Small Shop Spotlight // Bannor Toys

I'm Stacey, the co-founder of Bannor Toys.  I've had a lot of jobs in my 34 years; from being a live in nanny to working in a flower shop, for a cruise line, in a hotel, a bank, a medical office...I've done a lot of things and never really known what I wanted to do.  The day Jesse cut out the first wooden truck for my daycare kids something changed.  We had no idea this little company we started in our basement would turn into what it is today!  Owning a company that is able to impact so many things is the only job I've ever been passionate about, and it has become so much more than just a job.  I don't mind the late nights at the workshop after the kids go to bed, or sitting at the computer working on listings until 2 am; this company makes me happy.  You, our customers, make me happy.  I love getting to interact with you all on social media and through email, I am both humbled and proud to see each and every photo we get tagged in, you all have let our family business become a part of your children's stories and for that we are incredibly blessed and grateful.  We are able to donate toys, time, and money to charities because of this little company we started in our basement.   Thank you for supporting our family dream!

Shop Bannor Toys at bannortoys.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Haberdash Soul Company

Hi, I'm Chanel. I am the owner and designer of Haberdash Soul Company. Here at Haberdash Soul we are passionate about ethically made, high quality pieces that encompass a nature inspired lifestyle.  Our brand has evolved over the last two years to what you see now and we are so proud of the product we send out to you and your daughters. 

    As a high school English teacher two years ago, I had a dream to spend more time with my three babies and, quite honestly, to stop living pay check to pay check and decided to pursue selling handmade headbands through Etsy to see where it would take me. I was a teacher by day and a business owner by night. To say it was hard would be an understatement but my vision was clear and I would do all I could to make my dream a reality. What began as handmade headbands has evolved into a hand crafted apparel line inspired by simplicity and nature. 

    If you've been along for our journey for awhile, you know we recently underwent a major name change. Haberdash Soul Company began as Camden and Kate. Man, that was a terrifying leap. But I knew I had to be true to myself and my passion for hand crafted apparel. You may wonder why the name change? Well, it really is simple. I wanted a unique name that reflected my vision for this brand and where I see us growing. I am so excited to have you here with us and so grateful for your support of hand crafted clothing. Thank you for seeing the value in artisanal work, you are the reason we do what we do!

Shop Haberdasher Soul Company at www.haberdashsoulco.com

Small Shop Spotlight // ZDough

I’m Kira, a former Elementary & Special education teacher, wife, and mom and also the founder of ZDough where I make handmade scented play dough. I’ve always been a maker and love finding ways to create extraordinary toys out of everyday items. 

 

A few years ago I started making play dough with my daughter, Zadie, as a fun rainy day activity. I found it strangely satisfying. I loved helping her measure the ingredients, knead the still-warm dough, and hear her call, "Is it ready yet?!?" Soon I started experimenting with colors, adding scents, and perfecting my recipe. Zadie loved playing with it, so I figured, "Oh, maybe I'll just make another batch..." I also realized that I liked playing with it too. I would show my husband and friends my new concoctions and soon we'd all have dough in our hands, intently crafting our own masterpieces while chatting about the day's events. I started giving dough to our friends and neighbors, bringing it to play dates and making it with cousins. Zadie chose her favorite color for party favors at her birthday. It wasn't until late one night when I found all of the adults in my family sitting around the table playing with my play dough that it occurred to me that I wasn't the only person who found joy in the simple squishing and shaping of play dough. Finally I decided the time was right to cast a wider net and start a proper business. 

The mother in me loves watching my daughter explore her world through the sensory experience of play dough. The elementary teacher in me thinks about all the ways play dough spurs her pretend play and makes her eager to pull out the letter stamps or cookie cutter shapes. The special education teacher in me welcomes the sensory experience play dough provides and the opportunity for her to "smooth out her feelings" when she's in a stormy mood. It has become my creative outlet and I have loved taking a vintage toy and turning it into something new, stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing.

When racking my mind for a name the only thing that came to mind was ZDough, after my Zadie. I never would have started making it if it weren't for her! I hope you enjoy ZDough as much as we have! 

Shop ZDough at www.z-dough.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Little Lemon Treasures

Little Lemon Treasures was created while on maternity leave with my son Jackson. From the moment I first held him I knew I wanted to spend every waking moment with my new baby. As Jackson grew and my leave began to come to an end I allowed my creativity to take over and LLT was born! I noticed that while there were teething toys and necklace options available, none seemed to fit my aesthetic. I set out to find the most beautiful colors and started to design unique styles that I hadn't seen before. 

