I love kids stuff. I can’t even believe the options parents can choose from today that just didn’t exist when we were kids. I must confess, I’m even a little jealous. When I was putting these 2 segments together for BT Winnipeg, I really wanted to include stuff that the kid in me (and most likely, you too) goes crazy for too. I’m talking about classic things that no video games could ever stir in children, that stimulate creativity, imagination and adventure and products that are safe and kind to the Earth! I really took great care in choosing amazing, high quality and fun products made by companies who have a lot of integrity – that also happen to be made locally (in Canada), which is always aces in my books!
First up was Kiss Naturals from Montreal. Pay went crazy for these kits when she saw them. They’re easy to use DIY kits for the little crafters in your life. Kiss Naturals is a great family business from Quebec that began when parents Mike and Mary Pallett were concerned about not knowing what the ingredients were in the lip balms their daughters were using, let alone pronounce them. Having a background in retail and soap making, they did some research on lip balm recipes and soon began to invent their own versions until they finally came up with a recipe that was super easy to make, easy enough for kids to make on their own and contained only natural ingredients. And so the business was born. Today, Kiss Naturals boasts a Soap Making Kit, a solid Perfume Making Kit and Bath Fizzie Kit. Their Lip Balm Making Kit remains their flagship product. The kits contain all the ingredients and supplies needed. Simple to use instructions are also included and they are complemented by the video tutorials on their YouTube Channel, instructed by none other than their two daughters, Katie and Helen, now 9 and 11.
As you know, I’ve written numerous times about my love of Mississauga-based Ecojot (here, here and here) I love everything about this company. They make all kinds of paper products using only 100% post consumer recycled paper; they have an amazing Buy One Give One program that puts work books in the hands of underpriveledged kids (Ecojot gave 70,000 in 2010, and 50,000 are to be given this summer to schools in Haiti); beautiful and original artwork created by designer Carolyn Gavin (she owns the business with her brother Marc and their family). The products I featured today are different than other ones I’ve shown before as these were all sketch books. Blank pages in sizes and formats and designs perfect for kids. I swear, when you have an Ecojot product in your hands, you just want to use it! Write, draw, paint… whatever. They just inspire you to create.
These dolls and stuffed animals by Montreal’s Raplapla were a huge hit with the crew at BT Winnipeg and I have to admit, they have officially captured my heart too (I’ve given one as gift a few years ago, but I never had so many at one time to hold and yes, to play with). Handmade with so much care and love and attention to detail. With the inevitability that they will be shared, hugged and tugged, they are built to last and are machine washable too. Each doll has a name and a job and have adoption papers for your child to sign (making them promise that they will love their Raplapla doll or animal). Mr. Tsé Tsé was the cutie we showed that had his own house. For reasons unknown, Mr. Tsé Tsé is a consistent hit with babies in particular. The Raplapla website has a gallery of pictures sent in by customers and in each picture there’s a child either playing or sleeping with their Raplapla doll or animal, but 80% of those pics are of babies with their Mr. Tsé Tsé. It could be his shape, his lightness, his softness (organic cotton), his kind face or a combination of all these things and the positive energy that goes into making each Mr. Tsé Tsé. One things for sure, if you give Mr. Tsé Tsé as a gift, he will be loved and drooled on and played with, guaranteed!
A huge mom-favourite in Canada and in the USA, Mabel’s Labels has perfected the art of custom, personalized labels to affix on all your kids’ belongings… and then some! I don’t even have kids, yet I see how incredibly useful these are. The labels are super cute, durable and easy to use. Sticky Labels and Skinny-Minis™ are dishwasher/microwave safe and Iron-Ons and Tag Mates™ are laundry safe and adhere to almost any fabric. They even have these labels you put in your child’s shoes that will, I’ve been told (by some parents), outlast the time your child will actually wear the pair of shoes! The two sets of labels I featured were the Essentials Combo and the Limited Edition Camp Combo, just in time for Summer Camp season! Oh and Mabel’s Label’s have a huge celebrity following too! Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Nancy O’Dell, Marcia Gay Harden and Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few, all have kids who’ve been spotted with Mabel’s Labels products.
In the second segment, we started with Laval, Quebec based Essentia‘s Baby Jeanius crib mattress that Pay couldn’t resist testing out :) Essentia manufacture the world’s only natural memory foam mattresses – for the whole family (including extended family). The Baby Jeanius crib mattress is covered in organic cotton denim which is coloured with natural dies. The mattress offers amazing support, contains no adhesives, is free of any sort of chemical emissions and VOCs, it deters dust mites, is totally hypoallergenic and is 100% biodegradable! Not only will babies sleep soundly on these but mums and dads will too, knowing their child is not being exposed to harmful chemicals every time they put their head down to sleep.
Next we featured Winnipeg-based Green Please! Inc. I was fortunate enough to meet Melanie Derwin, the founder of this great company, while I was in town. She told me how the idea for the business came about, which I think would resonate with so many of us (you can read it here). After she lost her father to Cancer, she learned that while some Cancers stem from genetics, the environmental issues that invade our entire bodies and homes cannot be be ignored either… The following year her son developed asthma and required an inhaler… at 2 years old! She knew something had to change. And so began her journey towards “greening up” her lifestyle and practicing the “Precautionary Principal“, making herself, her family and her home healthier and safer. She soon realized that she had acquired so much knowledge and expertise and friends were asking her for tips and advise on how they could adopt a greener lifestyle and how they can also green their home… A business was born. Her website has entire Green Store, full of everyday products we need, for the house, for kids for ourselves. Check out her service packages here (includes Green Fundraising!)
And last but not least, we featured Earth to Body’s Baby Package. It contains each of the products in their Earth to Baby line: a gentle cleansing castile soap, a calming lavender rose spray, absorbable and loving massage oil and a soothing, protecting diaper area neem salve. Each item is 100% natural. There are no artificial preservatives (parabens), alcohol, toxins, fragrances or dyes. You really can’t get more pure and natural than with Earth to Body’s product line! So pure in fact that most of their products should be kept in the fridge! Handmade with love in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.
What locally made products would you add to this list? Tell me, I love discovering new products made closer to home ;)
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- Sarah on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Melissact on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Anne Thompson on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Vickie on Buying locally made changes lives
- Sarah on Buying locally made changes lives
- Eco-handbags.ca on Locally-made eco-friendly products on A Morning News Ottawa
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