Momiko Organics

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I am so excited that a brand new webstore has launched today and they are carrying my line! It is They have some very cute merchandise and are doing a great giveaway today for a free iPod shuffle. Check out the site!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wonderful Simplicity

On Black Friday, I found the most fantastic deal on a Simplicity Bias Tape Maker that I simply could not pass up at Joann Fabrics. First, it was $40.00 off. Second, I was able to use a 20% off coupon on top of that. So I bought one, a bit skeptical about whether I would like it or use it. I'm happy to report that I've tried it out tonight and I am so happy with it! It is truly wonderful.

Before the bias tape maker came along, I either made my own bias tape or bought the premade kind - neither option being the best. Making it myself is time consuming and sometimes painful having to iron the fabric so much. Buying the premade kind, while easier, is not the most economical option.

But now, I have this awesome little machine that in 60 seconds does what used to take me 10 minutes. I LOVE it! I can't imagine not having it, and I am already so attached to it. It is brilliant.

Two minor things I wish were different about it: I wish it would make multiple sizes of bias tape - it only makes one size. This is ok as the size it makes suits many purposes just fine. And I also wish it would make double fold bias tape - a pretty easy fix with an iron and an additional few minutes.

Even still though, I see myself using this handy little machine all the time now. Wonderful. Simplicity.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Water's Edge Organics

I am so happy that this week I've received my first wholesale order! I'm very excited about it!

The order is from a web store that will soon launch called Water's Edge Organics. They will carry an incredible selection of organic and earth-friendly products. I've seen some of the products they will offer and they are truly amazing - this store will take eco-lux to a new level!

The site will launch soon - I'll post their grand opening. When it's open, you'll find the store at

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Styles

Are coming soon! Plus I am expanding the sizes I offer to include up to size 8. I have been fabric shopping and I'm very excited about the combinations I've found. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Best Roast Chicken Recipe Ever

As you know, I have been browsing Foodgawker endlessly. I've been in kind of a food rut lately, and Foodgawker has snapped me right out of it. The split pea soup that I made from the recipe I found on Foodgawker was amazing. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. It was creamy and simply delicious and perfect for a cold day.

So, I have been on the hunt for a good roast chicken recipe for a very long time. I've been looking for a recipe that is simple and easy and that doesn't require a special trip to the grocery store. I have tried half a dozen different recipes that have never quite been the perfect one, until now. You know, the fall back recipe. The one you can make anytime for anyone and always have it turn out well.

And I finally have found it! The best roast chicken recipe ever thanks to Foodgawker, Thomas Keller, and Ninette Enrique at This is a photo from Ninette Enrique at featured on Foodgawker along with the recipe down below.

This recipe is amazing and only requires salt, pepper, a little thyme, and of course, the chicken. The result was tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned, and completely easy. I will be using this recipe again and again.

Thank you Foodgawker, Thomas Keller, and!!!

Here is a link to the recipe:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Front Page!

Dear Etsy,

Thank you so so so much for putting one of my dresses on the front page. You have made me so very happy today!

Happy Banyan

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh FoodGawker, I Love You

I have fallen in love with Until recently, I didn't even know FoodGawker existed. But I've been exposed to CraftGawker through the Etsy forums, and of course CraftGawker has a link to FoodGawker at the top of the page. I've never clicked on it until now. And I am hooked!

There is quite a collection of delicious looking recipes on the site, each leading to wonderful food blogs with more recipes that look delicious. Genius. I have shelved my cookbooks while I explore all these incredible worlds.

First up is a split pea soup recipe. I've never made it before, but I found some split peas on sale at the grocery store today and thought I'd give it a whirl. Plus with cooler weather on the way, it sounds pretty yummy. I found this recipe from through Foodgawker.

Doesn't this look delicious! Thank you Here is a link to the recipe:

SPLIT PEA SOUP Food.People.Want

Posted using ShareThis

My First Treasury

I just created my very first treasury last night. It was fun to put different things together, and I think I found some gorgeous finds from some amazing Etsy artists. I chose items using the colors chocolate brown and orange.

Here it is:

What do you think?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wow! Today I got an email from - a site for expectant, new and toddler stage moms and dads. The email said that they were adding items to the shopping catalog at and that they wanted to add some of my items. I of course said Yes! So now you can find Happy Banyan there!

Check out the link:

Thank you so so much! And a big big thank you to Etsy too!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Into Stores

So the next step is to try to get into some stores. Which ones? Not sure yet. How to do it? No idea.

But there is a really good thread in the Etsy forums right now that may put me on the right path. Check it out here:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Photo Tag!

