Eco-Friendly, Vegan & Small Shop Style Finds: From Queens Knits to Global Jewelry 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits.   All images courtesy of Christine Gibson.

 

Featured Small Shop ▶️ Queens Knits 

Creating and running a business while raising kids is challenging, but certainly possible. And I admire my fellow creative Mamas, who juggle so much and remain committed.

I met Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits, on Instagram and was immediately drawn to not only the beauty of her handmade knitted pieces cowls in vibrant colors, coffee cozies (check out the adorable Mom one I linked to), scarvesturban style earwarmers, and hats – but her warmth and down-to-earth personality.

Like many mompreneurs, Christine began her business for a simple and quite practical reason:  “I was seeing adorable kids accessories on blogs and online that I couldn’t afford so I made them myself !” Her business continues to grow, and now you can outfit your whole family in Queens Knits from hats to cowls and stylish hair accessories.

Alongside merchandise, you will find photos of her fresh-faced kiddos and happy customers rounding out this creator’s  IG feed, and immediately it feels like you’re in Queens, baby!

The lovely hair clips below are made of felt and ribbon, and attached to a metal clip. The cost for these is $3 each, or two for $5.
Keep up with all Queens Knits is doing on IG and Twitter, and of course visit her shop.

Ten Thousand Villages

I discovered Ten Thousand Villages in my early 20s in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point, and was later thrilled to learn their stores are all over the country.

You can find everything from products for your skin to jewelry, home decor, clothing, home decor and skincare. The artisans, who come from all over the  world (Nepal, India, Kenya, etc.), are paid fairly and customers can learn about who created what they wear on product tags. There is also  an opportunity to go in depth by visiting their blog .

The pieces below are my new favorites:

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find these heart inspired earrings here (handmade in Kenya).

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages
Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find this stunning jewelry set here (handmade in Guatemala).

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Step out in style with this ornate evening bag. Find it here (handmade in India).

Have an amazing weekend, lovelies!

p.s.

Don’t be shy! Tell me what stylish clothing or jewelry (eco-friendly, vegan, or small shops) you’re wearing these days. Know of a small shop or product  I should feature? Feel free to leave the info.

Cultivating Creativity When You’re a Mom

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Anyone with small kiddos knows you can barely pee in peace most days, let alone create! Ha! It’s tough. This business of being someone’s Mom and wanting a piece of freedom for yourself. How dare you?

When I think back to my pre-kid life and time management, I just laugh. Some days moments seemed to slip away.  In actuality, I amassed an abundance of hours and minutes.  The key to unlocking them? Recognizing those windows to create.

Now I am a productivity ninja! Pockets of free time become blog posts or photographs (sandwiched in between chores & homeschooling Nai of course). Last Sunday, I won the Mama lottery –  a few hours to myself.  I pushed beyond a desire to curl up in the bed with Netflix, and instead chose a long nature walk and photography.

Breathing in natural beauty transforms us and it’s absolutely essential to self care. When I produce  something – poetry, photography, an essay, blog post or article – there is an overwhelming sense of liberation afterwards.

It’s so easy to lose our identities as Mamas. But rebelling against convention, and making it a priority to create moves us into a broader purpose – beyond ourselves, our kids, and instead, extends these gifts to the world. As much as I love our daughter, I cannot allow parenting to swallow my identity – and neither can you. Seize those sporadic minutes here and there, and make something lovely.

What do you create? How do you make time in your busy life to keep going?

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

 

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

 

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

 

Mama Blog Chat: Creative Spirit, Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and children  Photo credit:
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and her children, daughters Cherie-Amor, Dela-Eden, and son Malachi. Photo Credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography

I think Moms are the coolest people on the planet! Maybe because I am one now. Ha! Seriously though, we juggle motherhood with work, relationships, and just general life stuff. How many Moms do you know who effortlessly heal their kiddos when sick and then tackle the rest of life’s challenges.

Yet the Moms I am especially inspired by are those who I have something in common with, you know those cool Moms who manage not to abandon their creative passions.

Jacquelyn and her eldest daughter Cherie-Amor Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul

Enter Brooklyn native Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul, a singer / performer, visual artist, jewelry maker, and poet who calls Baltimore home; she is also a birth doula / post partum doula / designer at Buddha Bump. Geez! How does she do it all, I wondered?

Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul performs with son Malachi on her hip  Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul performs with at Culture Coffee in Washington, D.C. with son Malachi on her hip                             Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography

So I thought, why not include a regular series on the blog where we can hear from Moms like her, and be inspired by their tenacity and determination to live fully?

I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did! We discussed everything from scheduling (you know how she manages to raise such beautiful and bright kids – Cherie-Amor, Dela-Eden and Malachi) to faith and the diversity of her children’s personalities and the rich lessons of motherhood.

Something she said particularly resonated with me:

No one can mother your child better than you…  That child has chosen you to come here through.

Check out the full conversation here on Sound Cloud .

Keep up with her amazing work:

Facebook

Instagram 

Hear this awesome song she wrote, “Be Free

Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and son Malachi  Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul and son Malachi
Photo credit: Cherie-Amor Clemmons
                               Dela-Eden strikes a pose                                     Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Visual artwork by Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul  Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Visual artwork by Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Photo credit: Jacquelyn Phoenix Soul
Malachi  Photo credit:
Malachi
Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette Photography