Mallybibs Blog

Mally Designs Spring Retails Shows!

Mally Designs Spring Shows, 2015We have always loved meeting our customers in person and getting to know those wonderful regulars who buy from us year after year at our retail shows and online. It's also super fun traveling to the many great cities that our country has to offer. We always manage to fit in a little bit of fun at local hang outs with fellow vendors who have become very good friends of ours, as well as a little personal handmade shopping. Nothing is more satisfying than spending our hard earned money on other beautiful handmade items!

This year, we have decided to take on a few new Spring shows to help spread the word about some of our newer products, such as Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins! Our applications went out months ago, and we are proud to say we have been accepted by all of the juried Spring shows that we had hoped! Here's our official line up of Spring retail shows, where you can find our leather bibs, baby moccasins, soother clips, art cards and our entire line of accessories... we hope to see you there at one or more of these fantastic markets!

One of a Kind Spring Show - March 25-29 - Toronto, ON

Make It! April 10-12 - Edmonton, AB

Refresh Market - April 25th - Squamish, BC

Got Craft? - May 2-3 - Vancouver, BC

Bloom Market - May 9-10 - Fort Langley, BC

Creative Chaos - June 5-7 - Vernon, BC

For complete details including hours and locations, please visit the Mally Designs Events Page here.

TIP: follow Mally Designs on facebook and instagram for chances to win tickets to many of these shows!

Mally Designs Brand Enthusiast Search!

Mally Designs Brand EnthusiastWe already have a wonderful following of loyal customers who adore our products and we are so proud that our original leather baby bibs have been a go to baby gift for so many for almost 10 years now. Our leather baby moccasins are quickly becoming known as the perfect pair of baby moccasins to go with our bibs, which makes us kind of giddy to be honest. With so many already loving our products, we figured it's time to start rewarding those who are extra eager to share our products on social media! 

The perfect candidate to be a Mally Designs Brand Enthusiast is someone who:

-is passionate about our products and their features and benefits

-is active on social media, especially on facebook AND instagram

-has at least one adorable child aged 2.5 or under who loves the camera and uses either Mally Bibs and / or Mally Mocs

-happens to be pretty savvy with his or her camera

-has a public instagram account for posting brand enthusiast photos

What will be expected of you if you are chosen:

-regularly post attractive photos of your little cutie(s) wearing / using our products

-promote and share any general company announcements such as promotions, contests, launches, events in your area, etc.

-to sign a simple non-compete contract before we get started

-contribute to our weekly brand enthusiast communication via email 

What you will get from us:

-a $50 e-gift certificate for use at mallydesigns.com to go towards any products you like

-a 25% coupon code valid at mallydesigns.com for the duration of your 6 month brand rep period

-shares and mentions on instagram when you post amazing photos of our products in use

-insider updates on Mally Designs news

TWO Simple Steps to Apply:

1) Follow @MallyDesigns instagram and see our official brand rep announcement post

2) post a photo of your little one wearing or using at least one of our products with #MDenthusiastsearch on your public instagram account OR re-post the brand rep search photo with #MDenthusiastsearch - note, if using Mally Bibs or Mally Mocs in the photo, please also use #mallybibs or #mallymocs 

Since we ship internatioanlly, this is open to anyone, anywhere. :)

That's it! We can't wait to see all your photos! We hope to choose our official Brand Enthusiasts by April 7th. Feel free to post as much as you like! 

Mally Mocs Sandals are here!

Mally Mocs SandalsOh my goodness, I can't even believe our luck here on the west coast! I hate to say it, because I know how the rest of the country has been in the deep freeze, but we have not even had snow here! Ahhh, who am I kidding, the rest of Canada is known to make fun of us about our 'wet coast' rain, so it's our turn! I mean, we had slush one day I think, but then it was gone! A typical Vancouver winter consists of lots of precipitation, most often of the liquid form. Thankfully we have mountains where Vancouverites know they can normally escape to in the winter because we all know when it's typically raining in the city, it's snowing in the mountains. Oh, but this year has been above seasonal with record breaking high temps, and even the mountains lack the white stuff! Not a word of a lie, I wore my flip flops every month here on the west coast of BC this year.

