Funkins // Get Outside

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Though comparatively mild to the rest of our Great White North neighbours, Vancouver’s West Coast winters are no joke. So, when the sunshine decides to turn up, the city and its inhabitants get that much needed vitamin D boost. Reenergized and revitalized, the boys and I take advantage of outdoor urban life as much as we can. Aimlessly wandering, we naturally started our day at the park. Fresh air and fun times always leaves us a bit famished. We eventually found ourselves down at Granville Island for a little refuelling. Sitting outside on the pier not only allows us to take in the beautiful waterfront views but keeps the little ones occupied just enough for me to squeeze in a few bites myself. If all else fails, they also have each other to keep occupied. Unfortunately for Mase, that doesn’t always work out in his favour!

Credits // Toque | Panda Jumpsuit | Moccasins | Slouch Beanie | Hoodie | Denim Jacket | Pants | Runners | Baby Bag |

 

Luvkins // Easter Goodies

Babiekins Magazine | Luvkins // Easter Goodies

Credits // 01. Mask/Onesie | 02. Finger Puppet  | 03. Book | 04.  Slingshot | 05.  Temporary Tattoos | 06. Lolly Makers | 07. SockBunny

Because my motto is ‘everything in moderation’, I like to fill my son’s Easter Basket with goodies besides the sugary sweet kind. Here are some extra sweet ideas for you to surprise your little Babiekin’s in their Easter Baskets: bunny masks, graphic onesies/tees, finger puppets, books, neon slingshots (watch out!), zoo temporary tattoos, lolly makers, and plush bunnies. I hope you enjoy this round-up of adorable goodies for your little one’s Easter Baskets that are sweet – but not in the usual sugary way…

Funkins // Dumyé: Dolls With Purpose

Sahar Wabeh, the founder of Dumyé: Dolls With Purpose, explains the importance of giving back and how we can instill social consciousness within our children. For every Dumyé doll purchased, one is donated to an orphaned child. Each purchase enables an orphan to create their own special dolls through an interactive workshop. Dumyé aims to connect a child’s innate need for play with a necessary sense of social responsibility.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your childhood. Do you remember your favorite childhood doll or toy?

I was born and raised in Northern Virginia in a small town called Clifton. I spent much of my childhood at a ballet barre, dreaming of nothing else but spending my life on the stage. However, once I got to college, I realized that instead of expressing myself through movement I wanted to do it through design. From that moment forward, I dedicated my life to the communication arts. I spent more than a decade working in branding from New York City to Dubai, where I live now. I believed then as I do now, that through design we have the power to shape our culture for the better. Through the years my medium may have changed, first dance, then branding and now dolls, but my heart has been unwavering. When I look back on the journey, so far it is incredible to see how each phase has unknowingly prepared me for the next.

As a child I was admittedly a tomboy. I wanted to play with my big brother and he loved Heman and GI Joes, so I followed suit. Having said that, I had a very special relationship with my Strawberry Shortcake doll. Oh, I can still smell that sweet strawberry scent. When I think of my younger years, I think of her. Well her and that fact that my brother and I used to arrange and re-arrange all our stuffed animals and then take pictures with them. For whatever reason we thought that was the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Babiekins Magazine| Dumyé: Dolls with a Purpose

What does Dumye mean?

Dumyé comes from the Arabic word for “doll.”

What inspired Dumyé?

It was the holidays and I wanted to gift my daughter something really special. Something that would become symbolic of her childhood – her first doll. I looked everywhere but nothing I found captured my heart and her spirit. It needed to be beautiful, handmade, safe, washable and preferably look a little like her. I finally gave up and decided to make one myself. After a trip to NYC’s garment district I dusted off my mom’s vintage sewing machine, made a workspace out of an old ping-pong table and got to it.

What began as a meaningful gift for my daughter launched what is now Dumyé. A doll company handcrafting, eco friendly, limited edition dolls. Each one with a name and personality. Through our online boutique Dumye.com, you can easily personalize a doll by selecting her skin tone, hair color, hairstyle, eye color and you can even add a monogrammed heart to her chest.

But there is more to Dumyé than selling dolls. UNICEF estimates that there are more than 132 million children orphaned around the world. Many have lost their families to senseless wars, preventable diseases and suffocating poverty. From the beginning, we decided that for every doll purchased we would gift a doll to an orphan and allow them to make it their own in an art workshop. The creative process is both liberating and healing. But maybe best of all, each child will be left with a meaningful gift that they can laugh with, play with and dream with.

Once I became a mom there was this overwhelming sense of responsibility. You look into your child’s eyes and wonder, “How on earth will I teach you all the things you need to know?” That is a difficult task for any parent but I realized that if I wanted to have any semblance of a chance I needed to start living the example. Dumyé began as a living lesson to her. An example of what I felt was most important for her to know. Marry your passions with your life’s work, find the courage to fulfill your potential, respect mother nature, show compassion for your fellow man and know in your heart the real gift in life is in the giving.

