If there is an event we’re hosting, I’ll bring her along, or if I have to take product pictures, I’ll ask for her help and suggestions. I also ensure that I never break certain routines, like I always tuck her in at the same time, and we have a block of time when all electronics are down and there is only talk about HER and her day
What skills from being a mother were you able to carry over to being a business owner?
Amelia: Sleepless devotion.
What are your tips for aspiring mother entrepreneurs?
Amelia: The fact that you feel like giving up doesn't mean your failing. Also I cannot agree that "if you do what you love it won't feel like work." There are going to be sales tax filings, disagreements with partners, risky financial decisions, and middle-of-the-night rush jobs that just don't feel good. There are gritty parts even of a passion project, just gut it out.
Katrina: First, find your “tribe.” This was valuable advice I received from other mom-entrepreneur. Find fellow moms and look to them for guidance and support. There is an entire network out there of moms that want to, and will support you. Everything I have learned has come from research and being open to hearing other moms and their experiences. My other tip is that you are NEVER too old to learn something new. In the last couple of months I have learned how to use PhotoShop and how to write simple code for our website. Both of those things intimidated me in the past, but I stuck with it and continue to learn every day.
Amelia and Katrina have generously offered my readers 20% off at A Gifted Baby using code "Barnacle20"
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