A big welcome this week to Little Spruce Organics, lovely purveyors of organic baby clothing and natural toys! When the Kiddo was born, several more experienced mamas pointed me to their organic woolens as a first-rate way to keep a baby warm. (Unfortunately, we haven't had winter since then, but perhaps this year?) Their natural toys are also quite sweet!
Bethany, the mama behind Little Spruce, was nice enough to answer some questions from me this week.
Me: How did you get started with Little Spruce Organics?
Bethany: Becoming a mother was the inspiration for opening this shop, and has also been the driving force behind the overall philosophy of my store. The products I choose to carry in my store are all a result of my experience as a mother and my strong desire not only to select the most nurturing, natural products for my own children, but to spark the same passion in other mothers who are committed to providing their children with a childhood that is as close to nature as possible. I wanted to create a place where parents could come to find children’s apparel that soothes and nurtures the senses and also discover the beauty and simplicity of toys that inspire creative, imaginative play that can so easily be overlooked in our modern world.
Me: In looking through your "Natural Toys" section, I love that you have some cute wooden boats for bath time. It seems like we searched high and low for something like these when our baby first started taking baths, but could only find the usual plastic bath toys. Where do you find ideas for new toys to include in your store? And what criteria do you use to ultimately decide what toys you will carry?
Bethany: Finding new products is an ongoing process, and for me it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. We attend trade shows, sustainable lifestyle fairs, and we search high and low on the internet for products that match our philosophy. We are committed to carrying only baby apparel and cloth diapering products that are made from organic, natural fibers and toys that are safe for babies to play with, made from wood that is either unfinished or has a non-toxic finish or plush toys made from 100% organic cotton and/or wool. Our product selection grows right along with our children as we observe them discovering new ways to explore the world.
Me: I see that you have organic cloth diapers and that you recommend wool covers. We are currently cloth diapering, but, although I even own a few wool covers, I've been scared to use them. Is it lots more work? Or should I buck up and give it a try?
Bethany: You should absolutely give wool a try! I too was a bit intimidated by wool at first, and now I will never go back to polyester covers. We love wool and use wool covers full-time with our son. Wool is incredibly easy to care for and works exceptionally well. You do have to hand wash your wool covers and lanolize them from time to time, but it’s very easy to do, and you can also go for weeks (or sometimes months!) without washing a wool cover, which makes caring for them very simple.
Me: If I were a new mama and could only buy one thing from your store, what would you recommend? And what would you recommend for the mama of a toddler?
Bethany: We have so many lovely things for both newborns and toddlers, so this is not an easy question to answer! I love to bundle a newborn in soft organic wool, so I would probably recommend a good quality organic wool blanket, such as the Engel wool fleece blanket. This blanket is so soft and fluffy that it makes me want a newborn again just so I can snuggle them up in this lovely wool fleece! For a toddler or older child, some of my favorite products we carry are the beautiful wooden toys that encourage imaginative play, such as the Waldorf wooden blocks or wooden horse and wagon push toy. Whenever my toddler comes into our warehouse, he always wants that wooden horse and cart…it never fails!
Bethany has generously offered to giveaway a $25 gift certificate to Little Spruce Organics. To win, leave a comment below about your favorite product from the store. For an extra chance to win, you can also go "like" Little Spruce Organics on their facebook page, then come back and leave a separate comment telling me that you've done so. I'll pick a winner on Wednesday!
[Additionally, I'm horrifically behind in choosing winners for last week's giveaways! The good ole' random number generator says that "m" wins the Alphabet Glue, and Zane gets to pick a new, pretty camera strap from Broward Patch. I'll be in touch, ladies!]