Mini Fashion · Motherhood

First Fridays Feature: Donuts + Dinosaurs

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Milk & Mascara’s First Fridays Feature continues with a behind the scenes look at the mommy and son duo of the online fashion retailer Donuts + Dinosaurs. We caught up with Jonette Gogue and her son CJ to find out the meaning of the brand’s adorable name, what inspired her to add to her already full plate and how CJ pulls his weight as her little VP.

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What inspired you to start Donuts + Dinosaurs? How would you describe D+D’s style?

To be honest, I got so tired of seeing the same clothes on kids when C.J and I would go to parties or family functions. The clothes that I would see at stores wouldn’t really match CJ’s personality. I also wanted items that celebrated the mommy and me relationship with clothes that make you laugh and exude your sense of style. So one day, I decided I was going to start a mommy and me online children store with clothes that did exactly that. Next thing you know, I became a business owner.

I like to describe the D+D style as fun and trendy. We incorporate love in every item, using quality materials and witty messages that celebrate our greatest gift in life – our children. As fellow mommies might agree, the best part of us will always be them. 

D+D

How did you come up with the name Donuts + Dinosaurs?

I wanted a name that represented my son and I. Donuts and Dinosaurs is a nod to my son’s devotion to dinosaurs along with my love for the holed confection. Some people don’t know the reason why I love donuts so much. My dad would work crazy hours and he was hardly ever home. My sisters and I would wake up to a pink box of donuts with a note from my dad telling us to have a good day, make sure our room was clean, be sure to take care of each other and that he loved us. I always looked forward to seeing a pink box on the table in the morning. Everything about our store has something personal about me and my family.

What is your favorite aspect about running D+D? Have you learned anything since starting the business that has surprised you?

My favorite aspect of running the business is that we serve a purpose in what we do and that we do everything together. D+D is truly a mommy and me business. C.J helps me pick out items, gives me ideas, helps me with packaging and signs his own thank you cards.  I knew it was going to be a lot of work and very time consuming. I think what surprised me most was the amount of love and support we have received from everyone, including strangers. I didn’t expect our business to be so busy, especially when I didn’t pay for advertisements or utilize social media to its full potential. It is truly a blessing.

What advice do you have for a ‘mompreneur’ just starting out?

Don’t lose sight of what matters most to you. Running a business is a lot of hard work and it requires a lot of time. Being a mom is not an easy task especially if you have multiple children. It is important to have a balance. This is your business and you’re the boss, just remember that being a mommy comes first. I struggle with finding a balance and I’m still working on it. What I won’t do is sacrifice my time with C.J.. I cherish our moments together.

What are your favorite items for spring? What current trends are your favorite? What trends do you see that are up and coming?

Continue reading “First Fridays Feature: Donuts + Dinosaurs”

Mini Fashion · Style + Beauty

A Fashion Collaboration with Mimic Design

Recently I was approached by Mimic Design, an online Etsy store, to do a collaboration on Polyvore. In return for the sets I created I received store credit to buy any items of my choice. Mimic Design sells custom-made clutches, handbags, shoes and jewelry.

Here are the sets I created for the collaboration with Mimic Design:

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Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove
Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove
Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove

With the store credit I received I wanted to do something special for my daughter, Eden. I wanted to buy her a piece of jewelry as a mother-daughter gift. Eden has lots of necklaces, earrings and bracelets but I have never given her a ring. Mimic has an adorable age-appropriate Heart Stackable Ring ($20.00) that I felt was the perfect gift for my little girl. Eden was thrilled when I handed her the little teal box wrapped in a white bow (that reminded me of Tiffany’s). She loves her ring and begs me to wear it all of the time. It is 14K gold-plated and I really don’t want her to lose it, so we save it for special occasions.

Eden Mimic Ring CollageWith the remaining store credit I bought myself the Special Edition Asymmetrical Leopard Fold-Over Clutch ($130.00). When I received the clutch I was shocked by how cute and trendy it is but, most of all, by how beautifully made it is. The clutch is made out of calf hair leather, suede and a YKK Zipper. When I wore it to my birthday dinner I received numerous compliments on it. Let’s just say I am very satisfied and excited about my picks.

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Rocking my Clutch from Mimic Design

Rocking my Clutch from Mimic Design

I loved making the sets for Mimic Design and I also loved the items I received. The collaboration was a success and I hope to work with this Etsy shop again in the future. I am a girl who loves and appreciates fashion. And when I say I love something I mean it.

 

Ever Fashionably Yours,

-Sarah
Sara

Mini Fashion

A Date with PlaydateShoppe.com!

