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Serendipity Living Easter Photo Shoot

One of the highlights of the past few months was a photo shoot for Easter with Serendipity magazine. I had so much fun picking each headpiece for the models and the pictures turned out really great!

This was the spread in the magazine that was published in the March/April 2012 issue of Serendipity:

Quinn Carroll from Christopher Noland Salon in Greenwich did all the hair on the models and she was wonderful with the kids!

Bruce Plotkin was the photographer for the shoot and look what a fantastic job he did with the pictures! They all came out so lovely.

You may notice some of the headbands on the models are not on the website. They are my Rosette headbands and are made with individually hand rolled fabric rosette flowers. The older girls and moms love them because of the sophisticated look. The model on picture #8 is seen wearing a pink version. I am hoping they will be part of the website soon. But for now, they will be available on my trunk shows and once in a while, I might put one or two on facebook to sell.

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Serendipity Magazine Feature

Lizzie, Izzie + James is featured in the September / October 2011 issue of Serendipity Magazine. Whoo-hoo!       

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Smart Mom Picks May 13, 2011

Lizzie, Izzie + James: a "Smart Mom Pick"!

by Gigi Ross on May 13, 2011

I.love.hairdoodles.

That’s my catchall term for clips, barrettes, ponies, headbands, and whatever else can adorn a little girl’s hair.

My daughter’s birthday present last year was a giant box of hairdoodles.

The only major bummer is that my daughter’s hair is super fine, and a lot of the traditional hair accessories simply don’t stay affixed to her hair. They slide out, and by the time I pick her up after school, it’s danging at the end of a strand of a hair, like a fish on a hook.

Note: I am not a fan of my kid looking like an absolute ragamuffin. And that’s precisely what she looks like with sad hairdoodles that won’t stay in her hair.

I am encouraged by this online retailer of children’s hair accessories called Lizzie, Izzie and James.

The owner of this business started it because she couldn’t find hairdoodles that stayed in her kid’s hair. A woman after my own heart.

Lizzie, Izzie and James makes handmade clips, headbands and more.

The headband pictured above is from their Hydrangea line. All of these headbands are made of wool felt and mounted on a fabric covered headband. Isn’t the detailing on the flower pattern just precious?

One of the other headband collections they have is a sweet blossom pattern.

There are 4-5 other collections of headbands; they range from $10 to $18 each.

The array of hair clips is really cute as well. My daughter would love this “Flutterfly” design.

I also loved this piggie.

 

Two of the other styles offered include a rainbow and these adorable monogrammed clips.

The hair clips range in price from about $8 to $10.

I think these hairdoodles are really lovely. And, the sizing fits ages 3 up to adult – including the headbands – so these really are an investment you can make in quality accessories that will last a long time. To see all of the adorable styles, go visit Lizzie, Izzie and James.

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Examiner Interview - Do It All Mamas and Papas

We are so behind on updating this blog that I can hardly stomach it! Its just been an incredibly busy last few weeks and we are now coming up for air. Last week I met with the merchandising manager of nationwide department store chain and it looks like they want to carry Lizzie, Izzie + James! But first we need to jump through some hoops to get wired into their purchasing systems... stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, I want to catch up by posting a recent interview I did for examiner.com. The full text is included below.

 

Do It All Mamas (& Papas): Meet the mom behind Lizzie, Izzie + James accessories

By Angele Sionna, Early Childhood Parenting Examiner
April 21st, 2011 8:45 am ET

In today's Do It All Mamas (& Papas) the spotlight is on Sherryl Mascarinas, mom of three kids (6, 5, and 3 years old) (plus an 8-year old chocolate brown Weimaraner named Wendy), and the founder of the on-line children's accessories brand called Lizzie, Izzie + James.

Examiner: Tell me something unique/interesting about yourself.

