Baby boot Ease
If you’ve ever broken sweat struggling to ram a tiny kicking foot into a boot, you’ll understand what an engineering marvel Stonz booties truly are. Essentially, they’re a couple of tubes. Just stick the foot in, pull the bungee cords, and voilí . The boot is on, and it can’t be kicked off. There’s nylon on the outside for weatherproofing, and fluffy fleece on the inside for warmth. Machine washable, they’re for ages zero to three. Not surprisingly, West Vancouver inventors Tracey Von Dehn and Lisa Will have five kids under eight years old between them. These booties are a gift to parents, as much as to babies; even at $44.95, they’re worth every penny. The boy-and-girl designed boots—there are 19 styles to choose from—are available at stores across Canada. Visit www.stonz.ca for store listings.
Yes, it is a $329 coat for a toddler. But what a coat. Vancouver mom and designer Petra Fitzner, who trained in design in Germany, named this after the model who inspired it: Twiggy. It’s boiled wool, with a rolled collar, covered buttons, and flared sleeves. It’s over-the-top. It’s pink or brown. It’s amazing. Fitzinger’s Kiki Kids Wear has returned on-line after a brief hiatus from local stores. The line is all high-end, making no apologies for its price or fine design. For girls, she designs dresses, tops, coats, and skirts. For boys, it’s a rock ’n’ roll-inspired line of T-shirts and pants. So far, Kiki is available at Portobello West and on-line at www.kikikidswear.com. The coat comes in kids’ sizes, too.
No more baby blues
Would you be caught dead wearing pastels? Fairview mom Karen Battersby didn’t think her newly born son, Peter, should suffer that Miami Vice fate. So she created her company, Scrappy Kids, while still on maternity leave early this year. Battersby sews appliqués from retro fabrics onto organic gear—T-shirts, hats, burp cloths, hoodies—and frays the edges for edginess. The result is a hip look for a little person. Nothing gaudy, nothing corporate; just cowboy and sock-monkey fun. Scrappy Kids is available at Granville Island Organic Clothing Solutions (1524 Duranleau Street) and Virgin Mary’s (1035 Commercial Drive). Tuque shown: $13.
It’s a wrap, organic-style
Manufactured ethically from a bamboo-cotton blend, and without pesticides or dyes, Shirtseed’s baby “Wrap, Cap and Cloth” gift pack is a soft landing for those new to the world. The $48 set, available in zero-three months and three-six months sizes, features three super-soft washcloths (from local towel manufacturer Shoo-foo), a kimono-style onesie, and a tuque. False Creek mom and director of Shirtseed Amy Rogerson says, “Being a mom turned me into an environmentalist.” Another Shirtseed line features golden Buddhas on natural caps and wraps. Available at Beansprouts (4305 Main Street), Granville Island Organic Clothing Solutions (1524 Duranleau Street), and Sweet Peas Kids Clothing (1309 St. Georges Avenue, North Vancouver). See full selection at www.shirtseed.com.
Cable-knit for the wee mariner
The grey, cable-knit sweater is such a ubiquitous Vancouver style item for a reason. With wool for warmth, grey to match the sky, and a design nod to maritime heritage, any tiny boy or girl will winter well in this. The sweater is made by growing Vermont-based children’s clothing designer Zutano from an itch-free lambswool-nylon-cotton blend. It’s plain, but beautiful. At $42, it’s made to last. The company’s fall line includes plush winter-weight cords, knit dresses, floral-screened T-shirts, all in expressive colours to beat or meet the winter hues. See www.zutano.com for a list of local retailers.
No polyester in this crib
After South Surrey mom Krisztina Dahl’s youngest daughter came down with a case of the night-time itchies, Dahl knew her child’s polyester PJs had to go. But she didn’t want to give up sparky designs to do it. So Dahl developed an ever-expanding line of super-soft bamboo, soy, and cotton bed wear and undies for the newborn-to-kid set. As a gift, the retro-styled PJs can stand on their own, or come as a “party pack” with a matching drawstring sleepover bag, activity book, flashlight, and toothbrush for an additional $13. The colourful pyjamas sell for $34.95. Check www.pjzzzz.com for a list of local retailers.