After my partner and I welcomed our son, Oliver, I was surprised to discover a marketplace saturated with poorly made, unnecessary products for toddlers.
As a fashion designer and arts educator, I was intent on finding the very best clothing, toys and furnishings for my child and began conducting extensive research. It was quite challenging to find items that fit my standards and my tastes. That’s when I realized that I was not alone in my quest.
This experience inspired me to start my company, Oliver & Adelaide. I am on a mission to source and assemble packages that supply new parents with beautiful essentials for their children that are 100 percent Made in the USA. I also hope to inspire people to focus on quality over quantity.
Today, I’d like to share with you the three ways I find the best-of-the-best American-made products for toddlers:
As consumers, we have completely separated ourselves from the individuals who make the products we buy. We’ve forgotten to value the maker and think only about what we are told we need as new parents. We have so many choices and we tend to be consumed by “which one” – rather than where it was made or who made it.
By purchasing items that are made here in the United States, you are making a commitment to the small business owners around the country who are focused on quality and innovation. You are also valuing the artistry and vision of those crafts people.
I have uncovered hundreds of lovely brands out there waiting to be worn by, played with and chewed on by your baby. Plus, many of these brands offer clothing, toys and furnishings that will last for generations.
Investigate with a Purpose
I’ve made it my job to scout out the most exquisite children’s products from producers throughout the United States. I talk directly with the designers, artists and craftspeople responsible for conceiving and constructing the pieces.
Through this process, I find unique items that are age-appropriate and meaningful. I am able to learn what went into every detail. I know the materials and I know the story behind the product. When things are produced in the tens of thousands by machines and assembly line workers, quality and aesthetics fade. Not only that, but we also sacrifice safety for convenience. When everything you give your children ends up in their mouths, it’s important to understand the production process of the items you’ve purchased.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
The best gift that you can give a child is quality. I define quality as something that is useful, durable and beautiful. I also see quality as finite.
A room full of easily broken plastic toys purchased on a whim does not reflect the values of most parents, but somehow we end up with these things. If we consciously limit the quantity of what we buy in favor of quality, we encourage what I call a ‘soul aesthetic.’ The first three years of your child’s life are the most impressionable. What better time to surround them with things that are meaningful and enduring?
Gary Osborne, Child Style Expert, is the Creative Director of Oliver & Adelaide, a company that specializes in delivering bespoke seasonal packages of the most exquisite clothing, toys and furnishings to parents and their children. Soon after he and his partner had their two children, Gary became an art educator specializing in childhood development. Now, his children, Oliver & Adelaide, are his inspiration for giving other parents the gift of beautifying their baby’s world with the only the best. Previously, Gary worked for more than a decade as a fashion designer in New York City.
Look forward to Gary’s upcoming posts highlighting made in America children’s brands with absolutely the best products out in the market.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.