The Hip And Stylish Baby Blog

The latest in baby and tot fashions, celebrity baby favorites, new baby product reviews, and baby boutique sales and promotions

Friday, August 28, 2009

Come Visit Our New Website- Most orders include free shipping!

After 3 long months, our new website is up and running. We are still adding lots of new products so continue to check in with us. I am working on new halloween items (which will be here before you know it!). I just added this cute "Happy Pumpkin" applique tee that can be monogrammed. A new bonus with our new site is most orders (including this halloween tee) now include FREE SHIPPING (no coupon required). Come See Us Soon!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Bit of Sunshine in A Lot of Sadness

Today I want to share the story of 2 amazing women. The first is my beloved aunt who is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. For 2 years she has waged a bitter battle with this "silent killer". We actually thought she was one of the lucky ones. She emerged from her first bout of chemo/radiation with flying colors. Amazingly, within weeks her strength and energy were back to full speed. For a little while we had our sweet Aunt Peggy back. She is an amazing woman- she was like a mom to me when we moved out to California in 2007. She embraced my kids as her own- she arranged a egg hunt for my kids on Easter knowing we were home alone for the holiday, let me drag her all over Northern California looking at houses (she was my realtor), she ran over to help thread my bobbin when I received my 1st monogramming machine and she always listened without judgement when I had a problem. She was just so wonderful and welcoming when we moved out west. She was always there for me-unselfish and kind even when fighting her cancer. Now I want to be there for her. About 6 months ago, her cancer returned. Doctors have told her there is nothing left to do, the battle can no longer be fought. Today we received the bad news that her kidneys are shutting down. She has mere weeks left on this earth. We are realistic- we know the inevitable will be here soon. But her first grandbaby is due in 5 weeks. I just want her to be able to hold this sweet baby before she leaves this earth. Please pray that she can hold on just a bit longer.

Shortly after that news, thanks to a fellow mom vendor, I stumbled upon this blog. Be prepared to cry your eyes out reading about this sweet little girl. Tonight....all I can do is think about this mom and how she will continue on. We all so take our kids health for granted, never thinking that a slew of health problems could lead to a cancer diagnosis that then leads to losing your child. I cannot even imagine. This inspiring family is turning their grief into something positive. You can read more about Cora's Playground here. You can also donate via paypal on the site.
You can also shop Etsy as a big group of talented Etsy sellers are using some of the product they make and sell to benefit Cora's Playground. Immediately upon reading, I just wanted to help in any way I could. Aside from our monthly donation to St Jude Hospital, we wanted to actually help a family behind the name. It just makes it so much more personal when you actually read the story behind the cancer diagnosis. For the rest of February, we will donate all proceeds from the sales of our best selling birthday dress. We hope to make a nice donation to this wonderful cause. We appreciate your support.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear..."
Psalms 46:1

Blog Update, August 28, 2009
Sadly, my aunt lost her battle with ovarian cancer May 28, 2009. RIP Aunt Peggy- You are missed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Become our Facebook Fan- Post Your Photos!

We invite you to join us on Facebook (yes, we are seriously addicted). Once you become a fan, you can view our customer photos and add your own, have access to deals and steals, post on our discussion board and more.

Find us here!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vote For Us- $10 Off Coupon in Appreciation!

To my two(yes, only two!) followers,thank you! I resolve to blog more, much more in 2009. Just as soon as I find that trusty assistant..... Yes, I am looking to hire. The sooner the better! Interested candidates- please email me:)

We have entered
the first annual 2009 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business competition. They will rank the top 200 mom-run businesses across America as determined by popular vote. So.....we'd love to have your vote! You can vote for us here. No need to register or anything time consuming- just click vote once you are on our page. You can also read a bit more about me and why I so want to win the competition. You may vote once per day until March 31st. In appreciation, please use our $10 off coupon at Avannabel Baby . You must spend at least $50 to have the coupon apply properly. Simply insert code "IVOTED" into copuon voucher box during checkout. You can buy this sweet cupcake tutu set for yourlittle one's birthday. Feel free to share coupons and tell your friends about our contest (please!)

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Most Popular Baby Names of 2008, **according to us**

We do lots of monogramming these days (mostly for 1st birthdays) and I must say about 10 names continually stand out in popularity. Really, we do not mind- these sames names do not need to be set up in our monogram software as we do them again and again! Makes it easy on us. So expect to hear the following names in the kindergarten class of 2012.