Being in summer shoes year round got us thinking - babies need a more breathable version of Mally Mocs! To be honest, we are huge observers, and we could see our customers actually calculating how old their unborn child would be in the summer months to avoid buying moccasins to fit them then, knowing they would be too hot. That's really what got us thinking about a sandal version of Mally Mocs. We want customers to enjoy our adorable leather baby moccassins year round, and more importantly we want babies to be comfortable in our shoes, even on those hot summer days. Hello beautiful, summery version of our fashion forward, as close to being bare foot as possible, without being barefoot mocs! Mally Mocs Sandals are now available online, in 20 gorgeous colours and 3 sizes! 

Features of Mally Mocs Sandals:

  • made with 100% genuine baby safe leather (CPSIA safety tested and approved)
  • leather pull tabs at the heel for ease of putting on and taking off
  • non-slip triple thick suede sole
  • charcoal grey sole, designed to mask dirt
  • embossed with mally mocs and mally designs branding
  • mally mocs signature fringe detailing with little holes at the top
  • hidden elastic for a clean, modern look
  • sewn with heavy duty nylon thread in matching thread colors
  • designed to coordinate with mally bibs and mally soother clips
  • available in 3 sizes, suited for baby and toddlers
  • oppenings at toe, heel and sides to offer breathability

 

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Auction for Sweet Greta with bids starting LOW!

Sometimes we are just so touched by a story and we know we have the power to help, even if just a little. It was right before Chirstmas when we heard the news that sweet 5 year old Greta of Abbotsford BC needed help. Greta was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer. Her family and friends, and our entire community, have been doing all we can to help her to raise money so that she can get the help needed.

We decided to ask many of our generous good hearted friends in business to donate their beautiful items for an online auction, and many more came forward. The good news for you is that bids start at BELOW HALF retail value! The good news for Greta is that 100% of the proceeds will go to her cause, to help her give the best fight she can! It takes a village, or in this case a country, since we have companies from across the country who graciously donated and even more who will start bidding - so, THANK YOU in advance to participating in this fun auction for a great cause! 

Here's the link to Greta's online auction and a glimse at some of the items that have starting bids at less than 50% of their regular retail price:

BID NOW >

THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED ITEMS FOR THIS AUCTION:

Baby Wisp
Bellalulu Baby

Braden Hammond Glass
Homeworks Etc. Kids
Little Moso
Mabels Labels
Mally Designs
Mamakloth
Paper Airplane
Stonzwear
Sugarplum Street
Tiptoe Meadow
Yapes Paints

It Takes a Village - Help Greta Fight Cancer!

Help GretaWe heard news just before Christmas that someone in our community needs help. Little Greta Loewen, a sweet 5 year old in Abbotsford has been diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare cancer in her spine. When we heard the news, I have to admit, my eyes began to water up as I put myself in the shoes of her Mom. What what I do if that was my little girl? I know what I would want - a community of amazingly generous people to come together and do anything and everything they can to help her give the best fight she can! Greta needs to see a specialist surgeon, who is in Boston. The trip and medical expences are far beyond what most people could afford, and our community has come together in amazing ways to raise money - bottle drives, scrap metal drives, auctions, fundraisers - you name it, but Greta needs more help. One of our lovely retailers, Precious Kargo in Abbotsford has stepped forward and is holding a 2 week long  event with gift baskets available by raffle and a secret silent auction, all for Greta! The items have been generously donated by companies and will hopefully raise a lot of money for this cause. We are in full support of this and have donated items and gathered from many of our friends in business who can also donate. We are wishing for a most successful event possible and please check back. We will post links to the secret silent auction it becomes available!

