Thursday, December 27, 2007

it's a sale at little willow!

The after-Christmas sale is now in progress at Little Willow!

Save 20-40% off organic cotton clothing, natural toys, and cloth diapers!

Here are the specifics:
Christmas items - 40% off
Clothing - 20% off (onesies are 40% off!)
Toys (including HABA) - 20% off
Cloth diapers - 20% off
Belle baby carriers - 30% off
Melissa and Doug toys - 30% off

We hope to see you soon!

Sale ends January 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

safe natural toys from HABA

We have recently recieved some new toys from HABA that are made in Germany. These safe and adorable toys make wonderful Christmas gifts! Below you will find a few of the toys we have in stock. We also carry a wooden cash register, a basket of wooden food, adorable rolling turtles, and more!

We take orders by phone or email, and shipping is $5 anywhere in the US.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Is it live or is it....

a lovely young lady from the Barbizon modeling school?

Little Willow welcomed two up-and-coming modeling students to our front display window this lovely Sunday afternoon. They modeled two baby carriers - a Zolowear Red Silk Ring Sing and a Baby Hawk Mei Tai. Boy, did they scare the pants off of a few people!

Christmas is here!

Thanksgiving was fun and all, but Christmas has officially arrived in Red Bank! Santa and Mrs. Clause paraded down Monmouth St. Here, mama and Simon (in a CatBird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier, hidden by mom's jacket, but see a picture in the post 2 entries down...) enjoy mingling with the crowd while the Santa parade meanders by. We loved the bagpipes!

And here is Simon getting ready for the holidays in his red and green happygreenbee Christmas shirt (he has matching pants and a hat, too!).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

launching our virtual store

We have posted a selection of items from our shop in our new Virtual Store. We will take orders over the phone or through email.

We have been working hard to launch our more sophisticated online store, but this will do for the time being :)

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

nifty new carrier - love it!

We just got in some Pikkolos - our new soft structured baby carriers by CatBird Baby. I really like this carrier! It's comfortable, easy to use, very supportive, and a cute pattern! They're not cheap (list price is $129), but I can tell this is the carrier I'm going to grab for most of my babywearing in the near future...

Cool, huh?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

help wanted

Little Willow is hiring! We are looking for someone to help out in the shop one day a week, and also work one or two weekends a month.

We are also looking for some babysitting help, hours TBD.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact Kristin at or 732-889-4808.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

you've gotta have friends

I just wanted to share the two new outfits we just got in to the shop. These are handmade by a wonderful WAHM that I met in an online forum (we both had babies in August). She sells through our shop now, but also sells through Etsy at Mountain Aven Baby.

These outfits are so cute!!

Holistic Moms Conference

The last couple weeks have been big conference weeks for us. A week ago Sunday we went up to North Jersey (Mahwah, the tippy top of NJ) and exhibited at the Holistic Moms Conference. We met a lot of wonderful mamas! This was our first conference, and we learned a lot (like, wear a winter coat, it was 40 degrees in the room when we first arrived!). There were a few other folks there who carried similar stuff to us, but none of them had bricks-and-mortar shops, they were all online vendors.

Here's a picture of our table:

We've already had a customer come in who saw us at the conference, and we hope more will follow!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


The good news is that cloth diapering is becoming more and more popular. The bad news is that the cloth diaper companies are having trouble keeping up with demand. The best news is that we have received our shipment of bumGenius cloth diapers and so now have all colors in stock!

Some diapering statistics...

If you use disposable diapers on a child for three years, you will go through approximately 10,000 diapers (ten thousand!!).

The cost of disposable diapers is around $1,000 per year.

$500 will buy you 24 one-size pocket diapers that will last throughout a baby's diapering years...and you can use them for multiple babies!

bumGenius! 2.0 one size diaper

Monday, September 17, 2007

happy day with happygreenbee!

Today was our happygreenbee photo shoot at Little Willow, and a good time was had by all! Over a dozen babies and kids, ranging from 6 *days* old to 4 years old, enjoyed mugging for the camera during their own individual photo shoot. This event was part of a nationwide tour sponsored by happygreenbee, creators of colorful, comfortable, organic clothing for kids. The happygreenbee staff was cheerful and efficient, they did a wonderful job. We sold a bunch of happygreenbee clothing as well as a few slings and pouches along the way.

Here are a few photos of the event. The professional photos will be available shortly, I can't wait to see them!

Getting ready for the shoot

Strike a pose!

Mentally preparing to be a *star*

Tee hee!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

free fun photos!!

Calling all moms and babies!!

You and your child, aged newborn to 3 years old, are invited to attend a FREE happygreenbee photo shoot session! A professional photographer will create a portrait of your child dressed in the colorful happygreenbee organic cotton clothing for kids. You will receive a free 5x7 color portrait, a pair of happygreenbee socks, and a savings coupon for your happygreenbee purchases on the day of the event.