In no particular order, here are the 10 girl names we monogram the most:
1. Ava (by far, the most popular!)
2. Ella
3. Hayden
4. Maddy, Maddie, Madelyn and other spellings
5. Kate, Katherine, Kaitlyn, Catherine
6. Kylie
7. Isabella, Izabella, Isabel, and nickname Bella
8. Emma
9. Lily
10. Gracee, Gracie

**honorable mentions**
These are lesser known names gaining popularity
Emerson, Rylie, Reese, Julianna, Eliana, Alana

If you are searching for a unique name, you may want to steer clear of our list!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Confessions of a Baby Boutique Owner

People often ask me what exactly do I do all day?? As you can see, summer is extremely busy with birthday dress orders. A typical work day for me begins around 6am (I can hear your groans). I have many customers on the East coast so it is already 9am there and my email box is likely full and voicemail will have messages waiting to be returned. After chugging many cups of coffee, I answer emails, print orders and often times, begin monogramming. I used to have this outsourced, but found it to be much more cost effective to have my own machine. This is my most time consuming task- each name has to be properly set up in the computer and the clothing item has to be hooped (centered exactly and not sloping in any way). Much harder than it looks! After monogramming is done, I work on wrapping orders, printing labels and preparing orders for shipment. The rest of the day is spent editing photos, coordinating with my seamstresses, looking for new products, etc. Before I know it, it is afternoon. When I first started, I did not have any limits or boundaries. I was always working, checking email and had no definitive line between work and play ("play" meaning taking care of other matters, like my kids). I quickly learned to separate the two or else pull all my hair out from constantly being pulled in so many directions. Some things I do to help keep my stress under control is I always go for a morning run, I always stop work at 4pm and only work the weekends when absolutely necessary. I think it is super important to find a balance when you are a work at home mom.
And sometimes it is important to play "hooky"! My husband and I recently packed up the kids and headed to San Francisco for the day (Only 90 minutes from our house). It was a weekday and I had a ton to do and felt super guilty, but once there, it felt so nice to get away. The kids loved running around on the beach and I realized it was important for them to get away too

Friday, May 23, 2008

Enter our Big Birthday Blog Bash to win great boutique prizes!

Lipstick to Crayons is celebrating their first birthday with a big birthday blog bash. Lots of great boutique prizes, including one of our monogrammed first birthday dresses. How do your play? Just follow these simple steps:
  • Grab the code (found on or use banner image posted here for our birthday button and place it in your sidebar. Link it to this post then write a post inviting all your friends.
  • Feel free to celebrate at your blog. Tell us about yourself, share your fondest birthday memory, play music, share photos and video, or host your own giveaway. Then go back to and sign our Mr Linky below with a direct link to that post.
  • Don’t have a blog? No problem! Just visit five of our party participators below in the Mr. Linky list, leave a comment on their post then come back here and leave a comment on this post with a list of the five blogs you visited and your email addy. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

We expect this post to attract a lot of traffic so let us know if your blog or store would like to submit a prize. We will update the prize list as we receive them.

We encourage you to list the three prizes you would most like to win in our comments and we will do our best to accommodate you if your name is drawn.

What’s a birthday party without birthday attire so we have lots of great birthday themed prizes!

The deadline to enter is 11:59 CST on June 3, 2008. See you at the party!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Cupcake Birthday Dresses Using Designer Fabrics

New for spring and summer- We have updated our popular line of monogrammed cupcake birthday dresses. All of our dresses are made from designer fabrics from our favorites: Fabric Finders and Robert Kaufman. Our cupcake applique now features trendy designs from Moda's Urban Chiks Swell Bubbles as well as the high quality pique and cotton fabric from Fabric Finders. Feel confident knowing our dresses are made from the top of the line quality materials. You will love the feel of the fabric and the added details of our dresses. Our classic monogrammed shortall birthday "john-john's" have also been freshly updated. Just in time for all those summer birthdays!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Confessions of a Baby Boutique Owner- Part 3

Some of my readers and customers have been asking- "when are you opening your store???" I was so gung-ho a few months back. I had the perfect place picked out, I had been working with the SBA for a small biz loan, heck- I even had the design layout of my store all mapped out! But then reality hit. My SBA loan was turned down. No biggie- I knew how hard it was to obtain one and I have other financing options. Then I discovered how prohibitively expensive childcare is here in California. Whoa!-that was eye opening. My son is newly 5 so he is still in preschool. Putting 2 kids in daycare, plus paying the high rent fees California demands put the brakes on my dream (temporarily, I hope). I must say how flattered and thankful I was that one of my loyal customers offered to be an angel investor. Like I have said in previous posts, I really do have the best customers! Thank you for believing in me. I have my brick and mortar store dream on the back burner for now....

