Puzzle Event – Round TWO

Our first puzzle event did not produce a winner, so the prize jackpots.

You can come in and get a puzzle piece from a new puzzle for a chance to win both the Baby Hawk Oh Snap Carrier AND a JuJuBe Be Light Bag in Space Place.

 

Puzzle Game Round TWO

 

Now come in and play our Puzzle Game and you could win a BabyHawk Oh Snap Soft Structured Baby Carrier AND a Ju-Ju-Be Be Light in Space Place.

Here’s how to win:

  • We have put a 500 piece puzzle into a bowl at the register and will be giving out the pieces.
  • Come in to the Nappy Shoppe and get your puzzle piece.   No purchase necessary. Don’t lose it!  Put it somewhere safe.
  • Once we have given out all the puzzle pieces, we will assemble a second copy of the puzzle.  This time we will leave out THREE pieces.  The first person to bring in one of the three missing pieces will WIN the prize.
  • Make sure you are in our Facebook Chat group or subscribe to our email newsletter, so you know when we are putting the puzzle together.
  • You will have two weeks to come in and see if your puzzle piece is the missing piece.  If it is, YOU WIN the carrier.  We will leave it open for two weeks so that if the other two pieces come in, they will win a $10 credit to the store.
  • If no one comes forward with the missing piece, we will JACKPOT the prize, and do another puzzle.

Limit of one puzzle piece per rewards card customer per day.  You can collect more pieces by coming in other days while we are giving out the pieces.

The BabyHawk and JuJuBe bag to be won is on display at the shoppe.  No exchanges.

BUY USA – Sakura Bloom

winsakurasilkWe started selling Sakura Bloom Ring Slings after Cheyenne talked me into it at our first ABC trade expo event in 2011.  She had one in her personal stash and swore to me that people would love them.  I had hired her for her babywearing expertise, so we placed our first order.  I let her choose the colors and styles.  She included one silk in with the rest being linen in our first order.  The linen slings sold well from the beginning.  Here in Texas, linen is a nice light weight cool option in the heat of our brutal summers.  They are quick to use.  And affordable.  That poor silk sat for so long.

Nappy Shoppe customers sporting their Sakura Bloom Ring Slings.  Photo by Kindred Photographer.

Nappy Shoppe customers sporting their Sakura Bloom Ring Slings. Photo by Kindred Photographer.

In 2013, Sakura Bloom had a booth at Dallas Market.  It was a quiet market that year, and we got to spend a lot of quality time with the owners, Lynne and Eric.  And we complained to them that while we had no trouble selling linen slings, we could not see the benefit of the more expensive silks.  Lynne pointed out to us that silk was actually cooler than linen to wear in the heat.  That it would breath better and was far more supportive.  Armed with new knowledge, we came back and were able to tell our customers the benefits of silk.  And that is why you see so many glorious silk ring slings in the Nappy Shoppe community.  We also came back having formed a new friendship.  One of the high lights of our trips to the ABC trade each year is visiting with Lynne and Eric.    They are a fun friendly, down to earth couple.  They care about their business and their retailers.  Unlike some manufacturers, they care about the value of their brand.  Sakura Bloom is one of the best selling brands in our store.  It is not hard for this to be the case with a quality product, and a manufacturer who we consider a friend.

History of Sakura Bloom Ring Slings.

Lynne’s sister, Carole, is an anthropologist.   She was studying South east Asia traveling to India and Nepal a lot. As Carole was pregnant at the time, she was fascinated with how babies were carried in these countries.  They used carriers out of necessity, something that back in 2005 she did not see happen here much.  She joined thebabywearer.com, which at the time was a small community of women wearing and many making their own carriers.  There were virtually no stores.

Lynne and her baby daughter Teja in one of the original ring slings.

Lynne and her baby daughter Teja in one of the original ring slings.