Due to the overwhelmingly huge response of generousity from our friends in business, and the fact that not everyone could get their items to us in time for the Precious Kargo event, we didn't want to turn down items that people from across the country were willing to give for this, we have decided to hold our own online auction in collaboration with many of our friends in business who were so gracious to donate. Please stay tuned as we announce the details. Until then, please support Precious Kargo with their event. It's all for you Greta! :D

CLICK HER TO MAKE A DONATION TO GRETA >

Our soft sole leather baby moccasins - Mally Mocs

It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to the latest product in the Mally Designs family, our sweet and adorable leather baby moccasins - soon to be commonly known as Mally Mocs. 

Definition of moccasin:

Google: A soft leather slipper or shoe, strictly one without a separate heel, having the sole turned up on all sides and sewn to the upper in a simple gathered seam, in a style originating among North American Indians.

Wikipedia: A moccasin is a shoes made of soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with an additional panel of leather. The sole is soft and flexible and the upper part often is adorned with embroidery or beading and / or a fringe.

The reason I included definitions of moccasin in this post, is I believe in recognizing the origin of the beautiful shoes. They have been made for hundreds of years, and as a company who believes in modern design and function, we have simply taken a traditional idea and modernized it with our own design details, maintaining some of the old charm, and altering it for use by babies and toddlers, as that is our market niche. We are thankful for the original moccasins of the world. They have inspired us.

Project Mally Mocs:

We have been working on project Mally Mocs along with our studio assistants for quite some time now. It has been a top secret project, and one that we have poured our hearts and souls into. Over the past 9+ years since we started Mally Designs, we have had a constant request to make soft sole baby shoes or baby moccasins to match Mally Bibs. We always felt that there were so many great options on the market that we didn't feel there was a need, but our wonderful customers kept telling us that that they knew we could create something very special. We have always had a main goal through the years, and that is pleasing our customers and one day, it hit us. If our customers want us to design soft sole baby shoes, then we need to design soft sole baby shoes. When we started designing our baby shoes we thought about what customers would want the most and we decided that a baby moccasin style was most on trend. That cute little fringe is hard to pass up and in our beautiful leather colors, we knew they would be a hit. When we started sketching what our shoes would look like, we wanted something different, unlike other baby mocs. We wanted a modern moccasin, a cute moccasin, and a stylish moccasin with very thoughtful details in regards to all aspects of function, style and safety. As far as style and aesthetics, there's a few things that make our mocs special. At the top of each fringe you will see a cute little detail of a hole. This was something that we thought added a special little touch, a signature Mally Designs detail that nobody else does. Next, we really didn't like the look of other soft sole shoes and baby moccasins on the market when you could see the elastic peeking out on the side, so we designed them in such a way that the elastic would be hidden. We also have never been a fan of baby mocs with white or black thread contrasting with the leather color. Just like our bibs, we wanted our mocs to have matching thread colors to the shoes. It's a little extra step in the process to change the thread, but honestly, what a difference it makes! They look more modern, stylish and high end. When it comes to comfort, fit and function, we invited 8 Moms, a Grandmother and an Aunt and their combined 8 babies and toddlers to a top secret testing event when we were in the prototype stage of product development. At this event we unveiled some of our first prototypes of our mocs and had them try them on, give feedback and help us perfect them even more! We asked questions like:

Which mocs sizes fits your child best in the length, width, and ankle?

What do you like / dislike about the style of the mocs?

Do you think the mocs will stay well on baby's feet?

Are the mocs easy to put on your baby's feet?

Does your child seem comfortable in the mocs?

Do you like the color and material of the mocs?

What colors would you like to see our baby mocs made in?

