I grew up in a small town, the daughter of a small business owner. All my life, I’ve felt in a very real way the impact of local community support, small businesses, and local economies.
My town is flanked by two larger communities 45 minutes to the north and south. They have Walmarts, Kmarts, and even a teeny tiny mall. Folks have gotten into the habit of traveling to these towns for their grocery shopping, making a day of it with a lunch out and everything.
My hometown used to have two grocery stores; now there is only one.
The prices suddenly got higher at the one.
The pull of discount big box stores like Walmart cannot be underestimated. It’s sad, sickening, and a bit infuriating to watch my lovely hometown on the pristine shores of Lake Huron become a virtual ghost town as business after business fails to stay afloat.
My family has always known and preached the importance of supporting the little guy and keeping it local, and now that my "local" world has expanded to the far reaches of the Internet, I still love working with small businesses.
Nearly all my sponsors are very small, often in-home, single owner-who-does-all-the-work (or maybe with a few employees) businesses. It’s gratifying to get to speak with real people who own these small companies and work out how we’re going to get their brand/products/message out to the KS community in an authentic way that benefits everyone, from the reader to the business owner.
I love hearing their stories of entrepreneurship and sharing them with you, my readers.
On this Small Business Saturday, a holiday created for commerce and profit but nonetheless with a valid and vitally important message, I’m proud to be working with many small businesses and spotlighting a new favorite:
Lullaby Organics was founded by Erin Naumowicz after her infant daughter was having trouble breathing simply because of the world around her. I can’t say it any better than Erin, who has one of the best "about" stories I’ve ever heard:
Once upon a time, in a small town outside Seattle, WA, there lived a beautiful 3 month old baby girl named Kaitlyn who had trouble breathing. Her parents were beside themselves with worry that one day, as a nurse in the ER put it, "her lungs might just get tired of working so hard and give up". They desperately endured hospitalization, sought medical interventions, technology, prayer, and everything else they could think of to make their baby girl healthy…
Read the rest right HERE.
Again, I cannot emphasize enough how fortunate I am to work with amazing people like Erin, small business owners who are the backbone of our nation, one vertebrae at a time.
I don’t care where you spend your money today or if you go shopping at all (I’m painting, not spending), but let the message of "Small Business Saturday" stick with you when you are spending money: keep it small, local when you can, and support the humans instead of the conglomerates. You vote with your d0llar every time you swipe a card just as loudly as you do in the ballot box.
One of my goals for the next year (or two or three – we’re a baby-stepping site here) is to "clean up" my kids’ sleeping environment.
It’s always bugged me that many eco-conscious sources say that an organic mattress is the most important organic purchase you can make. I love our mattress and have no reason to wish for a new one…other than the fact that it might be slowly killing me every night (aha! a silver lining to not spending nearly enough time in bed!). Organic mattresses might kill me too, unfortunately – from sticker shock.
So I’m starting a little smaller, with organic pajamas. Since your kids probably spend 10-12 hours out of each 24 sleeping (I know, it doesn’t feel like that long, does it?), "greening up" their sleep environment can make more of an impact than other areas. You can also get away with wearing jammies multiple nights in a row and nobody thinks you’re a hobo like they might if you wear the same jeans and T-shirt every day for a week, so that’s a bonus as well.
Although organic pajamas certainly cost more than conventional PJs, the bang for your buck makes it a good place to splurge.
Lullaby Organics Pajamas
I got a happy box filled with all the pajamas above (the monkey, not the kitty cat) for the three Kimball kids this week. The big kids are getting theirs for Christmas, but we do have a pair of apple-patterned New Jammies brand (the cherries and the panda above) from two years ago, and Leah has worn them countless times since. They’re her favorite pair (Mom thanks Guardian Angels for stepping in on that one!).
New Jammies wash and wear well, but they are also definitely getting worn. No one would accuse her "apple jammies" of being brand new, but they’ve been through a lot.
The style I was most looking forward to trying was the Green Babies zippered footie pajamas "cyan blue zebra." Aren’t they darling?
I’m disappointed I couldn’t order the next size up (out of stock, but in today!), because John will be pushing on the ends of the toes far too soon, but the quality and thickness of the fabric is really impressive. Note: always order a size up for jammies, especially when buying organic. No one will know if your kid’s pants fall down while they’re sleeping. Wear big for a year and then fitting for a year, and you’ve saved 50% on all jammies purchased.
The zipper, of course, is priceless, but you already know that if you’ve ever tried to change a squirming, screaming baby in a house full of sleeping people in the middle of the night. Zippers make me happy.
The only two faults I can find with the outfit are:
- The neckline is a little large and hangs down slightly too far on the chest. See John showing all that skin?
- They caused John to "poop out" and even leak tinkle pretty much immediately. (Murphy’s Law of babies: if you want them to stay in an outfit as long as possible because it’s made of wonderful, safe fabric, said baby will get human excrement on it as fast as possible, and sometimes on the carpet, too. Especially if you’re in a big hurry, and more likely if you’re already late.)
Now I have to do laundry soon so John can wear his zebra jammies again!
I think the Frugi brand, which I got for both boys (monkey and dinosaur), also has a really thick, luxurious feel to it. I’m hoping they continue to wash well like the first time, coming out as soft as ever. Two cool things about Frugi:
- Extra room in the bum for cloth diaper babes.
- They run long so you DON’T have to buy a size up. I grabbed some 12-18 month for John, and they look absolutely huge. I’ll probably still put him in them early…
The Best Part…a Deal!
I’m super geeked to be part of Erin’s "12 Days of Holi-Daily Deals" event, and the big reveal for today’s deal, 11/26:
All organics pajamas (size newborn thru adult) are on sale for 20% off all weekend long (11/25-11/28).
Saturday only deal: use coupon code SMALLBIZSAT for an EXTRA 20% off pajamas (for a total discount of 36%!). See details HERE.
That’s an awesome deal on organic pajamas, from a fabulous small business owner and mom out in Washington. You can support her by shopping Lullaby Organics and checking out the PJ giveaway today at KS!
Disclosure: I received one pair of jammies for review and some others as a barter to cover my giveaway advertising fee, and then I spent some Klout cash for Small Business Saturday with Erin, too. But all that confusion didn’t muddle my brain and also can’t impact my opinion, which is so strong it would take a team of horses to move me. Think that’ll do for a disclosure? See my full disclosure statement here.