Pop Kids USA

Pop Kids USA is a fantastic and super fun brand of kid’s tees that is designed and produced in Chicago. When looking for t-shirts for my boys, I am always after clothes that are fun, hard wearing, and something that reflects my kids’ awesome characters. It was with much pleasure and delight therefore to receive a package of goodies from Pop Kids USA this month to test and review as their t-shirts fit my criteria perfectly.

Pop Kids USA is a year old however, Ellen and her husband Luke have been in the kids fashion business for well over 10 years and with influences like vintage graphics and signs, kids’ books, pop culture and typography; their t-shirts are uniquely designed to stand out from the crowd with designs like “The Wild One”, “Road Rebel” and “Bugs and Slugs”.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I love supporting handmade and small businesses and adore when a company designs and creates things in house. It is so hard to design a gorgeous product and even harder to work out where to get it manufactured; using fair trade resources in India, Indonesia or China or locating production somewhere in your own country.

Pop Kids USA are very much American and true to their name, every sweatshop free American Apparel tees is pressed by a local printer by hand which is dedication to the cause. Even more so as either Ellen and Luke are there to watch and check on the printing every step of the way.

Ellen and Luke design t-shirts seasonally, but as they are sometimes inspired by street art or a vintage sign they see, they may design just on a whim! Growing up with a love of drawing, painting and art, they have both been able to develop and evolve that love of all things visual; into creating brilliant designs for their t-shirt line. I love this true artistic aspect to their operation and the fact that they are inspired by lots of things I adore, like vintage graphics and the like. It definitely shows in their collection.

I have to say we have had a lot of fun with our tees from Pop Kids USA. We took the kids to the skate park where they could have a go on their scooters and skateboards. Needless to say they had a ball! And the t-shirts stood up to the test of skating and scooting to perfection. They have become our go to t-shirts as the kids love how soft they are against their skin and their fun designs.

Disclosure: In order to review the t-shirts,  we received a complimentary selection of them to test.

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POP boys

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Wild brothers

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Australian kids labels – ones to watch 2015

I have to say 2015 is looking like a hugely successful year for so many young Australian kids brands. It was so hard picking just a handful so here is my selection of 12 to watch this year. Some are already established and some just starting out but I predict HUGE things for all of them in 2015! Watch this space…

Australian kids labels – ones to watch 2015

Clockwise L-R:

One Two Nine “Quilt 1”

Paul and Paula “Go Bananas” tee

Inkibabinki  “Grid bloomers”

Mint Rhapsody “Milky Attic House”

Mum life project – soon to be released project supporting mums

Miss Pigeon Productions – crochet sweets

Maven Dolls “Maven Elsie”

The Hook Co “Wall hooks”

Captain + Co “Gone Batty Bunting”

Smallest Tribe “Spearminty dance party girls skirt”

Little Red Elk “Bunny wall hook”

Babee and Me “Handpainted memory game backyard animals”

The Finders Keepers market – Sydney, December 2014

On a Friday night in early December I finally made it to my first  “The Finders Keepers” market! So many amazing Australian labels have found success at these markets that I was seriously excited to pay my $2 and explore the many stalls on offer at the brilliant Redfern Technology park in Sydney.

IMG_0210Natalie Miller Macrame workshop in full swing:

IMG_0214Below are some of my fave discoveries from the evening:

The Feather Tribe – a unique artist collective curated by the most gorgeous Jess and with some of my favourites already being stocked like Made by Mosey, Felt Foxes, this is one amazing shop to keep your eyes peeled to!    IMG_0218

IMG_0220Park Dasom – the sweetest of hand embroidered brooches and dolls.

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Beneath the Sun – for bright, fun and colourful kids decor, this is one brand that I adored!

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Freddy Alphabet – I was so excited to finally meet Selina from Freddy Alphabet and this Finders Keepers, they debuted a new design – the Superhero tee!

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Julie’s Little People – cute handmade little creatures all with their own name, character and style!

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   The Raisin Did it – I ran out of battery on both my phone and camera by the end of the markets but this label had some gorgeous designs with the cutest of pineapples and lions!

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The Smallest Tribe – a gorgeous label that designs and produces all their clothing from scratch using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton with earth friendly non toxic inks. I made the mistake of not buying that night and ordering a few weeks later but a lot of stock had been sold out! You have been warned…

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Laikonik – with their gorgeously designed “Baby Journal” in collaboration with Laura Blythman. A beautiful gift idea for any new born or baby shower!

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I cannot wait to go to my next The Finders Keepers market in Sydney next year to discover more new labels and fabulous designs! They are held twice yearly in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, so check them out when they come to your city next for some awesome finds!

What happened…

Hi and welcome! You may have been here before but it all looks a little different this time around? Well have no fear, it is still Kids Gifts and Toys but in a new and improved site.

So where to begin…my name is Liz and I started blogging in earnest back in January 2014. I had a great little blog at this same site that I had built up over the past 9 months filled with brilliant ideas for Kids birthday gifts, Kids fashion, Kids rooms and more. But about 3 weeks ago, I killed my site. All completely accidental but through a hapless and stupid mistake by me, as a result of my site being hit by a Spambomb attack,  I lost everything.  It was the second time I was hacked in a matter of weeks, bad luck some might say, or I may have been specifically targeted for no apparent reason or it may just be and this is the likeliest of cases that my site was just so weak in terms of security that it made it an easy target for hackers. So I did some research and I hope that my new site is much stronger and more hack proof than before. Only time will tell… So first things first if you ever think of starting a wordpress blog, make sure it is secure in terms of random passwords, and updated/backed up regularly!

Why? Because I thought I had backed up my blog but I can’t seem to find the back ups anywhere. So secondly, if you are thinking of starting a blog, always back up, back up, back up, back up,  your content and site!!

This all happened less than 48 hours before the removalists were due to arrive to pack up our lives to ship it back from Germany to Australia. Great timing huh! But they say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

To be honest, I don’t think I have had time yet to process the fact that I have lost hours and days that I have dedicated to my blog this year, that I will never get back. I am beyond gutted but I don’t want to just give up and give in. I could just stop blogging and be done with it. Move on and get a real job you say?! But I honestly love what I do too much and for the first time in my life, I am enjoying my work and following a teenage dream of being a writer.  I don’t want to be defeated as it is certainly not a philosophy I would teach my 2 boys so instead I am going to come back better, sleeker and more hack proof than ever before.

Stay tuned for a new website launching very soon and I hope you will join me for Kids, Gifts and Toys, take 2!