Fairfield and Wilton Trunk Shows

Over the next month and a half we're hosting trunks shows in Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, and Fairfield. Come see us if you're in the area! You can see a list of trunk show dates and locations here.

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Trunk Show - Darien Sport Shop

Sherryl had her first trunk show at a big retail store this week and it went great. The Darien Sport Shop is an institution in the tiny, but very affluent town of Darien, CT. They were founded in 1945 and have built a long and solid reputation for great service and top end brands. So we were really pumped when they agreed to showcase Lizzie, Izzie + James to their clientele - it was a nice vote of confidence!

Sherryl was set up in the entrance of their awesome children's department, where she said that rows of Lily Pulitzer and Florence Eiseman dresses tempted her all day. She held fast though, and stayed focused on business!

Unfortunately, I totally forgot the camera and only have some grainy shots from my phone. My bad. Here they are anyway:

Oh, and by the way, meet our very sweet and very hard working first intern from the 2011 Lizzie, Izzie + James intern class (class of 1) - Virginia!

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Trunk Show - Magical Music For Life Foundation

Sherryl is in her studio preparing for her trunk show tomorrow at the Darien Sport Shop in Darien, CT. Its going to be a busy month of trunk shows for her, so you'll be hearing mostly from me for a little while. She asked me NOT TO POST ANYTHING SILLY. I will try my best...

Sherryl's first trunk show (earlier this week) was an awesome success. 20% of the sales were donated to the Magical Music For Life Foundation, a non-profit group with the mission to develop and produce a wide range of musical projects that can bring a positive approach to everyday life to young children and their families. They're a group of talented kids and generous parents. We're proud to be able to contribute. Here's some pictures from the event:

There was mingling...

some nibbling...

and definitely lots of shopping...

We tested out some products that are not available on the shop yet - they we're a hit so you'll see them soon. I think we're gonna need some help naming them... stay tuned and join us in one of our upcoming shows if you're in the area.

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Mile High Madness

Sherryl is busy running around finalizing the last minute details for the first of a month full of trunk shows. Its gonna be busy and we are scrambling. In the meanwhile, I have been tasked with writing on the blog. So, I thought I should share some entertainment - courtesy of Air New Zealand and Richard Simmons... enjoy...

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Interview: Oh My! Handmade Goodness

We had a chance to chat with Jessika Hepburn, the talented editor of OMHG, an awesome online "community of independent children's retailers and the hip parents who support them".  The full interview is below. You can also read it on their site here.

by Jessika Hepburn, editor

I have such a treat for you all today! I am happy to share the adorable clips, headbands & crowns of Lizzie, Izzie + James and to interview the creator, Sherryl Mascarinas. Lizzie, Izzie + James is simply filled with wonderful handmade designs and “everyday cute” for your little ones hair + super fun crowns for boys and girls. Sherryl was sweet enough to send me a package of goodies in time for Sela’s birthday last week and I was really impressed not just with the high quality of the products but with her overall branding. Branding is so much more then a logo, when done well it showcases the product and makes it’s own impression-from their website, beautiful photos + illustrations by the talented Mayi Carles to the packaging and products themselves, every bit of Lizzie, Izzie + James branding shows attention to detail and a love of quality handmade.

I caught up with Sherryl via email to find out more about Lizzie, Izzie + James and to share the story of her business with you!

1. Hi Sherryl! Thanks for visiting OMHG and sharing your wonderful business with us. Please tell us a bit about yourself & the story of Lizzie, Izzie + James:

Hi Jessika! Thanks for having me on OMHG!

Hi everybody, my name is Sherryl Mascarinas. I am the proud mommy of 3 awesome kids (ages 6, 5, and 3) and the founder of Lizzie, Izzie + James, a web-based children’s accessories brand. We live in New Canaan, CT.

Lizzie, Izzie + James was born as a hobby. I began making little hair accessories for my first daughter when she was about a year old. Soon after, I began making them for family, then for friends, then for friends of friends, then for moms who saw my products around town. Eventually, I opened a little store on Etsy and began selling to customers across the country. It was easy to get started, but it was very limited and was ultimately unsustainable because I was doing everything by myself. I’d hunt for the materials, make the products, photograph them, blog about them, then package and mail them. I was the entire supply, production, and fulfillment line. Although it was great to offer a product that my customers really enjoyed, it wasn’t at all profitable and it definitely was not scalable.

In the fall of 2010, my husband convinced me to pause and to think seriously about what I wanted to do with my little business. Making it viable in a meaningful way was going to take serious re-design and some investment. I decided to make a go at it, and together we figured out the people and the pieces that we needed to put in place to make it work. We re-launched in January 2011 with an organized supply and production process, an expanded product line, and a dedicated website.

2. I just love the samples you sent me, your accessories are so adorable & well made! But I was also really impressed by your packaging & all over branding + was really excited to find out the lovely Mayi Carles did some designs for you. Can you tell us about how you have built your brand & created your packaging?

Thank you! Branding is a really important part of the customer experience, so we knew we had to get it right. We also realized that although we had a vision for what we wanted, we needed talented people with the right experience and skill sets to help us execute and bring it to fruition. Basically, we had to build a good team. After doing a bunch of interviews, we enlisted a small branding agency, a web developer, and a photographer. Then we managed their work and kept them talking to each other continuously so that their efforts would be consistent and cohesive as a whole. That’s how I think our website came out so well!

