GAIA

Handmade from vintage by refugee women

 

 

My dear friend Molly, who is behind the fabulous & colorful Instagram account @berryandthefox, introduced me to the products and creations from GAIA. Basically they transform vintage, sustainable & repurposed textiles into home & personal accessories and lately also into adorable baby products. All made by resettled refugee women in Dallas, Texas. Their mission is to empower marginalized women through employment, encouragement, and dedication for a long-term success in their own local communities.

Recently they launched a baby collection with bibs + booties + banners + diaper pouches. Most of the products (like bibs and booties) are reversible, so one side has a stain? No worries - just flip it over for a fresh new look. Their perfectly imperfect items bring color in your life but also do they represent hope and a future for women who are fighting for a better life.

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Paula Minnis is the founder of GAIA and while she was volunteering at the IRC (International Rescue Committee) she met Catherin, a Burmese refugee and mother of two. Paula combined her love of textiles with Catherin's artistry and GAIA was born in December 2009. It has since grown to employ seven additional refugee women living in Dallas – some Burmese, some Iraqi, come Congolese, but all beautiful women with a new life and a new opportunity to grow.

Look good. Do good. Visit their online shop here. Make sure to check out their collections for women too – Don’t miss their zipper pouches!

PS: I love how they chose their brand name GAIA – The word "GAIA" means "Goddess of the Earth" from the Greek mythology, so it is their way to honor all women, from the ones who craft GAIA products to those who purchase or receive them. Lovely, or?

Macarons – Tradition meets clever innovation, paired with design

MADE IN GERMANY

 

 

Today I would like to introduce you to a true family business where you can actually feel the passion & love for design and detail, which goes into each creation. And you can truly feel how much the family behind the brand macarons cares. Not only do they use organic and fair-trade materials, no they even develop all garments and materials themselves. Macarons stands for traditional craftsmanship and conscious manufacturing. Old school with modern, innovative and beautiful designs.

On my last trip home to Germany I went through the basement of my dads house. I found many cherished items and products from my childhood, from toys over decoration pieces to cloths. I realized that the real craftsmanship stuff my parents bought over thirty years ago are still in wonderful & great if not even perfect conditions. They survived my sister, my 2 half sisters and now are being passed on to our daughter. How wonderful is this? I knew it before that quality pays off but now I am actually seeing & living it and it gives it a whole new meaning.

To be clear this is not always the option for everyone, either due to financial, storage and/ or lifestyle (lots of moving) limitations but try it. If you see one of those piece you believe have generations-long-lasting-impact and survival qualities wait for it till you can afford it. Skip the few smaller other purchases you would have done over the next few weeks instead…

As quality has its price tag, nonetheless you can now take advantage of Macarons’ current sale. And if you wanna have one piece you hand down generations this is one of those brands.

HEICO lamps

Let the magic start…..

 

 

Growing up in Germany I had a goose lamp from HEICO. I was enlightened when I discovered that this pretty silver toadstool lamp is actually made by HEICO, too. This lamp is now in our daughter’s room, hopefully creating similar memories as the goose did for me.

What I love so much about their products: Well, as a mom I appreciate that they only use high quality and robust molded resin, toxin-free paints, that they have no visible seam either and they are completely made in Germany. As a kid I loved their fun, magical & whimsical designs and that they offer a peaceful glow by night.

If you want to add a little fairytale enchantment to your little one’s room you can shop HEICO/ EGMONT in Germany here, and in the UK + worldwide here.

Shooshoos

MADE IN CAPE TOWN

 

 

My sister’s best friend lives now in Namibia and gave my daughter a pair of shooshoos. They finally fit and we are over the moon to get to wear them. They are hand made in Cape Town, no-slip soles, easy on & off (and stay on!) and made with eco leathers - oh and they are adorable.

Growing baby feet are mostly cartilage - a supportive tissue, but still really easy to push around - that's why it's so important for the soles on baby's shoes to be soft and bendy. Shooshoos soles are flexible and soft and promote good balance. Great for little growing feet. The company started in 1996 in Cape Town with an idea and mission to teach people from disadvantaged communities to uplift themselves. What started as a small family operation is now a worldwide brand, available in more than 15 countries. Get your own pair on their website .

Rash Guard

VAMOS A LA PLAYA

 

 

Living in a tropical climate here in Panama, pool & beach life are constantly an option. A welcomed option. But you are extra worried about the sun and skin of little ones. You don’t only need a protection once in the pool but also for playing outside. You try as much as possible to stay away from the heavy heat during lunch hours but being so close to the equator (Panama is only 7 degrees away from it) its not an easy task with an active toddler around you.

I have done my fare share of research into the world of rash guards & swim shirts. As much as I love the cool shirts by surf brands (even J Crew has a cute one) BUT I noticed a big difference when I came across the shirt made by a French brand called HAMAC. Known for their reusable nappies & swim diapers they developed an awesome swim shirt. The fabric not only does it feel super soft and high quality but it’s also much thinner (100% Meryl® Microfiber – a bi-stretch fabric made of 86% polyamide and 14% Elastane) than all the other rash guards I have felt before. Therefore makes it so much easier to pull over kids heads (which can be a not so fun adventure for everyone out there who has done it before). And it has ZERO prints, slogans or logos. Just a plain, good shirt which feels really good. The girl version has some cute ruffles at the end of the sleeves, but very subtle. Oh, and did I mention it dries fast too. It has a UPF 50+ sun protection and on their website they state it blocks a minimum of 98% of UVB and 95% of UVA rays.

With our daughter approaching her second birthday I so wish they would offer bigger sizes. For now they cover 3-24 months. Ready for some fun in the sand? Visit Hamac’s website.

Maps

Play & Learn

 

 

Why not combine playing & learning? Check out these wonderful world maps for the little people to explore the big wide world. We personally have the felt map at home, which comes with a ton of felt animals, landmarks and vehicles for kids to place on the right countries & continents. They are beautifully embroidered and have lots of colors, which each kid loves.

But I also really like this magnetic one from Janod [ France ]. Its basically a huge magnetized atlas wall decal that comes with over 100 magnetic characters and iconic buildings. They are beautifully illustrated.

The other fun way to get the world into your home is a puzzle by Londji [ Spain ], which mixes vintage and modern styles in a very unique way. And it comes with a surprise: the globe part of the puzzle can be separated from the rest and is reversible! If we are in Rio de Janeiro we can assemble it from one side, and when in Barcelona from the other! Cute illustrated video to check out!

Encourage kids to understand the world and learn about animals, you can shop them online – Felt map, magnetic map & puzzle. FAO Schwarz has a similar one to the felt map but a bit smaller and cheaper.

Just love the versatility of each of those maps: decorative for any bedroom (well, if you have some wall space to spare), at the same time it is also an educational toy for learning & exploring the world and basically an arena to create kids own imaginative play...one large board game with no rules.