Any entrepreneur will tell you that creating your own business is not easy, but they don’t often emphasize how much fun it is! Fact: UpUp Baby started from a spark of creativity in the shower. Some of you may relate to that longing to do your own thing. You may have no clue what it is, but certain you have a purpose or calling or a feeling deep in your gut to do something different, something great! I knew this ‘thing’ I was to do had to derive from things I loved most. My two kids top that list. Next, what I loved most as an individual was traveling. And while I was traveling, what I loved most was shopping at local handcrafts markets.
I didn’t see it as stuff. I saw it as bringing home a piece of the world, a piece of culture, a piece of that someone whose creative talent poured into it. It’s amazing to see what our human hands are capable of, but more amazing is the creative spirit in each of us. So there, I now had all the flames of inspiration to ignite that spark of creativity in the shower that day. Children, travel, handcrafts, and having my own business all equaled UpUp Baby!
“When? How? Where? “What?” I didn’t stress these questions. I knew the answers would come. I left the idea to the universe and the universe responded back. Little by little, the answers would arise in me. This occurred more and more once our family had moved to Nicaragua. I always knew my birth country had amazing craftsmanship, so moving here was a huge bonus for me personally and for this business concept. I found myself at Nicaragua’s largest handcrafts market in the city of Masaya just about every week. I just love it! I can spend the entire day going through all the stalls looking, touching, even smelling the items. “Who makes this? What is this made of? How did they make this?” I kept asking. Some shop keepers would know, others not. But I was determined to find out everything I could about my favorite pieces. Walking around markets also served to let my creativity run wild to come up with ideas and designs for products to offer.
When I thought about what items I wanted to offer in the shop’s collection, I had certain characteristics in mind that I would not compromise. Safety was number one; handmade was second; and made from natural materials was third. Then each piece would have to include at least one of the elements of “simple” play as described in Kim John Payne’s Simplicity Parenting book.
As I mentioned in a previous post about preparing for baby the simple way, I absolutely love Simplicity Parenting. So much so, that I became certified as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach, a training offered by Kim and his team. I took the course for personal use but I knew someday I would share all this awesome information with others. And here it is.
Simplicity Parenting described the elements of simplified play and while I read it, it really resonated with me. So let this post serve as an intro to these elements. I will share more on the Simplicity Parenting approach and the elements in more detail in later posts, but for now let me tell you what they are.
- Trial and error – allowing for the development of children’s brains and bodies to happen naturally through their own trial and error discoveries
- Touch – encouraging the most prevalent sense for small children
- Pretending, imaginary play – flexing their creative thinking using their imagination and developing cognitive skills through pretend play
- Experience – seeing, doing, feeling and experiencing, allowing them to be more connected to the world
- Purpose and industry – allowing little doers to participate in their worlds by being active contributors to the “work” around them
- Nature – experiencing the natural world to honor its majestic power and beauty
- Social Interactions – how well we get along with others predicts how our success and happiness in life, so playing together matters
- Movement – making children move in order to expand a child access to fun and health
- Art and Music – nourishing children’s creativity, flexing their imagination, soothing and relaxing their play with color and vibration
Now I had a solid foundation, which resulted in UpUp Baby’s mission and philosophy. If I were to offer material products, let them be inspired by natural simple play. I also believe that having a minimal collection for the shop would be in line with the company’s core values centered in simplicity. The offering would be minimal but meaningful, that’s for sure! Children don’t need a room full of toys and gadgets. In fact, having so is a hindrance to their development. So the UpUp Baby collection will not only be a collection of beautifully handcrafted pieces, but they will allow children to experience their world through the elements of simplified play.
So what items are in the collection??? Keep reading the blog as we reveal each piece while approaching the grand opening of the shop! Haven’t subscribed yet? Join here!