This shop of mine means the word to me. All of you - my amazing customers are the backbone to this little dream that came about in early 2014. It's been with such disbelief that I've watched my shop grow into something that I never thought possible and I am appreciative every day, so thank you!

Shop Little Lemon Treasures at www.etsy.com/shop/LittleLemonTreasures

Small Shop Spotlight // Feltman + Co.

Feltman + Co. is a one of a kind handmade brand operated out of Houston, Texas. Each piece is hand crafted using the best materials available. Our main goal is to carry high-quality, unique toys that are pleasing for both parent and baby. In a world filled with bright plastic toys for babies, we are bringing together natural textures and beautiful vibrant colors. We strive to go above and beyond in the handmade toy world. 

Founder, Caitlin, started Feltman + Co. in January of 2015 making hand crafted birth signs, graphic tees, and more. The brand switched to handmade toys in December of 2015 when Caitlin made their very first teether by combining different elements and textures already approved for teething use. The first double-ring hexagon teether was originally born! New color combinations and styles formed to create our handmade toy line. We pride ourselves on being the original creator of these unique and beautiful teethers.

Shop Feltman + Co. at feltman-co.myshopify.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Lookie Loo Loo

Name: Erica Bizon of Lookie Loo Loo

Who's in your family: My husband Steve and myself have two boys, Lennon age 4 and Theo age 3

Favorite way to spend your free time: Free time? I’m not even sure I know what that is anymore! Ha! I love spending any downtime we have from this business with our family and friends. But, I’m an avid fan of music and movies, and we try to do as much of that as possible.

Age when you started your business: We opened in 2014, and I was 34

Tell us about your business in 3 sentences: In our world, kids should be kids, and their wardrobe and environment should reflect that. There’s no reason you can’t do it stylishly and full of color. Lookie Loo Loo strives to bring the imagination and fun of childhood to everything we create.

What made you start your business, what did you leave behind: I spent 10 years as a marketing director prior to opening LLL. MY most recent job was as the first Community Manager for Yelp Memphis. I had aspirations of opening my own shop for many years, but feared I didn’t have anything to add to this already saturated handmade world. When our first son was born, I spent a lot of time on Etsy purchasing one of a kind tees and outfits for my little guy. I was so bored by what was on the shelves at my local shops, and couldn’t figure out why the big box brands couldn’t get out from under the sports and nautical themes for boys. In 2014, my husband got sick and we needed income coming in, and the rest is history. LLL was born.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers/expanding your audience: Instagram was the greatest platform for us in our beginning years. I spent many days networking, collabing with other brands, and seeking out giveaways and marketing opportunities via that medium. In fact, our first two years open I was hand driving all our customers solely from Instagram.  

Single most important decision you've made for your business: Hiring employees! I have a really hard time asking for help. We reached that icky growth stage where we can’t afford to hire staff, but we need to hire staff to grow past this stage of 4 am work nights for myself as a one woman show. It was time for me to add some extra hands this year and pass off the things that keep me from creating. I’m a perfectionist by nature, and like to be in control of it all. It’s been very hard to pass off some of these tasks, but I know this is where solid growth starts.

Something about you not many people know, business or personal: I have a rather large collection of 1980s tin luncboxes.

If you could go back to the day your business started (whether it was intentional or by accident), and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you've acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? I don’t know that there’s anything I would change, because with the mistakes came lessons I needed to learn. Lessons I think we all learn in our own way. But, I would have slapped that camera phone from my hands and taught myself the wonders of good photography!

How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors? I don’t like to look at anyone else as our “competitors.” I think what we create is pretty much a window to my own life and soul, and that in and of itself sets us apart from other clothing shops. I like to put a little piece of myself in everything we create. I sew and screen print everything that goes out with my own two hands, I have upwards of 45 screens I’ve made to create our alphabet and number tees, and this year I took on 10 color tees. I don’t know anyone else out there yet that’s been crazy enough to take that on in a screen printing medium.  A good friend put it best, “it’s either a true sign of passion for what you do, Erica, or insanity.” And, most days I lean towards insanity.
 
