baby carrier

To Size up or down, that is the question!

The absolute number one, most frequent question we hear from customers is this: what size should I buy? I originally developed this sizing system in order to deliver versatility and a personalized fit. But, it can be overwhelming to select from all the options when planning your conversion. Sizing is, without a doubt, the biggest question mark in the custom carrier planning process. In response we have compiled the following information and suggestions.

Chop Chop

2016 was a hell of a year, and I know I'm not alone in feeling like 2017 needs to be shown in with style, and maybe a little bit of pomp and circumstance, a dose of gratitude, and change! These thoughts were swirling in my head right around the end of December when it hit me: cut off your hair. 

Gentle reader, first let me tell you how attached (literally and figuratively) I am to my hair. I've worn it long for a decade: a hip length, thick, wavy, undyed, well-maintained wealth of hair. I wear it in a bun, a top knot, figure-8s, boxer braids, milkmaid braids, braided crowns, converging braids, I even had to sleep in a braid. For years. 

When all was said and done, the decision was an easy one. Cut off the length, donate it to a non-profit that will use it to make a wig for a child who is suffering hair loss due to any number of ailments. Tell the family, make the appointment, bide the time. Do this in honor of a beloved local elementary school teacher who is battling breast cancer. And then I got another great idea! What if I could get my community involved in supporting this donation? So just as quickly I connected January's custom slots with making a donation--I'll get to those details at the bottom of this post. 

I was blown away, though, when Pure Barre Roanoke wanted to get involved too. One of our receptionists survived cancer as a child, and it was her idea to have a donation-only class on Monday 1/2/17 to support Wigs for Kids. The PRB community, amazing as always, raised close to $200 in one morning! A heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful women who were a part of that day!

 

Pure Barre Roanoke Family

Pure Barre Roanoke Family

On the day of the big chop, Robyn (front row, second from left) came with me to take a couple photos. Or, anyway, I thought it was going to be a couple of photos. There she was, manning my nikon, her cell camera, my cell camera, updating my instagram (@jen_obimama), the Pure Barre Roanoke snapchat, a group text, maybe a facebook post or two, all the while keeping me and the stylist superbly entertained. If you have never had a pampering, luxurious, you-are-the-center-of-attention haircut, please do! You won't regret it.

Me and Cory, talking about angled bobs in detail. Oliver's Twist Salon in Roanoke is amazing!!

Me and Cory, talking about angled bobs in detail. Oliver's Twist Salon in Roanoke is amazing!!

The first cut.

The first cut.

Donating 5 foot-long braids. Hooray!!

Donating 5 foot-long braids. Hooray!!

Whaddaya think the market value is on these?

Whaddaya think the market value is on these?

Angled bob, beveled in the back, some texturizing on the ends. What do you think? Should I have gone for bangs?

Angled bob, beveled in the back, some texturizing on the ends. What do you think? Should I have gone for bangs?

Let's see how it looks with some curl.

Let's see how it looks with some curl.

Love this guy! Thanks for giving me your ENTIRE MORNING for a haircut.

Love this guy! Thanks for giving me your ENTIRE MORNING for a haircut.

Everyone deserved a haircut that makes them feel fab! My new motto.

Everyone deserved a haircut that makes them feel fab! My new motto.

Thank you for slogging through my photos. Now I will finally tell you how to get a custom slot this month--you earned it. To enter the drawing for random slots in the month of January, either make a donation to Wigs for Kids (suggested donation of $10 is worth 1 entry), *OR* donate your 12" ponytails to Wigs for Kids (their length minimum), your 8" ponytails to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, or loose hair of any length (including pet fur) to Matter of Trust's Clean Wave program that uses hair to clean up spilled oil. Donations made anytime in the past 6 months through 1/8 will count as an entry. Yep! 

IMPORTANT: if you donate your ponytail between the dates of 12/23 and 1/8 you will automatically win a custom slot--but please make sure to take some photos to verify the date of your cut and donation. They will be scrutinized, I assure you!

After making your donation, fill out the form below to enter. The deadline for entries is Sunday night, 1/8/17. Winners will be notified the following day. At that time selected winners will be asked to provide valid proof of donation via e-mail. Honesty is the best policy, folks, please don't be tricky. 

By completing this form you assert that you have made your donation as described in the message box, that you will pay your deposit within 24 hours of notification, and that you would never ever ever write and say, "I didn't actually think I would win, I don't want a custom at this time." Cuz that kills me. 

