Life Lately

Small Business Love

For real though, what is going on with this weather!? I swear we’ve been sent back to November and we should all be gearing up for the holiday hoopla again! I’m so tired of the cold and ice and snow and ridiculousness that has been our first few weeks of spring but one thing I’m definitely not sick of is my Small Business Saturday series and hopefully you aren’t either đŸ˜‰ This month’s features are slightly different in the sense that they’re not all ‘local’ to me. Some of these businesses I’ve been following for years and others I’ve just recently discovered and although I try to ‘shop local’ as much as I can, I really feel like these businesses deserve a shout out too!

*Photo property of myself*

First up I want to talk about The Wild Kids Apparel. I’ve been following this shop since my oldest son Nate was a baby and in fact, that onesie that Eli is wearing in the picture above is actually a hand-me-down from his big bro! When I say I love this shop, I mean I absolutely LOVE this shop and I’ve probably purchased more from them than any other small business. I know for a fact that over the past three years I have purchased three onesies and six raglan tees plus a baseball t-shirt for myself and three stuffies and I would literally buy so much more if I could afford it. I love this shop so much that one of my earliest blog posts was a product review of some of their onesies which you can find here! (along with baby pictures of Nate *insert sobbing face emoji*)

Adriane creates some of the most adorable, unisex items for your kiddos and each item is hand pressed making them all slightly different and unique. Her characters are whimsical and imaginative and it’s been a pleasure watching this shop grow. I remember seeing Hilary Duff’s son Luca wearing a Bob the Grizzly Bear sweat shirt and it was so neat to see just how far spread the love of this shop was. While The Wild might have an extensive following, this shop has definitely had more set backs than most. Originally printed on American Apparel clothing, The Wild was left scrambling for a new supplier when they abruptly announced they were bankrupt and closing all their stores. I remember seeing numerous shops (both Canadian and American) posting about how they were all blind sighted and weren’t sure what they were going to do. Adriane was lucky to find another supplier only to have that one go bankrupt too! What are the chances!? Two suppliers in the same year closing down and leaving small businesses wondering what on Earth they were going to do. Amazingly though, Adriane was able to find a third supplier and thus, The Wild could live on! I could honestly spend hours talking about how awesome I think this shop is but it would be so much better if you just checked them out yourself!! You can find all The Wild characters on their website, Instagram, and Facebook accounts!

*Photo Property of Beluga Baby*

I just recently discovered Beluga Baby and I wish I had known about them years ago!! I love baby wearing. I love the closeness it provides. I love the hands-free ability it gives. I love the comfort of having my baby as close to me as possible in those first few weeks during the ‘out-of-the-womb’ transition. Baby wearing is where it’s at for me. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times that I wore both my boys around the house just so I could get daily chores done; whether it was vacuuming or the laundry, having the ability to get this stuff done while still bonding with my boys helped take away some of that ‘guilt’ we as moms, or parents for that matter, feel on an almost daily basis. The struggle we all face… How can we bond with the baby but also ensure it doesn’t look like a bomb went off in the kitchen? How can we bond with the baby but also ensure we’re still engaging with our older children? How can we do it all? How!?

Baby Beluga was founded in 2015 by new mom Haley who wanted to do something to help new moms and dads while also using materials that are safe for baby. This business only uses materials that are made from sustainable bamboo fabric which is perfect for your new bundle of joy. This fabric is also breathable meaning baby and you won’t overheat with these wraps. The bamboo is super stretchy so you can easily adjust your wrap and actually move freely when your baby is strapped to your chest. Haley has created some of the most gorgeous wrap choices I’ve come across to date! From solid colour options to patterned looks, these wraps are not only functional but fashionable as well. While I do love baby wearing, I’m not really a huge fan of the wrap that I currently own; it’s kinda plain and boring and just not ‘me’ so what I love most about this shop is that I can find something that suits my style and know that it’s still safe for Eli to be in. But I think I truly fell in love with this small business when I read this post on their Instagram feed a few weeks ago. It really hit home for me for reasons that I rarely talk about and I cannot wait to see all the beautiful photos of the Rainbow Babies being worn in these wraps. You can check out Beluga Baby on their Instagram and Facebook accounts as well as read more and watch the tutorials on their website!

