IT list: babesta’s top holiday picks + small business saturday discounts, 11/24

Babesta is one of my favorite neighborhood boutiques  in NYC. For years, Jennifer Cattaui has been introducing parents to trendy children’s wears that conjure up a bit of funky urban culture, connecting downtown New York style with independent artists and designers. Babesta gives style-savvy parents an alternative to the typical designs of baby and toddler clothing and accessories. From boutiques across the country, these are holiday “musts” for your little ones.  Looking to splurge- be sure to check out the custom unicorn head!

1.  ESP No. 1 Jeans: This line is all about modern, unisex looks. Gorgeous cuts and fabrication, and a great fit. Made in USA. We love the poppy colors in “new neutrals” that mix and match with loads of things.  $72

2.  Mini Rodini Undies: We love Mini Rodini full stop (we’ve carried it for years and were the first in the states (or pretty close to it) to sell the brand. Although there are literally TONS of styles that are completely off the hook for the season, we chose for our top 20 the undies. We did because we normally don’t sell undies and undies aren’t normally something that are so “considered” and beautiful, but these are! They feature the illustrations of artist and head of the company Cassandra Rhodin, that find inspiration from her family’s circus heritage.  We thought these were so adorable that we couldn’t resist. This is a great present from that practical person who needed to show a little flair. Love the panda face. $22 for 2-pack.

3. Snow Globe by Seedling Kids: We love the craft collection from Seedling Kids and we thought the snow globe was a perfect wintertime activity. You mold the clay, bake it like a shrinky dink and then let it set. Later you add water and glitter and voila! This is a great, whimsical snowy-day activity! $28

4.  Loog Guitar: This guitar started off as an academic project in 2010 by designer Rafael Atijas (his master’s thesis). It was launched via Kickstarter, with a goal to raise $15,000 and they raised $65,618. People were excited about the product. The three-string guitar makes it fun and easy for kids to play music. Rafael believes that building the guitar is an integral part of the experience–to be a real guitar hero you have to build it.  $149

5. Sublime tee by Rowdy Sprout: We love the line Rowdy Sprout and have been carrying it forever. We adore the Sublime tee for its awesome graphic of the classic SKA band—the bright colors, soft wash and cool raglan sleeves make this shirt simply awesome. Made in California! $37

6. Starry Sweatshirt Dress by Bobo Choses: Bobo Choses, out of Barcelona Spain is one of the most inventive, creative clothing lines on the market today. This line incorporates stars, faces and cats. We love this dress for its simplicity, which is a hallmark of the line, coupled with handmade touches like the cross embroidery at the bottom of the dress. The construction is excellent and the brand is carried in but a few U.S. boutiques. $72

7. Cardishirtigan by La Miniatura: Project Runway’s Jeffery Sebelia was the rebel of the show and that rocker attitude shows through in his line of cool boys’ clothing. This cardishirtigan is half cardigan half button down shirt, and the mixed medium makes it super cool and comfortable. We love Sebelia’s designs in this line. He is the king of cool, rocker boys’ clothing. $104

8. A for Apple Fair Aisle sweatshirts: There’s nothing that says winter in fashion more than Fair Aisle and these sweatshirts by Hong Kong based A for Apple take that winter feeling and add an upbeat optimism by using a great bright color palette. A for Apple has excellent quality, washes well and is super stylish. These sweatshirts are very thick and soft, and will definitely be a go-to style for a little girl or fashion-forward boy. $82-$88

9. Indie Button Factory by Chronicle: Kids love to bring a little flair to their book bags, coats and shirts. Making their own buttons is a fun way to express themselves. We love the indie spirit of this set – it’s right up Babesta’s alley! Great DIY for boys or girls. $18.95

10. Smash Scrapbook and accessories kit: We were blown away with this kit – it’s so on point and fun. It makes you want to grab all of your photos and ticket stubs and the rest and come up with a great creative project. This is a perfect gift for a tween, new parent—or really anyone who wants to capture memories in a super cool way. There are even “baby book” versions for mom!

