Beach Toys :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Aug 9, 2016
Is it time to refresh your little one’s collection of organic baby toys for the final stretch of summer? Baby may not be old enough to go swimming or play around in the sand just yet, but our beach-themed infant toys will still let him or her participate in the summer fun. Choose from organic baby toys like starfish or surfboard baby rattles as well as knitted dolls and whale and octopus organic baby blankets. Best of all, unlike typical beach balls or shovels and pails, these newborn toys will last long after the summer season comes to a close!
Baby Rattles – Estella’s plush rattles are all handmade from soft Peruvian cotton that feels great in baby’s hands. And, since these toys are all GOTS-certified organic cotton, they’re perfectly safe for babies to chew on and play with all day long. Styles include octopus, whale, and mermaid designs that all feature unique shapes, eye-catching colors, and a calming rattle jingle that will delight babies and keep them happily entertained on their beach towels.
Security Blankets – These organic baby plush toys double as soothers, bedtime comforters, travel companions, and more – their uses are endless! These organic loveys feature interactive 3D elements, like the friendly octopus face or the whale’s easy-to-grab padded tail that will instantly appeal to baby. If there are any soon-to-be summer babies in your life, pair one of these organic baby blankets with a matching rattle for a simple, unique, and practical baby gift.
Knitted Mermaid Doll – A grownup version of our popular mermaid baby rattle, this soft doll is made from plush cotton and features a bold green tail and flowing yellow yarn hair that’s accessorized with a floral headband. Small enough for babies to grasp and explore but still interesting enough for toddlers to want to play with, our mermaid doll is the ideal accessory to bring along for a day at the beach!
Tags Baby Blankets, Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Girls' Dolls, Soft Baby Toys, Soft Dolls
Category Baby Blankets, Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Girls' Dolls, Soft Baby Toys, Soft Dolls
Olympic Baby Gifts :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Aug 1, 2016
With the Olympics all set to begin in Rio in just a few days, you might be thinking about how to get baby involved in all the fun. Estella to the rescue! As a baby and children’s lifestyle brand that designs and hand-makes baby rattle toys, lovey blankets, nursery décor, and more, we have lots of options for the future sports star in your life. Whether your little one is destined for a career in the weight room or going for gold in tennis, Estella’s designer baby gifts will have baby all ready for the opening ceremony this Friday.
Security Blankets – Estella’s organic cotton sneaker lovey is sure to become your future athlete’s new best friend. Vibrant colors, bold stripes, and unique 3D shoe laces make this lovey blanket an interactive toy that doubles as a soother, bedtime buddy, or playtime companion. Pair it with one of our baby rattle toys for a complete gift set.
Baby rattles – Tennis, basketball, and barbell soft baby rattles will appeal to babies during and long after the Olympics due to their ultra-plush and GOTS-certified organic cotton texture, colorful graphics, and soothing rattle sounds that capture their attention and engage their senses. These organic baby toys are perfectly sized for little hands to play and explore with, and best of all make wonderful baby shower gifts for any athletic parents-to-be!
Knitted Dolls – Estella’s original collection of superhero knitted dolls were created to inspire self-expression, acceptance, and individuality. These plush toys are full of personality and celebrate the unique character traits that little ones everywhere can identify with and relate to. Take our Kat doll, for example. This talented athlete loves sports and is up for any game – the rougher the better – and proudly sports her favorite purple jersey, tube socks, and glasses everywhere she goes. She’s sure to inspire young girls everywhere who love sports just as much as she does.
Tags Baby Blankets, Baby Rattles, Soft Baby Toys
Category Baby Blankets, Baby Rattles, Soft Baby Toys
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Jul 15, 2015
Meet Allison McGowan, co-founder and owner of Teich Toys & Books in NYC’s West Village and the newest interviewee in our series of conversations with Estella retailers! Allison and her husband first opened Teich in 2011 with a focus on gifts and home goods, and then opened a second location down the street specifically for toys and books a few years later. Read on to learn more about Allison, her favorite parts of owning a small business, and can’t miss spots to check out in the West Village…
1. You opened Teich, the gift & accessories boutique, in 2011 and Teich Toys & Books down the street in 2014 – what was the impetus for opening the second, kids-focused boutique?
