Introducing my newest project: Sun + Dotter, curation and styling for design-conscious parents

I’ve been hard at work, friends! And today, with the launch of Sun + Dotter, it all pays off. When I was pregnant a year and a half ago, I was so overwhelmed by baby gear. I was determined to buy products that fit the style of my home (rather than filling it with monkeys and monsters), and I didn’t want anything but the essentials.

So I’ve started a service company to help people cut through the clutter. My first online class, “Stylish Toys & Gear,” is available for enrollment now!

There are two ways to work with Sun + Dotter: affordable online classes for anyone anywhere, or personalized styling for parents in the Bay Area.

If Sun + Dotter sounds up your alley, be sure to join the newsletter. And tell your friends! THANK YOU!

On the Bangladesh factory collapse

As you no doubt know, three weeks ago on April 24, an eight-story factory building collapsed. Early reports counted a death toll of a few hundred, and especially at first, the event felt more like a far-away bullet point in the news than something that might actually affect you or me.

But soon, we heard that the factory building was one where garments have been produced for brands that we know well, like Zara, Lee, Nike, Walmart and more. Last week the body count continued to climb, now reaching over 1,100.

I wasn’t initially going to write about this, because my goal is to cover positive news about ethical fashion, not negative. But this event is a game-changer — which I realized fully only after listening to a Terry Gross interview on NPR with Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.

“I’m 100 percent convinced this is the turning point,” she said. “I feel like it’s too bad of a tragedy for the brands to bounce back this time.”

She pointed out that the media coverage has been linking the connection between the demand we create for cheap fashion and the tragedy that happened as a result of unsafe factory conditions. This connection wasn’t being made a year ago, she said, and the turning point will happen because brands can sense that.

If you’re at all interested in ethical fashion, definitely listen to this interview: Elizabeth describes how our relationship to our clothes has changed over the past few decades and how our consumption has changed as a result, and she describes her experience reporting undercover for her book in Bangladesh specifically. (She wasn’t surprised to hear this latest news.)

Her message for people who are wary of spending more on ethically produced garments: “Sometimes it’s about how you shop, not where you shop.” Don’t think of your clothes as disposable, think of them as pieces you’ll wear for years.

Some effects of the factory collapse: Retailers including H&M and Zara have signed onto a plan that finances fire safety and building improvements in factories they use in Bangladesh (NYTimes). As many as 300 factories in Bangladesh have closed due to demands for safety from workers (BBC). The Bangladeshi government is now allowing trade unions to form (BBC). The minimum wage in Bangladesh is increasing, though it’s still one of the lowest in the world (BBC).

Favorites

  • A while back, Stella (my dog), Viv and I were invited to a backyard party slash 15-dog photoshoot for local dog accessory brand Wildebeest. We sat Viv down with Jazz (above), a dog she’d never met, and it was KISS at first sight! Wildebeest has some really lovely designs, like this bandana collar, which are all made here in SF.
  • I was honored to be featured last month as an inspiring woman on Go Mighty. So fun to be interviewed by my talented friend Helena Price. I’d been thinking about creating a Life List for a while, and this was the perfect nudge.
  • I planned a swinging bachelorette party! For this weekend. And I went to BottleRock in Napa last month for another friend’s bachelorette. Both weddings are in July… and Viv is a flower girl in one! I can’t wait to see four of my closest friends tie the knot.
  • I booked a trip to Mexico! For July, for one of said weddings. Three days in Cancun plus three days inland in San Miguel de Allende. Our connecting flights are through Dallas, where we’re dropping Viv off with my in-laws (who live three hours away in Oklahoma City) for the week! Ay caramba. Can’t wait.
  • And I’m launching a new business in two weeks! Details soon. It’s been a busy time. Busy but so, so good.