11. Yoshitomo Nara My Sweet Dog Pull Toy by Vilac: Although this isn’t brand new, it is a hot seller for our design conscious clientele. Vilac has been manufacturing toys in France for over 80 years and has some of the most innovative designs. Smoothed, sanded and lacquered by craftsmen. Nara is a super-groovy pop artist from Japan who came on the scene in the 90’s. $92

12. Coco to Go by Bloom: This is the most versatile bouncer on the market. The soothing vibration calms babies. 3 in one lounger, rocker and seat. Folds up almost flat, making it ideal for travel. $199

13. Caravan Crib & Dresser by Kalon Studios: These cribs are made in the U.S.A. The innovative designs are highly recognized and are made of materials that are renewable, eco-friendly, bio degradable and sustainably forested. There are various color options that can be combined with their trademark raw finish. Each piece crib $895 in color (can come plain for $695); dresser $1395 plain, $1495 in color.

14. Facebook by Chuck Close: (Abrams) Artist Chuck Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photo realist. Close suffers from facial blindness (can’t remember faces) and has found that when he paints portraits he is better able to recognize people. This book is dedicated to such portraits. Having suffering a spinal artery collapse in 1988, he is paralyzed yet continues his art and continues to inspire. $18.95

15. Crowded Teeth Wall Art: This Etsy superstar Michelle Romo was hand picked by Babesta because we fell so hard for the cool styling. Whimsical with bold graphic influence and great sense of humor. $30-$60.

16. Auggie Robot March Bedding: The fun prints are perfect for little boys who don’t want to be too cutesy. 100% cotton, made in India. crib sheets $45, shams $40, toddler duvets $115, twin duvets $145, sleep sacks, everyday blanket $78.

17. Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller C3 Neon: Bugaboo has always been our go-to stroller. You ask any Babesta associate and that will be the top pick. We love that they jumped on the neon craze with these cool neon wheels, stitching and beautiful metallic blue frame. $1059

18. Low Temperature Bunting by 7AM Enfant: Whenever we would instruct a new mom to use the amazing 212 blanket by 7AM Enfant, we’d say “don’t put a coat on the baby – the only thing you have to remember is that this is super warm.” For any baby who is feeling overheated (or will be going in and out of the stroller and needs a coat, etc., this low temperature bunting is has all of the style  but a little less heat for in-between weather (fall, spring and “already bundled up” winter). Chalet-chic styling. $138  (0-6M); $158 (6-18M); $178 (1Y-3Y).

19. Gummi Bath Toys by Jellio: The design house Jellio works out of Red Hook Brooklyn. They have been a favorite of Babesta for years. We will have their newest crop of Gummi lights (coming in November) as well as other sweet-as-candy home décor goodies. They broke the mold of furniture design when they recently came up with these cavity-free bath toys fashioned after kids’ favorite treats. $28

20. Unicorn Head by DFC: The Mexican design duo casts some of the most amazing animal heads in glitter, gold, silver and any color you desire. We love the unicorn head for its cool yet girly appeal, though the gold glitter cat head is a very close second! Custom made, from $750.

AND, don’t forget Small Business Saturday taking place on November 24th, 2012, which Babesta is taking part in!

Babesta Threads and Cribz has banded together with 17 other TriBeCa businesses who are celebrating Small Business Saturday — so if “doorbusters” isn’t your style and you prefer small batch, unique goods for your baby, child, friend or family member, then TriBeCa will be the place to be! Together, the businesses created a map and listed all of the sales and promotions for each of the downtown businesses, and they invite everyone to make a fun day of shopping downtown!
For Small Business Saturday, Babesta is offering day-long discounts—20% off* in the Threads store (and they just got some amazing new stock including new styles of Mini Rodini coats, Rowdy Sprout tees, adorable new barrettes and toys) and 10% off* goods in Cribz, so it’s a perfect time to think nursery, footmuffs, wall art, feeding goods and more. Babesta will have giveaways throughout the day (toys, discounts, etc!), goodies to nosh on, and festive music.
*Note: Excluded from the sale are Bugaboo items and already sale items.

 

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Bowery Babes, The Action Center and Diapers.com

In the past few days the Bowery Babes- a moms group I am a proud member of- have been diligently putting together a campaign to help Sandy victims in Far Rockaway where there is still remarkable devastation and many families living in horrific circumstances. The Bowery Babes are working with “The Action Center”- one of the largest and most trusted community organizations serving one of New York City’s most isolated, distressed, and needy populations of 45,000 people- most of whom live at 200% below the poverty line.

Fellow moms will be going out there tomorrow to volunteer and help organize.
They have found a way to help The Action Center with the emergency supplies that are most urgently needed and have partnered with Diapers.com, sending them a wishlist from The Action Center detailing what they need to help the children and families in distress. As money is raised, Diapers.com will provide the needed items AT COST, that is, with no tax or profit to them, and deliver them for free to The Action Center.