When we opened Teich we envisioned it as a small, local general store selling gifts and interesting items for people of all ages. We stocked a small selection of baby gifts and kids toys and they were a hit immediately. People in the neighborhood were looking for a place to buy these things and there wasn’t much around here. After a few years, it became clear to us that were we to expand, it would be in this arena. One day the perfect location became available down the street (across the street from the neighborhood playground) and we just knew it had to be a toy store.
2. Teich celebrates “small-batch manufacturing and handcrafted design.” Where do you discover these brands, and are there any new ones you’ve found recently that should be on our radar?
We find our designers in so many ways. Many of them reach out to us or get recommended to us by customers. We love to check out craft fairs such as Renegade. One of my favorite places to find independent designers is on Etsy. There’s so much amazing talent on there. And being in NYC, we are lucky that we can attend many trade shows.
Finding new brands is certainly one of my favorite parts of my job. We’ve got some new jewelry coming in from Zoe Comings that I’m very excited about. She’s in Austin and makes beautiful ceramic jewelry. We also stocked some lovely leather journals by Bone & Paper that are handmade in Brooklyn.
3. Best and worst parts of being your own boss?
Best: I love the flexible schedule. Since my husband is my business partner, and we live and work in the same neighborhood, we get to spend lots of time with our young son.
Worst: I have so many balls in the air at any given moment that I sometimes feel scattered and frustrated that I can’t complete a task. When this happens, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that eventually it will all get done.
4. For customers who are looking for a special newborn or baby gift, what would you recommend?
I love a gift with a little humor, something that will make the recipient smile. Our giant Indy Plush stuffed animals or quirky Modern Moose clocks make fun and unexpected gifts! I’m also a fan of giving books. You can never have enough books!
5. Favorite #estellanyc product?
We all adore the stuffed taxi! It so cute and timeless and appeals to boys and girls alike. Plus it looks fantastic in the store!
6. What are some can’t-miss spots (restaurants, stores, parks, etc.) in the West Village we should check out if we’re in your ‘hood?
We love Meme, the Mediterranean restaurant on the corner. The food is delicious and the service friendly. The best part is you can sit outside on a nice day. Right across the street is the Bleecker Street playground, the neighborhood hotspot for the under 10 set.
7. Best part about summer in the city?
Biking with my family down the West Side Highway bike path. There’s so much to see and do along the way!
(Images via Teich Toys)
Tags Baby Gifts, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Interviews, Soft Baby Toys
Category Baby Gifts, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Interviews, Soft Baby Toys
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Jun 30, 2015
Next up in our series of interviews with Estella retailers: Jennifer Cattaui of Babesta! Jennifer opened the NYC baby boutique’s first location in Tribeca when she was a new mom and totally unsatisfied with what was already out there for babies and kids. Replacing pastel colors, overly-sweet patterns, and ruffles & lace with bold designs, humorous graphics, and urban-inspired styles, Jennifer made it her goal to track down hard-to-find, rock-star-baby-approved duds that were still comfortable, practical, and machine-washable. As Jennifer writes of Babesta’s website: “Don’t be afraid to give your little one some personality. Some pizzazz. Poke fun at your own youth with your youth.”
Since then Babesta has expanded its locations, including the newly opened store in Manhattan’s Brookfield Place. We had the opportunity to ask Jennifer a few questions on everything from foolproof baby gifts to the best parts of NYC in the summer and her funniest parenting stories…
1. Babesta is full of stylish items for urban, trendsetting tots. Where do you discover these brands, and are there any new ones you’ve discovered recently that should be on our radar?
We discover them literally everywhere – some designers directly reach out to us and introduce themselves via email, some we spot at trade shows like Playtime NYC, some we find by word of mouth by our customers and still others we stumble upon on Instagram! Our buyer, Chandra, just had an incredibly adorable little boy, so she’s even more on the pulse of everything!! All of us keep our eyes open all the time for things that can inspire us and would be a great fit for the shop!
2. Best and worst parts of being your own boss?
I love being my own boss because when I’ve got ideas, I have no red tape or convincing to do: I can just go for it! It’s a total family affair, which makes it fun, as we are building this all together—me, my husband Aslan and two girls Amina and Camille. The worst part is the fact that it’s 24/7 and the job is literally never done. It’s hard to turn off!