The PlaydateShoppe.comDressing a toddler comes with certain perks. A toddler is more willing to wear accessories, you can justify spending more money on shoes because they actually need it, and everything looks SO CUTE now that they are walking. More styles become available in the toddler age group too, which means you can express your style [ahem] your toddler’s style more.

PlaydateShoppe.com is an online children’s clothing store that carries toddler and kids sizes (2T – 6). I first came across the store through Facebook. I gravitated to their curated collection of children’s clothing because of their grown-up, modern yet whimsical style. I had a chance to talk with founder Jill Karmach and get the inside scoop on what trends she is currently coveting. I also found out that we would both glady switch closets with a certain 4-year-old.

Jill Kamach
Jill Kamach, Founder of PlaydateShoppe.com, pictured here with her husband.

When did you launch Playdate Shoppe? What inspired you to open a children’s online store?  

I launched the site on June 16, 2014 just 4 weeks after having the idea one night. I was inspired to open the e-boutique by my three handsome sons, the love of fashion, shopping, and of course, playdates!  Once the idea popped in my mind, I’ve been utterly obsessed! I am having so much fun partnering up with bloggers and fellow business owners. I absolutely love connecting with our customers on social media and seeing their children wearing our pieces.

How would you describe Playdate Shoppe’s style?  

Our style is trendy, modern, and playful. You won’t be able to find our pieces at your local mall. Best of all, we’re very affordable compared to a lot of other high-end boutiques offering similar styles. I don’t believe you need to pay a lot to look good!

Who are your style icons? 

Monica Rose is always on point and one of my favorite style icons, she’s a celebrity stylist and designer.  Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren were so ahead of their time and I love their classic Hollywood glam style. And off course, Coco Chanel; the most influential designer of the century (in my opinion).

Which child’s closet do you most covet? 

Monica Rose’s daughter, Alaia, has one of the best wardrobes ever. I’d totally rock some of her outfits!  For boys, I love Ryan Secret, he’s a 3 year old fashionista (He has over 51k followers on Instagram, check him out). I follow both of their Instagram pages for style inspiration!

Miss Alaia Rose (on the right) definitely has style. Repost from instagram.com/monicarosestyle
Miss Alaia Rose (on the right) definitely has style. Repost from instagram.com/monicarosestyle
Yes, we are smitten. Repost from Instagram.com/RyanSecret
Yes, we are smitten. Repost from Instagram.com/RyanSecret

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your current top five pieces/trends right now?

Our top five pieces are definitely our boho crochet blouse paired with crochet denim shorts, harem pants for boys, Prada inspired baroque sunnies, Coco inspired espadrilles, and Valentino inspired rockstuds. I love hearing moms tell me that they wish we carried adult sizes. I see a lot of trends where mothers are dressing their daughters to match them, I love it! That’s why I have so many designer inspired collections…mini handbags, sunnies, shoes, it’s just too cute!

Playdate Shoppe

 

PlaydateShoppe.com summer sale starts today! All shorts, dresses, swimwear and short sets are 15 off (Sale ends Aug 22, 12am PST). PlaydateShoppe.com always offers 2-day shipping for free for US orders over $29 and every Friday they feature a one day sale on certain categories or pieces ranging from 10%-20% off so be sure to check out their Facebook page or Instagram for details. M+M readers can receive an extra 10% off their entire order (including sale items) with the coupon code: milkandmascara from now until August 25th! (Coupon code expires Aug 25, 12am PST)

Isn’t Jill awesome? I love that she ran with her idea and never looked back. Jill, please send some of that drive and motivation this way!

Happy Shopping!

xo,

Jenelle

 

Mini Fashion

Kids Summer Style

Hello my stylish moms! Summer is just around the corner and do you know what that means? Cute summer clothes for kids! I’m not a big summer clothing shopper for myself – I prefer fall/winter styles. But summer is by far my favorite time to shop for my daughter Eden.

One of my new favorite stores to shop at for Eden is Forever21. Let’s face it, Forever21 is cute, cheap and just perfect for trying out trendy things for the season. Eden now fits in the XS in the kids department, which is exciting! I love how the kids clothing at Forever21 has a mature feel to their clothing. I was never one to dress Eden up in baby-ish or girly clothes. Her outfits always had the feel that it could be worn by adults.

Below, I created a summer look collage featuring all of my favorite items from the store. One trend that is big this summer for not only kids but also for adults is the romper (again) and the jumpsuit. Tory Burch has some adorable summer jumpsuits for women.

