***CONGRATULATIONS to, Lynn Anne!!!***
Looking for indie baby stuff this holiday season?
I found Bronwen Handcrafted, a Brooklyn-based purveyor hip baby gear via a post on Cool Mom Picks. It featured a particularly chic baby carrier made of Missoni fabric:
I'd just had Jasper and was already contemplating ways to avoid the hideous front carrier that I'd used with Roo. I was intrigued by the remarkably luxe-looking pouch slings on Bronwen Handcrafted's website, especially this ultrasuede and minky fur model that no dad could possibly resist:
I had already tried a couple of pouch slings with Roo with varying degrees of success and was curious about other carriers. Ring slings had always seemed intimidating to me and, to be honest, a bit crunchy and granola. Also, as a 5'2" woman, I tend to think any drapey swooshes of fabric will make me look even more stumpy than usual. But the ring slings on Bronwen Handcrafted are totally different. Urban, even. In posh fabrics like silk dupioni and mod Marimekko cottons. There's even a Vera Wang brocade ring sling, perfect for an evening wedding or a garden party!
But what I fell in love with was totally crazy and fun, the reversible fur/silk/cotton podaegi. It's a truly modern take on a traditional Korean baby carrier, essentially an apron-like blanket that you wrap around the baby and tie to yourself in many different ways. This one is made of super soft shaggy faux fur backed with a gorgeous asian floral cotton and the straps are made of silk dupioni. Obviously, this is the coolest baby carrier in the entire universe, right?!
I contacted Bronwen about it, telling her how woefully uncoordinated and, umm, not good with knots and bows I typically am and she graciously sent me the podaegi to try out. I have successfully done a front carry with Jasper and he does look absolutely adorable in it. Sorry that I haven't managed to photograph it, you'll have to take my word for it. I think he's still a bit young for a back carry but I think that will definitely be the way to go. I was actually surprised at how easy it was to make the blanket into a pouch to carry the baby in and secure it with knots under his butt and around my waist.
I was also pleasantly surprised at how intuitive ring slings are. Bronwen also sent me the rather glamorous black and white marrimeko samovaari ring sling for review. This is a beautiful sling. The fabric is bold and graphic and remarkably sleek. There is no overwhelming yardage and the aluminum rings are easy to adjust. I thought pouches were easier because they are all in one piece, but it seems like the adaptability of the ring sling is very useful for my gentle giant of a baby! This is the best pic of us using it I could manage:
Did I mention how great it is that it still folds up to toss into your bag? And look how superbly elegant it is on someone who isn't me:
Let me also mention the adorable baby shoes. These little booties are made of either stretch denim or flocked silk, with ultrasuede soles and plush minky faux fur lining. They are so cozy and snuggly soft, I would love a pair in my size!
Bronwen Handcrafted also makes non-baby items, too. Her jewelry is just as beautiful as her baby carriers, with the same sleek and bold graphic appeal. Oh, how these necklaces make me wish for a longer, swanlike neck! My favorite (because I'm from Hawaii?) is the Pele, made of polished lava rocks on silver wire that has been wrapped with aubergine silk:
If you'd like to sample some of Bronwen Handcrafted's wares yourself, you are in luck. I have a loteria onesie, a butterfly tee (both size 6 months) and a pair of size one (3-6 month) pink denim baby shoes to give to one lucky reader.
To enter and win, visit Bronwen Handcrafted and comment on this post below. Let me know which is your favorite design and why?
Entries will be accepted through December 2nd. US readers only, please, unless you are willing to pay for shipping. Make sure you leave an email address or that you have one accessible on your blog so you can be contacted if you win! If I can't find your email, I will pick a new winner. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR BLOG PROFILE IS SET TO PUBLIC AND THAT THERE IS AN EMAIL AVAILABLE ON YOUR BLOG OR LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS ALONG WITH YOUR COMMENT!!!
p.s. Mamanista is giving away a beautiful (surprise, surprise!) Bronwen Handcrafted red flocked silk pouch sling. Enter by 11/26.