It is our mission to bring love and light to not only our children but the children who have not been spoken for, so that one day we may leave our children to a world better then the one we were born to.

The design process is so interactive. I love the fact that each doll can be customized. What is the manufacturing process like for each doll?

Each doll is cut to order in our small studio in Dubai. This enables us to personalize the dolls for each customer, ensures their quality and gives us greater control over keeping our process as socially and environmentally conscious as we can manage. We incorporate organic and sustainable materials into the dolls, we naturally dye the various doll complexions and each doll showcases a great deal of hand stitching and embroidery work. The dolls take hours to make but I believe love is in the details.

Babiekins Magazine|Dumyé: Dolls With A Purpose

Babiekins Magazine|Dumyé: Dolls With A Purpose

Babiekins Magazine|Dumyé: Dolls With A Purpose

How can we teach children the importance of giving back?

The best way to share the importance of giving back with our children is by making it a priority in our own lives and getting them involved in the process. No matter what activities you do together be sure to explain the “why” and then celebrate their efforts. It will make them feel good about themselves and motivate them to seek out other opportunities to give.

Does your daughter understand the connection between these lovely dolls and the charitable work you do?

Although she’s only four, she will tell you that her “mommy makes dollies for orphans.” Orphans are children who don’t have mommies and daddies’. The older she gets, the more meaning those words will have to her, but for now the seed has been planted.

Babiekins Magazine|Dumyé: Dolls With A Purpose

Dumyé// Website|Instagram|Facebook

Funkins // Kira Kids x Babiekins Collaboration

Funkins // Kira Kids + Babiekins Collab

Funkins // Kira Kids + Babiekins Collab :: Trick Or Treat Bag

Funkins // Kira Kids + Babiekins Collab :: Trick Or Treat BagHave you started thinking about Halloween yet? We’ve teamed up with our friends KIRA to bring you this extra ‘sweet’ #limitededition tote bag! 100% Cotton natural denim, screen printed on both sides with non toxic waterbased inks. Mr. Happy Cat with his candy bowtie on the front and a candy party print on the back. Perfect size for handfuls of sweets or your favorite books! Get your bag over on kirakids.com! #babiekins

Want to purchase the bag? You can do so here

Featurekins // Wall Decals

Babiekins Magazine Blog | Featurekins // Wall Decals
Wall sticker, wall tattoo, wall vinyl, whatever you want to call it,  wall decals will playfully dress up any wall in your home.  These wall decals are easy to apply and remove. The difficult part is going to be deciding which one you and your babiekin like the best.

01. Little Clouds | 02. Clouds | 03. Solar System Eco | 04. Raindrops | 05. Haru the Happy Bear  Door Decal  | 06. Sisi the Smug Cat Door Decal | 07. Peppy the Pretty Panda Door Decal  

Funkins // Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

In this commercial world filled with visual noise and endless consumerism, Rock & Pebble provides simple toys made from quality materials that are designed to stimulate little minds. Olive, the creative behind Mr. Printables and Rock & Pebble, shares the story behind these two ingenious kids’ brands.

Tell us about your background and how that led to the start of Mr. Printables.

Art, architecture and design were always what I surrounded myself with. However, I wasn’t familiar with the internet and blogging at all. I used email, but hardly browsed or used any social media before Mr. P [Mr. Printables]. I bought a large personal printer to print some photos and it was great. I immediately had so many ideas for making things from printed paper, which led to an idea of sharing them on the internet. I thought this idea of changing the methods of traditional production and distribution was so exciting, of course this wasn’t a new idea for probably some decades already even then, but out of my naivety about what was going on around the web, I thought I should try it. I had the idea of building a website (I didn’t know the word “blog” then). I googled “how to make a website” and started with what came up in the search results and kept going. All while learning and discovering that there are so many interesting things happening out there.

It is so impressive that you essentially built your own online presence. How do you feel about social media and how it has changed the way businesses interact with consumers? Does this help you or hinder you?

I still have a lot to learn about social media, but I recognize that it’s becoming more and more important for us. One day, I discovered that there were lots of photos of projects people had made from Mr. P on Instagram. I didn’t know about it at all, it was very exciting, a total revelation! Then, I learned of the close interaction between businesses and their customers/audiences taking place there. I find people on IG to be super friendly and there is lots of enthusiasm and support for one another’s creative output. Many customers and retailers approach us first and engage, which is so nice when you’re a bit shy and new to the platform. So far, I have only found it very helpful.

What prompted your new adventure Rock & Pebble?