When Lynne got pregnant with her daughter Teja in 2005, Carole gave her 5 different carriers to try.  First off she started with a pouch style.  Lynne says she cringes to think of how she wore Teja back then.  She is not alone, I was the same with Braden.  Little did we know.  It was all a learning time. At 6 months of age, Teja did want to be cradled any more, she wanted to be upright and sit.  So Lynne pulled out the silk ring sling that her sister had given her.  She fell in love with this carrier. When a friend of Lynne’s in London got pregnant, she asked her sister where to buy a ring sling the same as what she was using.  The answer was, no one makes these! Lynne enlisted the aid of her seamstress mother, and with different colored silks, made another ring sling.  Lynne continued to sew the ring slings.  Have fun with different colored fabrics.  She sent one to her sister.  Her sister was wearing her baby in it, when she visited a baby boutique in Colorado.  The owner wanted them for her store.  So Lynne was asked to make more ring slings.  So she made 10.  It was 2006.  At this point there was no plans for a business, but it soon became obvious that was to become one, so in 2007 Sakura Bloom was born.

From the beginning, Lynne knew she wanted her business to be sustainable.  She watched women start carrier businesses and go out of business soon after when they did not price their products high enough to cover costs etc.  So Lynne did her research on pricing, and priced her slings for her business to survive.  She also learned the importance of keeping brand value, and as such rarely discounts.

Eric and baby Jai 2008.

Eric and baby Jai 2008.

At first Lynne did all the sewing.  But soon it was obvious that she could not do it alone.  She was introduced to a bridal shop seamstress called Amelia. Amelia was from Italy, and after critiquing Lynne’s sewing technique came up with a higher quality product.  For the first three years of business, Amelia did it all from her basement, including shipping. In 2010, it was too much, and Amelia needed to move on.  So Lynne found a factory in the small industrial town of Fall River, in Massachusetts.  And that is where Sakura Bloom is still manufactured.

Lynne with Eric and the kids.

Lynne with Eric and the kids.

In 2012 Lynne could not continue to administrate the business alone, so her husband Eric, came on board full time.  Lynne found that they did not need to live near where the slings were produced.  As long as they had their laptops, and internet access, they could run their business.  They now have three employees.  Leigh in market (and so much more), Jill who does social media (she is the pregnant voice behind Instagram), and Tiffany in customer service and manages wholesale.

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Lynne, with her friend Robyn from BabyHawk

Lynne lives in California with her husband Eric, and two children, Teja 9 and Jai 7.  And here is a little tidbit for you, Lynne and Robyn of BabyHawk are very close friends, and Robyn lives in California too.

 

For our BUY USA event, we are giving away a Simple Silk Sakura Bloom ring sling in Shadow.  To enter, just come in between Memorial day and Independence Day 2015, and when your purchase includes a product made in the USA we will give you a ticket to enter into the drawing.  If you are a VIP blue rewards card holder you will get two tickets.

A pinch me moment, for sure. 9 years ago these were my fingers pushing layers of gorgeous, vibrant silks under the foot of my grandmother’s old tabletop singer sewing machine. When my daughter, Teja, was born in 2005, babywearing wasn’t a household term and it was next to impossible to find unique, different styles of baby carriers in local stores. Big box stores were the only option for most people, and they offered pretty much one style of carrier and definitely nothing made locally. I didn’t shop in big box stores for myself and I didn’t want to start with my baby. I wanted to support small, local, family run businesses like ours. So, I made it my mission to try and bring the amazingness of babywearing to the boutiques dotting our downtowns. When I was pregnant I would drive over an hour from our house in MA to the cutest little boutique in CT that sold cloth diapers just to see the colors and be able to talk with someone about what we would need or want. I knew I wanted people to be able to do the same with our slings. Feel the textiles. Try the sling on. Shop Locally. That boutique became one of our very first retailers ❤️ Papaya Patch in West Hartford, CT. Today we have 300 small, local, independent retailers (mostly women owned! 💪👭💪) around the world helping new parents get comfy in their Sakura Blooms! 🌸🌸🌸 So much ❤️ for all of our amazing retailers lovingly representing Sakura Bloom each and every day and for each and every one of you, our amazing customers, out there shopping locally with them 🙌❤️🙌. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 😘xo @lynnebanach ✨🌸✨ #allthehugsandkisses #liveyourdream #beoriginal #stayfocused #blazeyourowntrail #riseandgrind #madeintheusa #shoplocal #smallbusiness #womeninbusiness #mompreneur

A video posted by lovesakurabloom (@lovesakurabloom) on

Babywearing with twins

Jennifer DeJong is one of our regular customers at the store.  She is the mother of twins.  About herself she writesI have been a high school teacher since I graduated from Texas A&M in May 2002. I work full time and even cloth diaper. We live on an acre and have 7 amazing outside dogs and an appaloosa horse I enjoy showing. People thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to cloth diaper and then they thought I was nuts when I said I would do it with twins. While my husband and I are done with having kids we are so blessed and thankful for our two little healthy bundles born in February 2014 at 36.5 weeks. I think it is all about the mindset of what you want to do…… and then just do it.