The photo shoot will be held:
Next Monday, September 17th, 10am - 2pm
Little Willow, 64 White St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

To schedule an appointment, please call Mari at 877-994-7399 (between 9-5, M-F)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

another happy baby!

Is there a better job than making babies (and their mamas) happy? I doubt it!

Here's another pic of happy babe in her Baby Hawk Mei Tai :)

Things have been picking up a bit lately...we had 9 adults and 3 babies in the store (all at the same time!) last Sunday...that's a lot in out 650 sq ft shop! We were able to help everyone find what they adjustable pouch as a gift for a new mom, a ring sling for a mom and baby, an Ergo for a pregnant mom and hubby, some organic bath stuff for a friend who runs another natural parenting store...

I love working with all these great folks!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

diaper time!

It's Mr. Diaper-head!

Just a little update on cloth diapers. A few customers have come in lately specifically for the cloth dipes, and it has been a joy to help them find what they need. One woman had received a bunch of dipes as a gift. She brought them in to the store and we quickly inventoried them to determine what else she would need to complete her newborn stash. Another lovely customer came in and we sent her home with a diaper library -- she took home a variety of dipes to show her husband in the hopes that she could bring him around.

We really love cloth diapering. There's a nice article on called the Joy of Cloth Diapers that talks about many aspects of cloth diapers. In my opinion, they're better for the environment, cheaper, and just darn cute! A lot of people are freaked out by the mess factor, but the bottom line is if you have an adequate stash, you only end up doing an extra load of laundry every two to three days.

So, we're still deciding which types of diapers we will carry in the long run, but I'm pleased that people are able to come to our shop to see the dipes in person.

Monday, August 13, 2007

NY Gift Show

So, I said I wasn't going to go...but we did and we did great!

Today, the three of us took the train into NYC and attended the NY International Gift Fair. It went so much better than I expected, I was quite happy.

Going into NYC by train always makes me a little nervous, and I didn't know how Simon at 11 months old was going to like the hour and twenty minute train ride. He actually did great!

Paul and I walked around the gift show wearing Simon in a ZoloWear Ring Sling (Paul) and pouch (me). Dontcha know that there are *no strollers* allowed on the showroom floor. I saw a few other babies and their moms looked pretty miserable...get thee to a babywearing store madam!

We found a bunch of beautiful items...cute footie outfits made of bamboo fabric, unique wooden toys, wonderfully soft blankets of various materials, gorgeous frames, beautiful items made from recycled sweaters, and three different sets of *adorable* hats and booties! We also got to meet with a few of the vendors we have been working with over the past few months, that was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to the show, and it was certainly worth it.

We're quite pleased that the day went so well, and hopefully it will encourage us to go into NY more often :)

Blanket made from recycled sweaters

Saturday, August 4, 2007

happy new customer

It's true...babies love slings :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

sign & sidewalk sale

New sign!

We were happy to come back from our vacation at the beach to find the sign man climbing around outside our building...the "temporary banner" was getting a little too permanent.

We're happy with our sign, and you can see it from the far side of the parking lot across the street, so lots of people will be able to see it...I'm sure they'll be beating a path to our door! :)

Sidewalk Sale

Last weekend was the sidewalk sale...our busiest weekend yet, and unfortunately we were out of town at a wedding! Luckily, we hired an employee just in the nick of time, and she (and my mother :) were willing to work this weekend. We sold a few Hotslings and Zolos...we even sold a Silk ZoloWear Ring Sling!

Even though August is not the best shopping month, we've actually been fairly busy. I'm working hard on ordering enough stuff so we can launch our web shop in a few weeks. It's hard to judge how much to order...don't want to order too much (and go broke), but want to make sure we have enough variety to satisfy the customers.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

summertime....and the livin' is easy...

Seems that the dog days of summer are here! The weather continues to be warm and steamy, and town is getting a bit sleepy.

This week was a little more active than last week though, and Paul was up to the task of selling Hotslings! We had a few repeat customers coming in, one wanted a sling for their husband, another purchased 2 as gifts for new moms.

Today we had a walk-by customer who was thrilled to be able to come in and try on the Hotslings, and last weekend we had friends of the family come in to do the same. Since this was one of the main goals of the shop, I'm thrilled when people are able to try on the carriers and find one that fits and works for their needs.

I'm still working on getting the cloth diaper situation ironed out...originally I purchased a fairly broad range of types and brands, but stuck with the smaller sizes. It seems that people who come to the store looking for diapers often have bigger (older than 1 year old) babies who are already wearing cloth diapers, so I've been working on updating our selection. I also need to put together some diaper "starter kits," but it is hard to find the time!

