Mothers Day is a pretty big day at my house, not just because I believe that parenting is one of the most important jobs an adult can take, but also because I get a day to celebrate being a proud mom to my two wonderful kids. Whether we decide to picnic just the 4 of us, or I take a day off to read, nap, knit, draw, write, etc, it's sure to be a break from the norm for me and that's always just the thing a busy mama needs.
So, when thinking about what type of gifts I would most appreciate for Mother's Day and what I could recommend for our Green Parent Chicago Mother's Day Gift Guide, I thought along those same lines: something out of the ordinary. Then, I realized there are a number of incredibly awesome local businesses around the city that sell and create the most unique items: things I would actually buy for myself.
It's exciting to see local manufacturers and designers popping up around town, especially those that promote ethical manufacturing and supply chains, as well as local artisans and crafters.
Po Campo, headquartered in Chicago, is an innovative maker of bike bags, yoga bags, travel bags, and diaper bags founded by Chicago designers Maria Boustead and Emily Taylor. I especially like their line of bike bags that look so chic and work so practically. Their multi-function "Connect" system attaches their bags to strollers, bikes, yoga mats and luggage without any ugly bulky hardware. Check out their assortment of great styles, like this much needed update on the fanny pack, yes you heard me fanny pack.
If you love Chicago like I do, then you love its sights and sounds. But, do you love the smells of Chicago? Not Chicago style dogs, deep dish pizza or the lake breeze, how about spring flowers and plants grown right here in Chicago? Well, now you can have a fragrance grown from those very gardens.
Tru Blooms, is a new limited edition perfume created by plants and flowers grown in Chicago's public gardens. A partnership between Tru Fragrance, the City of Chicago and several local nonprofit organizations, the first edition of the perfume is now available for sale and the second edition will be made from the "oils and essences" of flowers grown throughout the city of Chicago in spring/summer 2013. Since the growing conditions and the gardens themselves can never be "perfectly duplicated" each edition is said to be "one-of-a-kind", according to manufacturers.
For a further assortment of entirely local gift options this Mother's Day, check out Local Goods Chicago, a new store in Edgebrook. I was so thrilled to learn how Local Goods Chicago promotes artisans in and around the city with their wide assortment of handcrafted foods, coffee, soaps, confections, art, home decor, toys and more.
I recently got in touch with the owner of Local Goods, Laura Guenther, to learn more about the history of her store. Here's what she said:
"...I was working in a completely different area of work as a mobile app designer. Whenever there was a holiday, birthday or even as a treat for myself, I'd head over to my old neighborhood, Lincoln Square or down to Ukrainian Village to shop for gifts at the small independent stores. Shopping small and shopping local have always been important to me and I found it challenging to find locally made gifts.
I also was frustrated that my current neighborhood, Edgebrook on the NW side was lacking a nice little shop to pick up a gift. Hence, I became obsessed with opening a shop in Edgebrook with locally made handcrafted goods. After nearly a year of planning, I opened Local Goods Chicago in December 2012. We now have over 75 local artisans selling in our shop - both food and craft artisans....in addition to the local goods, our artisans also teach workshops such as card making, canning, knitting."
Local Goods Chicago is currently having a Mother's Day Wish List event now until Saturday where moms can fill out a card of items they like in the store. They are entered for daily prizes and the store keeps their wish list handy in case anyone (hint, hint, dads stumped for what to get their wives) stops in to shop for them.
So, this Mother's Day, don't forget to remember your mamas and grandmas and give them your appreciation for all the hardwork, support and love they've given you. If you're still looking for a little special something to make their day, how about making it a local and green gift this year. Happy Mother's Day!