Children and their mother’s have a special relationship, and it’s that bond that has inspired young mothers Gina Rogers and Tiffany Bright to open Sailors and Sparrows: An Eco Family Boutique. Located on Pearl Street in the Springfield historic district of Jacksonville, the venture represents their passion to educate families about the benefits of natural, local products and just as important – a place to purchase them!
So what’s up with the name . . . some kind of double entendre?
It’s a metaphor for mother and their children. When a sailor is coming back to land, a sparrow is a sign that they are close to home. It’s a symbol of comfort and security, and our brand represents family in this way.
This is a children’s boutique, do you have a niche?
Yes, we are a children’s boutique targeted towards children from infants to 12 years old, and their mothers, but we have an emphasis on eco-friendly products and practices. We feature mostly Jacksonville vendors, so all of our products are locally made, toxin free, and healthy for both mother and child.
Let’s get specific. What sort of things can people find in your shop?
Local & handmade quilts
Local & handmade children’s clothing
Ergonomically correct baby carriers and wraps
Modern cloth diapers
Safe, natural laundry detergent by Vaska
Handmade nursing necklaces
Organic baby shampoo and wash
Heirloom quality wooden toys from industry leader Hape, and small local crafters, etc.
What items are your favorites?
Tiffany: Locally made, hand crafted wooden rockers. We have a local artisan who makes high quality children’s rockers in the shape of horses, elephants, etc. They’re really cute and will last for generations, not like the cheap plastic stuff from big box stores. One day, I hope these toys will be passed on to my grandchildren.
Gina: Probably the Vaska detergent. I use it wash my cloth diapers and I wouldn’t use anything else. It’s safe and natural, and smells wonderful.
How did this come to fruition?
We met through a mutual friend, and we just started talking about our experiences raising children, our shared preference for maternal lifestyle attachment parenting, and the difficulty finding eco-friendly children’s products in Jacksonville. It’s rare to find them, let alone in one place. After tossing ideas around for a while, we became serious about the concept in January of this year. When we found this space we thought it would be perfect, and here we are.
We feel like our target audience probably lives in the in-town neighborhoods of Jacksonville. There seems to be more hip families looking for natural alternatives and products in these areas. Plus, we love the sense of community in Springfield.
Tell us about your opening.
The Grand Opening is Saturday, April 27th from 10am-5pm. The first 10 customers will receive a gift bag full of goodies, and we’ll have different items on sale all day too.
We’re looking forward to giving Jacksonville an opportunity to truly shop local, and we’d love to meet all our new neighbors!
Article by Bill Hoff at MySpringfield.org