Sunday, March 14, 2010

Etsy Spotlight: BabyEtte Boutique #babywearing


Today's Etsy Spotlight is BabyEtte Boutique and the creative mind behind it, Beth. Come back later this week and look for a review of a BabyEtte BabyBasics Super Wide Ring Sling with a giveaway! 

So, who is she?

My name is Beth, and I’m the creative force behind BabyEtte. I know I couldn’t be where I am now without the support and love of my Husband, four daughters, and the grace of our Lord. I have been truly blessed, and try not to take these things for granted.

My parenting journey began 10 years ago in Seattle, Washington. I found myself trying to find my place living a dichotomy between a “crunchy” parenting style, and conservative Christian beliefs. I felt like I was standing with a foot in two different worlds.

Now it seems that babywearing, cloth diapering, and homeschooling have caught on. We are no longer the only ones in our church wearing a sling. We no longer have the only baby with the tell-tale cloth diaper “tele-tubby” bottom. And I am no longer the only Mama in an Attachment Parenting group who also attends a conservative church. It’s a great time to be a Christian Parent!

I took to babywearing starting with our first baby, and soon began to get an idea of what I liked and disliked in a sling. My first sling was pastel with very bulky padding. One thing I did not care for was the fabric. I thought, ‘If I wouldn’t wear a dress covered in little bows or puppies, why would I wear a sling covered in them?’ So I decided to sew my own sling. I picked solid black cotton because it would go with any of my outfits. That is when the first LBD (little black dress) sling was born!

Occasionally, I would make slings for friends and family. I loved the thought of their precious infants kept close while the mamas looked stylish. They kept telling me I should sell them, but I resisted until about a year ago when I discovered Etsy.

In July 2009, I took the leap of faith and BabyEtte has been very successful!

My shop has Ring Slings divided into 2 sections: BabyBasics and Fancy Baby.

BabyBasics slings come in solid colors that go with anything. You will also find Mesh Water slings in this section. Fancy Baby slings come in a wide variety of fabrics, from textured Jacquard to Dupioni Silk to solid slings with lovely patterned bands along the bottom of the tail. Many of my slings are what I call SuperWide. You can read about this at the end of the article.

My love of all things babywearing has led me to offer Wraps as well as Ring Slings. BabyEtte Wraps create a secure, two-shouldered hold. Most of my wraps are woven and do not stretch. I find that woven wraps are more supportive, especially as your baby gets bigger and heavier (which is inevitable). One wrap will securely carry a newborn, up to a 35lb toddler.

There is another section in my shop just for Mamas. NeckScapes are beautiful, unique Scarf/Cowl/Necklaces made from loops of soft jersey. They are a fun way to stay warm and stylish… and babies love to finger them!

One of my favorite things to do is create custom carriers. Several of the items in my shop began as custom requests, like the minky lined ring sling. Mamas often send me links to fabric they want attached to the tail of a BabyBasic sling, or a panel in the center of a gauze baby wrap, or a particular shade of dupioni silk they love. I order the fabric, create the carrier, and send it off to them. It is such a fun process!

I feel strongly that a sling should be beautiful. I don’t use licensed characters or juvenile prints. Your sling should be stylish since it is going to cover up most of your outfit (which is good when your shirt has been used as a hanky (I know…it happens)). Another unique quality of BabyEtte slings is that the tag is stitched on the inside of the shoulder. This way people’s attention will be on you, your baby, and your lovely sling…not the tag. It’s all about you, my friend!

My girls help me a lot. They are learning to sew by stitching the decorative paper bands that I use to package each sling. My oldest daughter is getting pretty good at snapping photos (Yes, that’s me in the photos. I enjoy the relationship I develop with my customers and I want them to see the babywearing Mama behind their baby carrier…Goofy smile and all!)

I’ve become quite adept at doing computer work with a nursling and toddler on my lap (I’m the fastest one-hand-typer I know). I save my sewing for naptimes, after bedtime, and the times when my Husband takes all the girls to run errands.

I feel strongly about the benefits of babywearing, and love that there are so many options for parents to choose from. There are many good sling companies out there, and most of them are wonderful! Many of the differences that do exist are in style. So I say look around, and find your style. Embrace your style!

I’d like to offer readers of Creative Madness a discount of 20% off their order through the month of March. Just use the code “Creative20Baby” in the comments to seller at checkout and wait for a revised invoice from me before you pay. Or, if you’ve already paid, I will refund your 20% via PayPal. US shipping is always free, and you’ll get a good feeling from supporting Handmade.

Thank you Margaret for allowing me to share these things with you and your readers!

*A word about Super Wide Slings:
I make BabyEtte slings the way I like them, and I like my slings pretty, safe, and wide.

I have found that a wide sling is best for versatility and safety. Very early in our parenting, my Husband was pulling the fabric up over our daughter’s shoulders. The sling was narrow and when he pulled, her bottom popped out!! He has refused to wear a narrow sling ever since. A wide sling also helps if your baby is a "leaner". If you do buy a narrow sling, please know that the number of positions you can wear your baby in will be reduced by about age 1. This is why most of my slings are Super Wide.

*Isn’t that too much fabric for a tiny baby?
Actually, it’s not. I’ve worn my newborns in 44” slings for as long as I’ve been making slings. It’s easy to just tuck some of the fabric under your baby (between you and her) and then let the fabric gather evenly over her body as you tighten the fabric by pulling on the tail. The extra fabric is great for support and to use as a nursing cover if you choose to be discreet. The key to this is proper tightening of the rails.

*How do I tighten the rails?
The rails (edges) of the sling are tightened by pulling on the sides of the tail. Pulling on the edge on the inside of your body will tighten the top rail of the sling, pulling on the outside edge will tighten the bottom rail of the sling.
Pulling on the whole tail evenly will tighten the whole sling evenly. Practice this and you will become a pro in no time! :D

Network with BabyEtte: 

I’d like to offer readers of Creative Madness a discount of 20% off their order through the month of March. Just use the code “Creative20Baby” in the comments to seller at checkout and wait for a revised invoice from me before you pay. Or, if you’ve already paid, I will refund your 20% via PayPal. US shipping is always free, and you’ll get a good feeling from supporting Handmade.

Do not forget to look for a review and giveaway of a BabyEtte BabyBasics Super Wide Ring Sling this week!!

3 comments and creative thoughts:

Lindsey said...

Her slings really are totally gorgeous! And they look really comfortable. Thanks for the great discount, gonna go share this on Twitter now. :-)

Lara said...

Following from Friend Connect on MBC! Lovely blog!!

Margaret said...

Thanks for sharing Lindsey! And don't forget there is a giveaway this week!!

Hi Lara!

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