This post is in response to Elan Vital Anthology's blog post, which is in response to Cabin + Cub's blog post about "Photo Tag", a game I didn't know existed either. But I am so glad I've been tagged! What fun! So, if your name is below, or, if you just want to play - the rules are as follows:

1. Open your first photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it.
4. Tag people to do the same.

So this is a photo taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center over the summer. It was so hot, somewhere around 102 degrees. And this is a view from under this beautiful trellis that walks into the Center.

Domino Earth and Media Kits

I also found this great article on creating a media kit and thought I would share. As you probably know, a media kit is a packet of information about your business that you share with the press. They are great tools for promoting a small business, and relatively easy to put together.

Happy creating!

Create a Media Kit for Your Small Business

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great Green Picks

I've been trying to be a little more green lately - recycling more, not using plastic or paper shopping bags when possible, and other small things. I've also been on the hunt for great green products that are affordable. Here are a couple of wonderful green products that won't break the budget:

Princess Tiana's hair detangler by Carol's Daughter is paraben-free and gentle on your child's hair. It's also gentle on the budget, costing only $10.00. Granted, this is more than the cost of Johnson & Johnson's detangler. But, this one is earth-friendly and will last for a long time. Totally worth it. Go to:

Another great find is a set of four makeup brushes in the Eco-Tools kit by Alicia Silverstone. The entire set is only $14.99! The set is soft and cruelty-free and the bag they come in is made of hemp with nontoxic inks. Wow! What a great deal and green too! You can find this set at Target.

Do you have a great green find or green tip? If so, share it here and help us all shop more earth friendly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not-So-Top-Secret: Policy Sneak Peek

I have an item featured in the Storque!

Not-So-Top-Secret: Policy Sneak Peek

First Order

I'm almost ready to ship my first order out! My very first sale was 2 of these dresses:

Yay!!! I hope that this customer and her little girls love the dresses when they get them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Made A Sale!!!!

Woooohooooo! I made a sale! Yippppeeeeeeeeee!!

Excuse me now while I go do a happy dance around the neighborhood!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We're Open!!!

I just opened shop and posted my very first dress!! It's the preview dress that you see below. Later tonight, I'll be posting another dress, so stay tuned!

Visit the shop and let me know what you think!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's a Preview!

Tonight, I thought I'd give you a preview of one of my dresses, and here it is! The photograph below is from the photo shoot we did with the talented photographer Brandy Lewis.

The lemon yellow bamboo leaf print is part of Robert Kaufman's greenSTYLE line and is 60% cotton and 40% bamboo poplin (excluding the red trim.) This sustainable fabric is low-impact dyed, leaving less (or no) harmful waste.

The dress is a wrap-around, so it will grow with a child. It can be worn as a dress, over a pair of jeans or tights, or as a tunic next year. Throw a long sleeve tee under it and wear it all year long. Or I can make it with long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves if you prefer.

So, what do you think?

You can see more details on this dress when I open my shop in a few short days!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Commercial Break

While I work on getting the shop set up, I thought we'd take a look at what really happens during those commercial breaks on the news...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photo Shoot

Rather than figuring out how to take good pictures before opening an Etsy shop, I had Brandy Lewis, a very talented photographer from one of my mom's groups, take them for us. We met her this morning at a local park to take the pictures. Brandy did an incredible job and she was so nice to work with!

After an entire summer of temperatures over 100 degrees, this morning the weather decided to be chilly and cloudy. We delayed the shoot for an hour to let the temperature rise a bit, which it normally does here in Texas. Still hoping the weather would warm up, we decided to take pictures of each dress on the form before putting the girls in them.

And then I stepped in a big pile of dog poop.

In the end, the temperature decided not to cooperate with us at all and lingered around 57 degrees all morning.

Despite the weather, I think we got some terrific shots. As it turns out, searching for ladybugs, playing with sticks, and watching a big puppy run around make for an excellent photo shoot.

You can see a sneak peak of our photoshoot on Brandy's site here:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Etsy Opening Date!

Yay! Everything is almost ready for the Etsy shop opening. All the clothing is complete except for a few final touches. All the business and legal steps are in order. We'll take photographs on Saturday and have them ready to upload by the end of next week.

So, that means that we will now open on Monday, October 19!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Perfect Red

Today I made a dress out of the most beautiful red organic cotton fabric. It's a very deep, rich red that would be perfect for Christmas - especially Christmas pictures.

