The Poncho That Broke the Internet February 06 2017, 0 Comments
It was 9:41 AM on January 24, 2017, a morning like any other. We just published a post all about our new Every Wear Ponchos. Little did we know that things were about to get just a little bit crazy. Like crash the internet crazy!
The post just blew up!
And in hindsight, it makes sense. After all, we were talking about our super soft, super awesome, made from bamboo, multi-wear ponchos. The same poncho that can be also worn as a dress, long skirt, short skirt and off the shoulder top. The one that you can rock with a belt, without a belt and more. The one that looks like this:
So naturally it makes sense why customers wanted to buy one like right away and retailers across Canada wanted to stock them ASAP.
The wait is almost over, and we’re making it easier than ever before for you to get your hands on one really, really soon. All you have to do is go to our new Store Finder, enter your Zip Code, and hit Search. It’s that easy!
Stay tuned! Our Every Wear Ponchos are coming soon to a store near you.We promise the wait will be worth it!
Until then keeping rocking your House of Koopslie look your way, every day.
How to wear headbands with short hair December 07 2016, 0 Comments
Running a headband business, I often talk to women about wearing headbands. Since most of the photos we have are of women with long hair (believe me finding models with short hair is a challenge!), I’ve heard many comments from ladies with medium length hair and short hair telling me that they think only women with long hair can wear headbands.
Having pretty short hair myself, and wearing headbands most days of the year, I know this to be not true. But I wanted to show you and on a bigger scale. And now I can.
I am happy to announce that we have partnered with Edmonton’s own, very fashionable fashion blogger and style consultant, Sarah, from Boots & Bassets. Sarah has personally gone on a headband quest to test out several fun ways to wear House of Koopslie headbands with short hair and now she wants to show you how. Sarah has written an awesome blog post about it too, and there may be a giveaway (hint, there is one for sure ;)). So, make sure to read Sara’s blog and enter for your chance to win not 1, not 2, but 3 of our best-selling headbands, so you can try out all these awesome styles yourself.
Wishing you an awesome hair day every day!
Founder and Chief Designer at House of Koopslie
House of Koopslie - Pop-up Style October 20 2016, 0 Comments
So….something pretty exciting is happening THIS WEEKEND and we’d love to have you join us.
We’ve been invited by Lolë Atelier in West Edmonton Mall to do a pop-up store on Saturday, October 22nd from 1 - 4PM. We’ll be hanging around in the Lolë store, located on the Upper Level by Entrance 23, showcasing our eco-friendly bamboo headband handcrafted with love right here in Edmonton. Word on the street is that there will also be some yummy snacks, refreshments and a whole lot of awesome VIP deals from House of Koopslie and Lolë.
We are beyond excited. Not only because it’s a great time to catch up with YOU, our awesome and amazing customer, but also because this is a great time for us to show Lolë what we are all about.
Like House of Koopslie, Lolë believes in designing clothing that helps women feel beautiful inside and out, that is made for comfort and versatility, and that is eco-friendly. Not only that, their clothing is pretty darn amazing. And you know what looks amazing with one of their running tanks or yoga leggings, a House of Koopslie headband! Just saying!
The pop-up event is also a great time to check out our new Fall 2016 Collection, if you haven’t already. The holidays are just around the corner after all. We’ve given our classic headbands a makeover, we’ve gone tie-dye, we’re bringing denim back, and we may have added a few extra stripes here and there. We’ll also have a few of our brand new Bum Warmers on hand. This exciting new product not only comes in a whole whack of amazing colors but will also keep you toasty warm this winter.
And, during the event hours only (1 - 4 pm), when you purchase two House of Koopslie headbands, you’ll get a third one for free!
So come by, have a look, buy two headbands (or eight!), and feel free to stay for a little visit. It’s going to be fun! Let us know you’re coming on our Event Page.
See you there!
P.S. Find out how the super awesome Robin from My Closet Journey has solved her "winter wardrobe crisis" with our versatile bum warmer!
It’s Makeover Time at House of Koopslie July 21 2016, 0 Comments
Back in June, you may remember that we shared some of the exciting things that have been happening around House of Koopslie. Guess what? There’s one more! We’ve been busy behind the scenes putting the finishing touches on a complete overhaul of our logo and colors and we’re so excited to finally reveal it. Here’s a little glimpse of how we’re looking at House of Koopslie these days.