*Photo property of myself*

Probably one of the coolest businesses I’ve come across lately is Uniquely Yours Canada. Ashley creates personalized and unique tumblers and water bottles with just about every design you could possibly imagine. My friend Jen who is the maker behind Phaw’s Boutique gifted me this gorgeous coffee tumbler with my business logo on it as a thank you for helping her with a show and it is BY FAR my favourite reusable beverage holder (and not just because my logo is on it!). This mug seriously keeps my coffee hot for hours on end! I am notorious for forgetting my coffee or tea and constantly having to reheat it but with this mug, I know that even an hour later my coffee will still be hot. Plus, the tumbler is coated in sparkles so how could you not love it!? Uniquely Yours doesn’t just do business logos, they also create  beautiful hand painted water bottles as well as ones with cute sayings like Mama Bear and Mombie, plus so much more! If you’re looking for a personal and thoughtful gift for that special someone in your life or business gang pal, you definitely want to check this shop out! Uniquely Yours Canada is on Instagram and Facebook!

*Photo Property of Fluke Craft*

Every once in a while I come across a shop that immediately draws me to them and that’s exactly what happened when I was introduced to Fluke Craft via an Instagram engagement group. Lee creates the most amazing and adorable pieces of art using rocks and driftwood found on our local beaches. When I was a kid I used to love scouring the beach, collecting all the “pretty rocks” I could find. It’s something I continue to do as an adult so once I saw a few of Fluke Crafts photos, I knew this would become a favourite of mine. Lee’s rocks are not only something cute to use as a decoration inside or out but they can also be used to inspire imaginative play in kids. With sets like the one pictured above, to nursery rhymes, to simple characters like birds or children; what child wouldn’t want to spend hours upon hours coming up with new stories for these designs. Each rock is hand drawn and painted which means each piece is slightly different from the last and just from looking at the picture above, you can see just how much detail Fluke Craft puts into them. The ideas are truly limitless with this business; from custom pieces like a set I recently ordered for someone to more “stock” options, there’s something for everyone! You can currently find Fluke Craft on Instagram as well as some upcoming vendor shows on their IG page!

*Photo Property of myself*

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Hunter and Co.! If you haven’t, you’re definitely going to want to check out this adorable little shop! Chelsea is the owner and maker behind this business and she creates some of the cutest baby items for the little hunter in your life! From onesies with cute sayings like “Wild and Free”, “Adventure Awaits”, and “The Snuggle Is Real” to bold patterned bibs and swaddle blankets, to gorgeous quilts and blankets; this shop will definitely become one of your favourites. I’m obsessed with the crib quilts that Hunter and Co makes and there are days when I seriously have to restrain myself from buying one of each listed because they are stunning and would be such a wonderful baby shower gift for the expectant momma in your life! As the name of this business suggests, each item has an ‘outdoorsy’ feel to them which perfect since ‘woodland’ anything still seems to be the hot trend right now. You can find Hunter and Co on Instagram and Facebook and be sure to check out their new webpage!

*Photo Property of Blissful Day Designs*

Can we talk about how cool string art is? I remember when my family did homemade gifts for Christmas one year and my step-mom received a beautiful outline of the United Kingdom made by her sister. It was the first time I had heard of string art and since then, it’s fascinated me! One of the best shops I’ve come across for this type of artwork has got to be Blissful Day Designs. The pieces that Andrea creates seriously make my jaw drop! Not only are the designs different from anything I’ve seen before but the level of intricacy that goes into them is astounding; these pieces aren’t just your typical white string patterns. Blissful Day Designs uses different colour strings, shapes, patterns, etc in all their works of art and every time one is posted, I’m in awe of it! I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of time that goes into making something like this. From paw prints of beloved furry friends (like this one!) to nursery decor (here!!) to pieces that I can’t even begin to wrap my head around (this one tho!!) to items for Christmas or the holidays, you’re definitely going to find something that suits your fancy! It’s like every picture Andrea posts gets better and better! You need to stalk Blissful Day Designs on Instagram and Facebook for sure!


*Photo Property of the OVer Co.*

I never used a car seat cover for either of my boys mainly because I’m a tad obsessive and needed to physically see my babies at all times BUT if I had chosen to use one, I definitely would have purchased from The OVer Company! This business got its feet in 2015 after second-time momma, Sabrina had her daughter at 32 weeks gestation. Now, as you can imagine, after seeing your baby spend close to five weeks in the NICU, the thought of them being brought home to germs and viruses would be overwhelming for any parent and as Sabrina details on her website, she needed something more than just a baby blanket to protect her daughter from the outside world. After creating her first OVer car seat cover, she realized that it also worked wonders as a nursing cover as well as a grocery cart cover for her older daughter and thus began the start of this wonderful business.

