Hey all, today I’m excited to share with you a playdate with Janette Crawford and her adorable 21 month-old daughter, Viv, at Alamo Square Park! Some of you probably know Janette as the voice behind fashion blog and shop, Fashion Loves People. She also just launched a spankin’ new Baby & Maternity Styling Service, Sun + Dotter, which I think some of you are familiar with because of this giveaway I held a few weeks ago. Pretty neat service, right?! Janette is pretty amazing to me. She’s beautiful inside and out and has such a kind heart! I adore her effortless style, and I’m also inspired by her belief in doing good with our money and not thinking of the products we buy as disposable. This is so important especially in the era of consumerism!
We did a fun picnic with Hayden and Viv overlooking the famous Painted Ladies and let them run wild on the big grassy field with treats and bubbles, all prepped by the beautiful Janette! It was so fun to have spent the day with them and such an honor to have Janette answer my Q&A. The amazing photos are once again by talented photog, Eva Kolenko, and her sweet baby daughter, Parker, also joined us at the picnic! Eeeks, so many babies!
SST: Where is a favorite spot you like to go with your daughter and why? JC: We couldn’t ask for more than to live on Alamo Square Park. It has an amazing playground, an amazing dog park, and it’s so damn picturesque! (“Have mercy!”) At the playground, there’s a toddler play group every Tuesday 10am–noon. I was a bit slow to get involved in any playgroups, but this one has been so fun. The neighborhood association covers the cost of Peet’s coffee and pastries, and there are some incredibly stylish babies. It’s where I get most of my pics for the #pintsizedstreetstyle hashtag I started on Instagram!
SST: You just launched your baby and maternity styling business, Sun + Dotter, in June. What inspired you? JC: As far as I know, I’m the first-ever personal stylist to focus solely on moms and baby products! But I didn’t even realize that at first. I was inspired by my own experience: When I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed by baby gear, not sure what or how much I really “needed,” and not wanting to sacrifice my style.
With Sun + Dotter, I help new parents skip over the learning curve I experienced and connect with products that fit their style, whether for their nursery, gear, maternity wear or anything else they need. And in addition to serving a luxury clientele with one-on-one styling, I wanted to reach people everywhere, affordably, which I’m doing with online classes. There, I don’t just share what to buy, I teach people how to shop for certain baby items, to make the best decisions for their personal needs.
SST: What’s the most challenging part of starting a business and being a mom to a toddler? JC: There are never enough hours in the day! Not for being with Viv, or for being apart from her, working. But I love the schedule I have worked out: I have a nanny for the three days a week that I work, and the other two days I’m home. I really value having lots of quality time with Viv while she’s still so young and impressionable.
SST: Where do you go for tips/advice for motherhood and parenting? JC: My pediatrician! She started practicing in the Seventies and has raised four kids of her own. She’s so much more than just a doctor — she’s provided parenting advice every step of the way. (Like before Viv was even born, she said, “That to-do list you have in your head for your maternity leave? Throw it away.” That adjusted my expectations in such a healthy way!) She just retired, but she keeps up a really informative email newsletter. I’m trying to convince her to write a book!
SST: Do you own a diaper bag? If so, which one do you use or recommend? JC: I use two bags that my husband and I just call “Viv’s bag” — a black Everlane tote, and a beautiful hmong textile bag from Jade Tribe that I found at Seedstore. To carry around my baby things (which I’m a minimalist on anyway), I’m in favor of using any bag that I love, as long as my Skip Hop changing pad fits in it.
SST: Where do you find inspiration for your work and design? JC: For baby-related products with great style, I love Lena Corwin’s Wee Textile, plus Cool Mom Picks, Stroller Traffic, Design for Minikind and Oh Joy.
SST: Where do you shop for Viv’s clothes? And yourself? JC: For Viv’s clothes, I get nice stuff from Mini Boden, and everyday stuff from Gap, Old Navy and sometimes Target. For myself, my very favorite purchases are all from independent designers. I always look for long-term quality and style with a dose of eye-catching appeal, and if I can find that combination while also supporting an independent designer, mission accomplished.
SST: What are your favorite traits of your daughter? JC: I already admire this girl so much. Not even 2, and I see the biggest heart in her. She’s genuinely thoughtful, she says hi and bye to everyone she sees, she (usually) shares, and she always has a hug and kiss ready. And her dance moves! She kills me!
Photography by the wonderful Eva Kolenko.