So, why the change? Well, for the last six years, our branding has stayed the same while our business has changed dramatically. So we figured it was high time for our branding to transform as well. We wanted it to match the awesomeness that is House of Koopslie today. After all, our one headband has endless looks, so why shouldn’t our company?
Now check this out!
We’ve gone pink!
Can we just say pink rocks? It says feminine, it says fun, and it pops….just like our amazing customers do when they wear one of our headbands.
We’ve gone edgy!
We wanted a logo that made people pay attention, that stood out from the crowd, and that was strong enough to take on whatever came its way. Hey….that sounds a lot like our customers!
We think we’ve nailed our new look but we’d love to hear what you think! Click here to fill out a quick survey and be entered to win your very own House of Koopslie gift pack with a limited edition eco-friendly bamboo tank AND some awesome headbands, of course!
Oh, and how does $10 off your next order sound? We'd love to send you a $10 coupon code for helping us out and filling out the survey. And, since we are sure your besties will look amazing in a House of Koopslie headband, make sure to share this post and spread the love :)
Thanks for your help!
Happy Mother’s Day! May 08 2016, 0 Comments
So, in true testament to how crazy life gets when you’re a mom, I’ve left this blog post to the VERY last minute and it’s for Mother’s Day no less!
So if you’ll excuse my tardiness for not posting this earlier, I’d love to share with you a few reasons why a House of Koopslie headband is the perfect gift for your mom any time of the year. Moms like to be spoiled and appreciated the other 364 days of the year too!
From all of us at House of Koopslie, we wish you a happy and healthy Mother’s Day!
Bye, bye, Baby! March 30 2016, 0 Comments
Did you know that House of Koopslie has been in business for over five years now? Where does the time fly? It's been a great ride and I've loved every minute of it. A lot has changed in these five years and I'm sure that the changes will keep on coming.
Speaking of changes, you may or may not know that last year my family went through a lot of personal changes as well. My daughter was having ongoing health issues which led my husband and I to decide to take her and her brother out of daycare. This meant that I was home full-time with my two kiddos. The plan was that that I would look after my two munchkins during the day and then work in the evenings and weekends when my husband was home from his job. We're lucky enough that he has a flexible schedule and comes home early, however, I quickly realized that after a day full of cooking, cleaning, dealing with doctor visits, playing and activities, it was hard to get into business mode. I was exhausted.
This exhaustion reached an all-time high last December. After doing three back to back holiday shows in St. Albert, Calgary, and Edmonton, each 12 hours long, I was tired and felt burnt out. They were the best shows I had done to date, but when they were done it felt like I could not go on with my business. I was stretched way too thin.
As a result, I did a lot of reflecting and thinking about what I wanted and needed in my life and my business and how I could make that happen. In the end I decided that I needed to have less on my plate, so I could do more of what I wanted - to grow my business and take it to new heights. It just wasn't happening with so many different products lines and directions and so little time. Coincidentally, at the same time, House of Koopslie's headband line started to get very popular and I could hear it raising its hand and calling "Pick me!". This was just what I needed to make my decision.
So...after five years of working on my hat and clothing designs, and seeing some of the cutest munchkins sporting them, I've decided to say so long to our kids’ line. It was a hard decision, but I needed to make it to go on with taking care of my kids, having time for me and working on building an amazing business. Is it forever? I don't know. But it is definitely on the back burner for now.
It has been a very busy and wonderful five years. I've met so many amazing parents, mentors, business owners and loyal customers. I've learned a ton about business and about being a parent, a working parent, and a stay at home parent. I've also learned what it takes to be both a business owner and a boss.
The support from customers like you, has been incredible over the last five years and I am forever grateful for it. Your kind words, emails, phone calls and chats at trade shows have fueled me to create more of what you've asked for. And now, with all that I have learned and experienced, I am ready to take House of Koopslie in a new direction. I would like to welcome you on this new journey. I promise you it will continue to be fun, exciting and full of craziness (Remember when I tried to get on Dragon's Den and to meet Taylor Swift in Japan? That part of me is not going away!).
For everything you've done, I want to say "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" I'm looking forward to sharing this new chapter of House of Koopslie with you.