This is just a few of the questions we asked and from these responses, we perfected Mally Mocs even further. I can't even begin to explain how thankful we are to have held this little event at our studio. I have to say, each and every Mom tester at the event was a part in designing our baby mocs and we owe them some credits for their most valuable input based on our first prototypes. Here is some of the feedback we got that day:

1) We needed to make our ankles a little tighter for teeny babies (Mom Tester credit: Arianne)

2) To add a tab at the back to make them easier to slip on the chubby feet (Mom Tester credit: Allison)

3) To make them in nice bright colors to coordinate with various outfits (Mom Tester Credit: Angela)

4) That they should have a nice wide toe box to suit narrow or wide feet (Mom Tester credit: Tara)

5) Keep a non slip / dark sole on them like the prototype to mask dirt (Mom Tester credit: Robyn)

6) To make them easier to put on baby's feet (Mom Tester credit: Krista)

7) A higher ankle would be a nice feature (Mom Tester credit: Tatjana)

8) Make them a bit tighter in the ankle with a stretchy elastic for various feet sizes (Mom Tester credit: Jenn)

We took those and more responses and solved the problem areas by making the ankle tighter with a stretchier elastic. We added the tab at the back to make them easier to put on and we kept the beautiful suede dark soles on them. We also chose 16 beautiful and popular Mally Designs leather colors to start our Mally Mocs collection off with. We made more prototypes since our testing party and perfected them into 5 sizes ranging from XS (0-6 months) to XL (24-30 months).

Mally Mocs reveal, plus the smart Moms and their adorable babes testing out the first Mally Mocs baby moccasin prototypes at the Mally Designs studio in Mission BC:

Mally Mocs baby moccasins product reveal

Mally Mocs Baby moccasins product reveal

Mally Mocs baby moccasins product testing eventMally Mocs leather baby moccasins product testing event

Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins product testing event

first prototypes of Mally Mocs leathe rbaby moccasins

Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins product testing

first prototypes of mally mocs being testedfirst prototypes of mally mocs being tested

mally mocs baby moccasins first prototypesmally mocs baby moccasins first prototypes

Trying on Mally Mocs baby moccasins

Wearing mally mocs leather baby mocs

mally mocs on 3 month old at product testing eventtoddler wearing mally mocs leather baby moccasinsMally Mocs being worn for the first time

Mally Mocs leather baby mocs at mally designs studio

Mally Mocs leather baby mocs product reveal

Mally Mocs first prototypesmally mocs baby mocs on walking toddler

It was a fun event, and one that we are so very thankful we had. It was crucial in perfecting our mocs. Despite the fact that it was one of the hottest summer days of the year, the babies and toddlers seemed comfortable and happy trying on our first moccasin prototypes. The event was a success!

Most importantly, we take safety very seriously. As always, all of our leather is CPSIA safety tested and approved for babies and again, our suede soles are non-slip for early walkers and toddlers to cruise around in safely on otherwise slippery surfaces.

I can honestly say, we made about 14 prototypes before we knew our shoes were just right. It took a lot of time, patience and calculating for the various sizes, but we couldn't be happier with the end results. When you purchase Mally Mocs, they also come in a beautiful little gift box which contains your pair of sweet baby moccasins wrapped in tissue paper and a card showing their lovely features.

Here's a comparison of the very first pair we ever made on the left, and the official design on Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins, both in our Iceberg Mally Mocs on the right:

First Mally Mocs prototypeOfficial Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins

Introducing Mally mocs to the public at Studio Fair in Prince George:

Shortly after we launched our baby moccasins online, we were scheduled to attend our first holiday retail show of the year, Studio Fair in Prince George. It gave us the perfect opportunity to see first hand what customers had to say about our new baby moccasins. What stood out most to me was seeing how easily they slipped on little fit with that awesome little pull tab at the back, and how amazed customers were at how well they stayed on! Every comment we heard was nothing but positive and we felt like our mission was accomplished. Here's just a few comments we heard:

"I just love how they are not too stiff like other baby mocs on the market!" -Retail Shop Owner

"I love these moccasins. I got a traditional pair from my tribe, but it's nice to get a modern pair of baby mocs as well" -Aboriginal Customer 

"I love them and they stay on so great! I'm so happy I got a pair for my girl!" -Teresa, Studio Fair Customer

There were dozens more comments on how cute they were, requests for adult sizes, and people oohing and awing over the colours, but it was those 3 comments that stood out to me as mission accomplished. Our baby mocs are all that we dreamed they would be and more. We know they will be loved by many just like our bibs have been for almost 10 years now. 

