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Petit Peony "Dresses" Thanksgiving

We are super excited to host my BIG, happy, extended family next week for Thanksgiving! The girls are old enough now to know how special the Holidays are and get really excited when they celebrate with a large group of people they love. My five-year-old is extremely creative, and lately, she has been spending her time decorating our entire house with whatever the season brings.
Paper Source Thanksgiving Place Card
I am constantly looking for easy-to-do, fun crafts. When I saw this craft from Paper Source, I was inspired! The Thanksgiving place card is a great way to get children involved in party planning/hosting for next week, and I had everything we needed at home to get started!

Girls making place cardsConstruction Paper
Scissors
Glue sticks
Googlie eyes (optional)

I simply cut out everything for the girls and they assembled each place card themselves! Kendal even started cutting when she was running low on supplies.

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or traveling you can bring these sweet festive placecards. The authenticity and pure joy that is exhibited in each turkey is sure to add magic to the kick off celebration of the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR!

Teal is the New Orange

Happy (almost) Halloween! 

I love everything about this holiday - fun crafts, pumpkin carving, costumes, and of course, trick-or-treating.  Halloween truly celebrates the magic of childhood.   

Scarlett smiling while she paints.That being said, Halloween can be a little tricky at our house.  Our daughter, Scarlett, has severe food allergies.  At eight months old, she had a reaction to yogurt. Her face turned bright red and continued down her neck. After a quick dose of Benadryl, a terrifying trip to the ER, and allergy testing by our pediatrician, we learned Scarlett was allergic to peanuts, tree-nuts and had a slight milk allergy.  

Needless to say, I spent the next two years watching this little lady like a hawk, always fearful of what she might find and pop in her mouth, or what someone, unknowingly, might give her to eat. 

I’m sure the anxiety I feel is similar for all parents of children with severe food allergies, especially on Halloween night. Candy bowls are filled with all sorts of goodies that either contain nuts or were likely processed in a facility with nuts, making them off-limits to children like Scarlett.

Teal Pumpkin ProjectThat’s why I was so excited to learn about the Teal Pumpkin Project.  Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) hosts the project in an effort to encourage people to raise awareness of food allergies, while providing non-food treats so that all children can partake in the joy of trick-or-treating safely.  By painting a pumpkin teal, the color of food allergy awareness, and placing it outside your home, parents can take a deep breath and know your house is offering something their child can take with them on halloween night, dump out on their family room floor and excitedly thumb through the treasure they acquired on their hunt.

Before participating in this initiative, I would have had my head buried in each bowl Scarlett would walk up to, desperately searching for a safe treat for her to take home.  Not anymore.  Now my entire family can enjoy trick-or-treating by making our route along the map of “teal” houses.

R to L: Charlotte, Kendal, and Scarlett paint their teal pumpkins!This is our second year participating, and I couldn’t wait to get the girls painting their pumpkins to put in front of our house!  Not only is it for a great cause, but it’s a great crafting project.  So much fun, why paint just one?! And, invite a friend to join in on the fun. 

Go teal this Halloween - even if you don’t have a child with a food allergy.  For ideas on non-food treats to hand out, visit Teal Pumpkin Project.

Every child deserves to be a part of the fun. And, honestly, how much candy do they really need, right?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy treating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Petit Peony Anchors in Duxbury!

Petit Peony from Shem Roose on Vimeo.

Has it been two years already?! It was summer of 2014 when I originally started Petit Peony as a small Etsy shop; so much has changed in such a short period of time. I went from sewing clothes for my daughters in my Vermont country home, to launching a brand, taking on two strategic investment partners, and now Petit Peony has officially anchored in Duxbury, Massachusetts. 

It’s all in thanks to you, my loyal customers, the support from my family and friends, and taking a much needed “break” from the hustle and bustle of city life to spend time with my family in Vermont, that this dream to start a children’s clothing line is now a reality. 

For those of you new to the brand, see our full story here. 2015 was an amazing year - a year of true growth.  So many things have happened since I last wrote. It’s been a whirlwind, but one amazing ride so far.

Building the Brand

By Ruth W. Demby - Nikon SLR, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11851512Petit Peony left gorgeous Charlotte, Vermont, and now resides in Duxbury, MA.  For my non-New Englanders, Duxbury is an amazingly quaint, coastal town situated between Boston and Cape Cod.  It has everything that Petit Peony needs for inspiration - traditional New England colonials, boats and fishermen, four beautiful changing seasons…and maybe an occasional mermaid sighting?  

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why we would ever leave Vermont?  I’ll be the first to say that I LOVE Vermont.  It was, after all, the birthplace of my son, and Petit Peony. Vermont’s community and values were a huge inspiration to me. It was what allowed me to start this company, and I’ll always keep Vermont close when thinking about what’s next for the brand.  

