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Our Inspiring Q&A With Kelli From Rylee and Cru

Here at Sweet Threads, one of our favorite children’s clothing designers is Kelli Murray, founder of Rylee and Cru. Her designs are inspired by her own children, with a unique mix of vintage colors and modern graphics. Every piece is dyed by hand, which gives them a soft, wearable feel right out of the box. Her pieces are comfortable and make for easy wearing that’s perfect for mama and baby. 

We had the awesome opportunity to communicate with Kelli and ask her some questions about Rylee and Cru and her inspiration.

Shella Garcia: When did you know you had a knack for your creative side?

Kelli Murray: For as long as I can remember really. I’ve always been the creative one in my family. Growing up, I loved arts and crafts and my grandmother taught me how to sew at a very young age. I remember in high school starting my own “business” where I handmade custom skirts for all my friends. I guess that was my start in entrepreneurship! I ended up going to college at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and worked as a graphic designer and merchandiser for a clothing company for 6 years before having kids. Once my daughter arrived, I decided to go freelance to pursue my illustration work more full-time (which is something I always did on the side). I always had it in the back of my mind that I would one day merge my passions in illustration and fashion design and start a children’s clothing line of my own….and here we are!

Shella: Where does your inspiration come from?

Kelli: I am constantly inspired by nature, by other creative people in my life, by vintage story books, and minimalist design.

Shella: What’s been the biggest struggle with running Rylee and Cru?

Kelli: Rylee and Cru got started with a bang. I remember being shocked at how quickly we sold through our very first collection. I was so nervous about how sales would go and if this would be something I could actually make a living doing, but after experiencing the success of that first season, my confidence was boosted tenfold. I knew we were onto something. The struggle all along has been trying to keep up with all the different factors that go into designing and developing a complete collection, while also being a mama to two small kids. It’s SO much work.  More than I think I was prepared for, even after having worked in the fashion industry for years. When it is your own company, it’s just different. Everything holds so much weight, and for me, it’s all a reflection of who I am. I juggle a lot of roles, from design, to tech packs, to fittings… communicating back and forth with our factory, coordinating photo shoots, creating lookbooks, attending tradeshows and keeping up on social media…. It’s a lot, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Shella: Are there any hardships or challenges that you had to overcome that turned into a success?

Kelli: Well, the brand just turned 2 years old this November, so I feel like we are still growing and learning so much. One of the biggest challenges so far has been regarding production. It’s tough when you go through all the steps of designing something you envision, only to see it produced not entirely the way you expected. I remember in the very beginning sometimes just wanting to give up because we just couldn’t seem to get it right with the factory, and as a designer it was so discouraging. Still to this day, we have ups and downs, successes and failures, and with each of them, there is a chance to learn and get better. I feel like that is the outlook I have now. It’s never as easy as it seems… there will always be bumps along the way and mistakes made, but as long as I learn from them and keep pushing on to reach to my goals, there will be fruit in that.

Shella: When you started, how many people were on the team and how many are there now?

Kelli: It was just me and my husband in the beginning. Mostly, just me, with his support! Now we have a mighty team of 5, two of which are my husband and my dad! You can definitely say it’s a small family business.

Shella: Are you hiring? And if yes, what positions are you looking for?

Kelli: Not currently. The next hire will definitely be an assistant designer for me though. We are just not quite there yet.

To see more of Kelli’s awesome designs, check out her pieces on our online shop. And if you’re looking for inspiration for adorable outfits, follow Kelli on Instagram @ryleeandcru. We can promise you, you and your little ones will love these looks!

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6 Halloween Costumes For Your Mini

Halloween is right around the corner and that means costume shopping is on our minds. Instead of getting your little one the same-old, store bought, over-done costume, take a look at our unique and adorable ideas. We’ve mixed some of our favorite vintage pieces with classic staples to create costumes that will wow. Not to mention, your little one will feel comfortable for a long night of trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.

Good Witch or Bad Witch?

Dress your little one up in a Heart Romper by Lucca Valentine for Paush and Black Cat Mary Janes by Mini Melissa. Add a classic broom and witch’s hat and she’ll be ready to take on the cul-de-sac.

good witch bad witch halloween costume for kids

All Aboard The Love Boat

This Captain’s look was created from the amazing vintage pieces we find all over town. All you need to complete the look is a nautical themed sweater, classic bow tie, a captain’s hat and a toy sail boat. Your little man will look adorable and he’ll enjoy the toy boat!

captain costume for kids

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Who wouldn’t love to be Audrey Hepburn for Halloween? Create this chic costume with a Black Ruffle Bubble by Little Minis, a long strand of pearls and extra large sunglasses. This classic costume will make your mini the cutest girl on the block.   

breakfast-at-tiffanys

Mini School Girl

This vintage piece makes the perfect Mini School Girl costume. With a pair of glasses, some pigtails, knee-highs and Mary Janes, your costume is complete! She’ll love trick-or-treating in  this vintage costume.

school girl costume for little girl

Chiquita Banana

Another great piece from our vintage finds completes this Chiquita Banana costume. Put your girl’s hair up into a bun and add some fruit graphics with bobby pins. A simple outfit turns into a classic costume and you’re ready to start collecting candy.

chiquita banana costume for girls

The Scary Kids

Pull out your black and striped clothing! This is an easy one to put together. Some black clothes, striped socks and face masks, make  the scary kids come alive. Add a little fright to your Halloween with these dark and spooky costumes. 