Name *
Name

ObiKalia Semi-Custom WCMT Drawing

DRAWING NOW CLOSED

Ankalia and ObiMama go together like peas and carrots. I love to partner with this super cool Australian wrap company because the people are great, the designs are amazing, the wraps are gorgeous and flattering, and the Ankalia fans are fun, enthusiastic people! I am excited beyond words about these upcoming semi-custom carriers. There are two semi-customs available in this drawing, so read on to see which one suits you best.....

Etch Atlanta

This wrap was Ankalia's first US exclusive, it made its debut at the International Babywearing Conference in Atlanta, GA in the summer of 2016. This was where Alex and I first met, I got to hand deliver her custom ObiMama made from the same wrap! Alex ordered a premium conversion, with zen straps, tie waist, plus feathers, pintucks, and a few other wizpoppers. She was so excited to receive it, she put it on straight away, and for the rest of the conference it stayed in a prominent place. I was honored! If you have any photos of this from the conference, please share them in the comments!

The wrap is a gorgeous smooth, glossy Tencel and cotton blend. Turquoise pops against navy; this wrap looks good on everyone. The design is random and geometric, and I know you have a favorite element from these fun doodles: if you let me know what yours is I'll try to get it in a prominent place.

Gosling Chambray

This wrap has never been converted into an ObiMama before, but I am so, so excited about it after reading the description from Ankalia. Here it is: Sleek and stylish, Gosling is a sophisticated and somewhat softer take on the geometric designs we know and expect from Ankalia. ......
Medium to medium-thin in hand and with distinct duality Gosling Chambray is like two wraps in one. Featuring a soft navy cotton warp the darker of the two sides is minimalist, with a low amount of texture and grip. Passes glide over one another and are easily tightened. The Chambray side will have texture lovers united. .......
Extra fine merino wool provides a touchable softness while a blended silk/linen yarn adds strength, sheen, grip and that gorgeous texture. Natural slubs, characteristic of silk and linen means that each wrap has its distinct personality. With enough grip to hold passes in place in single layer carries, but thin enough that multilayer carries aren't overwhelming Gosling offers a huge amount of versatility.........
In loom state Gosling Chambray is dry, crisp and beautifully earthy, but upon first wash and wear his softer side starts to show. With minimal wear he softens, and yields. You'll find yourself reaching for Gosling time and time again.

photo courtesy Ankalia

photo courtesy Ankalia

photo courtesy Ankalia

photo courtesy Ankalia

For this semi-custom drawing please fill out the form at the bottom of this post. You may enter for either carrier, but not both. The drawing closes at 11/10 at 9 am ET. One entry per person. The winner will be notified via e-mail, and will have 24 hours to claim the win by paying a non-refundable deposit, and at the same time submit the Size 6 Premium Order Form -OR- the Size 7 Premium Order Form to me via e-mail (PDF or JPEG are suitable formats). This win is transferable to a friend, please notify me ahead of deposit payment. Allow 4-6 weeks to process your order. A premium conversion is normally valued at $600, but a discount is applied to you because it's a SEMI-custom, and I know what I'm working with. When the carrier is complete you will be notified via e-mail, and once the $450 balance (plus any upgrades if applicable) is paid your carrier will ship immediately to you!

With my apologies, these conversions are not available within the US.

Laundry and Folding, with ObiMama

So, babies, they are ever so adorable, and sooooo full of spit. And now you’ve got spit (or chocolate or lollipop stickiness or peanut butter, or whatever’s your jam <----- see what I did there?) on your ObiMama.  Now what? How do you wash it carefully?
The first step would be to consult the washing instructions for the wrap your ObiMama is converted from.  For example, mine is Ankalia Icarus Mariana, 100% cotton. According to the wrap instructions, I would wash cold and tumble dry low. The additional ObiMama tags says hand wash cold and dry flat.  Because my machine is front loading and has a hand wash cycle, I’m cool with that.  If you have top loading machine with an agitator, perhaps you will prefer to handwash. Or another option that keeps the straps from getting into trouble: put your carrier into a mesh laundry bag and throw it in the wash! In regards to soap, try go with a soap that is free from optical brighteners, those brighteners are not kind to your carrier! For SUPER stubborn marks, try a teensy tiny bit of Blue Dawn Dishsoap!

That bath sure looks like fun!

That bath sure looks like fun!


Next step, the one that requires the patience parenthood instills in us all, waiting for your Obi to dry. You could lay it flat if you have the room to leave it for the necessary time.  You could also line dry it, which may leave some temporary indentations from the line/clothes pins.  Another option, depending on your wrap fabric of course, could be to pop it into the dryer with no or low heat and some dryer balls.
Now, you have a beautiful clean ObiMama, dry as toast. Go ahead and wrap your child again. Repeat the spit/spill cycle.