Petit Peony Store InteriorBut, like all things, we must move forward to see growth, and I’m really excited by what this new move means for us.  For one, we have officially opened our first office and store!  Louisa Birkett, of GRAPEVINE Interiors; my interior decorator and new fabulous neighbor here in Duxbury, designed the interior of the store.  She
couldn’t have executed the brand more perfectly!  It looks classic and clean, nautical and fun all in the same breath. Added bonus- our view overlooks Duxbury Harbor!  

Adding to our new location, I’m excited to announce a new member of the Petit Peony Team.  Melissa Maloney has stepped in as our operations manager, and what I like to refer to as my ‘right-hand woman.’ She will be handling all of the day-to-day business, allowing me more time to focus on expanding the brand.

We have recently been featured in Vogue and Glamour UK magazines. Petit Peony was also a participant in Ivanka Trump’s #WomenWhoWork Fall Campaign, a non-political decision centered around helping support her movement to raise awareness around equality for women in the work place. In addition, Petit Peony designed a few patriotic pieces for Ivanka’s daughter, Arabella this fall. This recognition helps sets our brand apart from competitors, gains exposure, and validates the quality and classic styles that we are creating.  

Looking Ahead...

So much excitement in the coming months!  We’ll be launching our boys collection in the spring, as well as a limited women’s collection, making it that much easier to coordinate your family, while being comfortable and still stylish for all of those precious moments that are worthy of your memory books.

We are working on growing Petit Peony globally. Boutiques in Japan have signed on to carry our designs in the spring of 2017.  Additionally, Melissa and I will be headed to a tradeshow in Paris in January, to further promote the designs throughout Europe.  

We are truly on our way.  It is serendipitous that this all started because of my passion and inspiration for my children and my love of creating wholesome childhood moments to cherish forever. I think of those early times, pregnant with my son, sewing dresses and leggings in my attic because I couldn’t find sweet, simple, timeless clothing that captured the magic and innocence of childhood. 

Childhood is a fleeting time in our lives and I want to cherish every moment with my children. It is important to me that my kids, and yours, are comfortable playing while looking adorable. #comfortablyadorable

As always, thank you so much for joining us on this incredible journey! We hope to hear from you soon!

 

Petit Peony Logo

Petit Leaf Garland (DIY)

Looking for a fun, easy, yet adorable "Thanksgiving Craft" ?! The Petit Peony Sisters have moved on from "Halloween Crafts" and we are in full fledge Thanksgiving mode. This glitter Leaf Garland was so fun and easy. If you live in a seasonal climate like New England you should take advantage of the mild weather this weekend and do this craft outside!
Supplies:
1. Mod Podge
2. Freshly Fallen Leaves (can't be dry)
3. Glittler
4. One pesky little brother
We decided to make silver and gold leaves to hang from our mantel. Kendal, Scarlett & Jack loved running around looking for the perfect leaves. Jack is the epitome of a pesky little brother. They find the perfect leaf? He eats the perfect leaf. They are ready to paint the mod podge on their leaves, he steals all the paint brushes and knocks over the glitter during his exit strategy.
The assembly is simple. You use a generous amount of mod podge all over your leaf, sprinkle with glitter and allow to dry!!
This craft is so simple it will keep even your littlest ones entertained for at least 30 minutes!
Enjoy!
Xx
Kate
leaves: Petit Peony Farm; Little Wooden Picnic Table: Amazon; Irish Knit Hats: Gap Kids

Petit Spook Out

Halloween is such an exciting time for kids. The change of seasons, decorations, costume designing, the candy consumption- it all sends them over the moon with excitement! I feel so blessed to have two little home makers who are as passionate as I am about ambiance and celebrating the seasons. Crafting has taken on a whole new meaning this Fall in our house. Art Projects are part of our girls daily routine. On the weekends we get a chance to spend A LOT of time crafting. We brain storm ideas and then spend most of the day gathering materials, assembling the project and then displaying! These pictures are from our home. We had a blast making these decorations together and the girls are SO VERY PROUD of their masterpieces.
This Spooky Tree I must say was their favorite and it was so easy! We went hunting for the perfect dry, "Spook Branch", we sat outside and used watercolor to paint it black. We then we exploring to find the seasonal fresh jack-o-lanterns, filled our mason jar with dirt, mom attached thread to the jack-o-lanterns, the girls hung the orange ornaments on the branches, and just like that we have the spookiest tree on the block. I love this picture of them admiring their work. 
Supplies:
1. Tree branch
2. Black watercolor paint
3. mason jar
4. decorative ornament (we used jack-o-lanterns)
This DIY Halloween Village is also a blast to make and you probably already have everything you need at home! This Spooky Village is the perfect accompany to your Spook Tree. The kids have so much fun talking about who's houses these are and where the witch lives. It is hysterical. Endless use of their imagination.
Supplies:
1. Milk and/or Cream Cartons
2. News Paper
3. Construction Paper
4. Scissors
5. Tape
This display makes me smile. We lived in Massachusetts for 10 years before moving to VT. It is where the Petit Peony Sisters were born, so this Halloween quote gives me a sense of nostalgia. I love New England! I used construction paper to cut out these really easy DIY bats and witch. The girls then tapped them to the wall. We love our paper bats. I made extra for the girls and they glued colorful feathers and glitter poms poms on them and then sent them out to their grand-parents in the mail.
Supplies:
1. Black Construction Paper
2. Tape
3. Scissors
These meaningful craft projects take a lot of time, thoughtfulness, and evoke priceless conversation. I hope you and your little try one of these easy DIY crafts this Halloween Season!
pumpkin garland- (Homegoods); Faux Wood Haunted House (Homegoods); Custom Chalkboard (The Red Envelope); Lumberjack Jammies (Shelburne Country Store)

