Today, we bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor, urban baby bonnets . In Colette's words:
"featuring fresh, contemporary fabrics & a totally innovative design, UB2 sun hats are perfect for the modern baby. Their big brim & unique reversible design is ideal for use with all kinds of baby carriers, allows discrete breastfeeding, & the adjustable snap closure means they’ll stay on! hip, matching accessories complete the look. designed & handmade in the USA.
visit our new blog called baby + bonnet. we're always looking for etsy mamas, UB2bies, and guest bloggers."SouleMama: How are your children incorporated into your business?
Colette: my daughter is a huge part of my business. she was my first model, and she's still the best model I have, although at 6 years old, she's limited in what she can model. I've started shooting her in the sisCaps (modCaps without straps for older kids). She loves to "help the family" and really does a great job with knowing what kinds of faces to make and taking direction about movements. Sometimes I wonder, though, what she's going to think about all of these ultra-public shots of her as a baby and young girl. I sort of expect it to backfire on me when she's a teen...I never make her do anything she doesn't want to do...but sometimes I do need to make promises about m&ms or ice cream! she's also started wanting to get involved with other parts of the business. she likes to help. last week, when i got my delivery of hats for the week, she sat down and sorted them all by size and piled them neatly so I could check them in and add them to inventory. She worked for about an hour-- and had a great time the whole time. Every day since then she's been asking me if she can come into my studio and count more hats. She also likes to stick the stickers on the little mylar packages before I put them in shipping envelopes. so...if you get a bonnet with some stickers on the plastic packaging that are a little crooked, you know she was helping. If she catches me putting the stickers on myself she'll actually get upset! She also loves matching fabrics. So, sometimes we set out all of the swatches and work together deciding which fabrics go with which other ones. She has a great eye and really LOVES the creative work. She likes to offer advice when I have a business problem. She listens carefully and tries really hard to make suggestions that will be helpful. Sometimes she is really insightful. And, to top it all off, she told me that she wants to work with me when she grows up. That melts my heart completely! So, I try to get her involved with as much of it as I can.
More than all of that, though, she's part of the reason why I do this work. I could have chosen to go back to an outside the home job after she was born. But, that wasn't what I wanted. I really wanted to be present with her as she grew and changed...and so I threw everything I had into UB2, hoping that it would be successful. Luckily, it has been! And, hopefully, she really will want to work with me at least a little bit as she grows up. I love the idea of the legacy of a family business. It would be so cool to see her carry that on. Of course, I'd never make her do it. I believe she needs to come to and choose her own path based on her personal drives and passions, whether those are what I wish they'd be or not. I'll always support her no matter what career she chooses for herself.
Colette : as a kid, i was an artist and a scientist and a writer. i was always writing stories and poems, painting, drawing, and reading nature books. well, reading ALL books. I read so much as a kid that I once got sent to the principal's office for "telling lies" about the number of books i read over the summer. I received a sheepish apology after they called my mom and she verified my list. but, as far as actual careers, well, I wanted to be a marine biologist. we spent summers at the beach and i was entranced by the wildness of the ocean and the coast. as i got older, i lost that interest, mainly because (and this is shameful to admit) i realized that marine bilogists had to take all KINDS of math. I hated math. I hated the structure and precision of it. I've always been a color-outside-the-lines kind of person and math gave me no room for that. by the time i entered college, i wanted to be an artist. and I started off as an art major. but i also got really in to environmental issues and then wanted to be a park ranger. i remember working in a local nature preserve after my freshman year and hearing that the full-time rangers made $17,000 a year. I couldn't believe my ears! that was SO much money! I remember thinking that I could be totally self supporting on that kind of salary. it's funny to me now, now that I know how much $17,000 isn't. anyway, i let go of that in my sophomore year when i decided that making a living as an artist wasn't too practical and that being a park ranger often meant acting like a police officer... so I decided to be a philosopher! LOL! I'm not sure exactly how that passed the "practical career" test...I think I figured I'd be a professor. and that's what i dedicated the rest of my collegiate study towards. it wasn't until grad school that I reaized that more than anything, i really DID want to be an artist. I almost dropped out of the PhD program...but I finally got everyone to agree that I could earn my MFA at the same time as my PHD...and I did! After graduating, I taught environmental studies (including philosophy, history, literature and art) at Antioch College until the College closed. it's funny to me, looking back at my childhood passions and seeing how many of them are still part of who I am. And as I watch my daughter fall in love with the same things (she wants to be a scientist and an artist and a teacher!) I realize how much of what we love as kids really does come back through into what we are as adults. i can remember the nature books I read, and I remember being enthralled with design, cutting out pictures I loved and pasting them into a photo album. and although I always loved making things as a kid, I never thought I could be an artist because my mom always told me that artists "draw things that look like things." and since i neither liked that kind of drawing nor was very good at it, i figured art was out of my reach. it wasn't until later in life that i realized being an artist is much more than just copying nature with a pencil. it is a way of being, seeing, living. it's something that's IN you, not something that happens solely because of what you produce.
Colette : this is such a hard question to answer! i've been an artist for years, and have gone through so many different media. I've been a painter, a metal artist, a ceramicist, an installation artist and now a fashion designer and textile artist. You can see some of my past artwork here. I have a few favorites from each phase of my life, some of which I still have and others are gone. A lot of my profs in college would keep their favorite pieces of my work. They said it was to "grade" them...but then they'd never bring them back to class and the term would end and I'd drive off with my parents...never to see those pieces again. BOO! My favorite painting is the first one I ever made, called "dwellings." It's actually hanging in my living room. I have a lot of my art around the house... and sometimes I worry that that's a kind of no-no... but I really love some of the things I've made and looking at them makes me happy! My favorite metal piece is one where I made little cups out of copper and filled them with seeds I'd collected from native prairies near my house. That piece was called "tallgrass" and it's one of the things I lost to a prof who wanted to "grade" it. My favorite installation piece is called Kingdom Argilla. For this, I created a whole Kingdom of organisms made of porcelain, and fired to look like calciferous bone, or coral. Then I made a mythology to explain them. They all had scientific names. I made a dichotomous key and a complete field guide with maps, descriptions, photographs...it was SO much fun...and I still really love all of the little pieces of it. and as far as bonnets...my favorite one is probably that first-ever bonnet...the vines & goldenrod. it's the one that's pictured on my gal on all of the hangtags on our products. there's just something about that one that i still never get tired of seeing. it's hard to judge your own work, though. and I kind of run through favorites...they tend to change over time, and sometimes I find layers of meaning in something I made that I didn't realize were there at first. generally, i find that I like to look at my work. i hang it up and stare at it. i have a whole clothesline of new bonnet designs in my studio. and if I don't get sick of something after seeing it every day...then I know it's a fave!
For today's giveaway, urban baby bonnets is generously offering the following gift to ONE winner:
In addition, Urban Baby Bonnets is offering a discount to all SouleMama readers. Just use 'soulelove' at checkout and your order will ship free! (for US customers only; international customers will receive a $5 credit towards shipping but they'll need to contact me via email to receive the credit.) Offer is valid through 8/31/13.~ $36 gift certificate that can be redeemed for any item in our shop!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person, please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 8am EST on Monday, and announce the winner, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. Comments closed! The winner is...
I love hearing about the details of a company and the creative process.
These are adorable and there's nothing better than made in the USA!
Posted by: Barbara19
Thank you, urban baby bonnets!