As it relates to packaging, we had a pretty clear idea for what we wanted to do. But we also wanted to bring in someone with a fresh perspective and a unique artistic point of view. That’s when we approached Mayi Carles to produce those incredibly cute illustrations for us! You can see the fantastic work she did for us here.

3. What is a typical “day in the life” for you?

My days are pretty kid centric. Typically, it starts with getting the kids dressed for school, cooking their breakfast, packing their lunches, and getting them all out of the door. Then I work until they get home in the mid-afternoon. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze in some time for a run or a workout in the gym. When the kids get home, they take over completely. We hang out, do some crafts, do homework, sometimes some baking, and then get ready for dinner. Bedtime for the kids is 8:00. After that usually comes more work, then some time to relax with my husband.

4. Sometimes balancing parenting + work is HARD! What are some strategies or organizational tips that you have learned along the way?

It is hard! I’m still trying to figure it out, but there are two basic rules I try to stick to. The first is that I try to spend my time and energy only on those things that really matter. A lot of things crop every day, but a lot of those things are really just noise – I try to let those things go.

The second rule is that I make sure to set aside time for myself. I’m convinced that personal time is a necessary part of being a happy and effective parent. I can’t be at my best (as a mom, a wife, a friend, etc.) when I’m harried and fatigued. I need time to go to the gym, to see friends, to read a book, or to do nothing. I need it to keep things in balance and in perspective. I come back refreshed and better able to manage whatever is on my plate.

5. Where does the magic happen? We would love to see some pictures of your studio & where you create!

My “studio” currently resides in our basement. A good amount of the work still happens here, but a fair amount also happens outside with some local crafters that we enlisted to help us.

6. What are your plans for Lizzie, Izzie + James in the future? Do you have anything new & exciting in the works?

Over time, we plan to expand to a broader array of children’s accessories, maybe even apparel. But at a higher level, what we really want to build is a brand that is known and trusted for three things: irresistibly cute children’s items, awesome quality, and incredible service. We want our customers to be thrilled with us, so in addition to making high quality products that children love, we also offer service that makes shopping an experience that moms will enjoy. For example, we stock all of our items so that we can ship orders on the same day or by the next business day. Low shipping cost is part of a great shopping experience, so we offer $3 flat rate shipping and free shipping on orders over $50. Most importantly, we want our customers to be happy with their purchases, so in case they change their minds, we offer a 60-day any item, any reason, full refund return policy. No re-stocking charges, no quibble. We’ll even refund original shipping costs. If we can be known and trusted for great products and great service, we’re confident that we’ll have a good shot at doing well, however we might evolve in the future.

Learn more about Sherryl and Lizzie, Izzie + James by visiting:

the Lizzie, Izzie + James website + blog + facebook page

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Happy Birthday, Sela Dae!

Meet two amazingly cute Lizzie, Izzie + James fans from Halifax, Nova Scotia: Sela Dae and her big sister Ila. Happy 2nd Birthday Sela!

Image credit: Jessika Hepburn, mom of Sela and Illa + talented editor of OMHG

On Sela: Lavender Hydrangeas Hair Clip ($8). On Ila: Chilmark Headband ($18).

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This Made Our Day

One of the best parts of building Lizzie, Izzie + James is that we get to make stuff that kids love. One of the best testimonials we've received so far comes from Jackson, who loves his Pirate Prince and Shazam crowns so much that he wears them to bed!

Thanks Jackson's mom for sending this to us! It made our day.

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Hello Spring!

Spring is in the air here in CT, where the high for the day is 69 degrees!! After one of the most severe winters in a long time, spring is eagerly, eagerly awaited. Happy Friday everyone! 

Image credit: my awesome neighbor, Narissa. Taken this morning - confirmation that spring is surely here.

‟It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

-Mark Twain

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Don't Get Pinched! Happy St. Patrick's Day

Celebrate tradition on St. Patrick's Day with our Sham Daisy clip! Add a little green to complete your little lucky one's outfit - our Sham Daisy is pretty enough for a girly dress and playful enough for a favorite pair of pants and shirt.

And for a fun (and healthy) St. Patty's Day activity, why not try making this naturally green smoothie - Avocado Shake! We know what you're thinking, avocados aren't very Irish - but hey, they're green, they're healthy, and they're tasty! Could you ask for more? Sláinte!

Although avocados are typically used in savory dishes like sandwiches and guacamole, in some  parts of the world, such as Brazil, Morocco, and Southeast Asia, avocado is considered a fruit and is used in desserts like ice cream. Avocado shake is a popular drink in Brazil during the summer, and in Vietnam it's a popular fruit shake.

Here is a recipe for a natural green smoothie packed with fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E - no green food dye necessary.

Image credit: Ravenous Couple

1 medium avocado, pitted
1 cup milk
1 cup crushed ice
2-3 tablespoons of sugar (add more or less to suit your taste)

1. Scoop out the avocado flesh using a spoon. Place in a blender or food processor.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
3. Serve and enjoy!

This shake is thick; you can add more milk if you want a thinner consistency. You can also throw in a ripe banana for an extra sweet treat!

What are your St. Patrick's Day traditions with your kids?

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A Cookie Whodunit!

Deacon or WendyPuppy? One of these guys scarfed down a plate of chocolate chip cookies without permission this morning. Can you guess who? A $20 gift certificate to the winner (to be chosen randomly from among the correct answers this Sunday night). Leave your answer here:

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