I am a big fan of wrap-around dresses. Wrap-around dresses are comfortable for play, they grow with a child, they can be casual or dressy, they can be worn with jeans or tights or alone as a dress...the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I have designed a wrap-around dress for my Etsy opening, and today's red organic cotton dress is a wrap-around.

All night long I've been looking at this dress on the form trying to figure out why it doesn't quite work and I've finally figured it out. This is a grown up's dress. It's a dress that I would wear. I think I've subconsciously designed something for myself in this wonderful, beautiful, perfect fabric that happens to be my favorite shade of red.

Since there is no way this dress will ever fit me, I must somehow figure out a way to "toddler it up." I'm going to look in the kitchen right now for something gooey to spill on it...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brand New Day

I finally managed to shake off my bad dress day and created two new dresses for the upcoming shop opening. Now, the original plan was to open shop on October 5 - which is tomorrow. But I am a bit behind on that plan. I'm not sure when the new opening date will be yet, but I will keep you updated every step of the way!

In the meantime, here is an amazing tribute to Disney's birthday - which was October 1. It is a really cool video technique called tilt-shift and features an entire day at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dress Gone Awry

I started making this very cute little dress yesterday. I was almost finished when I had this genius idea to add a reverse cuff to the sleeve, which used to be a long sleeve.

The cuff just didn't work, and instead of simply taking it off, I proceeded to hack it off. Yep. That was my brilliant fix. So my long sleeve turned into a 3/4 length sleeve. But the sleeves weren't even. So more hacking. And more. Until now I'm left with an uneven, sleeveless mess, mocking me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Have Seen the Light

With model measurements in hand, I have set off to sew. I've never worked with eco-friendly fabric before, and I am in LOVE! Especially with bamboo - we'll get to that in a minute.

First, organic cotton. It turns out that being left untreated does wonders for fabric. I never realized before how much softer organic cotton is - mostly because I thought it would be too expensive to buy. But with all the research I did, I was able to find some beautiful options for about $11.00 a yard, a price that includes the shipping it took to get here. That isn't too much more than the fabric I used to buy in the fabric stores around town, and in some cases it's even cheaper.

That being said, organic is now the only way to go for me. Having worked with organic, there is no way I can go back. Admittedly, there are fewer cute options with organic right now, and some of those options are very expensive still. But there are more and more manufacturers going green and producing green products. That means more choices are being made everyday!

Now on to bamboo. Bamboo fabric is by far the most luxurious and wonderful fabric I've ever touched in my whole entire life. I want to be surrounded by bamboo fabric. I want to sleep in it. I want to sleep on it. I want to wear it everyday. If I could wear shoes made out of bamboo fabric, I would.

I've read before that bamboo is really soft and feels like silk. I never got it until now. It's way better than silk. It's incredible, and I am in love with it. The best part is that this fabulous and amazing fabric is sustainable. It is fabric heaven.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Model Behavior

This morning I took my very first official set of measurements for my two models. I've decided to go with two models because the attention span of my first model is a little, well, let's just say - short. And these are definitely two of the most beautiful and gorgeous girls I have ever seen. Ever!

So the measurement session went something like this: come on in!, play, play, play, oh trains!, play, play, play, oh a slide!, play, play, quick measure, play, play, play, play, bite of lunch on the run, play, play, play.

Overall, a very successful session for 2 two-year-old models hard at work!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fabulous Fabric

I have done some research lately on eco-friendly fabric sources and today, I'm going to share those sources with you. I'm really happy with the selection I've found both on Etsy and on the Internet. There really are some beautiful options available at each of these sources. So, here we go!

The first fabric here below is a really cute and fun fabric that I found in Baby Bird Design's Etsy shop. All of the fabric in Baby Bird Design's shop is 100% organic cotton and is certified by Global Organic Textile Standards. I think this fabric would make a beautiful little girl's dress for the holidays!

I found the next beautiful fabric at Fresh Fabric Australia's shop on Etsy. Fresh Fabric Australia has a lovely collection of fabrics from independent designers and some very nice eco-friendly options. This particular fabric is a print by an independent Australian designer Bianca van Meeuwen (Hollabee). It is hand screen printed with eco-friendly, solvent free inks on an unbleached cotton/linen blend.

Some other non-Etsy sources that I have found with great eco-friendly options include:

So this is what I have so far. What do you think - any sources to add? Let's make sure our favorite places stay in business by sharing and promoting!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Work and No Play...

Today we are taking a break from the fabulous world of retail to indulge in a little soul candy.