Sherryl: I was born in the Philippines. When I was 4 years old, I told my mom that I wanted to marry one of the boys in my kindergarten class. The following year we were placed in separate classes and I forgot all about my future husband. At some point his family moved to New York and my family moved to Los Angeles. We bumped into each other by chance 12 years later when he was visiting family in California, and then saw each other again 2 years afterwards when I was visiting family in New York. We started dating during our college years, got married 10 years later, and have now been married for 8 years. So, my relationship with my husband has spanned two continents, the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles across the United States and over 30 years! That has to be pretty uncommon, if not unique!

Examiner: What is your business all about?

Sherryl: Lizzie, Izzie + James (www.lizzieizziejames.com) is a web-based children’s accessories brand. We launched in January 2011 with a collection of hand crafted hair clips, headbands, and crowns made from premium wool felt in rich and vibrant colors. As we move forward, we plan to offer an array of other high quality accessories, such as: school bags, belts, hats, gloves, scarves, etc.

We think a business that can offer artisan quality children’s accessories coupled with an excellent customer experience can do very well. In addition to an obsessive focus on design and quality, we offer things that make shopping enjoyable, such as: next business day shipment, a super low flat shipping rate, and a very liberal and straightforward full refund return policy. We want our customers to be thrilled with us, so we treat them the same way we would want to be treated. Most times, we go even further.

Examiner: What is your favorite product that you make or sell and why do you like or recommend it?

Sherryl: I‘m a big fan of all our products, but recently I’ve been wearing two more often than the others: our Spanish Roses headbands and our Park Street Mini hair clips. Both collections are simple, colorful, and incredibly cute! They add an understated flourish to any outfit and are comfortable and versatile for both kids and grown-ups to wear all day.

Examiner: Why did you start your business?

Sherryl: It started as a hobby. I started making little hair clips and headbands for my daughters. Then I started giving them as gifts to their classmates and friends. Soon I was receiving frequent requests from family, and then from friends, then from friends of friends, then from moms who saw kids wearing my little creations around town. Eventually, I joined Etsy, an online platform for crafters and artists, and started selling under the name “Skylar’s Candy Clips”. I had customers from around the country and sold to a few boutiques in southern Connecticut, California, Texas, and even one down under in Sydney, Australia.

Ultimately, it was unsustainable because I was doing everything myself. I was making the products, taking the photographs, posting them on-line, blogging about them, packaging them up, and taking them to the post office. I would drive around to buy the raw materials and have to hunt for them when they weren’t available at the usual stores. I was trying to do all that while managing a household of three busy kids. It was gratifying to make things that people enjoyed, but the process was as inefficient (and unprofitable) as could be.

In the fall of 2010 I decided to pause and regroup, and took some time to figure out how to turn my hobby into a viable business. I got my husband to help me and together we figured out the people and the pieces that needed to be brought together to make things work. I re-opened my doors under a new name, a brand new and expanded product line, and a dedicated web site 4 months later, in January 2011.
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Examiner: What secret do you have to share with other parents about "having it all" with your family and business?

Sherryl: I wish I had the secret formula - I’m still trying to figure it out myself! I think like anything worthwhile, it takes hard work. Maintaining balance takes hard work. Achieving lofty goals takes hard work. I just try to spend my time on the things that really matter, and I let many far less important things go.

Examiner: What is the number one piece of advice you have for other parents?

Sherryl: I’m far from a parenting expert, but I think it’s really important to set aside personal time. This may sound like a fantasy to many overworked and super busy moms and dads, but I’m convinced that it’s a necessary part of being a happy and effective parent. You can’t possibly be at your best (as a parent or a spouse) when you’re not happy yourself. My husband and I still go out regularly – even when all we can do is grab a quick bite or a movie. We still see our friends (together and separately) and squeeze in long dinners with them as much as often as we can. My husband likes to go to the gym regularly and I sneak in quick workouts when I drop my youngest off at pre-school. I’m also preparing for my second half marathon in the summer, so the running regiment will give me consistent blocks of time to be by myself. My husband and I agree - we’d quickly lose our equilibrium if we gave up our personal time, so we work together to give it to each other.