I asked Jennifer to tell us her thoughts about babywearing twins.  And here is what she wrote:

Babywearing is an amazing concept but when you have twins it is just another hurdle to overcome. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a full time working one, you can get things done and carry your babies. Within 3 hours of purchasing my two slings I had them loaded up and we were outside feeding the horse! I did do my homework before choosing which sling was right for me and I had lots of practice with one sling and one baby.
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When they were 3 months old I wanted something I could quickly get on and off in the house but still get some housework done. I purchased my first Sakura Bloom sling and I was off and running. Soon I found myself taking the sling outside of the house and it was great to throw in the diaper bag and use at the grocery store or even at a restaurant. (Yes, I take them out to eat even at 3 mo. old). On a side note—I never used the infant carry carseat and for good reason- We needed 6 bases and they grow out of it within a year. I had no idea how much fun babywearing would be and I’m glad we didn’t waste our money on the carry seats.
jennifertwins2
After a few months of just carrying one in a sling I felt like I could handle both in two slings. Sometimes I don’t want to mess with the stroller and just want to carry them. They love being snuggled up and I feel they learn so much from me while I’m carrying them. With the assistance of the Nappy Shoppe employees they instructed me on how to properly wear two slings and both kiddos. I think it was harder for me to pick out coordinating colors than it was to carry two!

I would suggest to carry them both individually for awhile and use both sides with both kids. This way they will be prepared to be on either side and the transition to carrying both will be seamless.

I never go anywhere without my slings now. We even went to the ranch and all three of us climbed inside the tractor and plowed the field when they were 7 mo old. My kids love to be in the action and I know they can’t wait for the next adventure in their slings. I work full time and even cloth diaper. We live on an acre and have 7 amazing outside dogs and an appaloosa horse I show. I think it is all about the mindset of what you want to do…… and then just do it.
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**I am always keeping their safety in mind. I have help to get them in the slings or I am sitting on the bed/couch. I never get around livestock with them unless there is a solid wall in between us**

Sarah on Breastfeeding

Sarah C, is one of our regulars at the store, well loved by all of the team here.  She has kindly shared her experiences starting out with breastfeeding and how the Nappy Shoppe breastfeeding cafe helped her.  See below for more about her.

 Sarah writes:

There are a lot of breastfeeding-related things out, these days. Should you, shouldn’t you? Benefits, health reasons, ability. Should you nurse in public? Should you cover up? Endless women spending countless hours worrying about OTHER PEOPLE’S feelings and beliefs about breastfeeding, when the truth is, it’s hard enough as it is without trying to consider how someone else feels about your boobs.

The thing is, when I was pregnant, I just KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. And, as it goes when one is pregnant, literally EVERYONE ELSE was an expert on the matter. Tips on how to nurse, how long to nurse, when to wean, how to wean, what to eat to help promote lactation, how I would have to be sober for yet ANOTHER year. (Trust me, I knew that one.) But then, I was discouraged by more than a few. “Your boobs are gonna look like pancakes.” “You won’t lose weight until after you’re done lactating.” Like… mind your own tits.

What not one single person told me was, BREASTFEEDING IS HARD. Like, actually physically having a tiny human with superhero suction powers latch on to a super sensitive part of my body that is tender and, up until recently, was kind of just a sex thing. Nobody told me that my nipples would crack, and bleed, and that I would dread the baby’s hunger cues because I knew the pain that was en route. I didn’t think it was normal to cry at every feeding (which, with a newborn, is every two hours. Yeah.) Some nights I would sit on the couch and feed her so my crying wouldn’t wake up my husband. Some nights, the crying woke him up anyway.