The coolest thing about this shop is the fact that when The OVer Company was launched, it was actually the FIRST of its kind in Canada! How awesome is that!? To be able to say that YOUR SHOP was the very first to create something in your country is a level of excellence that not many businesses reach but The OVer did. Using breathable fabrics to reduce overheating, these covers keep your babe safe and snug but still allow you to peek in and make sure they’re doing fine. When you think about it, it totally makes sense to want to have your baby covered up when you’re out in public. It’s no secret that people love babies and it’s also no secret that some people have ZERO boundaries when it comes to babies so being able to have that piece of mind that no one is going to come up and randomly start touching your baby (which has happened to me waaaaaay too many times to count!) when you’re at the mall or grocery store is very reassuring, especially for a premie parent! The OVers come in soft or bold solid fabrics as well as some beautiful patterned ones as well! You can also find some super cute swaddle blankets on their website as well which are a perfect baby shower gift because you can never have enough swaddles or burp blankets in my opinion! You can check out The OVer Company on their website, Instagram, and Facebook page!

*Photo Property of Taylin Threads*

Just like with The Wild Kids Apparel, Taylin Threads was one of the first shops I began following when Nate was a baby and it’s also one of the first that sparked my love of supporting small businesses. Caylee began this business back in 2013 when she was pregnant with her daughter and it’s been amazing to watch the growth and development of her shop. Taylin Threads is based out of British Columbia and all their items are handmade and designed in Canada using organic bamboo fabric. Not only is bamboo soft to touch and temperature controlled, it’s also hypoallergenic, chemical free, and anti-bacterial making it perfect for your little one! Where do I even begin on the items that Taylin Threads currently offers!? This shop seriously has SO MANY options for not only your little one but YOU as well! They are one of the few shops that also has an amazing line for us parents (or non-parents) too! Whether you’re looking for a little boy or girl or something gender neutral, this shop has it all! I love their unique designs and sayings on their shirts and rompers as well as their line of autism support shirts, especially the one that reads “See The Able, Not The Label”. I think it’s just such a powerful message to send and I love that Taylin Threads donates proceeds from the sales of those shirts to Autism Canada. It’s always so nice to see when a business gives back to a charity or cause that is close to them. You can look for Taylin Threads on their website as well as Instagram and Facebook!

*Photo Property of Whistle & Flute*

I probably should have just dedicated an entire feature to the shops that started my love for supporting small businesses because again here I am saying that just like The Wild Kids Apparel and Taylin Threads, Whistle & Flute was one of the first shops I started following once Instagram started blowing up about three years ago. It started with me first noticing an adorable milestone birthday shirt on someone’s feed. I was instantly intrigued and began searching for the creator of said shirt which led me to Whistle & Flute’s feed. Immediately, I knew I was hooked. The shirts they were creating were so cute and fun and unlike anything I had ever seen in stores like Carters or The Children’s Place but I think what sold me on this business was their Kawaii line. I had never seen anything like it in my area and the designs of the shirts just drew me right in! From the sushi shirt, to the cloud baseball tee, to the avocado as well as the panda and pears shirts, I seriously love them all! I mean how could you not!? Just look at that little face on the avocado pictured above! I die!! It is seriously adorable!

This shop started out with some pretty humble beginnings too, back in 2012 Miranda was a stay-at-home mom with their first son and her husband had just been laid off and had started working at a screen printing shop. With some of their savings they purchased some blank garments and set up a print shop in their own garage which has now exploded into this amazing business that has appeared in Vogue U.K. Magazine, The New York Daily News, In Touch Weekly, as well as Pregnancy and Newborn magazine and countless parenting and fashion blogs around the world!! How amazing is all that!? To have this dream and then to see it succeed into this amazing adventure is something I love watching. You can find Whistle & Flute on their webpage, Facebook, and Instagram.

And there you have it! April’s Small Business Saturday features! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Kurt, myself, the boys, my step-sister, and Kurt’s parents are all heading down to Nashville next week and I’m so excited!! Fingers crossed the boys behave and I’ll have some good stories to tell when we come home!


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