InSide Look:Spence Baby
One of the priorities of The Bradley Method® is to stay Healthy and Low-Risk during pregnancy by avoiding harmful substances. Many families who learn about all the different toxins we are exposed to, and how to avoid them, choose to continue to stay healthy and low-risk after their Sweet Pea’s Birth-Day.
The fabric we put on our Sweet Peas exposes all of that soft, sensitive skin to whatever is in the fabric. Whatever that is then gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream. When you think about the impact that makes over a person’s lifetime, it makes sense to invest in high quality, truly organic "from source to fabric to dye" garments.
I am so excited to introduce our students and readers to SpenceBaby. This clothing company offers the benefit of organic clothing along with timeless design and attractive colors. We are thrilled to be able to feature them in today’s Inside Look feature.
We first heard about SpenceBaby when I went to the Club MomMe Spring Family Fest in June. I had the pleasure of visiting with founder Sandy Barton (“SB”) at the end of the day. She took the time to share some of their story and walk me through her designs and fabrics. She was kind enough to agree to do this virtual interview with us so that we could share their story and their amazing products with you.
SPB: What was the driving force behind Spence Baby?
SB: It was almost meant to be in many ways. My sister-in-law, Rachel, was pregnant with my now beautiful niece Evelyn (Eve). Rachel was very much into raising Eve in a green home and I wanted to get her some cute, fashionable, organic baby clothes. Clothes, not just basics. Needless to say my search came up empty. My husband and I decided this was crazy and set out to fill the void in the market. About 4 months into research, my husband Paul and I found out we were pregnant with our daughter Spencer Grace Barton (Spence baby). Spencer was confirmation I was on the right track and opened up the possibility of being able to work from home and spend more time with Spencer. Something very important to Paul and I.
SPB: Tell me more about how you source the fabrics and the dyes you use to create premium organic baby apparel.
SB: Our early research surfaced that the definition for organic fabric and textiles is not really transparent. The USDA and the Federal Trade Commission only require clothing and fabrics wearing the organic title be made with USDA-certified organic crops, but it ends there. This seemed crazy to us since that essentially meant you could purchase organic fabric and treat it with toxic and harmful dyes. Needless to say, our eyes were opened to what "Organic" and even "Certified Organic" baby clothes really meant and it was not what we thought.
This led us to want something better and eventually to the Global Organic Textile Standard or GOTS. GOTS raw materials must be certified organic under National Organic Program standards but it also puts strict limits on the types of fabric dyes that can be used and prohibits toxic fabric finishes, including sand-blasting of denim (which poses a health threat to workers), chlorine bleaches, formaldehyde-based finishing treatments, and nanoparticles intended to make a product “antibacterial.” A factory’s effluent water must be treated and filtered before release. As for worker welfare, the certification addresses workers’ ability to unionize, forbids child labor, and requires that workers are paid a living wage. Not even zippers (no chrome or nickel allowed) and screen printing (no toxic PVC-based inks can be used in T-shirt designs) escape scrutiny. And throughout the entire process, all GOTS-certified items must be kept separate from non-GOTS-certified products to prevent contamination.
So it's simple really, we only work with GOTS certified partners and fabrics =)
SPB: Where do you draw your inspiration for the designs?
SB: I have always had a eye for design and really pull from a number of sources. I spend a lot of time on sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Fromupnorth, and flipping through countless magazines. I love classic looks and try to use that as a style guide but always add a little something unique to each item.
SPB: Can you tell me a little about how you choose the color palette for your clothing?
SB:Sure, I find my color inspiration mostly from the nature that surrounds me in my every day life. A day at the beach, a walk through a garden in spring, the sky when it randomly has red, orange or purple streaks. When I see a color that catches my attention I use websites like design-seeds.com to help put together some complimentary colors.
SPB: The clothing is absolutely adorable - will you eventually expand the line to include larger sizes? I can especially see big sisters wanting to coordinate with little sisters :)
SB: Absolutely! In fact, our company is actually Spence Apparel. Our first collection is Spence Bay but we plane to offer Spence Kids next and possible Spence Toddler (Fingers crossed!).
SPB: Do you have a favorite item in your shop? Which one is it, and why?
SB: My favorite item has to be the pink and white striped bubble romper that Spencer is wearing in the website. I think all babies look adorable in them but what I love about this one is the soft and sweet details like the ruffle trim on the collar and plaid trim in the placket.
SPB: We have lots of mamas that are planning on going back to work, or are back to work already and trying to do the family/work juggle. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with working moms? Or, aspiring mamapreneurs?
SB: There are a couple things that have really helped me. 1) Date night. Getting away from it all and spending time with my husband. Even if it's just dinner, it always helps me clear my head and refocus. 2) Don't let frustration and fear of failure win. I used to worry about how I would be as a Mother and if our business would fail (and still do at times). I realized the only thing I can do is continually strive to grow and educate myself and never stop trying. My husband has been amazing at helping me with this.
SPB: What sets your brand apart from other offerings on the market?
SB: Our focus on making a complete line (not just basics) of fashionable apparel from only the highest quality organic and eco friendly materials. We also really value our customers feedback and actually have a few items inspired by comments from we received in our next line.
SPB: What is your vision going forward as you grow your business?
SB: At this point we are taking it day by day. It is our 3-year goal to have a complete collection of Baby and Kids apparel available for everyone who appreciates our brand.
SPB: Personally, we can’t wait for the Kids apparel to hit the market. SpenceBaby can count on at least one customer for their growing product line!
Find SpenceBaby on the web:
Web Page http://www.spencebaby.com/
Do you have a favorite children’s garment that you would like to see in an organic clothing line?
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It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.