(Give) Back to School

I hate to even say it, but September is around the corner!  We may not like it, but we have no choice!  Back to School, means Back to School Shopping…and what better way to shop, then to GIVE BACK while doing so?!

Here are four awesome brands that will have you looking cool for school, while giving BACK:

1. Yoobi: colorful school supply line, with everything from pens and pencils to notebooks…for every item purchased, one is donated to a US classroom in need!

2. Skyline Socks: super cute socks that represent your city or team, while giving back!  For each pair sold, they donate a pair of socks to that city.

3. Swell: hydrate with this eco-friendly bottle, while helping to provide clean water to those in need via Unicef.

4. State Bags: purchase one of these colorful backpacks, while giving one to an American child in need!

Enjoy the last few days of Summer ~ Happy (back to school) Shopping Everyone! 🙂

Eco-Chic

Show some love for your favorite city or state with these eco-friendly tote bags!

Made in the US, MapTotes come in a variety of shapes and sizes (including adorable wine totes – pictured above)!

Pouches and Totes start around $18, and you can check them out here: MapTotes

 

NY NOW (Gift Show) Summer 2014

I was able to check out the NY Now Show at the Javitz Center yesterday, and like always it did not disappoint.  I could literally spend all 5 days there and still not see it all.  But, given that I only had one day to check out the show, I certainly fit a lot in.

Trends: recycle, recycle, recycle!  It seems like this is one trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Many companies are taking every day products (ie:water bottles) and repurposing them into other every day products (ie: diaper bags).  Such as Haba’s Green Label Neckline Bag: stylish, functional, and yes – made out of plastic water bottles!

Another trend this Summer is creativity (which I love).  Many companies are serving up the bare bones of the activity, and allowing the child’s imagination to run wild.  One company that does a great job of this is Good Things for Kids by Seedling – a New Zealand based company, that prides themselves on creative play.  I especially liked the NY Fashion Designers Kit and the Create Your Own Royal Princess Kit:

The other big trend I saw was Made in the USA.  I am a big fan of this, and love highlighting a company that forgoes bigger margins in order to produce their product locally.  There were a few of these, but one that stood out (and I will be highlighting again in the future) was The Green Egg: an eco-friendly line of hand-stitched tees.

Overall, the show was a success (as always).  I love discovering the latest and greatest in gift ideas and bringing them to you!

I would also like to thank NY Now for inviting me to be a judge for the Baby + Child Best New Product Awards.  Click here to see a list of the winners and finalists for Summer 2014.

LexyPexy and Ask (another) Mama

If you have an infant, then welcome to your new obsession: LexyPexy

Made out of organic Vermont (maple) wood, these teethers are not only non-toxic – they are super chic and adorable!

I was lucky enough to be sent “The Ava” (which resembles a Chanel bag), and my daughter loves it!  Of course, she puts just about everything in her mouth, so at least this is one thing I can feel good about (and know that it is safe)!

Pictured above:  The Ava, The Leo, The Gavin, and The Everly – how cute are the names?  They are $19 each and can be found here: LexyPexy Eco Chic Baby

We were lucky enough to get some insight into the mama behind the brand, Alexis Spadaro, and here is what she had to say:

1. Tell us a little bit about your brand – what made you want to create it / was there a defining moment that made you realize that you could do this better then what is already on the market?

Lexypexy products, were borne out of the practical and fashionable void around ‘the eco chic baby’. As I’ve developed into a more discerning consumer with regard to chemicals in everyday products, I’ve become more aware of some of the dangers in plastics as well. The result was the creation of a product that provides a safe alternative. Naturally the organic revolution has reached the baby product industry, but the items on the market were simply functional and not fashionable. Overcoming this required some thinking outside the box of the traditional products, but in doing so I discovered that ‘ecofriendly’ can be cool too! With Lexypexy I’m trying to bring in a contemporary twist and hopefully reach a mom who may have passed on wood previously.  I’d have to say my defining moment came when I realized not only was there a void but also that a little bit of innovation could create a whole new niche in the market place and slather it with panache. 

2. Now, this is called “Ask (another) Mama”, but I was surprised to learn that you aren’t a mama (yet)! What motivated you to create a line of children’s teethers?

Yes, I’m working on that!  The truth is that I’m one of those people who’s always saying “why didn’t I think of that!”  This time I found myself saying “why doesn’t this exist?”  So, I took the grassroots approach to learning ‘everything you’re taught in business school’ and made it happen.  It’s been challenging of course but I’ve enjoyed every minute of the process of opening my own company.  In fact, I’m actually still in shock that my idea has become a reality.  I still don’t feel like I’ve completed the journey to be labeled an entrepreneur….but I’m working on it. 

3. Where does the name Lexypexy come from?

Well, my name is Alexis but my closest friends and family call me all sorts of variations: Lex, Lexy, and of course Lexypexy.  So when I came up with the idea of starting this product line I considered a few other names but kept coming back to Lexypexy.  It was just a natural fit.

4. Where do you see Lexypexy in five years?

I would love for Lexypexy to be found in stores across America (fingers crossed!) and perhaps even internationally by then.  My goal from the start has been to grow the brand beyond just teethers and toys into a range of organic baby products as well as a clothing line to fit the demands of forward-thinking parents.  Whatever it is, I hope to keep it chic. 

5. What is your “go-to” gift?

I don’t have a particular “go-to” gift but I tend to lean toward practical items and I’m always changing with the times. I can tell you the last gift I gave which was a car window shade for my friend’s baby.

 

Green Gift Guide

Happy St. Patty’s Day! To celebrate, I put together a list of “Green” gift ideas – not only are they green in color, they are eco-friendly too!

Counter Clockwise:

1.  Sprout Green Watch:  super cool green watch with a corn resin dial and a cork strap ($45)

2.  Plant Nanny: use a recycled wine bottle to water your plants – genuis and green ($17)

3.  Chewbeads Bracelet: eco- fashionable jewelry that your little one can teeth on ($16.50)

4.  Floppy Froggie:  allergy and asthma friendly stuffed animal ($14)

5.  Sea Bag:  nautical tote hand-made out of recycled sails ($195)