Something that has become readily obvious since the COVID-19 pandemic swept our country is that small businesses are the true root system of our communities’ and our country’s economies.
Many Canadian families run their businesses out of their homes, and while we are all sheltering in place, home-based businesses are providing faster, friendlier and more economically impactful service than their big-box competitors.
Through the many partnerships and friendships I’ve formed with small business owners across the country, I have come to truly appreciate the vital role they play, both locally and nationally. I am noticing more and more people seeking out alternatives to the usual corporate fare, both because of an increased desire to support small businesses most impacted by the economic shutdown and because only small businesses can get them the items they need in a timely fashion.
Today I’d like to introduce you to one such home-based small business owner and mom of two, Stacy Forestieri. She drew inspiration for the name of her children’s boutique, Forest Kids, from her last name and her passion for nature and the great outdoors. Based in Caledonia, Ontario, Stacy currently offers porch pickups for locals and ships nationwide. (She is hoping to reopen her appointment-based showroom eventually).
Passionate about her family’s zero-waste endeavours, Stacy stocks plenty of reusable and nature-friendly products from brands you might recognize like Green Beaver, Boo Bamboo, SiliKids and Bumkins. She is also passionate about her local community and supporting mompreneurs, showcasing their handmade products such as crocheted booties and grow-with-me pants. During the holiday season she also hosts local guest vendors.
But Forest Kids isn’t just your one-stop shop for handmade swag and eco-friendly parenting products: they also make amazing personalized gifts!
Forest Kids makes unique seasonal items (think monogrammed Christmas ornaments and Easter bunnies), as well as customized hooded towels, key chains, mugs, decals and apparel. Their personalized onesies are particularly popular!
Whether it’s for the new baby in your family (whom you’re meeting through a window), the birthday girl (with no party this year), your spouse (who’s not getting a school-made card this mother’s or father’s day) or your kid’s teacher (who’s been looking up your child’s nostrils or at your ceiling during Zoom meetings), Forest Kids can put together the perfect gift that’s a mix of familiar brands, handmade goods and personalized accessories.
One of my favourite products at Forest Kids is the Squeasy Snacker. We use ours every day because the best way to get my kids to eat fruit is to serve it in a smoothie, and the best way to serve a smoothie is in a spill-proof, easy-to-clean and infinitely reusable vessel … and the Squeasy Snacker is best in show by a longshot. It is one of my absolute must-have products from about age 6 months on … my son is 7 and he still uses his.
For the zero-waste-adjacent crew, Forest Kids has reusable beeswax food wraps, reusable produce bags, reusable facial rounds and silicone straws.
With summer at our doorstep, Forest Kids throws zero shade around sun safety: Stacy has Green Beaver and Baby Boo Bamboo sunscreen for baby and kids, as well as sun hats, reusable swim diapers and swim shirts.
So whether it’s a thank-you gift for your child’s online teacher or their home teacher (you could both use a personalized wine glass), a Father’s Day treat, supplies for a summer of sun and splashing or some handmade apparel for your mini models, Forest Kids has got you covered!
Shop Forest Kids online and follow them into the woods on Facebook!