I first saw this really cool video clip on another blog that I read, Bacon is My Enemy. It's a clip of Bobby McFerrin at the 2009 World Science Festival. This clip is so awesome I've watched it a dozen times now. Without fail, it makes me smile.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Messenger is Here

I have decided to reward myself with a little browsing on Etsy since it has been a pretty productive week. For example, I finally found some eco-friendly fabric and I'm waiting for it to get here. I received the hang tags and stickers I posted yesterday, and I'm still waiting on my fabric labels to come. So, that gives me a little shopping time I think.

Today, my focus has been on messenger bags. To find the perfect one, I look to Etsy. I was very happy with the selection of eco-friendly messenger bags I found and finally settled on this hemp bag from Uzura as my favorite:

The bag is 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton so it's good for the environment. It's also beautiful, durable, and most importantly, functional. I love it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hooray for Hang Tags!

Today, I received the hang tags and stickers that I ordered! I was so excited to see them in the mail, and I could hardly wait to get home and tear open the package. It felt just like Christmas morning! When I opened it, I was so happy. They turned out great!

I had them done by Nina at The Paper Kingdom on Etsy. She was so nice to work with, and she chose the perfect colors as borders and accents. She gave me some great advice and tips on what would look best for me. I'm so glad I listened to her. And she lives in Athens, Greece! How cool is that?

So, the hang tag is on top, and the sticker is on the bottom:

One step closer!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Whole New World

This morning, I woke up to a wonderful email from a very nice reader, Mary Rogers. This email has opened my eyes to an incredible online marketplace - Spoonflower. The creators of Spoonflower are genius!

At Spoonflower, you design and print your own fabric on demand. They have several base fabric options, including organic cotton and a bamboo-cotton blend. So they use eco-friendly fabric! And Spoonflower fabrics are always printed with water-based, nontoxic inks that are wash fast and light fast.

You can browse other people's designs on the site, and there are really some beautiful creations. I could spend hours looking through all of the awesome fabric prints.

Spoonflower even has a weekly fabric design contest. Juliann Law is this week's winner and here is her fabric design:

What a cute print! This fabric is available for purchase on Etsy here:

Thank you Mary for your email!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mission Impossible?

I have spent the past several days looking for the just the right fabrics. The mission: cute, playful, and affordable fabrics that are also sustainable. Sustainable meaning created in a way that is easy on the environment. So we're talking organic fibers, bamboo, and hemp dyed with earth friendly dyes and dying methods produced and sold under Fair Labor/Fair Trade conditions.

Trips to the local fabric stores were a complete bust - terrible selection with matching terrible prices. So, I have turned my attention to the internet. As it turns out, there really isn't a great selection of fabrics that meet all of the criteria: cute, sustainable, and affordable. But I am narrowing a few sources down and have found some online stores that seem promising. So, the search continues.

In the meantime, if you know of an awesome fabric supplier with sustainable fabrics, please share!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Perfect Shoes

Since we have accomplished so many things this week, I thought we'd take a break today and explore Etsy a bit. In exploring, I ran across the perfect pair of shoes for little girls at HydraHeart's shop. These shoes are adorable, eco-friendly, and affordable. I think they would be a perfect compliment to the clothing we will sell on Etsy very soon. Here is a link to the shoes above:

HydraHeart also sells some very cute shoes for women. I absolutely adore ballet flats. They are perfect for dressing up or down, comfortable, and convenient for women on the go. I love these from HydraHeart:

The best part: these are eco-friendly too!

Thank you HydraHeart for bringing us beautiful, eco-friendly shoes that are affordable!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Love Earth

This week, we have been focusing on laying the groundwork to start a business - doing some necessary things like deciding on a business structure and suppliers. These are all extremely important. But I thought I would take today to talk about some of the reasons we are so committed to producing sustainable clothing at Happy Banyan.

Unfortunately, beautiful fashion often comes at the expense of the environment. Much of the time, the production of textiles is done in a way that permanently damages non-renewable resources such as our waterways, our air, and our groundwater; harming marine life and entering our food chain along the way. Sometimes, production takes place in sweat shops by workers who are poorly paid and work long hours in horrible conditions.

These are a few of the many reasons we support sustainable clothing. Sustainable clothing avoids the depletion of natural resources and seeks to conserve an ecological balance between what is used and what is replaced. To protect our environment, we believe in using natural and organic fibers, reusing and recycling, and in the conservation of resources.

We believe it is time to change the way we consume, the way we produce goods, and the way we affect the environment. Join us in our commitment to the Earth!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Day of Shopping!

