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Coming into 2017

It's been a good year.

Granola Babies continues to grow, due to our amazing customers. I've said it before and it's so true, we have the BEST customers ever. Hands down. We're lucky and we're so thankful.

During 2016, Granola Babies had a very big change with the opening of our community room to retail space. In doing so, we were able to add 50% more products for our customers and keep the focus of our boutique on providing the best eco-friendly sustainable gifts for children. Our core classes were moved to our Annex, which is striving as OC's go-to for parenting classes and education.

One of my goals for 2016 was to grow our toys selections and we were able to do that in 2016. In this coming new year, we'll be increasing toys even more and in doing so, become the one-stop shop for toys for ages 0-6 years old. As our customers have noticed, we are quite picky when it comes to toys and we'll continue to hand-select our products into the new year.

On a personal level, my children entered their second year at Leport Montessori, during 2016. While at Leport, we've learned so much about the many benefits of Montessori education and lifestyle. During this new year, I hope to share more about this through a monthly blog post.

As some of our customer have learned, there are major changes also in the personal level. My children's father and I, amicably and together, bring in the new year as co-parents to our children but no longer a couple. It's a new journey for us as individuals that includes nesting (learn more here) and co-parenting, just as we have been since our children's births.

So as I come into 2017, I do so with excitement of what it brings, joy and thankfulness. It too will be a good year.

 

 

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Holiday Gift Ideas

It's holiday gift shopping time! Some of you are ecstatic about this and some are lost in the world of confusion as to what to get the little ones in your life. In a world of junky plastic toys that break easily and don't last long, it can be hard to find those quality gems that enhance creativity and are made with quality. Well, not that hard actually, since we have them all at Granola Babies. :)  We literally have hundreds of holiday gift ideas. But, we know that sometimes it can be hard trying to narrow down to that perfect holiday gift.

Here's are some ideas that will help get you started. Come visit us for these and more.

Gifts for Ages 0 - 12 Months

For this age, we recommend motor skills enhancing toys such as our sorting toys, blocks for stacking and pounding toys, such as our 3-in-1 musical pounding toy. In addition, any of our many  many teethers are fabulous for teething, as well as motor skills as the handle and move around their Granola Babies teethers.

 

Gifts for Ages 1 - 3 Years Old

 

This is such a fun age for riding toys, walking toys (ours have places for their children to put their toys in too!) and more stacking toys to stack and then push down (a perfect choice would be our sturdy cardboard stackers). We also really like to start introducing creative play at this age. Toys like our European lines are specifically made to further a child's creativity and ability to "think outside the box" with their toys and find multiple ways to play with the same toy. In addition, many children this age also like having their own "baby", which we recommend our soft dolls and cuddly stuffed animals for this very reason.

Gifts for Ages 3 - 6 Years Old

Granola Babies offers toys for up to age 6 years old, though my 9 and 11 year old children still find toys they want when they visit Granola Babies. In this age group, children love the open-play, creative houses that can be built any way their hearts desire. Pretend play is key during this age and having our tea sets, kitchen ware and pots, dress up clothing, as well as more of our European creative play toys can mean hours and hours of quality playtime. In addition, blocks are still a classic during this age and made even more interesting with our magnetic blocks. For many years, my children enjoyed playing as well with their wooden animal toys, which were passed own from child to child and many are now over 10 years old. All of these and more available at Granola Babies.

There are so many more options at Granola Babies, but these recommendations should get you started into lovely holiday shopping or any time shopping. We believe in quality over quantity, beauty in toys as well as creative toys that grow with the children.

Happy shopping and enjoy!

 

 

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Tell us what you want, what you really really want!

Each year we learn so much through our annual survey. It's only three questions, yet each question will help us make sure that we're making our customers happy.

Thank you in advance for completing our survey!
P.S. it's completely anonymous.


Create your own user feedback survey

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Five years ago today. Bittersweet.

 

I got this picture this morning when I went to my Facebook newsfeed. It was a memories picture from five years ago today. Talk about flood of emotions.

Before moving to SoCo we had a small space, not in the best plaza, but it was what we could afford to lease. It's where we did our first year as a brick and mortar, after years of being online. When we outgrew this location, I sought hard for our next move.

I chose SoCo Collection because I believed in the vision of what was planned for the plaza. Stores, mostly small businesses, where you'll see the owners working at their stores and a variety of boutiques and restaurants. It took a few years for this vision to be realized, but today, SoCo Collection is absolutely all of this. SoCo Collection was a first of its kind here in Orange County. It was the inspiration for the many other plazas that opened with the same vision. It paved the way and we were part of this. Granola Babies was at the time the only boutique in the entire courtyard. I believed in what it would be and am proud of what it's become.

But, having a store and a family has it's challenges. I was (and am) a working parent, also (at that time) trying to homeschool three kids ages 7, 4 and 2. I didn't get to see them as often as I wanted to, since I worked full time at the same time. Like all full time working parents, I lament the times I missed (and still miss) getting to be with my children more.

On top of that, five years ago, my fourth was a vision as well. I wanted so badly another baby and had several miscarriages before I finally carried through his pregnancy. The community of Granola Babies and SoCo Collection was so supportive when one of the miscarriages devastated and broke me. And this same community, celebrated with me when my fourth was born. And as a baby of a shop owner, he came to work with me, a worn baby, for a long time.

As inspiration for other shops as well, we've seen businesses open and sadly also close. We've reinvented ourselves each year, to meet the needs of our customers and we've made changes that shocked some and pleased most. I thank my family and my customers for the fact that Granola Babies is open and striving.

Where will we be FIVE years from today? Honestly, I don't know. As small business owner, I take it one year at a time. I love our shop, I love our community and I love our team and the commitment we make to make our customers happy. And we plan to do so as long as we can.

I can't believe it's truly been five years from this picture. Feels so long ago...so many changes, so many wonderful things and some not so wonderful things. But isn't this how life is. Yet the future is bright and whatever it brings, we'll meet it and embrace it. Thank you for the last five years.

 

 

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