Our blog.

We are changing the world. And now we are blogging about it. We hope you enjoy a glimpse of what we do and how hard we work to do it. We are also excited to introduce you to our fabulous retailers and customers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Thursday Reality.

So by now I think you all know that I, Kyle, owner of b&b, am also a law student. I love learning about the law and cannot wait to be a real practicing lawyer (despite what many think, I do still want to practice law despite the successes of b&b!)

Anyway, my Thursdays are SO LONG. I get here at 9am for class and then have an 8 hour break before my last class, which ends at 10pm. So I spend my hours in the setting in the above photo. Textbook, e-mail, and coffee.

My time is broken up by taking business calls and getting caught up on returning calls. (Note that unfortunately I did not say reading.) Many of you have actually chatted with me during this time.

It just occurred to me today that this is such a funny lifestyle.
My Evidence class ends at 11am and as soon as the last student leaves I crank up some Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Steel Pulse, FFD, or Outkast and get to WORK on building a world-changing children's brand/EMPIRE.

I work on blog posts, invoice retailers, confirm shipments, chat with suppliers, and start INNOVATING. It is in my Thursday caffeine-and-TSwift-induced highs that I have thought of the COOLEST new things coming from us at barley & birch.

But its kind of funny, right? That all this crazy awesome exciting business stuff is born in this dark sketchy lecture hall
in between Evidence and Constitutional Law class in downtown San Fransisco?

Or have I been listening to too much Taylor and am just totally losing my mind?

Off to class!


P.S. Sometimes this guy is in here too. He swears he doesn't mind the confused music selection blasting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Wear it!" Wednesday

Happy Wear it Wednesday to you all! You get TWO cutie barley & birch-loving tots this week to make up for lack of Wear It Wednesday the last two weeks!
They are both sporting their b&b for RockerByeBaby Tees!

These two little guys are the adorable sons of Leslie, the most inspiring eco-Mama that I have come across.
By reading her blog, Recycle Your Day, I am inspired to work harder to be even greener. I think I am super green and then I read her blog, where she is making her own deorderant and body lotions all while making her own pickles and raw dinners for her family. Like... how does she do this right? I am baffled and inspired at the same time!

Not to mention the fact that the first time I met Leslie, she was tweeting through her incredible natural birth all while making soup for her houseguests to enjoy while she gave birth. YES, I am serious. No, I am not sure if she is superhuman but I am guessing as much.

BUT, lets get to these cuties!

Tristan, her eldest, is often referred to as the "eco tot" because, well, he is eco-loving AND was born on Earth Day. Tristan's favorite food is organic homemade granola (prounounced "buh-nola"), homemade hummus w/ crudités (plate of veggies) and pickles.Leslie reports that he is also very fond of Surf Sweet organic jelly beans. His favorite activity is upcycling items from around the home and incorporating them into a craft. His mother said, "Today, we made binoculars from toilet paper rolls- went on a nature walk and spotted birds. He also loves to make mud pies in his sand box."

Wow, does this little guy make being a green kid sound adorable or what?

And then there is Clark, also known as "Baby C." Leslie reports that Baby C is loving his green smoothies and organic bananas right now. His favorite thing to do is to watch his big brother and being held in his Ergo. His family notes that he also loves ALL animals at the moment.

Well we think these two guys and their parents make for the most eco-and-cute-packed house that we could possibly imagine.

Thanks to Leslie and her boys for the photos!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Missing. In. Action.

Hi all!

I have about a million blog posts that are being written and have been endlessly busy these past few weeks and for some reason have chosen getting a few hours of sleep each night over maintaining our beloved blog. I love my blog!

This weekend I was in Ohio to take a class on Terrorism and International Law. I was also visiting with friends and family, doing TV interviews, and organizing our Spring 2010 collection as we get ready to ship it to our retailers. (Photo above was taken on my cell phone while Tara, the reporter, was interviewing Marianne and her baby Braden about why they love barley&birch. Can you see that he is wearing our Octi Onepiece?! Photo below of Cassdy, the cutie daughter of the produce manager of Phoenix Earth Food Co-op in Toledo, Ohio, our newest retailer and the coolest grocery on the planet. I love everyone there! How adorable is she in our Gazelle Tee?)

So I wanted to share some things we are working on:

-Rolling out Spring 2010. We have our natural tees in, our sweaters are in transit, and our first round of wovens are on their way to us. We love our Spring collection and know they are going to fly off our retailers shelves and are SO excited to get them to them.

