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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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Wear it!" Wednesday


With our very first Spring 2010 collection "Wear it!" Wednesday, meet cutie Gage! Look at the smile! Do you think he is giggling at the bear eating sushi or if he is just that happy and cute? I suspect its the latter. (:

Gage is the adorable son of the equally as adorable Emily of DesignHER Momma. We love reading her blog and love following her tweets. (Despite the fact that she is Michigan State alum and we, as a business I think, are Wolverines for life. She actually just reviewed the Sushi onepiece and is offering a giveaway! (Go enter!)

Gage is 4 months old and currently enjoying his first vacation in sunny Florida. Emily reports that he is very happy and smiles all day long, taking after his father. His favorite activities include being worn in a sling by his mom (he could stay there for hours) and taking 2 long naps a day. Gage has 2 big sisters that keep him entertained every waking moment.

Well with a smile-y dad, smart and funny momma, and two sisters, we think Gage is destined to be a happy and sweet little boy.

Thanks to Emily and Gage for the photos!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Two Truths & a Lie-- an open offer! (Miriam's Kitchen Post Pt. 2)

So, per the previous post, I am packing up my check to send to Miriams Kitchen today. (Check out these videos of some news segments they were featured on today. It gives a neat glimpse into the awesome things they are doing.)

I also happened to swing by Costco and (while snacking on a frozen yogurt and looking at cords for big TVs for my dad) I realized that, sure, we were sending a $74 dollar check to feed the homeless. But thats really nothing in the big picture. Miriam's feeds 200 people each MORNING!

And I thought "I should give more." But, like many of you all out there, I thought, "But, we can't." It was that simple. We try to fund things all the time and we are very much over-donated and, well, we couldn't. "Me sponsoring even an entire meal per month isn't sustainable at this point for b&b financially." I thought. "I should. But I can't." Taking another chomp of my frozen yogurt and watching snowboarding on the 100 huge screened TVs, I realized "I will send some stuff they need though. In this world of too much, its the least I can do."

So I moseyed over to the coffee. $12 for huge bag of organic and local coffee. Okay.




Then I looked at socks. $12 for a set of socks. Sounds good.




Then it hit me!
I didn't have to save the world all by myself! Other people could spend $24 and arguably not even notice the expense in their budget. And Miriam's needs things like jeans and coffee mugs, too! Things that you have sitting around and want to get rid of! Or things you could get at Goodwill for a few bucks! They keep their wishlist updated and
tweet it often.

So, I would like to formally announce our open offer to you all:


If you e-mail us (hey@barleyandbirch.com) a photo of you or your kids packing up a box of goodies to send to Miriam's Kitchen and include your address, we will send you a complimentary piece of barley & birch clothing as a "Thank you."


Tell your friends!

Love,
Kyle

Two Truths & a Lie-- Reveal! (Miriam's Kitchen Post Pt. 1)

video

Its time to announce the answer to our "Two Truths and a Lie" post featuring our beloved Miriam's Kitchen!


Watch this video from Jenn, the Development Associate at Miriam's to find out the correct facts and the lie. Did you guess correctly?!


To refresh your memory, we asked you all to guess which of the following facts was FALSE:

1. A typical guest at Miriam’s Kitchen has been homeless for nearly 5 years.


2. Most of our guests stay in transitional housing, but come to us for their meals and support services that aren’t available in their home

3.
One of our guests has his painting of Barack Obama hanging in the White House.



We had 74 guesses on this blog post, which means that I will be sending a $74 dollar check to them today.

Thanks to the folks at Miriam's for letting us draw some attention to their amazing work!


(Part 2 of this post will be posted later today and gives you a way to get some free barley&birch. Excited?)


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Wear it!" Wednesday


Meet the adorable Lola! Lola is the daughter of the amazing Jen of Sophie&Lili, that I know you all love already! Everyone of all ages loves the adorable dolls that she makes. I want, like, all of them actually.

Lola, seen wearing our Panda Tank, loves coloring and, as her mother notes, "cutting paper to shreds." Her favorite food is pasta and she loves watching Yo Gabba Gabba. (I have never seen YGG but everyone loves it... do I need to record a few?) We think that Lola is just the cutest little thing with the most darling smile!