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The best part of these costumes is that your kiddo will be able to wear the clothes again, instead of packing them away in some box, never to be seen again. If you love these ideas, stop by our store in Long Beach to see what we can create for you. Or visit us online at shopsweetthreads.com to find more amazing pieces. Happy Halloween!!

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What To Pack For A Summer Vacation

Summer time is upon us! School is coming to an end and kids are gearing up for summer adventures. Vacations can really include a little bit of everything, like sightseeing, hiking, swimming, theme parks, camping, road trips and lots of family time. A lot goes into planning a family trip. Sometimes, the last thing we think about is what to pack for ourselves and the kids. To help make your summer trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible, we have compiled a list of some helpful questions and tips to help you when packing for your summer vacation.

“It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

Question 1: Where are you going?

Question 2: How many days will you be there?

Question 3: What does the weather forecast look like?

Question 4: Will you be going on any special outings during your trip?

A solid plan will keep stress levels down and ensure that everyone is happy. With some foresight, organization and help, the whole family will be ready for any scenario!

A few things you might forget to pack…

Sunscreen, hats and glasses. It’s safe to say that most summer vacations are spent outside in the sun. You want to make sure your little ones are protected while spending time in the beautiful sunshine. At Sweet Threads, we have picked a few of our favorites just for your summer trips. We love the Kid’s Chestnut Brown Straw Fedora Hat to keep your little boy safe and stylish. For the girls, we love the Rose Fedora by Joylife. We also have these adorable Baby Aviator Sunnies to protect your kids’ eyes while out in the sun.

kids-fedoras-and-sunglasses

Distractions. Pack some books and toys to stay sane while traveling with young children. Sweet Threads carries many educational books that the little ones can’t put down, including vintage books and our favorite Baby Lit Books.

Baby Lit Books

We also have many fun toys to keep even the littlest ones entertained. Enjoy these Hand Rattles from La De Dah Kids. The baby crochet is so soft on their little fingers.

Hand Rattles

Swimwear. Even if your vacation has no hint of a beach, pack a bathing suit for your kids anyway. You never know when there will be an occasion to run through sprinklers or take a dip in a swimming hole. Many hotels have guest pools and it’s a shame not to use them! Try some of Sweet Threads’ adorable girls’ swimsuits. You might love these even more than your girls do!

girls-swimwear

A great, all-purpose bag. This one’s for the moms! You don’t wan to be worrying about switching out the diaper bag for your nice purse. Bring one bag that will work for any occasion, whether it’s your carry-on or your purse for a nice dinner out. Our favorite is the No. 668 Vintage Day Bag II by Nena & Co. Their bags are made from hand-picked, vintage Maya clothing and each one is truly one-of-a-kind. You’ll never see another girl with your bag on her shoulder!

no668-vintage-day-bag-nena-and-co

A few extra important tips:

Make the packing process fun for the kiddos! Include them, ask them what they would like to wear and, keep in mind, deciding what clothes to bring doesn’t have to be a chore. This will make the process easier on you too!

Download some educational apps on the iPad before your trip. These games are lifesavers and you don’t have to feel bad about your little one having too much screen time.

Don’t forget the hand sanitizer! Getting stuck in a road-side bathroom without soap is the worst.

Snacks, snacks, snacks. When all else fails, snacks always work to quiet down the kids!

Preparing to take a vacation with your children can be fun, exciting and overwhelming. Hopefully, this post will eliminate the overwhelming part! Taking some time to prepare and organize before your trip will take away a lot of the stress. Sweet Threads has many other fun summertime apparel, outfits and accessories. Make sure you’re ready for summer by visiting us in our Long Beach store or online at shopsweetthreads.com.

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The Best Shoes for New Walkers

As your little ones start walking, you want to be sure that you have the very best shoes to help guide their little feet. You don’t usually need to buy your child shoes until they start walking, at around 10-18 months. It’s best to get shoes that are made with flexible, lightweight materials, such as leather or mesh. You don’t need to worry about arch or ankle support, as your child’s feet are still developing. In fact, it’s better to get shoes without ankle support to help them build vital muscles and prevent injuries. It’s also important to get your child new shoes once they start walking. Buying used shoes or using hand-me-downs will hinder your child when developing motor skills. Your child needs a new pair of shoes that will mold to their own unique feet for the best walking experience.