-Planning our Fall 2010 shoot. The inspiration is the U.S. food production and the cool local farms with their heirloom species and breeds.

-Finalizing our Fall 2010 collection! We are designing adorable prints and garments for kids (and possibly their awesome mommies!) and I can't say enough how adorable this collection is going to be. Like, what little boy would not what Mr. Moo down below on their shirt?

-Figuring out a new, game-changing website that I won't say much more about. Just think: have you ever wanted to get paid to volunteer and improve your community? Hm. Okay then.

-Designing our pieces to benefit Haiti, 100% of the purchase price of which will go to groups with which I have worked personally. Many people are doing tees, but we feel its important to do our own due to my 10 year relationship with the country and because we have funded schools and clinics there from day one.

How do you feel about those updates? Are you excited? Bored? We love to hear your feedback!

Anyway, thank you for your patience and for still loving us even though we are incommunicado. We will be back on our blogging game this week! (:



Friday, February 5, 2010

Our first sponsorship-- PROUD.

We get asked to sponsor things and advertise at least once a day.

We always decline, as I fiercely guard our budget to ensure that we can donate as much money as we do yet still have the resources we need to continue our growth and expansion plans. (There will come a time when we sponsor and advertise all over the place, of course, its just not now.)

But then Sara Sophia, of our beloved tout-est-des-roses was looking for sponsors for Blissdom. Of course we had to say yes! We've connected with her so so deeply over the past year and want her to have all the opportunities to reach more people that she can. So we really didn't give it a 2nd thought.

Well, until we did some checking up on all the zillions of people going to Blissdom. Wow, this was, like, a big conference. It wasn't just some little thing she just wanted to do. Everyone is there in this blogging world (in which we are very much still getting our bearings.) There are people with like a trillion followers. Whoa, and that one is inspiringly, awesomely thrifty. Oh, and that lady has like a cult following. And that one is sort of crabby. Cool women!

And then all of the sudden a huge smile crept across my face and I was filled with this enormous sense of pride and gratefulness. Our sponsee, Sara Sophia, is the perfect person for us to sponsor and to represent us as a brand. We literally support every single facet of her life and thoughts and, seriously, who could not love her personality? I look to her for cheer and inspiration. I look forward to reading her posts and basking in her positive and own-beat-marching energy.

Like, this video, for example. I've watched it at least half a million times (like many of you!) Usually at 2am when I am just overwhelmed and disenchanted with life. And it makes me smile and kiss my puppy and be happy about the whole world. How can you not melt when you watch it? (Also love the cameo of the Gazelle onepiece.)

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that (1) by spending our first sponsorship/advertising dollar we took our first step to real business-ness (not just new-kids-on-the-block world changing) and (2) that we are so intensely proud of our sponsee that I can't even express it. Its a new step for us and I couldn't be happier.

TGIF! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

b&b retailer-- Wiggle Room (just a little bragging)

Sometimes I think I am the only one who leads a double life as a student and then as a business owner. I toil away in law school all day and handle business in my gaps. I get pats on the back and it makes the work seem a little lighter and worthwhile.

Nicole Adenauer, co-owner of our beloved retailer Wiggle Room, puts me to shame.

Nicole co-owns a booming children's boutique. Nicole is currently finishing her Masters in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University in D.C. Um, WOW, right?

But there is more! She recently completed an internship in the U.S. Department of State. While there Nicole completed research on modern slavery, specifically with the supply chains involving the U.S. food supply.

This research was so outstanding that Nicole was honored by the State Department by being named a Hometown Diplomat for the city of Miami. The Miami Herald profiled Nicole here. This article shines a great light on the amazing mind she has and work she has done.

Her accomplishments are so incredibly impressive and awe-inspiring and I can't help but gush at the world-changing that Nicole is doing while running Wiggle Room. Truly, this blog post doesn't even do justice to her past work, advocacy, knowledge, and successes.

I am so lucky to have Nicole as a business and personal friend and just had to do a little bragging for her, as she is the most humble person on the planet.

Congratulations, Nicole! We can't wait to see what you will achieve next. (:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Wear it!" Wednesday

Meet Sydney!

Sydney's mother is Erin, a writer for the blog In The Know Mom. (Sarah, the other writer, has a daughter that was featured last week.)

Sydney is 2 years old and her favorite animal is a monkey. Her mother tells us that her favorite foods are pickles and popcorn. Her favorite color is purple (like our Poppies Tee that she is sporting!) and she loves to paint.

Well we think she is completely adorable.

Thanks to Erin and Sydney for the photos!