The great thing about running Mr. P is that we can try out so many play ideas without going through the long process of manufacturing and selling. It’s all about experimentation and having fun. However, we naturally have many ideas that would really benefit from being well made from quality material and precise manufacturing. Many of those ideas are unpublished and waiting in the sketch book. We first made some fun dollhouses in cardboard on Mr. P that were loved very much. When we developed more designs, I just felt they really needed to be made to a different standard to do justice to the fine shapes. We decided to make some plywood prototypes and they looked great. They had a beautiful presence in wood. The natural tone with the varying surface, the thickness of the material and the edges all completed the design perfectly. And Rock & Pebble was launched!

Your pieces are so interactive. What do you hope children come away with after playing with these pieces?

Great stories to tell! Interactivity is important as we want children to engage with the objects with creative thoughts. New toys shouldn’t just be about acquiring a new possession. We hope children build their amazing stories and adventures on these little platforms we’ve made for them.

Where are you based? How do your surroundings influence you creatively?

We are based in California and England. As the years go by, my love of being surrounded by nature grows. I love traveling. It used to only be about big cities of the world, but now I plan to explore more into the wilderness. Seeing more nature, in combination with seeing great artworks from different museums around the world, is the best thing I can do to influence my creativity. I try to travel a lot and split time between cities and countryside to take advantage of both.
While surrounded by a mass of stuff, good and bad, in this contemporary life, you could lose a sense of what’s really good. Mediocre outcomes can be equally or more successful in a purely commercial sense and you can fall into that trap easily. I think travelling to see amazing nature and art helps you to have higher expectations of what’s good enough for you and what inspires you beyond what’s already surrounding you in everyday life.

What will we be seeing from Rock & Pebble in the future?

Definitely more dollhouses and wooden toys – we have so many sketched and prototyped! I’m also very excited about some furniture pieces and home wares we’re looking at, both small and large items. We only played with paper on Mr. P, which is endlessly versatile, but I do feel very greedy about trying other nice materials and can’t wait to get our hands on more wood, fabric, wool, glass, etc with Rock & Pebble’s future designs.

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Rock & Pebble// Website|Instagram|Facebook

Funkins // Paula Searing: As Seen In Print Issue 4

Babiekins Magazine || Art by Paula Searing For Print Issue 4

Babiekins Magazine || Art by Paula Searing For Print Issue 4

When I was a little girl, my mother and I would sit on her bed and read books nearly every night. Almost every other week, she would take my sister and I to the library to choose our very own books. Our favorite books included Where is Waldo and I Spy, not only because they were fun and interactive books, but because it took longer to get to bed. I could’t find Waldo in the beach crowd, so I HAD to stay up until I did ( night owl problems)! When I started Babiekins, I wanted to make sure that we had some sort of interactive feature in each print issue, so that kids could enjoy the magazine just as must as much as their design savvy parents. This last issue has got to be, hands down, my favorite. We have so MANY amazing photographers, artists and contributors that took their time to share their love for what they do to contribute to Babiekins Magazine, so that YOU could enjoy it.

One of my absolute favorite features in print 4 is the Meadow & Jupiter’s Summer Adventure, which combines my love of having an excuse to stay up later then I was supposed to and the pure talent of Paula Searing’s whimsical art. Paula Searing is an incredible artist that understands the magic of childhood! I can’t get enough of the fun pages that Paula has created. Have you had a chance to see this fun-filled feature and find all the little surprises and funny scenes yet?

Check out Paula Searing | Website | Instagram | Blog

Fashionkins // Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Babiekins Magazine | Enjoy, Girl

Enjoy, Girl // Photography: Saskia Bogarde | Stylist: Merijne Mulder | Model: Imani Mujakic

Clothing Credits // Look 1: Dress, Tumble and Dry Hat, H&M | Look 2: Denim Jacket, Pepe Jeans, Vingino Hat, Zara | Look 3: Jumper, Cool Cat Shirts, Petrol Shoes, Hobbs | Look 4: Beach shorts and blouse, H&M
Sweater, Petrol Bow, WE | Look 5, 6 & 7: Shorts, Cool Cat Shirts and Cap, H&M Scarf, Primark
Sweater, Tumble and Dry | Look 8: Dress, Gant

Featurekins // Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Babiekins Magazine | Tom & Teddy

Our schools may be in session, but we are refusing to let go of the summer days around here. We’re still making time for the pool, lake visits and fishing trips, and of course, lots and lots of outdoor play.

Tom & Teddy, an Australian-born male swimwear brand, recently splashed into the US with a new swimwear collection. The 2014 collection, titled “Vintage,” consists of six new 1960’s inspired designs including waves, speedboats, airplanes and retro scooters.

Originally launched in Australia in February 2012, Tom & Teddy caters to a family-oriented market with matching swim shorts in male junior and adult sizes. The collection features a variety of new, graphic prints in vibrant, bold colors.

