Small businesses. I just love you. Maybe it's the hard work and extra (usually unpaid) hours put in by their owners. Maybe it's someone being able to follow a dream of their own making. Maybe it's just making an impact in a person's life rather than a faceless company. Whatever the reason, I just plan feel good when I support these businesses. And now there's an official "Shop Small Business" day. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, instead of heading to the mall, consider shopping small. Supporting community. Shopping thoughtfully.
It can be a bit overwhelming finding these artists and small businesses, even for me! So here are some of my favorites, culled down to kids decor specialists. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you know of one I've missed, please let me know! I love to add to my lists :) Without further ado, here are my favorite kids' decor small businesses.
Shop small Saturday: bedding
I have to say, finding small businesses that offer handmade bedding was probably the easiest item on this list. Sheets have come so far; there are so many cute patterns. There is a bigger selection of crib sheets for some reason. Big kids need cute sheets, too! But there are some out there. Here are some of my favorite:
Iviebaby: this little company is easily a one-stop nursery shop. She's got bedding, boppy covers, wall art, blankets, it's all here. But she's pretty popular, so you may have to wait a few weeks before you get your treasure. All worth it!!
Modifiedtot is another of my long-time favorite bedding stops. Holly offers the double whammy of using fabrics from Spoonflower (where small artists can distribute their work) and then makes adorable bedding. She's also got wallpaper!!
Roostery also uses Spoonflower for their prints. But you can also upload your own and they'll make it into beautiful home decor! I also like that they have a larger selection of the "big kid" sized options.
Last, but certainly not least, I love LittleMooseByLiza. Cute patterns, yes, but she makes sheets in "odd" sizes that you can't find everywhere. STOKKE round sheets, IKEA toddler beds....she's got them all covered
Shop small Saturday: art
If you've been with me awhile, you'll know that art for kids' rooms is a favorite of mine. I love searching for just the right piece to put the jewelry on the whole room. And most importantly, I don't believe art in kids' rooms need to be juvenile. In my mind, the art in their room should be welcome in any room in the home. Or maybe become a favorite piece that goes off to college with them.
I also think it's essential to my laid-back, eclectic style to mix different types of art. Some people will love framed animal prints all identically hanging in a row. But that's not really for me. Here's a few genres to choose from. Or use one of each!
I love love love photography. In particular, in kids' rooms, I feel like it grounds the space in reality. Sometimes when you've got Iron Man wall art, a good old black and white photo next to it balances things. But I'm picky about my artwork. I appreciate but don't really go for pictures of landmarks. I live in Seattle, but there is no sighting of the Space Needle in my home! Instead, I love nooks or crannies that are captured. Like a close up of the gum wall. It's an interesting picture but you don't necessarily recognize what it is without some Seattle knowledge.
I discovered Jessalin Beutler's work on minted.com, but I had no idea how beautiful and extensive her collection of work was. I was lucky enough to be able to visit her studio and handpick some paintings. But let me tell you; it was hard to choose! She's got something for everyone and every room. I could easily put a piece of hers in every room I design
There is just something so sweet about a profile silhouette of a child. It captures a moment in time (when they're most likely behaving!!) in a truly classic way. Go traditional with black silhouette on a white background or change things up a bit with color or pattern.
The good news is that there are so so many prints available to us with Etsy and Minted.com and other sites. It can frankly be overwhelming! So hone down to what feel you want and go from there.
There are a lot of prints out there with quotes like "Be Brave Little One" and other uplifting suggestions. MY suggestion is that unless these phrases mean something to you, go with something more personal. Because "Moving mountains" and others are all. over. the. place. You're different from everyone else. Be different. Choose your print thoughtfully :)
Kind of like the photographs, I think a framed map can lend an extra special touch. Especially if it's a map or route that's super personal to you. I saw a rug one time that at first glance looked like an interesting tangle of bright colors. I soon realized that it was actually representative of the NY Subway system, but it totally didn't feel the need to shout out what it was. Love!
Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Jen? I know you love ceramics....but in a kid's room?". Yup. In a kid's room. I think there are places for most beautiful things in kids rooms. You just have to limit the access. In this case, I suggest hanging air plants. In a way, it reminds me a bit of the macrame hangings I had in my room when I was little. Besides the texture of the rope, you've got color and a little bit of nature. Perfect!
Speaking of wall hangings....I love to get them in every room I can. Instant texture, sometimes color and a whole lot of homey love. Another great option is a Dreamcatcher, but be cautious with these and use them if they really have meaning to your family. Much like the quotes above, they're sort of losing their original significance and are being over-utilized.
There is so so much wonderful art out there, I could never do any of these genres justice in a short blog. But these are just a few of my favorite examples and craftst(wo)men.
In my research for this blog, I came across a site that I'm going to put on my regular shopping rotation! It's called Brixy and it's a directory for independent stores carrying baby goods. Great ways to support brick and mortar small businesses too!
Well, I think I've left you with plenty to think about. It is the week of Thanksgiving after all. So I'll go for now, but keep in mind that after all the feast and family time, this holiday season you can choose to shop thoughtfully and support the small business community. Take part on Shop Small Saturday (and pick up some pretty great kids stuff while you're at it!).
Wait! Wait! I almost forgot one of my very favorite Small Businesses! Park Place Designs! Yep, I'm a one-woman show over here. And not only do I love designing your rooms with you and your family FOR you and your family to enjoy, I love designing with other small businesses and artists in your design. It's just more personal that way!