It's been a day full of shopping - but not really the fun kind where you shop for shoes and cute dresses all day. This has been a day of shopping for suppliers. Yes, today has been all about finding fabric labels, hang tags, and dress forms. I hope I've made some good choices. I'll update you on the orders I've made today and on the suppliers I have chosen after I receive the goods!

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's the Feds!

Today I've been focusing on number 5 of this week's to-do list: federal laws to consider relating to children's apparel. The first is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. We'll call it the CPSIA. The purpose of it is to help identify the source of production for children's goods in order to improve their safety. Apparently, there have been problems locating children's products that have been recalled for safety reasons. This act is meant to help with that.

So this law applies to children's products made on or after August 14, 2009. It applies to anyone who manufactures such products - including makers of handcrafted goods and clothing made primarily for children under the age of 12. That means that we at Happy Banyan must meet the requirements of this law.

What I've learned so far is that the law requires a "tracking label" for children's products. This tracking label must include, at a minimum:

1. information on the location of production (country, city, and state); and,

2. the date of production.

There are other parts of the law such as product testing that do not appear to apply to children's clothing, so we are not going to talk about them here.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a very helpful FAQ section on their website. Here is a link:

They also have a Guide for Small Businesses, Resellers, and Handcrafters that is very useful. Here is a link:

You can sign up for email alerts about information on this law from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by going here:

In addition to the new labeling requirements of the CPSIA, it appears there are some general label requirements under the federal Textile and Wools Act. Under this Act, the label must disclose fiber content and country of origin.

Here is a helpful publication on the Textiles and Wools Act from the Federal Trade Commission:

All in all, I'm very glad I read all this before I ordered fabric labels for my Etsy grand opening! Now, I just need to figure what else, if anything, federal laws require for handcrafters of children's clothing.

Chime in if you have anything to add on this topic, and if you have pictures or examples of the fabric labels that you'll be using because of the CPSIA, please share!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello Logo!

I am so very excited to announce that Happy Banyan now has an official logo!!!

I have been working for the past couple of weeks with a wonderful graphic designer named Kirsten from MorningstarArtistry to create an image that is just right. Being as in love with Etsy as I currently am, I of course found her through her Etsy store. Kirsten was quick, responsive, and helpful through the entire process, and I am really pleased with the result.

So I think the final logo expresses the joy, the spreading roots, and the sense of coverage and community that Happy Banyan is intended to represent. Without further ado, here it is:

Kirsten also designed an Etsy store banner for the upcoming grand opening of Happy Banyan scheduled for October 5, 2009. I think she did a great job on this too:

Please let me know what you think about the logo and the store banner. I can't wait to hear your opinions!

And check back often - coming soon is the Story of the Happy Banyan, why it was chosen as our company name, and what it represents.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

When it comes to buying clothing online, the consumer isn't able to touch the fabric, determine the fabric's quality and weight, or try the piece of clothing on for size. These are all very important parts of buying clothing. To compensate, online photographs of apparel for sale have to be good. Extremely good. Especially when it comes to handmade apparel. And on a site as well-done and as well-known as Etsy, there are downright beautiful photographs being taken by some amazing sellers.

But here's the thing. I know nothing about photography or how to take a good photograph. There are important things like lighting to think about and so many other things I have no idea even exist yet when it comes to good photography. Having taken a few not so great photographs of my designs, I have a newfound respect for photographers.

All this to say that the countdown to the Etsy store launch is now 37 days! 37 days to get up to speed on how to take an awesome photograph and everything else.

I thought I might start by reading the instruction manual to my digital camera. After that, maybe I need to figure out how to get the lighting right.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The very beginning...

For many reasons, it is time to enter the world of entrepreneurship. It took some time to find my passion... but I have! I was apparently meant to succumb to the beckoning siren call of fabric destined to be cute children's clothes!

I am now embarking on a quest to build a company that embodies my vision for attractive and practical clothing for young girls (and possibly boys!) that tries to be eco-friendly and sustainable wherever possible.

Based solely on a two-hour class about sewing in a local fabric store, I learned that I could in fact manage to sew a cute dress or two and perhaps have fun along the way. As it turns out I love designing and making clothing! A big thank you to Cynthia at the Bernina sewing center in Hancock Fabrics in Austin, Texas who taught that class!!!

Shortly after the initial course and the first half dozen dresses, it became clear that I would have to share some of my creations with the world at large or risk drowning both self and family under an avalanche of dresses.

So with no more than a newly discovered passion and talent for sewing I am working to launch a new fashion brand and e-commerce business.

Follow along as I relate my experiences and feel free to share your experiences with me!