So with that said, let’s get a head start on our girls summer wardrobe. Click on the image below to follow the links for each item onto Forever21.com. Happy Shopping!

Ever Fashionably Yours,

Sarah
Mini Fashion · Motherhood

We Heart Haiti Babi!

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Isn’t it fun when shopping helps others?!  I love buying something great while giving back – talk about the opposite of buyer’s remorse! Allow me to introduce you to a brand whose products are just as beautiful as their inception story.

Haiti Babi gives moms in Haiti jobs knitting and crocheting high-quality artisan baby goods, empowering them to earn a living while caring for their family.  Founder, Katlin Jackson, explains the reason and her personal inspiration for starting this tremendous organization, which provides Haitian women with an income 2.2 times the minimum wage, allowing them to save for the future and truly transform their families’ lives.

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Haiti Babi Founder, Katlin Jackson

During my first trip to Haiti, while volunteering at an infant care center and orphanage, I fell in love with a one-year-old boy named Sterly.

As with many of the other children there, Sterly’s parents couldn’t afford a house, food or simple medical care to keep him alive. Sadly, Sterly’s story is not uncommon in Haiti. Many of the 500,000 children in Haitian orphanages are not orphans but have parents who simply cannot afford to provide for them.

On a trip to Haiti a few months later, I got to visit Sterly in his home as he had been reunited with his family. When I met Sterly’s family and experienced how much they loved him, I knew that this is where he was always supposed to be. No parent should have to be without their child simply because they can’t afford him. Leaving Sterly’s house that day, I knew I had to do something to create a sustainable solution to this common problem in Haiti. These families need a hand up, not a hand out.

My own children, Jackson and Quinn, are the proud owners of two beautiful Haiti Babi blankets.  The quality of these blankets is beyond what photographs can capture.  They are works of art: super soft and snuggly works of art!  And – a little sneak peak – Haiti Babi is now making hats!

As a mom who received these meaningful gifts as shower and birth presents, I have to say they are truly treasured in our home.  So next time you are wondering what in the world to buy for a friend’s shower, a baby’s arrival, or a little one’s birthday…support a family in need with a handmade Haiti Babi product.  Moms helping moms…women helping women. Go us!

-Amy

To shop or learn more about Haiti Babi visit their website at http://haitibabi.org, follow them on Facebook at (www.facebook.com/HaitiBabi), and on Twitter (@haitibabi). You can also watch their story below.

Mini Fashion

All Things Green

To ensure your little lads and lasses don’t get pinched this St. Patrick’s Day we’ve rounded up our favorite items in all shades of green.

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{1} American Apparel Kids Nylon Taffeta Swim Trunk, $22.00  {2} Zara Toddler Printed Trousers, $16.90  {3} Zara Boys Leather Plimsoll with Cap Toe, $45.90  {4} Stella McCartney Baby Basil Tee, $50.00  {5} Old Navy Baby & Toddler Pop-Color Skinny Jeans, $16.00  {6} Sugar Booger Kiddie Play Pack, $22.00  {7} Shan and Toad Green Bowtie, $22.00  {8} Old Navy Crochet Trim Socks, $4.97  {9} Cotton On Boys Julian Tank, $9.95  {10} J. Crew’s Girls’ Classic Patent Ballet Flats, $49.99

{style tip} The gingham print trousers would be super cute paired with a yellow top tucked in the front, white moccasins and a contrasting scarf tied as a headscarf 1950’s style or worn traditionally.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

~

Jenelle

Mini Fashion

Straight from the Heart

These love-day inspired finds are perfect for Valentine’s Day but are also cute enough to wear throughout the year.  Hoodies are my go-to outerwear item for Auburn so the ‘Love Hoodie’ from Old Navy is at the top of my list. The best part? It’s on sale! Actually, most of the items featured are on sale. Doesn’t that get your heart pumping?!

Happy Love Day!

Be happy,

Jenelle

Straight from the Heart

 

{1} Janie and Jack Heart Sweater Cardigan, $39.49  {2} Gap Heart Printed Flutter One Piece, $21.99  {3} Old Navy Heart Graphic Jersey Fleece Hoodie, $9.70  {4} Flowers by Zoe Heart Sweatshirt, $64.00  {5} Zara Hearts Sweatshirt, $25.90  {6} H&M Striped Jersey Leggings, $9.95  {7} Gap Heart Sunglasses, $9.95 {8} Gap Heart Skinny Jeans, $23.99  {9} Old Navy Sparkle Heart Headband, $6.00

{shopping hint} All sale items in store at the Gap are an additional 50% off so I got the Heart Printed Flutter One Piece for $10.99!