IBW Bash 2017 Gold Sponsor Highlight: Smitten Wovens

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Smitten with Wovens is a family owned business based out of Texas.  Starting out as a fairly small company in 2015 with only one woven design, they quickly expanded and now offer dozens of gorgeous designs, ring slings, bags, and other must-have accessories.

As a company that has a strong emphasis on ecology and sustainability, Smitten with Wovens ensures ethical and responsible business practices and uses packaging that is recycled and biodegradable. Each woven wrap comes with a gently used children’s book, saving it from a landfill. In addition, all Smitten wraps are sourced, woven, and finished in the USA so you know you’re buying something ethically responsible.

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Known for their width, Smitten with Wovens are the perfect carriers for smaller babies and bigger kids alike. If you have a toddler who likes to ride arms in or take wrap naps, these are the perfect wraps for you! As a vegan company, both 100% cotton wraps as well as tencel/cotton wraps are offered. If you haven’t had the chance to try tencel yet and you enjoy soft, moldable wraps, then you need to try it!

 

Smitten has generously donated a size 6 Nimh Brisby woven wrap. This 100% cotton wrap is absolutely gorgeous featuring an ecru weft with a black, purple, and lilac gradient weft. Soft and moldable out of the box, this wrap will not take much to break it in. I’ve been eyeing this wrap for a long time and wish I could be the one to win it!

 

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Please visit them on Facebook and make sure you take the time to check out their awesome website, you’ll be amazed by their whimsical designs. Plus, they have matching coffee mugs for their wrap designs!  I know I’d be pretty excited to match.

 

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IBW Bash Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Tekhni Wovens

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Babywearing International of Chicagoland would like to say a huge thank you to Alisa DeMarco and Tekhni Wovens for once again being a platinum sponsor of our third annual International Babywearing Week Bash!

 

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Tekhni Wovens is a local business in Grayslake, IL, just north of Chicago. Tekhni woven wraps come in a variety of designs, sizes, textures and blends; tussah silk, tencel, 100% cotton, and Repreve. Tekhni has done wonderful and innovative things by incorporating Repreve blend wraps into the babywearing world. Repreve is made from recycled plastic bottles, and makes uniquely textured, breathable wraps that also help to wick away moisture. Tekhni also makes a variety of wrap conversion items dedicated to keeping caregivers hands free and accessorized daily, even if you’re not wearing a baby. No wrap scraps go to waste as they can be used for almost anything you can think of; hipsacks, traveler and cross-body bags, headbands, bows, teethers, drool pads and much more!

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This business has come a very long way in such a short amount of time. Owner, Alisa DeMarco, works countless hours building a successful business and being a working mom for her growing family! Alisa has helped to make babywearing accessible to our community by her passion and generosity, for which we are all sincerely grateful.

 

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Tekhni has generously donated items for our VIP swag bags! Look for Tekhni’s awesome table at our Bash on October 7!

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IBW Bash 2017 Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Didymos

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We are proud to announce that Didymos is one of our Platinum sponsors for our 3rd Annual IBW Bash!  Didymos’ story started in 1971 with Erika Hoffmann, who was just looking for an easy, simple way to care for her twins. Babywearing wasn’t popular in Germany at the time and she was the talk of her small town with her piece of cloth (don’t we know that feeling?!).  However, after a couple of popular magazines published articles about Erika and her babies, parents all over Germany wanted one as well!

In the past 45 years, Didymos has grown tremendously! All carriers are made with organic cotton, dyed with non-toxic dyes, and are not treated with any chemicals during the manufacturing process. The wraps are made to be soft yet durable, easy to care for, and beautiful. With a 3 year guarantee on every sling, you can be certain you’re buying a great carrier for your baby.


Didymos has generously donated a 50/50 cotton/linen Azulejo wrap in a size 5. Only one of these gorgeous wraps exists so it’s truly one-of-a-kind. Don’t miss out on the chance to get this amazing wrap!  In addition, Didymos has also donation three doll slings: Silver Waves, Geckos Macchia, and Lisca Smeraldo!  Everyone has to admit that babies wearing babies and stuffed animals is the cutest thing ever!

Didymos has also generously donated a little something for our VIP Swag Bags as well so don’t forget to get yours now!  You truly do not want to miss out! Get your tickets here!
Please don’t forget to visit Didymos on Facebook and check them out!

IBW Bash 2017 Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Livie and Luca

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We would like to thank one of our platinum sponsors, Livie and Luca!

Livie and Luca makes their product based on their Joyful Foot Philosophy: “We make shoes with a focus on design (whimsical designs, CPSIA certified), foot health (breathable, lightweight, flexible with a ample wiggle room), and function (easy on an off, washable).”  They also give 10% of their net proceeds from every purchase to non-profits supporting children’s development and well-being. This year they’re partnering Kaboom, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America; they’re also a Silver sponsor of Changing the Face of Beauty, a nonprofit that is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide. How awesome is that?!

 

On top of being an amazing company that gives back, they make quality beautiful, adorable, stylish footwear for children, from babies through size 3Y. They have generously donated a pair of baby or toddler shoes for each of our VIP swag bags! If you haven’t checked out this company yet, now is the time to do it! I wish they came in adult sizes! Thank you, Livie and Luca!

