Meet Kristen, mother and owner of the shop Treehouse Kid & Craft. Not only do we love her shop’s ethical product selection and it’s community awareness concept, but we are also extremely admirative of her latest idea for raising voter awareness among kids by actually letting them cast their own ballots! Kristen believes in “facilitating children in becoming good citizens and active members in their community.” That is why she has recently collaborated with local illustrator Sarah Neuberger (a.k.a. The Small Object) to create an entire voting program including an exclusive “Voting Rules” t-shirt that can be purchased in her shop. What’s not to love!?
Are you a Mom? Yes! I have a darling 6 (and 5/8ths) year old named Maypop.
In your opinion, what are the ups and the downs of being a Mom? Well overall, it’s all ups but there are surely many days where it can be exhausting, take this morning for instance. Some days are just harder….but that goes for everything right? We all have good days and bad days. At the end of each day though, I can’t imagine my life complete without my little one in it! She has made me slow down, speed up, and focus on what is important. I wouldn’t change a thing!
What motivates you? Where do you find your inspiration? I am constantly motivated by nature and where I live. I live in Athens, Georgia which is a very creative community but the South in general is so inspiring to me. The Southern landscape, it’s textures, culture, people, and food are so rich with beauty. It is always inspiring me and motivating me.
Why/How did you create your shop? When I was expecting my daughter, I was really trying to support local businesses. I was finding it hard in my own community to find quality and nurturing goods that I wanted to bring home for my new little one. I saw a void and one day it came to me to create a creative space that not only offered ethically made products, but also offered a creative space for the youth in my community to come and make and learn.
After the birth of my daughter I was energized, inspired, and motivated to make this creative addition to my community. In 2010 (during the recession), Maypop was 9 months and I opened up shop! We have been supported by our community and beyond ever since! Last October, my awesome sister and I created a second shop in Decatur/Atlanta, Georgia.
What is your dream for the shop? My dream is to grow our online shop which happens every day. We have so many great customers who value shopping from small indie shops, even online. We love being a part of that movement. I really would love to continue to offer quality goods and continue to curate my shop. I love my job so much, I have the best staff, and we make people happy all day long. I wouldn’t change that.
What are your favorite products for children? for adults? Tough question!
For kiddos: Blabla dolls, Magnatiles, Grimms Stacking Rainbows, and Plus Plus.
For adults: Magnatiles (I don’t think adults play enough!!!) a good sketchbook and pencil, a good camera, and my favorite handmade coffee mug.
What made you think about starting thevoting campaign? Please tell me more about the entire campaign. I grew up in a very political family. My mom constantly was working on campaigns which meant my sister and I were too. This involvement as a child really taught me the importance of voting and community involvement. I wanted to create something that allowed kids to participate in politics too. My 6 year old has been very excited about this election. I thought let’s feed this excitement and let’s them get involved!!! It is our hope that small acts like these will encourage other communities to be inspired and that kids will start good and positive voting practices.
We worked with local illustrator, Sarah Nueberger of the small object. She helped take all of my ideas and turn them into this awesome campaign. She really is magic! She helped us design a ballot, kids coloring sheet, T-shirt, an I voted sticker, and a poster.
Kids can participate in early voting at both shops from October 25th through November 6th, or cast their ballot on Voting day. Our ballot has voting for the presidential election as well as some silly things like city spirit animal (sloth, unicorn??), new form of school transportation (weinermobile, magic carpet???) favorite food (tofu, cake???) and kids can of course write in any answer!
Do you have any tips or advice for young voters? Encourage your friends to vote and get involved in your community. Kids have just as loud of a voice!
What are your must-haves for the entire family (for dad, mom and the kids), whether it be beauty, fashion, accessories, books, websites, magazines, etc.? I’ll say them again, Magnatiles, we play with them every day, a good record player, we love the Sparkle Story website and stories, and we are a big clog family. My daughter and I love our clogs!!
What are some good spots to visit in your hometown for the family? for Moms and or Dads? For the family….
We love to go hiking around our Botanical Gardens, a trip to the Georgia Museum of Art, a trip to our local indie bookshop, Avid, and a lunch or dinner at White Tiger!
For Moms and or Dads….
Go Vintage shopping at the many places scattered around town, happy hour at Sea Bear, dinner at Home.made, and a movie at our indie movie theater, CINE.
Thank you so much Kristen. You are an amazing Mom!
We are getting ready to vote and our kids are going to use your ballots!
This post is also available in: French