The bigggggg news from Sophie&Lili and barley&birch are our dolls that we are collaborating on
! Neato, right?! We have worked out 6 designs with dolls that are wearing the barley&birch Spring 2010 collection! Watch Sophie&Lili's Facebook page and Twitter as they release the final two! You can see the dolls we've released so far here.


Here is the Jum dress Sophie&Lili doll!




We are truly honored to be able to collaborate with Jen in this way and hope that you all love the dolls as much as we do! These will be available on a special ecommerce site for pre-order in a few weeks! They will also be headed to retailers all across the country.


Thanks to Lola and Jen for the photos and for letting us work with you! (:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our letterpress goodies!

HI!! I'm back! So sorry for the incredibly long hiatus from our blogging.

That time was filled by frantically packing up boxes full of our Spring and shipping them to our retailers, planning our AWESOME web redesign, finalizing Fall, and me writing long, important papers for school!

But I'm back!

And I want to tell you about someone I really am crazy about-- Bird Dog Press.

They made some new stationary for us. Like, gorgeous right? Oh they are made from recycled materials!

This one is on a heavy recycled cardstock. Very earthy looking.

And this is just PCW recycled paper, I think.


This is recycled cotton! So soft!

Alli, the genius behind BDP, is as kind as she is genius and visionary. Look at this baby announcement and tell me you don't want to just BE in Alli's head! It would be like a geniune, sincere world of pretty! And her press kit? Wow!

This video of her creating her little masterpieces is really cool to watch, too! (The Guy, who takes little interest in my world of baby things, loved watching this!)


Bird Dog Press, Lyons, Colorado from Kevin Von Qualen on Vimeo.


Check her out! Soak up some creativity on her blog, and go snatch up some of her genius from her
shop.


Love,

Kyle

Friday, March 5, 2010

Entrepreneurship.

(Preface: I have been doing talk after talk and interview after interview about what being an entrepreneur is and how its impacted my life, so I am always thinking of what it means to my life. Below lies the loopy thoughts of a VERY tired small business owner who is in the process of rolling out SS2010 and polishing FW2010. All while writing papers and studying law.)

Today I took a look in the mirror and felt compelled to share what I saw. It was like a different human being.


It reminded me of those "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs." commercials.

I have received about 3 hours of sleep a night this entire week. I haven't showered in 3 days. I am wearing the same clothes as yesterday because... I was too strung out on tiredness to realize that thats why they were laying on my dresser. My skin is like out of control and the circles under my eyes makes me wonder if I am part raccoon. The bags go down across my cheeks.

Its like I am on this new drug on the streets-- ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

I used to have good hygiene. I used to work in skincare and wear touches of makeup to polish off a perfect glow. I used to love trips to Sephora with Patty, Nat, and Hala reveling in the good smelling and beauty-making things there. I used to be put together. I used to not consider coffee a suitable lunch.


But now I never smell good. Hygiene is an afterthought. Coffee is a great well-rounded meal for me. Its like the downhill spiral of someones life that screams "Someone please intervene!"


I share this with you all because I have had so many conversations with young entrepreneurs about this. Its the ugly (literally) side of running your own business. Oh, and doing it while in law school doesn't help.


So, for your viewing pleasure.


THIS IS YOUR KYLE:




THIS IS YOUR KYLE ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP:

(I turned my head just for you, so you could see the greasy sheen.)

My goal for this weekend is to get pretty and take care of myself!
My challenge to you all: take some time for yourselves and treat yourselves to something special. Can't wait to hear what you all do.

Love,

Kyle

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Wear it!" Wednesday


Meet Sienna Miele! She is wearing our Fishies Laptee.

Sienna is the niece (basically) of our beloved Eli.

Without Eli, we would not be in business! He is the logistical printing genius behind our signature photo prints that are done over the entire piece. (If you notice, not many brands, if ANY, do this, as its very difficult and labor intensive.)
He is basically the coolest guy ever and we are lucky to work with him.

But back to cutie Sienna! Sienna is a true green baby, living in the same super cool farm community in which Eli was raised.

We just can't help from smiling when we look at her darling grin.

Thanks to Eli, Sienna, and Sienna's parents for the photo!