Where can you get a pair of Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins?

1) Mally Mocs are available for purchase online now. To shop go to Mally Mocs leather baby moccasins page. We ship within 1-2 business days!

2) Mally Mocs will be available at our two upcoming retail shows. Find our moccasins at The one of a Kind Show in Toronto, as well as at Art Market in Calgary.

3) Mally Mocs will be available for wholesale starting in January. If you are a retailer wanting to carry Mally Mocs in your shop, please add your store to our wait list by emailing us, and you will be notified when we are ready to take orders for them.

 

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NEW Mally Bibs designs launch!

Oh my gosh, I can hardly believe this day is here! I started sketching our new bib designs about 9 months ago. Once the designs were all approved by my kids, the true official design decision makers, it was time to order the cutting dies. That involves re-drawing the designs in CAD and then sending them off to our die cutter manufacturer. After anxiously waiting a few more weeks, we get to start playing with the acual designs with our medium, baby safe leather. That's my favourite part, as once we give them some colour, we get to see the designs come to life! Once we solidify our designs and their colour combinations, then the real fun begins - our annual model photo and product photo shoots! This year we used two local photographers - Bopomo studio in Vancouver and Ashley Martens Photography in the Fraser Valley. We held our model shoots in the studio and at Cultus Lake, Main Beach. Here's a few of my favourite shots:

anchor bibsailboat

fox bibRaccoon bib

music bibmonster bib

RCMP bibmaple leaf bib

bicycle bibpaddleboard bib

cat modelpanda bib

beaver and bird bibshorse bib

 

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Why dump instead of donate?

Last week our family of 4 was individually nominated to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge. We knew our time was coming, as we started to see the wave of ice bucket dumpers through our facebook and instagram feeds, making it a matter of time before we were nominated. At first I thought, "Why would I dump instead of donate?" It seemed pointless and perhaps even a rediculous way to save a few $ while looking like a drowned rat in front of a few hundred friends. Then I did my research. I went to the alsa.org website and learned about ALS and the ice bucket challenge itself, and I completely understood why I or anyone would dump instead of donate, or both! You see, even the non-donating dumpers are helping spread the word and if donating was mandatory, it wouldn't have had the same results. You do the math. A bunch of people dump those initial buckets of ice water on their head and post it on their social media outlets. Let's say 100 people do this and each person nominates 3 people. From a social / psychological point of view, they look like they don't care about charity to all their peers and / or look like they can't take a dare if they don't do it, so 300 more people do the dump. Those 300 nominate 3 or so people each, and BOOM 900 people dump and share, then 2700, then 8100, then 24,300. You get the idea - before you know it millions of people are dumping buckets of ice water and a percentage of those dumpers and non dumpers are donating! It's SMART! The virality of it all WORKS! According to the ALS website, as of Tuesday, August 26, The ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations compared to $2.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 26). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors to The Association, which is incredibly grateful for this tremendous outpouring of support. Your best friends, favourite celebrities and your next door neighbour have probably dumped or are going to dump and / or donate! It's brilliant and I of course, am a huge fan of smart ideas and marketing!

The thing is, we all have budgets to work with and not everyone can afford to donate every time there is an opportunity to do so. My hope is that people budget their charitable donations responsibly, much like they should their spending $, grocery $, vacation $, etc. I'm not saying don't donate to ALS, as I do believe that it a wonderful cause, but I am saying that everyone who can afford to should donate wisely and to charities that are meaningful to them. In other words, if you have room in your budget for donating to ALS and you care about it, do it! If not, why not help spread the word and have a little ice bucket dumping fun anyhow? Just make sure you follow the rules and explain what it's all about. Any charity could have had the idea to run a smart social challenge that involves exponential nominees and social media shares, and I can guarantee you there will be more to follow.

Just for a laugh, here's a 15 second video featuring our family of 4 getting ALS ice water bucket challenge dumped. Yes, it was fun!

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2014 Mally Designs Model Search!