IBW Bash 2017 Gold Sponsor Highlight: Buncha Farmers

We are excited to have Buncha Farmers as part of our list of GOLD Sponsors for our IBW Bash this year! If you are not familiar with them, Buncha Farmers is an Ontario-based company using basic, safe ingredients in nature to make wonderful products for the home and body.  Their philosophy is “to make great products that do what they are supposed to do using only the finest of materials at an affordable price.”

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One of the products this company is known for is their stain stick.  This laundry essential works wonders on all sorts of stains!  According to their product website, it’s made with all-natural, biodegradable ingredients, saponified oils of coconut, canola and vegetable soya oil, deodorizing quality of litsea cubeba oil, the fresh scent of lemon essential oil  and enhanced with borax to soften the water and aid the cleaning process. There are no artificial dyes or perfumes, just the fresh, clean scent of natural lemon essential oil and the deodorizing power of litsea.  They are also completely safe for cloth diapers and baby carriers! Buncha Farmers has generously donated their famous stain sticks for our VIP swag bags!

 

Thank you to Buncha Farmers!

Join BWICL for our May Membership Drive!

Have you heard? Through the end of this month, Babywearing International of Chicagoland is hosting this awesome membership drive! That means instead of the usual $30 membership fee, we are offering them for only $25! You can even renew early if you’re already a member. (If you aren’t familiar with our membership, check out how to create an account or renew your membership here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BWIChicagoland/posts/?ref=page_internal). Now that you know how to join in, why is it so important for us to keep getting new memberships and renewals?

BWICL is a nonprofit organization.  We are completely volunteer-run, and we are happy to share the love of babywearing with all of our visitors and members! All the income we make is used to further our mission to promote babywearing and its benefits for both children and caregivers, through education and support. Because we are a nonprofit organization, membership dues are considered a donation, which also means you can write off your dues on your taxes. It’s a win-win situation!

How do memberships help us further our mission?  Memberships may seem insignificant sometimes. You pay $30 and can check out carriers once a month for a year, right? It goes a little deeper than that, though. Behind the scenes, we leaders work hard to host awesome meetings, keep our libraries up to date, make sure our carriers are clean and safe, and even help us expand-we are looking at you, DuPage County! Without the income we receive from memberships, we aren’t able to do everything we’d like for our chapter. Sometimes we have to say no to buying new carriers or we can’t replace a carrier that needed to be retired. We love giving back to our members, too. In 2017, we will have our third annual International Babywearing Week Bash, which BWICL wouldn’t be able to do without all ofour amazing members and leaders! 

As a little gift to anyone who participates in the Membership Drive, BWICL is giving away a wrap scrap purse! It’s all the more reason to jump in and renew early or donate for a great cause. Are you in? 

Babywearing as a Healing Tool

Written by Nikki Patrick

Babywearing is a tool that caregivers use for a multitude of reasons. Some are drawn to the convenience of being mostly hands free and able to carry baby throughout daily activities. Some like the bonding that occurs through wearing. Some wear because they like the way their carrier of choice looks. Most are a combination of all of these things.

I was drawn to babywearing for these reasons plus one more very important reason: healing. I am a survivor of many years of childhood sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect. The man I called my father was abusive in every imaginable way and my mother struggled with mental illness and substance abuse. She tried but her own issues got in the way of our relationship and my ability to bond with her as my mother.

When my daughter was born I experienced a flood of emotion and a deep instinct to protect her from the hurt I had experienced. As a small infant, nothing seemed better to me than wrapping her warm body close to mine and carrying her throughout my day. I started off babywearing to protect her but it ended up having a profound healing effect on me. We were able to bond in a very intimate way that is difficult for many abuse survivors to deal with. She would stare at me with her big blue eyes as she drifted off to sleep and I knew in my heart that I would always protect her as much as I was able. I nursed her in carriers, soothed her from illness, rocked her gently to sleep, and carried her as she learned to interact with the world.

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As she grew more alert and aware, I found myself doing the same. Like a child, I was experiencing the world through her eyes, something I hadn’t had the opportunity to do during my own childhood. Front carries became an opportunity to explain colors, music, and other exciting things that we’d see as we went about our adventures. Back carries allowed her independence to see something other than my chest and a small view of the world and opened up a whole new bigger view. She was still close to me, safe. As my daughter grew, I found myself less panicked at the idea of protecting her from the ills of the world and more in tune with sharing the beauty of the world with her.

We rarely wear these days at almost 4 years old but I firmly believe the year she spent riding in a carrier helped me to heal in some very special ways and forged a bond that will never be broken. I am still her safe place. She still nestles into my body to fall asleep and I fell her sweet breath on my cheek as she begins dreaming of sweet things, not the nightmares of my childhood. She now carries her babies in various carriers and I believe that one step in breaking the cycle of abuse and mental illness that plagues my family has been done. My daughter, thanks to babywearing, knows the importance of deep bonds and physical closeness.

Babywearing is such a diverse tool. Whether it’s running an errand easily, corralling one child in a carrier while holding the hand of another, or providing a place to escape a chaotic event; babywearing is useful in some way for almost everyone. For me, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know existed. I’ve learned how to protect but still let go. I’ve learned that I will always be a safe space thanks to the bonds we’ve formed no matter what happens in the big world. Babywearing helped heal me, one carry at a time.

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