Founder and Chief Designer, House of Koopslie
P.S. Good news! You can still get some of our kids' hats and headbands at these amazing retailers. Act fast though...they will be gone quickly!
How to wear - 90 degree twist January 24 2016, 0 Comments
90 degree twist
Channel your inner sailor pin up girl by wearing the leather loop all the way to the side. You will have all the guys saying AHOY MATEY.
Step 1. Put the leather loop in one hand and place the opposite side of the headband in your other hand.
Step 2. Put the headband on your forehead, then slide the rest down the back.
Step 3. If your have too big of a poof on top or on the sides, simply tuck the extra hair into the top of the headband.
Step 4. You look gorgeous, so go and rock your 90 degree twist. It's just that easy.
Check out House of Koopslie's blog for more awesome styles, like the ones below.
How to wear - Oh so boho January 24 2016, 0 Comments
Oh so boho
You got your new House of Koopslie bamboo headband and you're super happy to show off all your new hair styles. Or maybe you're a little hesitant because you're not sure whether you can actually rock a headband out in the real world. Well, let us tell you that you SO CAN rock a headband and we are going to tell you how.
We've learned a few tricks along the way and we want to share them with you, so you have an awesome headband wearing experience. So, why don't you try out oh so boho right now and see how amazing you look.
Step 1. Place the leather in the center, where your forehead and hairline meet. (This very important. If you put the leather in the center of your forehead instead, then push it back up, you will likely get a big poofy poof in the back and on top.)
Step 2. With leather still in place, slide the rest of the headband down. Tip - if you keep the headband over your ears, it will stay on better.
Step 3. If your headband starts to slide up creating too big of a poof, simply tuck the extra hair into the top of the headband.
Step 4. Rock your relaxed boho chic look. It's just that easy.
How to wear - 2 minute updo January 13 2016, 0 Comments
2 minute updo
Our 2 minute updo is super easy to do and looks so stunning. It's a great look for a party, night on the town or even a wedding or a grad... or if you simply want to feel extra beautiful. Use your favourite everyday every bamboo way bamboo headband and give it a try.
Give-away with Edmonton's Child Magazine September 18 2015, 0 Comments
Want to be one of the first people to own a House of Koopslie Jewelry?
We're doing a give-away with Edmonton's Child magazine and you would WIN a House of Koopslie Gift Set including, an everyday every way bamboo fleece headband, leather earrings, a matching pendant and coordinating, fleece-lined bamboo headband.
How to win? Simply go to Edmonton's Child Magazine's website and complete the readers survey! Couldn't be easier!
Don't forget if you win the prize, if you you have House of Koopslie products to send us a pic on social media using the hashtag #Koopsliehead
Need the link? Click the image of the prize below to be taken to the contest.
Japan, Taylor Swift and how everything happens for a reason September 10 2015, 1 Comment
On the main floor at the Taylor Swift concert!
It was an amazing experience. First of all I still can't believe that I won and for that I will love Virgin Radio forever!!! And then there's the awesomeness that is Japan. Third, I got to see Taylor Swift in concert AND Taylor's mom walked right by us 10 seconds before the concert started and I gave her one of my headbands for Taylor!!! All so amazing.
Taylor Swift's mom hugging someone right before I gave her a headband for Taylor
This is the headband I gave to Taylor Swift's mom to give to Taylor
My cousin Mario lives in Japan and Robert (my husband) and I were lucky enough to have Mario and his amazing girlfriend Kana (aka my Japansese BFF) show us around Tokyo.
Monika and Kana eating octopus and drinking beer yummmm
We got to see so many amazing places and eat some really unique and delicious food.
Sighteeing with my love
In fact, we ate some ramen noodles that, to this day, Robert and I refer to as the best meal we've ever had. If I ever go back to Japan, I will get off the plane and go eat these delicious noodles before I do anything else.
Best meal of my life. Seriously!
Ramen noodles are ordered at this handy-dandy machine
Kana took us to visit a headwear store called CA4LA. CA4LA is Japan's biggest retailer of beyond cool headwear. I bought a really awesome hat for Robert and an amazing headband for me. I fell in love with the beautiful store, huge assortment of products, the friendly, knowledgeable staff, and the whole company overall.
CA4LA has collaborated with such big names as KE$HA, Andy Warhol and Star Wars the movie. They have 24 retail locations across Japan and 1 in London, England. They carry the freshest headwear brands from Japan and from around the globe.
