Homegrown: Shopping Guide
Our corner of the world is an exceptionally fertile place for growing creative products for kids. And we want to see these brave entrepreneurs thrive!
For our Holiday Shopping Guides, we've picked a few of our favorites because we want to spread the word about the ingenious, amazing products created by parents right here in our community; these businesses care deeply about healthy business practices and being environmentally friendly, plus making top-quality, kid- and friend-tested products; and we believe a healthy community for families includes successful small businesses serving parents and kids.
"2BU Beauty is the evolution of a concept and company originally called Sweet Pea Pedicures. It all started when I was pregnant. As I waited for my sweet pea to arrive and was experiencing all of the typical pregnancy symptoms, I started to muse about how wonderful it would be to just have someone come to my house and give me a pedicure. Pure luxury!
As it turns out … I was not alone! I quickly realized that it isn't just new and expectant mommies who want and need in-home beauty and pampering treatments. We, women, are pulled in a hundred different directions on any given day and (through no fault of our own) we end up ‘deprioritizing' ourselves, as our to-do list grows longer.
So, I teamed up with an amazing group of talented beauty experts to do something about this, for all of the busy women everywhere who recognize that sometimes it just takes a little creativity to balance it all, including caring for one's own beauty and wellness." – Jo Ollila, founder
Services available include nail care, massage, facials, make-up, and hair. Example prices: buy four, get one free manicures, $160; 60-minute organic facial, $85; 50-minute East Meets West massage, $115. www.2bubeauty.com.
"I started Chick Charms about five years ago. My two little girls inspired me with their brightly colored drawings and imaginative ideas. I am a mosaic artist and thought it would be fun to combine glass with brightly colored, hand painted images. My images range from monsters and fairies to nature, animals and sports. I make custom charms for businesses, athletic teams (a great trophy alternative) and favorite pets." – Laura Wright, owner, Seattle
Charms vary from $15-$30 each, and accompanying silver necklaces are $5. www.chickcharms.com.
Eye Can Art
These art kits are perfect for rainy days or vacations, since the kits contain everything you need to make a fantastic piece of art, including scissors and glue. Eight kits are available, including "Book in a Box," "Fabric Sun Photo" and "Sumi-e Painting." Created by experienced art educators Bridget Daly and Shannon Ninburg, both of Seattle, the kits are designed to encourage open-ended artistic exploration using enough high-quality materials to make each project several times. The kits are made in Renton and have earned numerous industry awards, including Oppenheim, Parent's Choice, Tillywig, and Creative Child Magazine's Toy of the Year.
Find them at numerous locations including University Bookstore, Clover and Planet Happy. Kits are $24, $28 or $30. www.eyecanart.com.
A resident of the Central District for 20 years and custom designer in the bridal industry for 12 years before she decided to open her own shop, Magpie shop owner Malia Keene produces her own line of clothing and accessories for kids ages 1 to 7, as well as featuring locally crafted toys and a small but exquisite collection of resale clothes. Her design talent and interest in vintage U.S.-made fabrics is readily apparent in this piece of outerwear made from repurposed Pendleton wool.
Magpie, 1408 18th Ave., Seattle. www.magpiekid.com.
Monkey Sock Monkey
Monkey Sock Monkey is "proud to be your source for DIY sock monkey kits, organic socks, rock paper and all sorts of monkey magic." The company creates all-in-one box kits for making sock animals, including monkeys, squirrels, squid and sockodiles. Kits (for ages 9 and up) include organic socks made with low impact dyes, ecofiber stuffing, button eyes, needle and thread and simple, illustrated instructions (scissors not included). All kits are packed and printed in Washington, using vegetable inks on forest-certified paper.
Kits are available at Magpie in Seattle. Sock Animal Kit, $18.99. www.monkeysockmonkey.com.
It was the unpredictable Seattle weather that inspired Heather Correa to create the original WooBee blanket to use with her two daughters. It is designed to work with any stroller, but it can also be used with many baby carriers, including the Ergo and Bjorn. The WooBee comes in many colors and patterns, and is waterproof on the outside and plush on the inside.
WooBee blankets are available at several Seattle locations, including Village Maternity and Bootyland. Original plush $58; graphic $68; fleece $36. Use Seattle's Child exclusive coupon code ROSK2013 for a 30 percent discount until Dec. 31. www.RainorShineKids.com.
"When my husband and I learned that the Archdiocesan Housing Authority (an agency of the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese) was closing its 19-year-old wooden toy workshop, The Giving Tree, I knew I had to do something. It's such a labor of love; I couldn't just let it disappear. So I re-opened The Giving Tree as Westlake Woodwerk, featuring many of the same classic wooden toys. A small group of retirees volunteer their time to make the small wooden toys, such as trains, pull toys, puzzles, mini rocking horses and replicas of Washington State ferries. The volunteers, highly talented people who love working with wood, use high-quality mahogany, dark walnut, maple and ash to create the toys. Water-based sealants and paints are used, though most toys are unpainted to allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine." – Leslie Conti, owner
Available at the shop, 2008 Westlake Ave., Seattle; www.eurostyleyourlife.com. Washington State Ferry (small), $65; (large) $110.