10.23.2008

Be RIGHT, be CLEAR, be HONEST, and be GOOD...just to clarify


We have so many really talented and unique collections this fall and it's so exciting to offer them all to you. If you are a Nonchalant Mom customer you may have received one of the emailers that I send out each week keeping you up to date on what's new. When we get new collections into Nonchalant Mom, and at this time of year you are getting an email from me each week to announce new collections! (in slower times you get less...) I have a hard time remembering who likes what collection so I just email all of you about each collection...

Recently I received an email from someone who was a bit irritated that I would send an emailer out in this difficult and unsettled economy - she was mostly concerned about the price of some of the items on Nonchalant Mom. Believe me, I listen to NPR all day long and I am highly aware of what is going on with the economy. But I also feel that this is a very important time to continue supporting local artists, designers and generally crafty people! It is just this type of economy and general fear that can make a lot of these small and creative groups just disappear altogether. One of my favorite collections has just closed it's doors, when I started Nonchalant Mom in 2004 one of my favorites was Paulina Quintana, she made these great colorful t-shirts, I loved them and sold them like crazy! it is so hard to see someone so talented close down.

I started Nonchalant Mom in 2004 because I knew there were collections that I had access to in NYC and elsewhere that I wanted the whole world to know about. It was just my intuition perhaps, but I figured that many other parents would love to dress their kids in something unique and often hand-made with organic clothing whenever possible. Believe me when I tell you that Nonchalant Mom is not out to just make a BIG BUCK and that we are certainly not interested in following the usual pattern, my motto is that we are just trying to make our monthly mortgage, just like most of you.

I think this is a time that we should support small companies, but I think it is part of a bigger picture that is a way of life. Because the economy is difficult now, I hope that everyone doesn't just start running out to the average Walmart of the world...this kind of retailer is not fundamentally supporting our country and all of its great potential. I think that if you are necessarily worried over spending your money I would suggest doing what I have always advocated: buy less and buy more consciously, trade basics and hand-me-downs with your friends, start sewing and make some things yourself. In essence, be more creative than just thinking I need to buy more really cheap clothing for your kids.... Many of the things we sell here at Nonchalant Mom are made to last, and not to just throw away - they are items that are not ordinary. They are things that you'd be proud to keep or to give to close family or friends!

I am not about to dictate what you should do, but this is a time to look at making the right choices and supporting smaller businesses. It will make our society much more interesting if we support the little guys that are making things at home or in small studios or workshops, here in the USA and abroad. What we want to teach our children, even with the things we buy for them or have around them, is very very important, my dad used to instill the importance of being conscious of where you are spending that dollar and who you are supporting, because it means a lot. The message is important - and that is why I started Nonchalant Mom - for my kids.... and yours!


Be right, be honest and this world will be a more friendly and capable place! (also, eat better food and it will help too!)..ha!!!

In the coming weeks I am going to make more of an effort, through my blog, to present to you the face of many of the small companies that I deal with, so that you too can see where the heart of our society really should be focused. The emphasis should not be on cheap and mass produced items - it should be on well-made, stylish and ethical items first and foremost. It is the reason we are in business and it's what we believe in - I put so much effort into searching for unique things for Nonchalant Mom! I can't tell you how many times, as a designer myself of Nonchalant Kids, I have been tempted along the production line to cut costs here and there just by using cheaper quality products or utilizing cheaper production facilities, it is missing the whole point of being in business. And, I think it is one of the greatest things about the internet - that we can bring such unique things right to your front door wherever you might be located, and to that end it is such a great resource for a young designer. You are what you eat... and you are what you wear... who said that!?

12 comments:

marlene said...

i cant believe the nerve of some people... especially your irate emailer. keep the emails coming!

Anonymous said...

i love what you do and what you stand for. and, i love the blog so much good info... and the nonchalant website rocks. and the delicious designs...keep it coming

Anonymous said...

I love what you said! My husband and I will not be entering a mall this holiday season. We decided to purchase our gifts in small, local shops and at Nonchalant Mom...of course!