And best of all? The swimwear is salt water, chlorine and UV resistant. Double stitching makes the shorts extra durable and each pair has side and back pockets with velcro closures. All swim shorts are available in matching sets and sizes start at 12 months for boys and go up to XXL for adult men’s.

Tom & Teddy // Website | Facebook

Featurekins // Q + A with Studio Escargot

Studio Escargot’s range of plush dolls seem to come alive with every detail and tiny article of clothing. The characters are both lovable and fashionable. Sophia Smeekens, the creative behind Studio Escargot, gives us a little glimpse into her creative process and lets us in on what life as an artist on Instagram is like.

Where are you located? Has this always been home for you?

I am located in a suburb near Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I was born and raised in Amsterdam in a very green and child friendly area just outside the center.

What inspires you to create these plush characters? Tell us Pierrot’s story.

I have always had a wild imagination and love for old fabrics, trimmings and haberdashery. Vintage pictures and movies, haute couture, editorials and art inspire me. The pierrot was created after I saw a collage someone had made and put on Instagram. We ended up trading the collage for the first pierrot doll and ballerina I ever made!!!

How does your little one inspire you to create? Is she helpful or active in your creative process?

My little one helps me by being herself! Wandering around the studio…pulling out little treasures like pieces of wool, yarn and other fabric. I am inspired by listening to her tell herself all kinds of stories and watching her play with her dolls and toys. Every now and then, she wants to help by stuffing the dolls. I let her, but it’s not really helping as I end up doing it all over again of course.

What color palettes are you drawn to?

I love color palettes that are a little “off”. I like when you look at something and see that something is not completely right, but you can’t exactly put your finger on it. Pale colors and pastels are my favorites.

How did you transition into the children’s market?

I have always loved making dolls, dollhouses and clothes. All of my life, fairy tales and children’s rooms have been an inspiration to me. I started out making some quilts and cushions. Then one night, I thought of making my daughter a rag doll. And that was the first of many…

Tell us about life on Instagram.

I am really trying to use my feed as a mood board and journal at the same time. I love to document and treasure moments in life. I found fellow artists and have had some great collaborations. I get inspired by a lot of other stylists, photographers, doll makers and artists. I also find that through social media the world gets so much smaller, so that you find out that ideas that you thought were, unique were already shared and done by others. It makes me work harder on new projects. I am very critical of the things I make and put out there.

How do you push through a creative block or the feeling of being overwhelmed by what is already out there? What advice would you give fellow creatives when they experience this feeling?

It mostly comes natural, I have a block and then nothing gets done. Then I start browsing trough my art books and archives of inspirational images (paper or Pinterest).  Ideas begin to pop up in my mind and I start collecting images and sketching. Then, I start to actually create from my idea/sketch. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have a lot of unfinished projects lingering around the studio. I would advise my fellow artists to stay true and close to themselves.

Studio Escargot// Website|Instagram|Pinterest

Babiekins Magazine| Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine| Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine|Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine|Studio Escargot

LIL’ STYLEKINS // Mimobee, a Boy and the Praying Mantis

Babiekins Magazine MIMOBEE 7

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One of my favourite things about instagram is when you surf from picture to picture and end up somewhere unfamiliar and amazing.
I remember exactly where I found Mimobee. Another label, Quinn + Fox, purchased one of their amazing fleece drape jackets for their daughter and it looked so fab I just had to see where it was from.
When I then learned that Mimobee is fairly made in the USA and helps create work for locals in Southern California, I knew this was love.

Their finished product is so soft, so comfy and so chic. Here, I styled it a bit hip hop, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out their instagram for inspiration and versatility. I simply love that their clothes have a new and fresh cut, raw hems and basic colors. Mr C was running around with his head held extra high. Maybe that was because there was a large praying mantis on his cap for two and a half hours, but I think equally it was the softest Mimobee big pleat pants and the ultra soft Mimobee tail back tee that made him feel (and act) as cool as only he can.
And yes! The mantis was just chilling on his hat while seeing the world through the eyes of a three-and-a-half-year-old jumping and running ball of energy.

My little dude is wearing Mimobee big pleat pants in grey and Mimobee tail back tee in white.
Cap from Loud Apparel

MIMOBEE // Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest
Guest post by Karianne Pettersen // www.freeandwildchild.com // Free And Wild Child on Instagram

LIL’ STYLEKINS // Prints and Denim

During summer holidays, Lilou and her cousin Marcel, play together all day, every day.  Like true best friends, or should I say…partners in crime, they even want to wear the same clothes! They both adore printed leggings. These ones of Diapers & Milk have the cutest and brightest prints and they are so soft and comfortable! Paired with a denim shirt, they are ready for another fun day!

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Of course I added some matching styling tips for mama’s and papa’s too!

Credits // tops, H&M, leggings, Diapers & Milk, sandals, Saltwaters