Some supplies will be matched directly with a specific family, while others will be distributed to the mothers who are streaming in every day pleading for basic items like diapers and baby wipes.

Here is where you can help:
Please consider donating money towards this campaign to buy essentials from Diapers.com.  The collected money will be used to place the orders with Diapers.com who will ship the needed products to The Action Center ASAP.

How to donate: there are two options for donating to this campaign by Monday, November 19th:
1. Using paypal, donate to info@bowerybabes.com (please type in “Sandy Relief MK” in the note section).
2. Using credit cards go to www.nycharities.org and search for Bowery Babes, then press the Donate Now button (please type in “Sandy Relief MK” in the Designate your Donation section).

Your donation will be tax deductible. Any contributions over $250 will receive an acknowledgement letter, but you can claim any donation amount as a deduction on your tax returns as both Bowery Babes and The Action Center are registered 501(c)(3) non-profits.

Since time is of the essence in delivering these much-needed essentials (medication for sick children, dry warm blankets and mattresses for those who are still living in wet homes), please donate soon.

Thank you for your support, concern, and trust.

source for style: kindred

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Simone and Heike met serendipitously in New York City, both new mothers and both raised in villages in South Germany.

Simone lends kindred her minimalist, yet tender aesthetic.  She studied textiles and fashion design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and the Winchester School of Art in England.  She has developed luxury goods collections in Paris, Milan and New York working for brands like Costume National, Loewe, Narciso Rodriguez and Vivienne Westwood.  She lives with her husband, her daughter and their two cats on the Bowery in NYC.

Heike informs kindred’s earth friendly approach of repurposing garments, drawing from her experiences working on different environmental protection projects in Germany.  She studied law and administration in South Germany. Before moving to New York she worked to reduce the effects of heavy metals from coal mining in the Black Forest while at the department of environmental protection in the city of Freiburg.  She presently lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, an NYU professor, and her daughter.

What is the story behind kindred?  kindred was sparked from their reminiscences about the simple beauty, preciousness and lasting quality of what they wore as children, and, as a reaction to the notions of ‘throw away’ culture.

Simone had received a parcel of clothes that she’d worn as a child, from her mother in Germany.  They were in nearly perfect condition, but had obviously been worn, as they appeared in many cherished family photos.  A beach dress from a trip to Spain, a polka dot dress worn in the Piazza San Marco in Venice and knit sweaters from family Christmas gatherings near Stuttgart were all prominent in photos of that era in her life.

As Simone now put these clothes on her own daughter, two things were clear.  Firstly, the fabric and quality was superb.  Secondly, there was something indescribably wonderful that she could share with both her daughter and her mother, as new memories were being built on already strong sentiment.

At the same time, Heike was experimenting with re-purposing garments to make ingenious outfits for her daughter.  Her gesture to be earth friendly and conscious of reuse naturally consumed her blouses, that were reworked into short pants or tops for her daughter.

The spark for kindred came when they combined the Simone’s silhouettes, details and aesthetics with Heike’s wonderful approach of re-purposing a family garment.  In kindred the result could be a new heirloom.

kindred is at the intersection of fashion design and environmental consciousness for children.

What does this brand stand for?  personal, one-of-a-kind clothing for infants and toddlers
handmade in New York
re-purposed and earth-friendly
inspired by the quality, aesthetic and silhouettes of traditional European children’s clothing
meant to be worn, cherished and preserved for the next generation

Where do you get your design inspiration?  Life with our families in and around New York.  The fun part is that inspiration can strike at a show at the Met Costume Institute, vintage shopping or collaborating with friends.  Our trips to Europe to visit family and friends, especially in South Germany also provide plenty of chances to go through Oma’s closet and local markets, finding inspiration from our childhood.

Who is the kindred customer?  Our customers are interested in beautifully detailed, handcrafted clothes for their children.  They believe in quality and the special idea of being able to re-purpose and pass along a favorite piece of clothing.

What are the average price ranges of ready-made and commissioned pieces? ready-made pieces: $60 – $225
custom-made pieces: starting at $175

Plans for the future?  We’re seeing where kindred takes us.  We’ve already been experimenting beyond clothes to accessories, dolls and other handcrafted things.  The response from our customers has been exciting and is leading towards some interesting collaborations.