Petit Confetti Pumpkins!

As a working Mom, I'm constantly looking for ways to spend QUALITY time with my petit crew. I spend a lot of time laying in bed at night after everyone is asleep looking for ways to build memories with my munchkins. Crafting is one of our favorite activities. I am also on a mission to create meaningful crafts that are "keepsakes" and can be put on display for all to admire.
One of my favorite bloggers, The Crafted Life- gave me this idea. It is so so simple, colorful and perfectly festive for one of our favorite seasons. You only need THREE supplies:
1. Mod Podge (which I think may be the best crafting supply EVER!) 
2. Confetti 
3. A white faux Pumpkin
Mod Podge is amazing in a lot of ways but most importantly when working with our petits ~ everything must be non-toxic. Our Petit Peony Sisters sat and crafted for an hour doing their confetti pumpkins. Then they spent a lot of time discussing where they would display their masterpiece. They are so proud of their results.
These bright little pieces make great fall decor and most importantly we had a marvelous time talking about the different colors, making patterns, and using our imaginations together.
pumpkin~ Michael's crafts $9.99; Mod Podge~ Michael's Crafts $4; Confetti~ The Flair Exchange $5
Quality time~ priceless :)

Petit Lemons Make Lemonade

The Petit Peony Sister's love everything about the idea of a Lemonade Stand. Lemonade Stands are a universal symbol of Summer for the young and old. It is also the epitome of independence at ages 2 & 4.
1. Make your product
2. Set up your shop
3. Service your customers
4. Bring home the fruits of your labor to your very own Petit Piggy Bank!
First, they love to make their own lemonade from squeezing lemons and adding (and tasting) sugar in the comfort of their own kitchen.
Next they gather all the necessities for a successful stand: Cups, Straws, Napkins, Two Mason Jars, and their trusty red wagon to transport. Oh, and their Mom to carry the actual stand.
The outfit selection is also important. They discussed the colors they should wear and their was a unanimous agreement that yellow was the clear choice since it would coordinate nicely with their product. I do feel strongly that a Lemonade Stand inspired dress is on the horizon for Petit Peony! The Honey Bee Tunic dress was the obvious choice. Nothing makes me more proud as a Mom to see these two loves working together as a team.
Setting up the stand was the job for the eldest Petit Peony Sister. She is the serious planner who is a bit of a perfectionist (I wonder where she gets it from?!). The littlest Sister was worried about testing the product. 
Even though this stand was set up on a remote dirt road in farm country in VT, these two sisters sold out in 45 minutes! Thanks to all of our bikers that couldn't resist supporting the hard work of these two sisters. And of course the testing of the product helped, and Dad was also a patron. The Petit Peony Sisters were quite pleased with their stand and look forward to their next venture!
Here is the recipe we use . It is simple and delicious and we love everything about Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa Recipes.
We look forward to many more stands at the edge of The Petit Peony Farm!
XO
Kate
 Red Wagon, Radio Flyer; Lemonade Stand, Land of Nod; Honey Bee Tunic Dresses, Petit Peony
Vintage Red & White Polka Dot Paper Straws, Michael's Crafts

Bon Apetit! (peony)

This Petit Peony Sister is all about helping out in the Kitchen these days. She also loves staring, poking, and playing in her garden. This simple yet delicious appetizer is perfect for both the children and their parents! It is just THREE ingredients. What is even more appealing, your 4 year old can assemble it!