Something else I didn’t know was there is help available. My midwife sent me to the Nappy Shoppe to their breastfeeding support group, the Breastfeeding Café. There, I found a group of women who, like me, were new to nursing and were dealing with a lot of the same issues I was.

IT WAS ALL NORMAL.

Yep. Aaaallll normal. I mean, obviously not normal in the sense of being the desired objective, but my struggles were par for the course in new motherhood. The lactation consultants (Cheyenne and Lydia) helped me reposition, rearrange and renew my faith in my ability to breastfeed. Two weeks after my first attendance, I had my first painless night. And the next night, ALSO painless. Sweet Mercy! I can do this!

lrcnursing

I was by no means done with that support group. I stayed until my baby was twice the size of the new nurslings. I stayed until I had every faith and every confidence in our nursing relationship. I stayed, and was welcome. I found a circle of friends, confidants, and cohorts that I still turn to today for all things baby and nursing and motherhood related. We have been going for nine months strong and see no signs of stopping. I can truly say, to any mother beginning her breastfeeding journey, or feeling lost in an existing one, GO GET HELP. You can do this. No matter where you choose to feed your baby, or who tells you you can or can’t, you can do it. It DOES get better.

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Sarah C writes about herself “My name is Sarah Carlock, mama of one Lily Rose, who constantly reminds me of my rookie status as a parent. She teaches me new things every day, which is find by me. I’m a knowledge junkie and a natural parenting enthusiast. I’m a babywearer, a breastfeeder, and aspiring doula. I am also a music lover, coffee fiend, beer drinker and a foodie.  My husband is either really lucky and a saint or has funny taste in women, but together, sometimes we make magic. “

Babywearing School

In the last week of January 2014, several of the Nappy Shoppe team went back to school.  We welcomed Joanna McNeilly from the Center for Babywearing Studies to our store for a 3 day very intensive training course in professional babywearing consultancy.  We were joined from 6 other retailer friends from around the country, and a breastfeeding specialist.  We walked away from this with not only a piece of paper, but more confidence in our ability to better serve our customers in babywearing.

So we started with ring slings.  And check out these ring slings.  There was a lot of Sakura Bloom here, many silks!

 

Ring slings!

Ring slings!

 

We then moved to wraps.  I would have thought that would be last, but it seemed to make sense once we got started.  We learned better knots.  We used weighted dolls to practice with.  So out came all of the wraps.  Lets just say what is in this picture is not all of them!

Wraps Galore!

Wraps Galore!

 

We had short wraps, long wraps, many of the popular brands were represented. The blue one in the middle is our store Dolcino.  It is super soft and well broken in.

Check out carries in the mirror

Check out carries in the mirror

We dug out the mei teis.  Babyhawk and Cat Bird Baby were well represented here.  (yes we have BabyHawk, they are in store only currently).  We covered using them on the front and the back.  I did learn that the Chimparoo Mei Tei is actually a hybrid.  I love my Chimparoo Mei Tei by the way, especially for tiny babies.

Mei Teis

Mei Teis

We checked out soft structured carriers in general.  And we covered a better technique for putting on a stretchy wrap.

Soft Structured Carriers

Soft Structured Carriers

And then we finished up with back wraps.  For me, it was my first back wrap.

Morgan from Green Bambino on the left, and Sharni from Nappy Shoppe on the right.

Morgan from Green Bambino on the left, and Sharni from Nappy Shoppe on the right.

 

And the end result …

Validation!

Validation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaper Dude Bag Review

If you have ever been into The Nappy Shoppe you have probably seen a picture of my son, Rowan, and Husband, Jesse on the wall of the store. Both of them are a big reason as to why I am so passionate about natural parenting. Jesse was 100% on board with babywearing and cloth diapering (among other things) but when our son was a newborn he really enjoyed wearing him. As a nursing mother he needed to have his ‘bonding time” with Rowan.

Jesse & Rowan at the mall! Everything they need is in the Diaper Dude bag. The boba carrier hangs around his waist ready to go for when the drink break is over!