Examiner: What is your (and your kids) favorite family activity?

Sherryl: We love to ski in the winter and swim in the summer. We also like to have friends and family over for long, leisurely, laughter filled meals. But most of the time, we like to stay in and watch movies together.

Examiner: Anything else you want to add?

Sherryl: I’m in awe of some of the people you’ve interviewed for this column. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me!
 

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HGTV Photo Shoot by The Tomkat Studio

Our Playground headband from our Mead Park Bouquet collection was featured in The Tomkat Studio's photo shoot for HGTV! So cute!!!              

       

You can see the more on: 'www.thetomkatstudio.com/hgtv-charming-yellow-blue-easter-brunch/

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Rave and Review: "Display Your Everyday Cute"

Display Your Everyday Cute with Lizzie, Izzie + James - March 31, 2011

"Whether you are looking for flair for everyday or for special occasion pieces, you are bound to find the perfect accessory at Lizzie, Izzie + James."

You can read the review here, here, then here.

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Momma's Gone City - April 4, 2011

Jessica Shyba of Momma's Gone City wrote some very nice things about Lizzie, Izzie + James. Here are a couple of excerpts from "Winter Whimsy", April 4 2011:

"... Inside was the cutest shipment of lizzie, izzie + james felt crowns and hair accessories. Our afternoon was officially salvaged. Off we went to the grocery stores as a pirate prince and princess."

"... These beautiful crowns helped distract us from our routine and spruced up our imaginations a little. I imagine they will accompany us to preschool, to the pediatrician, to the post office, and to the green market as well."

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Cool Baby Kid - March 30, 2011

"Lizzie, Izzie + James: A New Top Pick" - CoolBabyKid.com, March 30, 2011:


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The Shopping Mama - March 30, 2011

"The Best Accessories For Kids" - 'TheShoppingMama.com, March 30, 2011:

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Interview: Oh My! Handmade Goodness

We had a chance to chat with Jessika Hepburn, the talented editor of OMHG, an awesome online "community of independent children's retailers and the hip parents who support them".  The full interview is below. You can also read it on their site here.


by Jessika Hepburn, editor

I have such a treat for you all today! I am happy to share the adorable clips, headbands & crowns of Lizzie, Izzie + James and to interview the creator, Sherryl Mascarinas. Lizzie, Izzie + James is simply filled with wonderful handmade designs and “everyday cute” for your little ones hair + super fun crowns for boys and girls. Sherryl was sweet enough to send me a package of goodies in time for Sela’s birthday last week and I was really impressed not just with the high quality of the products but with her overall branding. Branding is so much more then a logo, when done well it showcases the product and makes it’s own impression-from their website, beautiful photos + illustrations by the talented Mayi Carles to the packaging and products themselves, every bit of Lizzie, Izzie + James branding shows attention to detail and a love of quality handmade.

I caught up with Sherryl via email to find out more about Lizzie, Izzie + James and to share the story of her business with you!

1. Hi Sherryl! Thanks for visiting OMHG and sharing your wonderful business with us. Please tell us a bit about yourself & the story of Lizzie, Izzie + James:

Hi Jessika! Thanks for having me on OMHG!

Hi everybody, my name is Sherryl Mascarinas. I am the proud mommy of 3 awesome kids (ages 6, 5, and 3) and the founder of Lizzie, Izzie + James, a web-based children’s accessories brand. We live in New Canaan, CT.

Lizzie, Izzie + James was born as a hobby. I began making little hair accessories for my first daughter when she was about a year old. Soon after, I began making them for family, then for friends, then for friends of friends, then for moms who saw my products around town. Eventually, I opened a little store on Etsy and began selling to customers across the country. It was easy to get started, but it was very limited and was ultimately unsustainable because I was doing everything by myself. I’d hunt for the materials, make the products, photograph them, blog about them, then package and mail them. I was the entire supply, production, and fulfillment line. Although it was great to offer a product that my customers really enjoyed, it wasn’t at all profitable and it definitely was not scalable.

