Since I went on about Black Friday yesterday (and had a rough time this morning at a certain big box sewing store which shall remain nameless), I thought today in honor of Small Business Saturday I would share a bit about some of my favorite independent stores.
Happy Bambino was my home away from home when my oldest daughter was a baby. The store's mission is "Happier families through parental empowerment and community support." They offer parent support groups and classes as well as great locally made or small-business made products for babies, kids, and moms. Cloth diapers, baby carriers, natural and sustainable toys, breastfeeding needs... Truly anything you could need in the early years of parenting. The store is in Madison, WI and online. And hey, my daughter is right there on the front page, grinning in a blue fleece pouch!
Bratsacks Baby is not local to me, but an amazing small business just the same. Owned by a mom who started making kids' backpacks as birthday gifts, Bratsacks has grown into a big name! She makes backpacks for toddlers and big kids as well as messenger style bags for grown-ups. She uses reclaimed materials wherever possible and the work"mom"ship is impeccable.
KnitterKnots is another friend's shop. She makes beautiful longies for babies and toddlers- For the uninitiated, longies are wool pants that can be used as part of a cloth diapering system or just worn as incredibly adorable and cozy pants. If you get lucky you might also catch a custom slot for a tunic or dress! Beautiful stuff. How cute are these monster pants?
StarbrightBaby makes small stuffed giraffes that are hands-down the best teething toy we ever used. And they last long beyond the teething stage! At 3 and 5 my girls still love to play with their giraffes. They are sturdy, beautiful, unique, and are stuffed with eco-friendly filling. She also does customs, so if you have a favorite fabric you can get a giraffe made just for you!
I have many other talented friends I want to share with you, but this post is getting long so I will save some for another day! Remember to think handmade while you're holiday shopping, and support small businesses!