Rowan is 2 years old now, and they spend most Saturdays doing “boy things”. If you are not familiar, “boy things” is code for, “do stuff Mom doesn’t let us do” Because Rowan is still in diapers Jesse needed a bag for his Saturdays, and one that was big enough to hold all the diapers. At the same time he wanted something that was “tactical” as he says. We found the camo Diaper Dude bag, and he was hooked. As prior military he knew that the camo was the choice for him. Most Saturdays for him are spent with his camo diaper bag in hand, and his black Boba carrier. He still enjoys wearing our son, and I think that is great, even if they do get away with more while Mom is not around!

 

Ryley is an employee at Nappy Shoppe, and is also one of the leaders of the North DFW Babywearers.

Sloomb Soiree

Sustainable Babyish is releasing a NEW PRODUCT and we are having a launch party to celebrate!  The party is sponsored by Sustainablebabyish and Babyhawk.

When: Friday November 16th 2012

Time: 5pm to 8pm

Where: Nappy Shoppe, 3253 Independence Parkway, Plano Texas

We will have limited edition shirts for sale, as well as the new product, and plenty of the regular product line.  We will also have limited edition sloomb cubes and lanolin mugs.

Elise Ernette, our local Sloomb guru will be conducting a wool care class.

Babyhawks brand new carrier that has not yet been released will be available for a sneak preview and for trying on!

Food and Drink will be served.

This is Elijah in the new carrier from Babyhawk that will have a sneak preview at the party.

What will be on sale (in store at the event only):

We are giving away:

  • A Babyhawk Mei Tei!
  • A snapless fitted
  • An OBF
  • A sloomb cube (limited edition scent)
  • A 4 ounce tub of lanolin
  • A wet bag
  • Nappy Shoppe Key Chains

* Babyhawk carriers are in stock in the store, but are not on our website currently.

Double Hammock Wrap

At Nappy Shoppe we do a wrap of the week in our class room. Bring your wraps, or simply come along to watch to see if you would like a wrap.

Amanda, one of our staff members, loves to try out different wraps, and has been sharing them with the North DFW babywearing group. But we thought you would like to see her wraps in person.

So on July 5th 2012 our wrap of the week was the double hammock.

The benefits of a double hammock are:

  • Distributes the weight across your chest instead just your shoulders.
  • Most comfortable back carry to wear for a long period of time.

 

Baby K’tan Review

This review is written by Cheyenne and Ryley of the North DFW Babywearing group.  Both of whom work at Nappy Shoppe and are known in the local community as babywearing experts.

We were so excited when we were asked to review the Baby K’tan. Baby K’tan is an awesome option for newborns and smaller babies without the added hassle of wrapping. You get the same snuggles from a stretchy wrap without the added time! The Baby K’tan is super easy to use and works great for babies up past 20 pounds. I have always found that with any stretchy carrier, beyond 20 pounds can put some strain on you, and become less comfortable after long periods of time. Being able to put the Baby K’tan on easily and correctly in a short amount of time is something we LOVE about this carrier. Plus no ends ever touch the ground, or get dirty in a parking lot.

This is Max at 18 pounds and 15 months in a hug hold.

There are multiple positions for the Baby K’tan, the hug hold being our favorite.  The Baby K’tan also allows for a hip hold and explore hold for those babies that really want to look around.  You can also breastfeed in it!

This is Rowan at 24 pounds and 19 months old in a hip carry.

Another feature we love is the bag that comes with it! It folds up nicely and can be stored in your diaper bag without a lot of bulk.

The one thing we found to be an issue was the fact that Baby K’tans are sized.  If you can get anyone else in your family to wear, you will probably have to have more than one in order to get the right fit for each person.  That being said, with a Baby K’tan, because it is sized there is no wondering if you have it on tight enough. Sizing information can be found here http://www.babyktan.com/sizing.html. All in all, we love the Baby K’tan for those newborn snuggles!

A little about the authors:

Cheyenne Martin is a baby wearing guru.  Working at the Nappy Shoppe, she is known for her skills in all kinds of slings and carriers.  She teaches the Babywearing 102 class at the store.  Cheyenne is the mother of three little girls, and at the time of writing Leelah, her youngest is worn daily using various carriers that she owns.

Ryley Chestnut is also a teacher at Nappy Shoppe, teaching Babywearing 101 and Cloth Diapering 101.  Her young son Rowan is worn daily as well, and when shoppers visit Nappy Shoppe it is not uncommon to see Rowan hanging out in a carrier worn by his mother.