ENTER TO WIN A KINDRED PIECE MADE FROM ITALIAN DESIGNER SHIRT (size 3-6 months)


“LIKE” us on Facebook and write a wall post “Kindred Giveaway”
Or
Follow us on twitter and tweet Kindred Giveaway
Winner will be announced July 6, 2012.


source for style: launch of chic online boutique Cosetta + giveaway

LSF is so lucky to have discovered Cosetta an amazing new online retailer catering to fashion-forward parents looking for uniquely designed and well-constructed children’s collections from all over the world.  They feature apparel and accessories for chic little girls ages 2-7.  These truly exclusive pieces are being introduced for the first time in the US through Cosetta.  LSF readers will receive 10% off your purchase with code: 10LSF.

As an added bonus, check out the Cosetta GIVEAWAY at the end of the Q&A session.

Please tell us a bit about yourself:  My name is Jiwon Gregory and I am the owner of Cosetta.  After obtaining B.B.A in Management Studies and B.S. in fashion merchandising, I have specialized in merchandise planning in both retail and wholesale since 2000 in NYC.

What inspired you to start shopcosetta.com?  We are lucky as today’s parents to have so many brilliant designers and retailers that cater to all different tastes in children’s wear. However, I saw a niche in the market since my 6 years old daughter was born. Personally, I found it hard to avoid high price tags for chic and sophisticated styles I wanted, and those that I found affordable and stylish enough were missing in quality. That is why I am keeping our prices lower than they should really be, and it’s not because they cost less to source. I’m taking this approach because I’m thinking long-term. Hopefully, offering great value for the quality and style they find in our boutique will keep moms coming back to us. I also put major effort in introducing exclusive brands and pieces that are not widely available in the U.S., because I think all moms want their little ones to be unique.


Where did the name Cosetta come from?  Cosetta means little thing. I thought this was perfect name for a boutique that offers beautiful little things for little you.


What do you look for in clothing/accessories companies when buying for the boutique?   I look for contemporary designs with refined details and materials without compromising affordability and comfort.  I like chic and sophisticated styles that reflect my own sense of style, but with a twist that still says children’s clothes. You’ll find that most of our pieces are also machine washable for easy care.

What trends are you seeing for Spring/Summer 2012?  Modern romantic is how I’d describe it. I’ve seen some amazing pieces in softly hued pastels and creamy colors of partisan pastry that are just lovely.  Cotton knit dresses in clean, modern and feminine shapes will be major part of our collection for Spring/Summer 2012.

What are some of your favorite brands and why?  Alice Underground and Dominico because they really pay attention to little details to enhance both comfort and style. I’ve been watching them for quite few seasons now and they continue to amaze me. My daughter loves wearing their pieces, because they are not only comfortable, she is sure to get that special attention (“How adorable…Where did you get them? I want them in my size!”).


What advice would you give to parents shopping for their children?  I think parents know their own kids the best.  One thing I learned is no matter how cute it is, if your little one doesn’t feel comfortable in it at first try, that piece will never see the daylight again?

Do you find that most parents take the same stylistic approach with dressing their children as they do with themselves?  I do think parents tend to dress their little ones that reflect their own sense of style.  Well, at least I sure do. My daughter loves coming up with a “theme color” of the day and we collaborate in putting together her outfit.  I believe how we dress her now will be a major influence in establishing her own sense of style later on.

GIVEAWAY: Madison School Bag

ENTER TO WIN:
“LIKE” us on facebook and write a wall post “cosetta giveaway”
Or
Follow us on twitter and tweet “shopcosetta.com giveaway”
Winner will be announced January 6, 2012


source for style: interview with nyc’s ‘little miss party’

LSF was lucky enough to interview Seri Kertzner, aka Little Miss Party.  Seri graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1999 with a degree in combined economics and business. After accepting a job at Kate Spade in 2001, she moved to New York City to begin her career in fashion. Seri spent 10 years involved in production and development at Kate Spade, Club Monaco and J. Crew. Over the last few recent years Seri has planned events for many friends, colleagues and acquaintances. But it was not until she took on the role of bride that she was inspired to start her own business. Little Miss Party understands her clients’ wishes and can easily integrate their vision with her expertise to create an event that is truly unique to each individual.