Turning the tables to other topics- I have had some incredibly frustrating and disappointing problems with fellow vendors. If you have read my philosophy, you know I believe in supporting other work at home moms. I really try to feature as many as I can. Most like me have a similar work ethic- Answer emails/fulfill orders promptly, keep in contact and communicate delays and most importantly- DO AS YOU SAY. If you tell me you have shipped my customer's order, I trust that YOU have. It has now happened with several of my drop ship vendors. They tell me they have shipped something, I receive the tracking # and then a few weeks later, my customer calls to say they have not received their order. HUH? In one case, the order was left in a car forgotten and another said "oops, I sent that tracking # by mistake- I still have yet to fulfill your order". Sorry, but this is completely unacceptable to me. Come on ladies, you are running a business here. This lack of professionalism will be the downfall of your company. The vendor who left my package in her car- I no longer sell her products. It may sound harsh, but this was not her first incident. Sadly, her products were popular with my customer, but I could no longer let my customer service suffer by her lack of professionalism. How about this one? I placed a order with an etsy seller (she stated on her website that she welcomed wholesale orders) so I assumed she had a plan in place to fulfill them. After 3 months of not hearing from her, I emailed her asking about my order. She had "sick kids, she was so busy and exhausted, blah, blah, blah....". She said my order would ship soon. I was patient and courteous with her, even though I was a bit miffed to see new designs on her site and quite a bit of recent feedback from customers who had purchased from her. Another month passed, I nicely asked her about my order. No response. I emailed her once again telling her I was going to file a claim with paypal (I had paid half of my order already). Immediately, I received a refund and an email that she was just "too busy". Why did it have to get to that point? Why did SHE not contact me and tell me she could not fulfill my order? Why- because so many have dollar signs in their eyes. She had already been paid half so there was no true incentive to fulfill my order. The sordid stroy continues... Right when this happened, a customer purchased one of her outfits from my site. I had not taken it down yet. After everything that happened, I asked if she could at least make this one outfit for me. Maybe I could get her to throw in free shipping or something for all the problems ( I know I offer things to my customer when there have been problems. She did agree to make the outfit, but she then raised the agreed upon price! When I balked at that, she gave me a snippy reply that she was now basically working for $10 to make me this $50 outfit. After everything that happened, I just still cannot believe how rudely she treated me. Another important note: treat your wholesale customers just as nicely as your regular customers. I think some feel because their wholesale customers are receiving a discount, they can get by with rude and unprofessional behavior. You will see in time and if you look closely at your sales how important those wholesale accounts are. Ever been to a trade show? Companies are bending over backwards to get their line in as many boutiques as possible. How did it end? Etsy seller wants to know if I want to have a drop ship account with her? No thank you. I cannot teach you integrity. You either have it or you do not. I could go on and on with similar incidents, but I think you get my drift. It is a big reason I do not drop ship, unless is it necessary in order to offer personalization or more patterns. I have also become very wary about taking on any new unestablished designers. It is very easy to get excited about a new venture without thinking about how you are going to handle things when you get busy. You really need a plan for how you are going to run your business long term, not just the here and now. It all goes back to having a strong business plan and having something called integrity. I am continually astounded by the lack of it in this industry (more of that to come in future posts). The only way these issues will improve is for us retailers to open up a dialogue on what truly goes on in this business. What is your horror story?

Celebrity Favorite Nursery Furniture by Bratt Decor

The Chelsea Sleigh Crib by Bratt Decor- a celebrity favorite: Halle Berry loved this elegant crib in espresso so much, she bought two -- one for each of her California homes in Malibu and the Hollywood Hills. Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris also purchased the classic piece for her baby girl Josselyn's nursery.

Bratt Decor is an old-fashioned kind of company. A small company that loves it's customers, lives and breathes design, and thinks childhood is a state of mind that should never be lost. Every piece is an original design by artist/dad, Stephen Bauer.

Not only stylish, this decor is safe and sturdy. Heirloom quality furniture that can be withstand being passed on and on. Bratt Decor uses the highest quality techniques available in manufacturing. Mortis and tenon joinery is used, all drawers are dove-tailed and all case goods have finished backs. Solid hardwood and MDF panels are used for construction and only non-toxic paint finishes are used. Every step of the way, safety and quality is incorporated into every design.