It was scary, but on our last day in Japan I took a chance and left one of my headbands at the store. I had a pretty hard time (looking back it was quite amusing) explaining why I wanted to leave the headband there, so the staff got me on the phone with Yuko - an English speaking sales representative. She was super friendly and gave me her email address so I can follow up with her once she had a chance to see the headband.
The next day we came home from beautiful Japan and I found waiting for me an email from Yuko asking for more information. This alone made me super excited! Japan's coolest headwear retailer was interested in something I designed and created!
This all happened a few months ago and I've been dying to tell you this, but I didn't want to jinx it. I wanted to wait until my headbands made it across the ocean. Now that they are beautifully displayed on the shelves of over 20 of the coolest headwear stores in Japan, I can tell you. I'm incredibly excited and proud to announce you that CA4LA is carrying House of Koopslie. Yes, it's true and I am doing a dance! I am so incredibly honoured to have House of Koopslie's everyday every way bamboo headbands at CA4LA's beautiful stores.
It all feels like it was meant to be and it all started with sending a text to Virgin Radio when they played a Taylor Swift song.
Baby, it's cold outside! September 06 2015, 0 Comments
Today's cold and rainy weather has inspired us to create some of our (much needed today) fleece lined bamboo headbands. These headbands will keep you warm and comfortable while looking like the hot babe that you are ;)
This year's headbands will be available in an array of new colours! We also have so many new leathers for our bamboo headband with leather loop! It's all very exciting. We can't wait to show them all to you!
Our fleece lined headband with scrunch is also being updated with an awesome assortment of this season's hottest colours and pair-with-everything neutrals.
Keep in touch as we reveal more awesomeness coming this fall. And remember to show off your #koopsliehead style on Instagram.
Back to School with House of Koopslie August 27 2015, 0 Comments
I love back to school time in September. It's really the perfect transition time from carefree summer evenings, to more structured days for children and their parents.
Although back to school shopping is geared to children (well, ok they're the ones actually starting grade 1), many forget the people that will be actually taking those kids to school: the parents.
We are going to go straight to the moms here, as most dads are not interested in our headbands (except for gifts for the women in your life, guys, we love this headband) for all the moms out there with kids going to school in September, who is the one that has to coordinate children, breakfast, lunches, forms making sure they're leaving the house with clothes on? This one is for you. There's barely time for you in the morning between sips of coffee and smelling children's breaths to make sure they've brushed. Headbands are an easy & cute solution to getting out of the house kids in tow and hair under wraps. It's like to never, not once, had to pry underpants off your child's head and make them get dressed for school instead of acting like super man.
What is a #koopsliehead? June 20 2015, 1 Comment
Guide to Looking Epic June 20 2015, 0 Comments
Did you know our everyday every way headbands can be worn 7 different ways to achieve 7 very awesome and unique looks? Check out our Guide to Looking Epic and show off your favourite #koopsliehead style on Instagram @houseofkoopslie.
I want to shake it off with Taylor Swift in Tokyo! April 30 2015, 0 Comments
I want to meet Taylor Swift! This may seem crazy to you, but I really want to meet her.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine was supposed to be doing a photo shoot with her. I thought she would look awesome in my everyday every way headband and begged him to take some of my headbands for her. He asked her people if he was allowed, but was refused and then let go from the shoot for asking. I was so upset for him and sad for me. I really thought she would love them and look really great.
I was in the midst of telling Nicola all about my sadness when my phone rang and I was told that I was one of the 10 contestants for a draw from 104.9 Virgin Radio and Edo Japan to go see Taylor Swift in Tokyo! OMG! They said the call would be between 7:30 and 8:00 and if I didn't answer the phone they would have to move on to the next person. I seriously had trouble sleeping for the next 2 days. I wanted to win SO BADLY! I told only three people that I was in the draw for two reasons. Number one, I didn't want anyone calling me the morning of the draw. What if they called the same time as Virgin Radio and I missed the call and lost the trip. I was not taking any chances. The second reason is because if I didn't win I would be seriously disappointed. I didn't want to have to tell everyone that I didn't win. It would make me sad. I really badly wanted to go see Taylor Swift in Tokyo! I felt like it was a sign :)
I was so nervous that morning that I asked my husband to go into work later, so that he can be there to support me if there was no call. We were sitting down at the breakfast table when my phone rang. The words VIRGIN RADIO showed up on my call display. I remember that moment as if it happened yesterday. I picked up the phone and lost it before they even told me that I had won. I have listened to that call again and again and I still feel giddy with excitement when I listen to it! I cannot believe that I get to go see Taylor Swift in Tokyo, of all the cool places in the World!