Popular this summer: the swim diaper!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot child in the city

OK, so to many people, the town of Red Bank (with a population of around 12,000 people) would not qualify as a "city". But to us, being able to walk to restaurants, the bank, the PO etc, and seeing more than 5 people on any given day elevates it to city status. Hey, what do you expect after living in NH for 5 years...

Anyway, the weather here has been HOT! We had a huge thunderstorm last night - big lightning and thunder for over an hour. Needless to say, the weather hasn't really helped business this week.

A few local store owners have popped their heads in to say hello, and they say that business has been off for them as well, so at least we're not alone. I keep saying that if we actually advertise (in the works) and *gasp* actually get a sign (also in process), then maybe people will realize we are here!

A couple of exciting new items arrived this week...we received the Kozy Carriers (mei tais) as well as the Ergo Baby Carriers, which people have been asking about. We also received our shipment of toys from Kathe Kruse, and that included some adorable organic baby toys - gorgeous - and a giant organic nursing pillow. The nursing pillow looks like a lamb, quite cute...

Kathe Kruse organic toys and nursing pillow

Granny Moo & Simon in a ZoloWear ring sling
(in front of the Kozys & Baby Hawks)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Best day ever!

Meet Erin, our new #1 customer. Erin lives locally and was headed to the toy store next door to our shop, when she noticed we were open. She stopped in and was so happy with what she saw! And we were happy with her! It was basically a big goofy love-fest...

Erin bought some organic clothes for her little one, a wooden toy set, a Mei Tai for herself, a ring sling for a lucky friend and a couple other odds and ends.

All in all, today was our most successful day thus far. A big thank you to Erin!

(sorry Simon, that toy is not for you...)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Made it through another week!

So, week two is over, and things are going well. We've had a couple of customers each day, some buying a quick gift for a new baby, and some staying for an hour trying on various carriers and seeing how they fit. I really enjoy working with the mamas and dads who come in to see the baby carriers. It was really my dream to offer a place where people could try the carriers on, and so far, that idea seems to be working.

It seems that most of our customers have found us online. Some have found us through posts on the or forums (thanks JenMidwife!), and a few have found us through the Hotslings website (yay!).

So, our photo for today is cuddly cute...not one of our typical customers, but perhaps there's a new market we could consider?

This is Apollo! He is 3 months old and around 3 lbs (he'll max out at 6 lbs). He went home today in a ZoloWear Solarveil ring sling, but his mom said she might be back to get the sling in the photo when the weather cools down...

That's it for priorities this week is to get the web store started and to get some signage!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the Mei Tais are here!

So, the Baby Hawk Mei Tais have arrived! We are still waiting on the Kozy Carriers, but I'm happy that my wall is no longer snowy white...

Friday, June 8, 2007

The end of week one

We've made it to the end of the week! The store is up and running, boy does this small space get messy quickly!

Our high point of the week was when we had three customers *at the same time* in the store! One customer had their 7 week old baby and was trying on slings...that baby left happy - fell fast asleep in a new ring sling. That was not our youngest customer though, that was our 2 week old baby who came in on the first day.

Anyway, it was a hectic week, though we didn't have that many customers. We haven't done any advertising other than word of mouth and handing out business cards at this point, so we're not too worried. Our main goal was to get open for last weekend, and as soon as we get the web store up and running, and we receive all our merchandise, then we will really crank up the marketing.

That's all for now, time for bed (well, time for Simon to go to bed...).

Monday, June 4, 2007

The store is open for business!

Welcome to the Little Willow blog! Stop by here to check out what is happening with our new shop.

We recently decided to open a store in Red Bank, NJ selling organic and natural baby clothes, soft baby carriers, cloth diapers, and natural toys, gifts and accessories.

We looked for months for space to rent in Red Bank, and finally found a space right next to the big toy store in town.

Here is our story!

The beginning...

The end of April - The previous tenants are moving out

May 11th - Signed the lease today - the landlords did a great job painting and cleaning, we were thrilled! (a previous space we almost rented was a disaster, so we were very happy this space was in move-in condition)

May 19th - Back from our trip to Ikea to buy fixtures! Note the sleeping baby in the upper right corner...who knew babies prefer to fall asleep with drilling and hammering in the background...

This is what the shop looked like at 8:15am Friday morning, the day we are planning to open!

And success! We got the store in pretty decent shape by the end of the weekend :)

The happy and exhausted new store owners

Chief Marketing Executive (hat by Baby Soy! :)

The outside of the store (permanent signage coming soon!)

So we were up and running this past weekend as planned. We're glad we were able to get the store open for the big Jazz and Blues fest that brings over 200,000 people to Red Bank (that's why we rushed to get the store open so quickly). Now we have to keep doing more stuff even though it feels like we should be all done and should have some time to relax! Ah, the life of the entrepreneur :)