In the fall of 2010, my husband convinced me to pause and to think seriously about what I wanted to do with my little business. Making it viable in a meaningful way was going to take serious re-design and some investment. I decided to make a go at it, and together we figured out the people and the pieces that we needed to put in place to make it work. We re-launched in January 2011 with an organized supply and production process, an expanded product line, and a dedicated website.

2. I just love the samples you sent me, your accessories are so adorable & well made! But I was also really impressed by your packaging & all over branding + was really excited to find out the lovely Mayi Carles did some designs for you. Can you tell us about how you have built your brand & created your packaging?

Thank you! Branding is a really important part of the customer experience, so we knew we had to get it right. We also realized that although we had a vision for what we wanted, we needed talented people with the right experience and skill sets to help us execute and bring it to fruition. Basically, we had to build a good team. After doing a bunch of interviews, we enlisted a small branding agency, a web developer, and a photographer. Then we managed their work and kept them talking to each other continuously so that their efforts would be consistent and cohesive as a whole. That’s how I think our website came out so well!

As it relates to packaging, we had a pretty clear idea for what we wanted to do. But we also wanted to bring in someone with a fresh perspective and a unique artistic point of view. That’s when we approached Mayi Carles to produce those incredibly cute illustrations for us! You can see the fantastic work she did for us here.

3. What is a typical “day in the life” for you?

My days are pretty kid centric. Typically, it starts with getting the kids dressed for school, cooking their breakfast, packing their lunches, and getting them all out of the door. Then I work until they get home in the mid-afternoon. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze in some time for a run or a workout in the gym. When the kids get home, they take over completely. We hang out, do some crafts, do homework, sometimes some baking, and then get ready for dinner. Bedtime for the kids is 8:00. After that usually comes more work, then some time to relax with my husband.

4. Sometimes balancing parenting + work is HARD! What are some strategies or organizational tips that you have learned along the way?

It is hard! I’m still trying to figure it out, but there are two basic rules I try to stick to. The first is that I try to spend my time and energy only on those things that really matter. A lot of things crop every day, but a lot of those things are really just noise – I try to let those things go.

The second rule is that I make sure to set aside time for myself. I’m convinced that personal time is a necessary part of being a happy and effective parent. I can’t be at my best (as a mom, a wife, a friend, etc.) when I’m harried and fatigued. I need time to go to the gym, to see friends, to read a book, or to do nothing. I need it to keep things in balance and in perspective. I come back refreshed and better able to manage whatever is on my plate.
 

5. Where does the magic happen? We would love to see some pictures of your studio & where you create!

My “studio” currently resides in our basement. A good amount of the work still happens here, but a fair amount also happens outside with some local crafters that we enlisted to help us.

6. What are your plans for Lizzie, Izzie + James in the future? Do you have anything new & exciting in the works?

Over time, we plan to expand to a broader array of children’s accessories, maybe even apparel. But at a higher level, what we really want to build is a brand that is known and trusted for three things: irresistibly cute children’s items, awesome quality, and incredible service. We want our customers to be thrilled with us, so in addition to making high quality products that children love, we also offer service that makes shopping an experience that moms will enjoy. For example, we stock all of our items so that we can ship orders on the same day or by the next business day. Low shipping cost is part of a great shopping experience, so we offer $3 flat rate shipping and free shipping on orders over $50. Most importantly, we want our customers to be happy with their purchases, so in case they change their minds, we offer a 60-day any item, any reason, full refund return policy. No re-stocking charges, no quibble. We’ll even refund original shipping costs. If we can be known and trusted for great products and great service, we’re confident that we’ll have a good shot at doing well, however we might evolve in the future.

Learn more about Sherryl and Lizzie, Izzie + James by visiting:

the Lizzie, Izzie + James website + blog + facebook page

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