 

This little chef, picked, washed and gathered all her ingredients

1. Organic Cherry Tomatoes

2. Fresh Goat Cheese

3. Ripe Avocado

I cut the tops off the tomatoes ( we had a quick outfit change ~ a sneak peak at next season's designs) and our chef got to work. She put about a teaspoon of goat cheese in each cherry tomato and then topped it off with a thin slice of avocado! AND.... Bon Apetit (peony!)

 

I must admit, she would have had a greater yield if there wasn't so much sampling.

multi color chicken dress - Petit Peony, Little Pig Dress - Petit Peony, Goat Cheese - Vermont Creamery, Avocado - Shelburne Village Market, Cherry Tomatoes - Petit Peony Farm, Blue Trim French Porcelain Plate - Williams Sonoma, Helping Tower - Amazon

Petit Peony VERMONT

Today we proudly introduce our new logo! Why did we re-brand? Our designs are memorable, they are worn on family vacations, holidays and birthday parties. We want a logo that compliments our designs. As much as we LOVED our original peony and adorable hand sketched writing, we are looking to build a brand creating memories and evoking feelings. Children adore elephants, they are memorable and classy, timeless and whimsical. Everything Petit Peony stands for. An elephant holding a peony? That is just perfection! 

 

Why VERMONT? Petit Peony wants to help families create wholesome memories everyday. Vermont inspires our designs. When I design the collections I picture what I envision my two daughters wearing to birthday parties, berry picking, farmers markets, outings to the local farm, picnics with friends. I love photographing my children and I want each outing to be a wholesome memory the family will have forever. It is so easy to have the girls throw on a Petit Peony dress, grab the closest bow and head out!

Vermont is where the designs are created, it is where my husband and I cherish the magical moments our children's childhood, and it is our HOME. 

PETIT PEONY Grows

This gorgeous Mum and her beautiful mini me are more to PETIT PEONY than just exceptionally loyal customers. Lauren and I have known each other for years. We went to college together at Saint Michael's in VT.  Although we weren't in the same group of friends we always found time to talk to each other around campus. I remember admiring her beauty and sense of style and we would often discuss fashion over a casual beverage. This is a story about how women elevate women.

Sometimes people inspire you who you aren't a part of your daily life, your immediate group of friends, or your family. Lauren is exactly this for me. We have been able to stay in touch through social media over the years. I enjoyed seeing her engagement photos, wedding pictures, maternity photos, and now the memories she creates with her beautiful family. Through these photos and social media I feel as though I know Lauren more now than I did in college. Strange? That is one of the beauties of social media. It connects you with people you are similar with.

 

When I began posting the dresses I made for my daughters on social media one year ago, Lauren always commented on them. Complimenting and encouraging me along the way. We have similar style and taste and I believe naturally she was drawn to these designs. Last June, Lauren sent me a message on Facebook and said "you really should open an Etsy Shop", "I would buy your clothing." I read this message just after my cousin Meghan was pushing me to do the same after I made coordinating outfits for our children for a family celebration.

After reading Lauren's message, I did just that. I opened an Etsy Shop titled PETIT PEONY for The New England Child. Lauren was one of my very first customers. She bought two outfits for her unborn baby girl! Through the beginning weeks and months of PETIT PEONY Lauren continued to support my designs and my dream of starting a children's clothing line. The next message I received from Lauren was, " I was just at my favorite children's shop, and gave PETIT PEONY a major plug" " you should reach out, I'm sure they would be interested". This boutique is now one of the 14 boutiques who carries PETIT PEONY!

Over the past 7 months I thought of how nice it would be to have a simple tunic dress to offer the Mums of these adorable little girls. I absolutely LOVE throwing on a comfortable yet stylish dress every single day of the summer. This PETIT PEONY Tunic dress seemed like a perfect style for Mum too. I'm not a big fan of "matchy matchy" or too "cutesy".  I wanted something simple, clean for Mum while coordinating with her little. The gray wave fabric was a perfect option for our first Mum tunic. 

Again Lauren was another reason why, I gave this collection a go. The next message, "have you thought about a Mommy and me line." Yes! Yes, I have. Mum & Me is now available online and is doing better that I could have hoped for! Lauren purchased Mum & Me tunics for her trip to Grand Cayman.

When writing a business plan, a question an entrepreneur answers is "who is your demographic" "know your demographic." My friend Lauren is my demographic, I am seeking to cater to stylish women with exceptional taste who have a love for children's fashion.

I truly believe when starting a business you have many people who inspire you to continue to work hard, stay focused and push on. Its not just your childhood best friend, your mom, or your spouse (who of course are extremely important!) It is someone who truly believes in you and what you are creating. Thank You Lauren for being one of the people who elevated and inspired me to work hard to create my dream. I will be forever grateful for the time you took to send me support and words of encouragement.  As I said in the beginning of this post this is a story of how WOMEN ELEVATE WOMEN.

 

 

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