We picked out a couple of brands of children’s shoes that we love to help you find the best shoes for your new walkers! These comfy shoes will help your child develop their motor skills like running, walking and jumping. Not to mention, the adorable designs will have your kid wearing the sweetest kicks on the block.

Native Shoes are extra comfy and flexible, making them perfect for your new walker! They are made of ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA, as it’s commonly called. Pretty much, wearing a pair of Native Shoes feels like you’re walking on clouds. EVA molds perfectly to your little one’s feet, helping them even more as new walkers. These incredibly lightweight shoes are shock absorbent, washable, waterproof and odor-resistant. Imagine being able to throw your kid’s shoes in the washer after a day of jumping in mud puddles! They come in a variety of fun colors and patterns that the kiddos love. Here are some other amazing reasons to get a pair of Native Shoes for your new walker:

Native Shoes don’t contain any harmful substances, such as BPA, phthalate or formaldehyde. They are REACH and CPSIA compliant.

They are animal by-product free.

Native’s production process is cleaner and greener. They utilize a unique low-emission and low waste manufacturing process.

Every shoe is packaged and shipped using recyclable materials.

With Native Shoes, you’re investing into a great pair of kicks to help your child learn how to walk. By buying a pair, you also know that you are giving to a green and eco-friendly company. At Sweet Threads, we strongly believe in supporting green companies and we thoroughly love Native Shoes. We carry sizes from 12 months to 6 years with many different styles, ranging from tennis shoes to rain boots. To get your kid a pair, visit us at our Long Beach store or online at www.shopsweetthreads.com.

native-shoes

There’s no doubt about it, the Nimble collection of children’s shoes are some of the cutest on the market! These shoes are handcrafted with natural, soft leather and a flexible gum sole. The design makes these shoes extra flexible and comfortable, perfect for your little one as they learn to walk. Their stylish look makes them some of the most popular shoes out there. We currently carry the in demand Babyseta shoe in two colors: safety orange, white & leopard and green camo. We carry sizes from 0-24+ months. Not only are these fashionable shoes designed to help your little one learn to walk, they will also instantly up your child’s cuteness factor. Come in to our Long Beach store to try some on today or visit us at www.shopsweetthreads.com

nimble-shoes

Picking the Perfect Pair of Shoes:

  1. For their first pair, it is good to go into the store to get your child’s feet measured.
  2. Once you have found an adorable pair, check the fit! Insert your pinkie into the heel and the point where the shoe meets the ankle. Your finger should fit snuggly.
  3. Feel the shoe’s tip, while your child is standing, to make sure there’s about half an inch of space between their big toe and the tip of the shoe.
  4. After you find a shoe with a great fit, have your child walk around the store. Look for a loose, slipping heel and any red marks on their feet once they take the shoes off. These are indicators that the shoes are not fitting well.
  5. Kid’s feet grow rapidly. They need a new pair of shoes about every 2-3 months. When they start taking their shoes off constantly, hobbling around or rubbing their feet, you should start looking at buying them a bigger pair of shoes.

Come see us in our Sweet Threads store in Long Beach to find the perfect fit for your new walkers. If you already know what size and shoe you want, visit us on www.shopsweetthreads.com to order your favorite kicks. We have a great reputation for carrying the best in children’s apparel and shoes. You can be sure that you will find the best brands and companies when you shop with Sweet Threads. Our boutique is all you need to make your little ones the cutest around. Come by the store or visit us online and make sure your kid is the best new walker in town!

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Candy Color Pastels

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pastel dressesWith Valentine’s Day now passed us… Spring time is right around the corner (Spring Equinox, March 20). Time to start hunting for the SWEETEST dress for your little precious. Here are our 4 FAVORITE candy color pastel dresses found in our store www.shopsweetthreads.com.

Starting Left to right:

Lize Vintage Girls 1950’s or Earlier Yellow Spring Dress

Hucklebones Wisteria Bow Tie Dress (on SALE!)

Hucklebones Pink with Tan Hearts Georgette Flutter Dress

Betty Aden Vintage Girls 1970’s Mint Apron Dress

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4TH OF JULY SUMMER SALE!!

Your friends at Sweet Threads want to help your little ones celebrate this Independence Day in fine style. Just for the Fourth of July, we’re rolling out a a HUGE SUMMER SALE with 30% OFF ENTIRE STORE + FREE SHIPPING.

SALE! SALE! SALE!
Enjoy saving $$$ during our SUMMER sale starting July 1!! Sale ends on July 9 at 11:59pm. Enter JULY4 at check out.

VINTAGE + NEW
Shop & SAVE on all VINTAGE + NEW clothing for your kids! Includes brands Mini Rodini, A for Apple, Hucklebones, Wildfox Kids and exclusively hand picked Vintage threads! Don’t forget FREE SHIPPING!

HAPPY SHOPPING!!