Please tell us a about yourself and your company  I am Canadian born, from Toronto. I moved to New York in January 2001 when I got a job with Kate Spade.  I started on the financial side in the fashion world and after one year moved over to production.  I later worked for Club Monaco and J.Crew over a total of 10 years in the biz.
Three weeks after I moved to NYC in 2001, I met my incredible husband through the one friend I had in this city.  We are now going on 11 years of being together…5 of which we’ve been married and living in the downtown area.
Little Miss Party is a boutique party planning company specializing in big events, small spaces.  Our concept is all about personalization, attention to details and catering to each of our client’s unique and specific needs.  We do as much as providing the food, dessert bar, drinks, music, décor and staffing to as little as consulting for your event. 

How did you come up with the name of your company?  I have to give my mother FULL credit for the name.  When I first had the idea to start the business I turned to my mom and sister and asked that they send me a list of names.  My mom had come back to me with a list of so many good options I actually had trouble choosing!  But Little Miss Party Planner was the best.  It fit me (because I happen to be a small little gal) and the concept behind my business, which is a focus on intimate parties.

What inspired you to start your business?  I got married in a very raw space in Toronto called the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery district back in 2007.  After planning the wedding on my own and taking total control over almost every decision, I thought…this is fun!  Maybe I should do this for a living!?  So I bought the domain name for my business and held onto it while working full-time in the fashion industry thinking I could start taking on small projects to start…and one day bring the company to life.  In 2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  I went back to J.Crew when my three-month mat leave was up and cried every day at my desk for two weeks straight.  Needless to say…I didn’t cope very well with leaving my little man and made the decision to leave my job and be with him.  Once he started preschool I decided, it’s time!  Let’s get this show on the road…and Little Miss Party officially launched in July 2011.


What makes your business unique?  Little Miss Party Planner goes above and beyond for our clients.  We take great pride in the creative details that we put forth in each of our events and make sure our clients feel stress free through the planning process and relaxed throughout the event so they can be a guest at their own party.  We also differ from our competition by giving back.  We often leave our clients with leftover food, flowers and/or favors. We give them the opportunity to donate leftovers to the Bowery Mission to help out others who are less fortunate and in need of a meal or in some cases like the example following, flowers for a wedding where they cannot afford any on their own.  Our client Carmen Nesbit inspired us to do so and we cannot thank her enough for this.  To read more on this beautiful story click here.

 


What is your company’s philosophy when working with parents to plan children’s events/parties?  Sit back and relax!  Being a full-time mom who is trying to grow a new business, I know what it’s like to have a LOT on your plate.  And for this LMP feels it’s most important to take care of ALL the work for you.  From kid friendly but creative food, exciting entertainment to fun and appropriate favors, we’ll take care of every detail so you can enjoy your children’s birthdays without lifting a finger.

What has been your most memorable event you and your team coordinated for?  Ooh…this is a tough one!  All of our events have been so special to us in a way.  We have done so many cool events that it’s just too hard to choose!  From an engagement party in East Hampton to an intimate wedding in a Soho loft to a first birthday party on a client’s roof deck on the upper east side…each event has been better than the next and we’re so thankful for the incredible client’s that we’ve had the privilege of working with thus far!

How do you find balancing being a mom and owning your own business? What is your biggest challenge?  Well my sister likes to tell me I’m not human…and she thinks I’m a robot.  HA!  I have an odd amount of energy and find that I’m able to pack a lot into a day to get it all done.  How do I do that?  I make a zillion lists to keep myself organized, I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and I sleep in as late as I can on a daily basis.  I was blessed with a son who sleeps like his mom and dad…and that is…like a log.  In all seriousness, the key is pacing yourself, making time for family first and then everything else seems to just fall into place.

 

What do you find mot rewarding about your line of work?  Turning special occasions for people into a dreamlike celebration.  Their appreciation for our hard work is priceless and makes us feel so good to see our clients happy and satisfied when all is said and done.  And of course – it’s incredibly rewarding to see my passion for party planning come to life.


Anything else you would like to share?  I’d like to just say that I am very blessed in love, family and friends.  I cannot thank everyone in my life enough for the love and support they have given to me.  I am also incredibly fortunate to have partnered with the most amazing person, Michelle.  She’s the best cohort a little miss party planner could ask for and I couldn’t be luckier to have met her several years ago at J.Crew.
And to everyone reading this article…Happy Holidays!  Have fun and be safe this upcoming winter.
Lots of Love, Seri