3. In addition to your Tribeca location, you just opened another store in Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place. Are there any go-to spots (stores, restaurants, parks, etc.) we should check out if we’re in the ‘hood?
Yes! Let’s start with restaurants, YUM! We are mad about Hudson Eats! It’s a great spot to go with your family, as there is something to suit every palette – grilled cheese from Little Munster, sushi from Blue Ribbon, salads from Chopt and cupcakes from Sprinkles – just to name a few! And then there is Le District, the French food market, restaurant and more – delicious! And we cannot wait for our new neighbor, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Really, eating, you can’t go wrong! And now shopping! Lululemon, Theory, Posman’s books, Cos Bar, Satya Jewelry we’re loving! And coming soon, Dry Bar next door (awesome!) and Scoop downstairs! There is tons to check out! The area around Brookfield is spectacular – right on the water, with the marina filled with beautiful boats, it’s great to just walk up the pathway that takes you all along the west side, or jog (solo with your iPod or with toddler in the new Bugaboo Runner!). The parks and large grassy stretches in the area are perfect picnic spots – bring your badminton, soccer ball or whatever outdoor fun you want. There are lots of parks – Teardrop Park and Pier 25 are two of my faves – great water features to cool things down. Favorite after park spot, Grand Banks along Pier 25 – it’s a boat that docks there for the summer and is perfect for a relaxing drink & nibble. Another great R&R spot if you need some quiet, grab a chaise lounge at the end of Pier 25 (after the mini golf, beach volley ball & soccer field) and chill while looking over the water! Late afternoon/early evening, it’s true magic!
4. When customers come in looking for a special newborn or baby gift, what do you recommend?
We try to figure out what sort of gift they’re thinking of giving: a cool new ensemble, a toy, some books or music, some stroller accessories or nursery art. But one thing’s for sure, we always suggest an Estella MetroCard Rattle! That’s an all-time fave! These days, the Lexi Pexi Birkin Bag teether, ODB onesie, colorful bandana bibs, cool shades, BabyLit board books (Pride & Prejudice, The Jungle Book, Moby Dick) and our Onesie of the Month Club (a new cool onesie which arrives in the mail, available in 3 month, 6 month or 12 month subscriptions) are some fun must-haves! We’ve got some more exclusive products coming soon so stay tuned!
5. Mother/child matching – into it or no?
I like mother-child “sense of style” matching. Not so much into the multi-generational twinsy thing. But if mom has a cool sense of style and rocks a concert tee, jeans and lace up boots, no reason why baby can’t sport the same cool style!!
6. Favorite NYC summer activities to do with the kids?
We just did a staycation in the city and it was so fun! We stayed at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District for the weekend, as we needed to stay close to the new store since its so new but wanted to feel like we were getting away! Their rooftop pool and giant swan pool toy were a total hit and even though we had to run down to the shop once or twice it was like a real getaway! While there, we hit the Chelsea galleries and walked the High Line. Throughout the summer, I love finding out what’s new going on (generally on blogs and through social media) and making a plan to have a new adventure each weekend!
7. What’s your funniest parenting memory/story?
We were cooking at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Cooking is not so much my thing, so my dad, husband and brother usually take over the duty (they are really good!). Well midway through, they discovered that the garlic was dried out and no good. Word traveled as we were trying to figure out who could quickly run to the store before it closed. My youngest (8) hopped up from the sofa and said “don’t worry, I brought garlic!” and sure enough she ran up to the bedroom, brought down her overnight bag and in it, to all of our surprise, was a new head of garlic she had brought “just in case” from our home! We could not believe it!
Thanks, Jennifer! Check out Babesta’s website here and don’t miss the Babesta Beat.
Images 1, 2, 3, 4
Tags baby clothes, Baby Gifts, Baby Rattles, Designer Baby Clothes, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Interviews, Soft Baby Toys, Urban Baby Clothes
Category baby clothes, Baby Gifts, Baby Rattles, Designer Baby Clothes, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Interviews, Soft Baby Toys, Urban Baby Clothes