Christmas gifts from Geneva

Christmas gifts from Geneva

Is there any better period of the year to support local entrepreneurs and small businesses?

For the past few months, I have discovered many great projects started by women from our region. I can’t keep them to myself anymore!

This Christmas list includes presents mostly for children, but you will also find ideas to please other members of your family!

Socks for the whole family! Created by a Belgian mama in Geneva! Parentville family personally tested the socks: approved by Z, Daddy P, and myself. They are warm; they are comfy; they are soft. You can purchase them online here or for example in Bibi Cafe in Meyrin. An important notice: you won’t find any plastic in your parcel!

Created by the peaceful family, Bizzy is a beautifully designed, and a handy gadget with a meaning. It has been created for kids: to limit the screen time, teach about savings, and get families closer together. But at Parentville we are testing Bizzy not only with Z. Mommy O. also needs to work on screen time limits, though I do it another way around. Instead of using the coins to allow myself screen-time, I use them to set up off-screen moments – until it buzzes I do not look at no screens. So far, we’re happy (and spend more meaningful time together).

BOOKS

Something for everyone! This year was massive for local books! Three guides appeared on the market and they are all about Geneva: one for gourmands (“Aimer Genève“), one for kids (“ABC Geneva“), one for parents (Genève en famille).

We are making small steps towards a more eco-friendly home: more recycling, thoughtful shopping, all that stuff. On that planet-saving journey, I stumbled upon the Spirited Child, an eco-friendly online shop run by a mom in Zurich. So yes, not exactly from the region, but still close. I ordered BeesWax wraps and am so thrilled with them! No more foil. They are reusable, cute, and smell great! You can also find many other sustainable home products, including toys on spiritedchild.ch.

Magali aka Groseille is a local artist, who creates the most beautiful drawings inspired by nature and flowers (on tote bags, pocket mirrors, badges, etc.). She is also the author of the “Les Petasses” – a calendar with a provocative name (“petasse” means “bitch”) filled with charming drawings of women.

Many children, though especially those 3k/immigrants/expat children do not see their families a lot, other than on the screen on the phone (and thank godness for this valuable screen time!). This is why Monika has created My Tiny Prints, where you can order board books and a wooden memory game with photographs of your relatives in them. We can’t wait to finally choose pictures for the memory game for Z. I will keep you posted.

We had a pleasure to play one of the Escape Game Kit’s sets recently, and we had a blast. I bet someone more artsy-craftsy and creative could turn the whole house into a play area. I did the minimum, but still, Z was crazy excited to solve the puzzle and all the riddles. You need a printer, scissors, and glue, plus  40-60 minutes to prepare the game. It’s not another box, not another toy, it’s an experience you can enjoy as a family, or a cool activity for a playdate or birthday party. Check them out here. PS: by the end of 2019 all games should be translated to English.

Maria created this Montessori-inspired collection that can please babies, older kids, parents, and midwives. Her creations are cute and filled with love. Objects that will awake baby’s senses, objects to help older kids be autonomous, or hand-made breastfeeding covers for those who need them. #parentvillerecommended. You can find all Maria’s creations on her website and on Instagram.

LE PETIT CARIBOU

Le Petit Caribou (eng. little reindeer) is an exceptional shop with thoughtfully selected toys. No matter on what you decide, it will be a good choice. You can also experience a private shopping service with them – they come to your house to asses which toys and games will match your kids taste the most. In other words, it can be fun family time with a person who knows more about the toys than the kids themselves!

 

CULLY CULLY

A local brand of pins, tote bags, but also colouring posters, stickers passports, and travel maps are known under the brand of “mylittleswitzerland”. Some of the sets are accompanied by one of the best brands of crayons worldwide, that happen to come from Geneva – Caran d’Ache. It can make for a beautiful Christmas present, as well as entertainment for your end-of-the-year trip. Discover here.

The healing power of turning a hobby into a career

The healing power of turning a hobby into a career

Panic.

Alessandra had to stop her car on the highway. She was in so many tears and in so much panic that she couldn’t drive anymore. When her husband arrived to help her out, he saw only one way out of the crises: quit that job honey, he said.

And so she did.

A month before the company Alessandra was working for years, shut down its premises in Geneva. Forced to change jobs, she was commuting 1.5h twice a day. Combining career and family life seemed less and less possible. But also, she simply missed her children.

Peace.

Looking back, quitting was the best decision she made. She finally had the time for her kids, for her parents, for her husband, and for herself. But also, for crocheting, knitting, and sewing.
She’d always loved working with threads and fabrics, so now that she had all that time on her hands, she decided to up her game! Using the internet, Youtube notably, she kept improving her skills. With the trial and error method, in time, she become a confident creator.

Pleasure.

When she got pregnant with a girl (after two boys), she got lost in her crocheting-sewing hobby!

She had so much fun, she started making gifts for family and friends. She could see they were more and more impressed. At some point she was often being asked whether she thought about selling her creations for money, creating a brand.

It seemed funny at the beginning. After all, it was just a hobby, a relaxing pleasure that kept her hands and mind busy.

But the seed in her head was planted. She now looked at every piece she made with an eye of a customer. She kept improving her skills further, she wanted the clothes to be perfect.

Business.

It’s a difficult undertaking to become an entrepreneur, even for a person with a successful career like Alessandra. Working in an organization is a different world, as is entrepreneurship.  It takes courage, guts, and risk-taking abilities.

Launching Nouveauletta, Alessandra has proven to have all of these attributes despite all the self-doubts most entrepreneurs experience (though not all like to talk about it).

She created a website with an online shop, manages social media accounts, continuously develops her marketing skills, takes part in expos, pop ups, and other initiatives.

The fruit of it all.

What we found most amazing about the Nouveauletta brand is that it’s SO sustainable.

As a mother, Alessandra knows how quickly kids grow out of their clothes, and how difficult it is to part with your baby’s first pjs. She combined that knowledge with passion for sustainability and made clothes re-purposing one of the main parts of her business.

It’s changing trousers into shorts, too small dresses become tops or skirts, baby clothes can be made into family’s most precious bed quilts.

Alessandra didn’t stop there. Many of the clothes she makes are created using re-purposed fabrics from second-hand shops. She visits them often and looks for good-quality fabrics, soft textures, and interesting patterns.

Hand-made.

The other part of Nouveauletta is the result of her crazy crocheting skills. She makes baby shoes, clothes, hats.

Nouveauletta also offers custom-made clothes, adjusted to your needs, taste, and your child’s personality.

Alessandra’s online shop should be a go-to place for every-parent looking for sustainable, original, comfortable clothes. Whatever you buy at Nouveauletta.ch, you can be sure Alessandra put her whole heart into it!