I like airing out this laundry :)

I like airing out this laundry :)

But wait!! You want to pretend to get your ObiMama brand new again? You can do this! Keep reading and learn how to fold your ObiMama just like it comes brand new. Sounds impossible, but this feat is within reach! Check it out:
Step one: Grab a bevy (Wine? Beer? Cola? Cucumber flavoured water? Kombucha? whatever makes your feel fancy!), pull out that ironing board, and warm your iron up to low/medium (again, consult your wrap for the proper temperatures). 
Step two: Iron out your shoulder and waist straps. Watch the pleats! You have two choices here: iron the pleats to get sharp creases like you did with your slacks in the 80s -OR- ease the iron around the pleats so the focus is on making your waist tie smooth. Pro tip, avoid ironing crisp pleats into your linen and hemp blend fabrics to preserve the lifespan of those fibers.

Now that you have a smooth as new ObiMama, we are ready to get to the folding!

 


Step three: Follow the photos as shown below, and you will have a wonderful ObiMama roll, almost as good as straight from HeadQuarters!

1. Lay out your ObiMama, sit back (maybe toss in a sigh of delight), and admire the handiwork of the conversion queen before you move on
2. Fold the shoulder strap down
3. Take the strap and fold it across
4. Keep folding the strap across the body until you have reached the end of the tail.

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5. Repeat 1-4 with the opposite shoulder strap
6. Fold one waist strap across the body in the same way as the shoulder straps
7. Repeat with the opposite waist strap. Now you should have just the body panel and hood laid out.

8. Fold in the waist band with both hands
9. Using both hands, roll the waist band up, smoothing the carrier as you go
10. You should now have rolled all the way through to the hood. Either tuck the hood ties into the roll or tie them in a loose knot. 

You now have a beautiful ObiMama roll, *almost* like brand new! NO ONE can do it quite like ObiMama can, though! The process is much the same for welter weight conversions as well.  Enjoy!

Still have a burning question? You're probably not alone. Ask in the comments section, the Laundry PhD. will be along shortly.

Colour with ObiMama

With the trend of adult colouring books being at the height of its popularity, I thought it would be fun to create an ObiMama colouring page for you guys. I've been hearing all about adult colouring and the benefits of it: decreasing stress, helping evoke emotions you felt at a simpler time in your life (like childhood),  focusing the brain and calming anxiety. I really wanted to do something for the wonderful community that ObiMama encompasses.

When you’ve printed it out and coloured it (or perhaps your littles did), please tag us on Instagram using #TeamObiMama. We’d love to see your creations!

The preview is below and you can download the PDF ready for printing here. Happy coloring!
- Melissa

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D.A. and You

Dumbledore's Army. What started as a underground rebellious club for kids turned into an unstoppable force that returned balance to the battle between good and evil. Be a part of that force. Every handmade mei tai baby carrier shown here is one of a kind and will be for sale in our online store on at random times Friday, February 20, 2015.

Each mei tai has super-wide linen wrapping straps with kombi-folded shoulder padding, a padded and quilted waistband, knee pads, and an adjustable sleep hood. The body is made entirely from Irish linen. The sleep hoods are tailored to resemble official Hogwarts school uniforms with duo-toned robe lapels, white collared shirt with felt buttons, and striped 100% silk house neck tie.

Harry Potter | Inspired Mei Tai SS2 $350

The boy who lived. A short stage 2 is a versatile toddler-sized body. Comes complete with school crest on the lapel.

Hermione Granger | Inspired Mei Tai SS2 $350

Not only was Hermione pretty much the best character in the entire series, she also had style! A short stage 2 is a versatile toddler-sized body. Comes complete with school crest on the lapel and a frog-closure button.

Ron Weasley | Inspired Mei Tai SS1 $350

That Ron, he's a keeper. A short stage 1 is perfect for babies 3-month-old and up.  Comes complete with school crest on the lapel, and plenty of gingery comic relief.

Luna Lovegood | Inspired Mei Tai SS2 $350

She was distinctly dotty, but also smart, loyal, essential, and surprising! A short stage 2 is a long-lasting and versatile body size. No mythical creatures here, this is the real deal.

Neville Longbottom | Inspired Mei Tai SS2 $350

There was more to Neville than we suspected at first, and in the end we wouldn't have gotten far without him. A short stage 2 is versatile, durable, and always grows into something quite handsome.

Griffindor Inspired | ObiMini $50

If you don't teach them, then where are they going to learn it? Raise your children the right way: by giving them attachment parenting toys with over-the-top handmade geekery motifs. Yes, that is a real silk house tie. No, I will not get out.