2014 Model Search!

It's that time of year again! We are looking for 5-6 cutie pies to model our products for our new collection launching this fall! We are looking for babies and toddlers ages 6-24 months who are used to wearing Mally Bibs. To enter, please submit a photo of your baby or toddler wearing Mally Bibs to contests(at)mallybibs(dot)com ASAP! Our photo shoot will take place in early September at a date and location in the Fraser Valley or lower mainland, to be determined. 

In your entry email, please include:

    -a recent photo of your baby or toddler wearing Mally Bibs
    -your baby's name
    -your baby's birthdate
    -your city of residence
    -any dates in September that won't work for you

      Good Luck! We can't wait to see that photo entry of your little cutie!

      Chosen models will get to keep a personalized bib of one of our latest designs that they wore in the photo shoot, as well as the digital files to the photos from the shoot, not to mention bragging rights as our thanks!

      *photo contest winners will be contacted and announced in 1 week - on Wednesday, August 27th!

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      Auction for exclusive one of a kind Mally Designs paddleboard items for Ruben's Shoes!

      We have just launched our first ever auction! We have made up 10 exclusive one of a kind Paddleboard items for charity! Bids will start at just $5 per item!! 100% of the funds collected in the auction will go directly to Ruben's Shoes on behalf of the Nanaimo2Vancouver SUP team fundraiser. It'll be a feel good purchase for sure! We are kind of nervous about how this auction will go since we've never done this before, so please take a moment to bid what you can or even simply like or share it as this is for a really great cause!

      N2V mally designs paddleboard auction items

      BIDS START AT JUST $5 / ITEM - BID NOW! >

      What is available for bid in the auction?

      Mally Designs special edition exclusive Nanaimo 2 Vancouver colour schemed one of a kind paddleboard items available for auction include:

      • leather baby bib
      • leather toddler bib
      • framed paddleboard leather art
      • leather soother clip
      • leather luggage tag
      • leather passport holder
      • leather change purse
      • leather snap purse
      • leather card holder
      • leather keychain

      How do I bid on an item?

      Simply comment your bid amount on the photo of the item you are bidding on in the auction facebook album. Be sure that your bid is higher than all previous bids. Also, if you have any questions about the item, you may ask by commenting as well and we will do our best to answer as fast as possible. The auction will end on Friday, June 27th at 4pm PST / 7pm EST.

      If you are not on facebook, you may send your bid amount by replying to this email and we will bid on your behalf. By bidding, you are agreeing to the purchase of the item if your bid is the highest dollar value at the end of the auction.

      Once the auction winners are determined, we will ask for an email address to send a PayPal invoice to. We will take care of the shipping to you and 100% of the $ collected for these items will go directly to Ruben's Shoes to help change lives! 

      What is the Nanaimo2Vancouver SUP team? 

      We have a group of stand up paddleboard (aka SUP) friends who could be described as a little bit brave / a little bit crazy. They are paddling an incredible 70km across the open ocean from Nanaimo to Vancouver this Sunday, June 29th to raise money for Ruben's Shoes! We will be on site to wait for their arrival and to communicate between the paddlers themselves and the coast guard to ensure everyone is safe during their journey.

      N2V map

      Here's the guys who will be paddling from Nanaimo to Vancouver - not bad looking guys!

      N2V guys

      From left to right: Norm Hann, Kelvin Humenny, David Jianu, Adam Cole, Ben Wright, Jason Bennett, Harry Saini, Scott Burton, Ken Larsen 

      Photo credit: Lech Dolecki

      What is Ruben's Shoes?

      Ruben's Shoes is a very special charity that collects gently used shoes for children in the Dominican Republic. Founder, Kelly Strongitharm was inspired by a little boy named Ruben on a trip to the Dominican. Since then she has collected thousands of pairs of shoes for the people of the Dominican, ultimately helping children go to school. She is changing lives! You may remember last year when we donated 20% of our new design sales to Ruben's Shoes.

      Again, Bidding starts at just $5 and 100% will go to Ruben's Shoes!

      ruben's shoes logo

       

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