Becky said...

A wonderful philosophy of careful, creative, life design. I appreciate you putting this into words to share with us all.

karen said...

I am so glad that you posted this blog! It is a difficult time for everyone, and it really affects the future of so many small businesses. We constantly hear people wanting organic clothing made in the USA but do not want to pay the costs involved. I think this is an important time for consumers to understand what they are buying and supporting. High quality items such as those at nonchalant mom reflect the higher costs of high quality fabric and fair labor, the prices are not arbitrary or inflated for the profit of the boutique or the designer. When we first started our line I was shocked that just the cost to sew the garments in the USA (without the cost of fabric, etc) was actually higher than what the retail cost of a garment in a lower to mid-range store costs. The more I learn about the fashion industry, the more passionate I am to create a line that is made with 100% organic materials in fair labor conditions in the USA. We are very lucky to have people like you, Carina, and hope people understand how important it is to shop at nonchalant mom. Carina is supporting small businesses while providing high quality, unique items. The environmental, social, and economic advantages are endless!

jellie said...

Keep it up. Small businesses and the future all the way. I've sucked it up and stuck to my morals through our budget bending. Count me in.

Anonymous said...

I have been checking in on your website and blog for sometime now. (Found you via the article in Domino Magazine.) With my old computer I could not comment on the blog page and I felt impelled to write to say to you that you were "spot on" on your blog about buying quality items from individual designers during good times and bad. If one wanted to get political about it, I think it is exactly what the founding of this "free" country was about - allowing individual people to work and flourish.

There is a special joy - an essence - built into the creation of an individual artist. And we are the recipients of that joy when we purchase and use it. As I see it, your website and shop are not about mass consumption; but thoughtful, considerate purchasing. I agree with what you say: reuse what you can from friends and family, make what you have the talent to, and then buy thoughtfully. My thought on whomever wrote to you is that she must be scared and sad at this financially tramatic time. But despite whatever time, we must never forget to see the joy and the beauty in life. I receive joy just looking at the beautiful things each designer makes. I cannot afford bundles of things. I sometimes cannot afford anything. Still, it is a joy to see it all! It puts me in a good mood to see all the wonderful things each mind designs. Your blogs are filled with good information, new products, and - most importantly - enthusiasm! I can read and "catch" that enthusiasm and - like the joy in the designs - receive it and pass it on. What a great thing!

We may all be in for hard times. Times such as this have happened since the dawn of mankind. We will help one another and survive. And you are right: beauty and honesty and gladness will pull our spirit in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. I always remind myself that if I am paying just that much more for organic foods or wholesome-made clothing or items, at least I can tell myself that I am doing something good for humankind in general. The worst thought I have is that I am helping degrade myself and others if/when I buy things just because they are the cheapest. I sigh aloud whenever I pass by my nearest Walmart and see all the people coming in and out. Such a shame. Count me in as another Nonchalant MOM! I plan on doing more shopping with your wonderful store!
Sincerely, J. Colger

lesley said...

I agree with all the posts here. Thank you Carina, for all the wonderful things in your store and supporting small designers.

karen said...

ditto on all the above! keep up the great job carina!

Tyler said...

well said and indeed more important than ever to support local small business. it would be wonderful if consumers took a moment to concern themselves with how things are made and to feel full with fewer well-designed pieces. same goes for food, organic and local -- less is so much more! i appreciate your support for thoughtful design and for the beautiful collection you've curated. keep the emails coming, awareness and knowledge are key.

erica said...

i agree with everyone's comments! it's hard now with such a tight budget and our first child on his way, but it's also easier because our decisions are so much more focused and thoughtful.

i have no problem continuing to buy organic and supporting local farmers and designers, but i make sure that every dollar counts. whereas we used to buy a bag of salad greens and throw out 25% because we ended up eating out, now we make sure that nothing goes to waste.

of course, i have yet to be forced to decide between paying the utilities and buying my usual groceries. i feel that if we're resourceful enough, and can rely on each other for support, we'll get through this without having to give up too much of our beliefs.