Best piece of advice you've gotten that you still follow?  
A wise woman once told me, “Don’t compare someone else’s middle to your beginning.” Basically, learning not to hate where I started. We all have our journey, and it is SO hard in this virtual world to not get caught up in comparisons. Once I made the conscious decision to not worry about what everyone else was doing, I took back my own joy.
  
My favorite quotes is... “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
The biggest lesson I have ever learned is… never say never
My favorite business tool or resource is… Coffee. Copious amounts of coffee. Truck loads of coffee.  If I could go back in time 10 years ago I would tell myself…  some day very soon you’re going to have two tiny dictators who rule your world. Buy ALL the shoes now.
 
Website: lookielooloo.com
Pinterest: @lookielooloo
Instagram: @lookielooloo
Facebook: facebook.com/lookielooloo
 

Small Shop Spotlight // Ahoy Amigo

Ahoy Amigo is a children’s clothing brand that makes fun threads that both parents and kids want to wear.  We make our clothes to be comfortable and easy to have fun in! Everything is made ethically, from the eco friendly inks we screen onto our US made fabric to the tees!  Our fun patterns give kids the tools to jump start their imaginations and make playing all day easy!! We’re all friends here, pirate or not!!  

Visit us today: www.ahoyamigo.com

Small Shop Spotlight // B.Stamped

B.Stamped started in late 2013 as a hobby, driven by passion and my journey into motherhood. It quickly developed into a full time business. 

I love creating these special pieces for others, whether it be a piece of mommy jewelry, a set of bride and groom wedding forks, or an inspirational wrap bracelet.  Each piece I make symbolizes a special event in another persons life from a birth, a marriage, a deployment or a tragedy.  It is through these pieces that I am able to connect with my customers and I am honored to help create jewelry with such meaning!  I am blessed to be able to share my work with you, so please, get comfy and take a look around the shop at www.bstamped.com

Follow along with B.Stamped

Instagram- www.instagram.com/bstampedbritt

Facebook- www.facebook.com/b.stamped

Twitter- www.twitter.com/bstamped

Shop- www.bstamped.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Little Faces Apparel

    

Little Faces Apparel is a kid’s fashion brand dedicated to unique, beautiful clothing, and accessories for every day.

Jennifer Durham, founder and designer of Little Faces Apparel, started making children’s clothing after the birth of her daughter. She wanted to outfit her kids in pieces that celebrated her unique nature, and gave her the freedom to explore. She sought something she could not find in a big-box store, but with no luck, she got creative and starting making things herself. It started with the occasional costume or pair of baby leggings and soon grew into full-on wardrobing. As soon as she realized she was not the only mama out there looking for unique finds for her kids, the Little Faces Apparel brand was born.

At Little Faces, there's a high standard for their designs — she puts out unique, handcrafted clothing and accessories for babies and kids that will become your family’s favorites. Children have a right to express their creativity and be stylish, just like us. She wants them to feel comfortable doing so, and that’s the objective behind her entire kids’ collection.

In addition to children’s clothing, she creates beautiful baby blankets that add something special to the nursery or an afternoon stroll. These make amazing baby shower gifts and will be treasured for years to come. 

Shop Little Faces Apparel at littlefacesapparel.com

 

Small Shop Spotlight // Lennon & Co.

LennonAndCo unofficially started while on bed rest in the hospital (while I was 35 weeks preggo with Lennon).  With nothing else to do, I asked my husband to bring my craft box which had fabric scraps I previously had purchased....it was as if I knew this was going to happen.  Nearly two weeks later, more than 30 bow ties were made and our beautiful baby girl Lennon was born.  

After giving friends/family bow ties or bow tie onesies as gifts, people continued to ask if I had an Etsy shop?  WIth so many inquiries, it motivated me to pull the trigger and create an official online shop.

I've been grateful for all the business I've had and looooove it when we get a note from a happy customer or see pictures of our products "in the wild".  Brings me great joy to see that someone (or someone little) is enjoying our handmade crafts.

Shop Lennon & Co. at www.etsy.com/shop/LennonAndCo

Small Shop Spotlight // Urban Oreganics

ORGANIC - VEGAN - 100% NATURAL

Our bath & beauty products are handcrafted in small batches and packaged in recyclable containers. We have been lovingly creating in our home studio in Portland, Oregon since 2013. Each new product is tested on willing friends and family, never on animals. 

