We sat down with Kristin Swati, founder of Fawn Shoppe – an online children’s clothing boutique. We’re huge fans of Fawn Shoppe’s beautifully curated and unique collection of children’s apparel and accessories from boutique designers. Not only does Kristin have great taste in clothing, but she is also mindful about selecting clothing that is safe for children. We wanted to learn more about her selection process for clothing and why organic clothing for children is important.
NN: What inspired you to start Fawn Shoppe?
KS: Boutique children’s apparel is where women’s fashion was ten years ago. Smaller brands that emphasize innovation in design, materials, and prints are just beginning to gain popularity. Europe (arguably ahead of the US in terms of fashion in general and undeniably in children’s wear) boasts several comprehensive online hubs for kid’s clothing. The US is just starting to catch up. Two years ago, inspired by my daughter on the way, I knew I wanted to be a part of this.
NN: Can you tell us about the core values of your company?
KS: Customer Care. Our customers are primarily moms and lovely people giving gifts to moms. They must be treated with the utmost care. We take this very seriously.
Quality and Integrity. We hand inspect every piece we sell and regularly grill our designers regarding their manufacturing process, use of materials, and quality control.
Constant Innovation. We look to improve the market for children’s fashion every day. Stay tuned for exciting new developments in the works.
NN: How do you choose your designers?
KS: Beyond the biggest trade shows and designer showrooms, we hunt for new labels through exhaustive reading, social media perusing, and even on the street.
NN: At Nine Naturals one of our core values is eliminating unnecessary chemical exposures for pregnant women and babies. Should parents be concerned about chemicals in clothing? What precautions can they take to avoid exposures?
KS: In short, yes. We deeply lament the lack of transparency in the clothing industry in the United States. Even more disturbing is the continued use of flame retardant chemicals in children’s pajamas and bedding. We do not sell any clothing or accessories that have been treated with these chemicals. All of our pajamas are flame resistant because of their tight-fitting construction instead. Find retailers and brands that you trust and never hesitate to ask questions. We certainly don’t.
NN: Flame retardants have been associated with endocrine disruption, cancer and other serious health issues so we definitely want to avoid these in our children’s clothing. What are indicators that your child’s clothes might be contaminated with flame retardants or other chemicals?
KS: Typically, a pajama that has been chemically treated for flame resistance will be described as “flame resistant”; a garment that has not may be described with language such as “garment should fit snugly,” and “this garment is not flame resistant.”
NN: What organic children’s clothing lines do you recommend?
KS: Organic lines we love include Tane Organics, Apple Park, Goat-milk, and NOCH mini organics. Other brands offer a nice selection of organic pieces as part of their wider collection. These include Egg Baby and Feather Baby. This fall we are adding additional brands with organics including Stella McCartney, Atsuyo et Akiko, and Oeuf.
Among our current favorites:
NN: Do you have suggestions for moms who are on a budget but still want the best and safest for their baby?
KS: Organic cotton is a bit more expensive than conventional. Here are some tips for saving money on organic clothing: 1) Quality over quantity. Choose a few garments that you really love and wash them a bit more often. Our daughter is so attached to her favorite Apple Park jammies that I ended up buying two pairs, putting her in each one for two nights and repeating the cycle! 2) Look for sales and buy ahead. Pajamas aren’t really seasonal if you have an air-conditioned home. And prints aren’t overly trendy. 3) Prioritize non-treated material when organic isn’t possible. Several wonderful brands produce pajamas that are not chemically treated using conventional cotton. Hatley is one of our favorites.
NN: You are an expert in the mama and baby market. Are there any all-natural product lines you would recommend for mothers or mother-to-be?
KS: For hair and body: Nine Naturals. Period. Loved it all through pregnancy. Love it now for nursing and beyond.
For deodorant: Soapwalla (soapwallakitchen.com). The only natural deodorant that actually works.
For makeup: RMS beauty and Revolution lip gloss.
For scent: Skip it. And use Nine Naturals Vanilla + Geranium belly butter.
For sunscreen: Badger.
For face lotion: Argan, neroli, or coconut oil. Even in summer. Coconut is the cheapest and works well (smells amazing). And coconut oil is the absolute best for baby lotion and diaper cream. 22 months and not a rash in sight at our house.
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