Playtime Is the Best Time
There is something about a big city that can make a girl feel small. There is something about a big trade show in a big city that can make her feel even smaller, even less prepared, a little bit lost. I’ll be honest, when January Moon committed to show at Playtime NYC, my heart leapt. Then, when I thought about all of the people who would be there, all of the big time boutique brands and buyers and business women, it sank a little. I got nervous, I became so hung up the booth, the displays, the necklaces, and the font-size in the catalogue that I nearly made myself sick AND I nearly missed the point of what was a truly magical opportunity. I was so worried about what people might think and feel when they walked into my world, I forgot that I was about to get the chance, the absolute privilege, to walk into some new worlds myself.
Behind the brands I love and the business minds I admire, are people, just like me, committed to the same thing I am, making high-quality goods that preserve, celebrate, and enrich childhood. They invited me into their curious, colorful, endlessly creative worlds with open arms. Here are just a few of them:
The first person I met was Kinnari of Lali Kids. I was so nervous I could barely breathe but her calmness and kindness put me immediately at ease, not surprising given the fact that she’s a master of creating girl’s garments so airy, comfortable and colorful you could practically float away in them. Kinnari draws each gorgeous print herself (!!!) and employs only small scale weavers and printers who are committed to quality.
I spotted Lula walking across the floor in the most epic dress and I needed know where to get it. As soon as I saw the charming, perfectly playful clothes she designs at Lulaland though, I knew right away that she dreamed it up herself. She was fun, effervescent, and effortlessly cool and she reminded me to ENJOY myself a little. Her work is gorgeous and so her is heart, Lulaland is committed to celebrating and empowering women and children, to respecting the planet and all of its cultures.
I knew that at some point, I would totally lose my cool with someone. It happened with the Sticky Lemon crew. When I met Remco and Simone, I went from professional lady to fangirl in about three seconds. The colors! The angels! The patterns! The quirk! The whole line of backpacks, pencil, cases, books, and accessories make ME want to go back to school and the only reason I don’t own everything they make is because I would have no money left for beads. R & S were so lovely and so genuine, they took the time to share their story with me and hear mine … even though I practically mobbed them.
Boy was I happy to see another Southerner in NYC! My Nashville mom gang have been going bananas over Lane’s artful take on pretend play since our babies were old enough to wear a cape. She’s bubbly, bright and totally brilliant and gave me a much needed dose of Savannah sweetness just when I needed it. If your littles are into capes, crowns, or any costume in between, get yourselves some goodness from the Lovelane Designs studio.
Baby Jives Co.
Y’all, I bonded pretty hard with Jahje of Baby Jives. I recognized her and her stunning, heirloom-quality nursery decor from Oh Joy! Shop immediately (we’re practically family, right?!) and introduced myself on the spot. She is a total shero - smart, supportive, insanely talented, and dedicated to both her work and her family. Everything she makes is magic but her mobiles make my heart go especially melty.
Boy + Girl
Boy + Girl’s Christine is cool, there’s just no other word for her. The first piece of clothing I bought for Delaney Bee (as soon as I found she was going to be a she) was a Boy + Girl bubble onesie and my current favorite t-shirt for her is a B + G dress I just can’t bear to pack away in a box. You will never find clothes made better than Christine’s, the craftsmanship is mind boggling and the clean, coastal vibes look great every kid. Just being around her reminded me to *try* and embrace the California in me and chill a little bit. Still trying over here.
Playtime always seems to end too quickly, doesn’t it?! I am so grateful to have been included in this amazing event and I cannot wait to go back. In a big city, no matter how little or lost you may feel, you are never, ever alone and the wonderful friends I met at Playtime reminded me of that.