(or·e·gan·ics): Oregon + organics

As a devoted vegan, to say I am health conscious would be an understatement. But eating healthy is just one piece of the puzzle. While pregnant with my first child, I read that it takes 26 seconds for the toxins in our body care products to absorb into the bloodstream, and vowed to make a change - for myself and my little one. That's how Urban Oreganics came to life, and I've never looked back.

xo, Emily

founder

Shop Urban Oreganics at www.urbanoreganics.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Honey Bee True Co.

Honey Bee True Co was inspired by littles and our goal to keep them true to them selves. HBT is more than just a shirt, we hope it will be your favorite shirt. You select from bold original designs that are hand painted with your chosen color scheme.  

HBT is a single mother who wears a top knot and sweats, drinks a lot of coffee and has no days off. She has a passion to create and show her son that anything is possible if you stay true and hustle hard. In the end our children are the reason for the mother hustle but they are worth it.

Shop Honey Bee True Co. at www.honeybeetrueco.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Dylbug

Hello, I'm Leslie Mingo, the founder of Dylbug, a design firm specializing in personalized products for little ones. Combining my love of cooking with my children and my graphic design talents I have created Dylbug Dress Up plates, cutters + placemats. With these products my goal is to make healthy food fun for kids to eat. My most popular style is the Little Me - Dress Up. It's a personalized plate designed to look like your child, it comes ready to dress up with a clothing cutter, making their food fashionable. 

My plates with a miniature child and matching clothing cutter have been a huge success in getting my little ones excited about eating healthy. Coming home from school for an afternoon snack, my children cannot be grumpy being greeted by a strawberry tutu or carrot pants on a miniature version of themselves. I love to watch their creativity at work, two banana buttons become earrings, an earring is eaten and the other becomes a nose. There is nothing better than hearing, “Mom, I need more raspberries for my shoes.” With the clothing cutters my children can easily cut out a watermelon dress or a sandwich shirt and pants, perfectly sized for the Little Me on their plate.

As a mother it has been very rewarding to create new food fashion for my little ones, I know it makes them happy and healthy. Dylbug Dress Up products are used and loved in our home and I have seen the joy it brings to other moms around the globe.

Shop Dylbug at www.dylbug.com

Small Shop Spotlight // Milestone Baby

OUR STORY

Milestone™ makes sets of photo cards to capture and remember special moments that make you smile. The idea came from Dutch mom Gemma Broekhuis who wanted to capture the first time her son Mikkel rolled over. She wrote a card, added the date, and took a picture of her son with it. She did the same when he slept through the night, crawled, ate his first solid food, etc. 
Realizing how precious those pictures were and how easy it is to forget those key moments, she decided to turn her idea into a product: the Milestone™ Baby Cards.

The first sets of Milestone™ Baby Cards were ready in May 2012. Today they are sold in 12 languages in 37 countries with new parents enjoying them every day. Since then we have created the following products to compliment the Milestone™ family: Pregnancy Cards, Mini Cards and the special nijntje/Miffy editions. And per August 2015 also the newest releases: Baby Cards Twins and the Toddler/Junior Cards.

Shop Milestone at www.milestone-world.com

Small Shop Spotlight // June + Penny

June + Penny is owned and operated by LynDee Bonner in Heber, Utah. 

'I'm a mom of two girls, a four year old, and a 23 month old! I've been lucky enough to choose to be a stay-at-home mama since my first baby, June, came along! We live in beautiful Heber valley, and although I currently live in Heber, I will always tell people I'm originally from Midway!

I make bracelets! I make fine, handcrafted, unique bracelets. My grandpa used to make jewelry he would buy from the Native Americans in Pocatello, so ever since I can remember, I've been stringing beading wire, and crimping tubes to make little pretties! We always had a craft room full of beading materials growing up, it was just a fun little hobby to remember grandpa by!

We found out we were having another little girl in December of 2013, and once the initial shock and anxiety of extra drama wore off, I quickly got to work on planning all of their matching outfits! That's what over-bearing moms do best, right!? Well then I became worried that my tot was going to be jealous of the baby from the get-go, and I had heard that to wear off toddler suspicions, have the new baby give them a gift when they meet them. What better than matching sister bracelets!? I ran over to my Parents, pulled out all the beading supplies and got to work! A set turned in to two, then 3, then a dozen (ha)! My friends were inquiring about baby gifts, that turned in to custom orders, then sister sets, then Mommy + me sets, and so on! That's when I opened up my Shop!"

Shop June + Penny at www.juneandpenny.com