The last few days I've been seeing this post around Facebook about your comfort zone and where the magic happens. According to this simple yet very eye-opening diagram, you have to get out of your comfort zone to go to where the magic happens.
This really resonated with me, so here I go. My secret, and now not so secret wish is that I get to meet Taylor Swift when I am in Tokyo. I know that this is far fetched and a little crazy. I know she is a super famous celebrity and that a bajillion people want to meet her. But I am still putting it out there in the universe. Universe, I am going from our beautiful city of Edmonton all the way to Tokyo, Japan to see Taylor in concert. Please, please, pretty please, let this happen. I will be forever thankful.
Easter smiles April 05 2015, 0 Comments
I didn't get to celebrate Easter last year. On my way to the celebrations I lost feeling to half of my face and ended up in the emergency room with suspicion of a stroke. It was a terrifying experience and terrible thoughts went through my head. Thankfully I was seen very quickly, hooked up to a bunch of machines and sent for a CT scan. Within an hour I knew that thankfully it wasn't a stroke but Bell's Palsy. Bell's palsy is a paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face caused by damage to the facial nerve that controls those muscles.
I couldn't blink my eye or move half of my face and it felt like I was never going to get better. That was a really hard time in my life. I spent most of my days at home, feeling sorry for myself and being too embarrassed to go out. I did a lot of thinking and realized just how quickly things can change. I never considered to be thankful for small things, such as the ability to smile. A smile was something that was mine and I could do or not do as I chose. Well, this was no longer the case and the one thing I really wished for was to have my smile back. I wanted to smile and I vowed that if I got better, I would be thankful for it and use it often.
3 weeks later I started getting the feeling back in my face and a few days later I was fully recovered. Guess what I did first. I went out and smiled at people. Just randomly. If some stranger looked at me at the grocery store, I gave them a big smile. I smiled the entire time the checkout person was ringing my groceries through. I was so happy and so thankful and I was not going to take things for granted any longer.
It is a year later and many things have happened. If you read my last post you know that I have a sick child and things are sometimes rough. You may also know that I have recently won a trip to Japan to see Taylor Swift in concert and I am ridiculously happy and excited about that. There are ups and there are downs. Through it all I clearly remember last Easter, I look back and I smile. I smile because I have a loving, supportive husband, wonderful, tough as nails kids, an awesome business I have built from the ground up, and I smile because I am able to smile. I will never take that for granted again.
And not we are off to my parents' house to celebrate Easter like we meant to celebrate last year.
Happy Easter and lots of smiles from me and my family to you and yours!
Big changes, they are a-comin' April 01 2015, 0 Comments
For the last year and a half my two little ones have been in daycare and I've been working on my business full-time, sort of. I say sort of because my daughter has been having ongoing health issues, and with each flare-up of her condition, many things, including my business, went on hold. This year has been particularly hard. Milla, who is 3, had surgery in December and then another one in January. She had a bad reaction after surgery and ended up spending 3 weeks at home before going back to daycare. I felt very lucky that I didn't have a boss and could make my own hours, but during those times the hours for my business were few and I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. Things have been getting back to normal, our normal that is. We recently found out that doctors can't figure out Milla's condition and there are no more tests to be done. On the outside she seems like a perfectly healthy and very happy little girl, but on the inside her body isn't working properly. She isn't able to fight infections at all, so every small bump, cut or scratch can turn into an internal infection and lead to surgery. That's just part of the puzzle, but I am not a doctor and won't overwhelm you with all the other details. Just believe me it is not good.
I know this: I am a mom and I am doing my best. I want to keep my daughter healthy and I think being with her will give her the best chance of that happening. So, after a lot of thinking and a ton of considerations, my husband and I decided to take both of our children out of daycare. We are starting a new journey together. I will be with the kids during the day, so my husband can work at his day job and my husband will be with them in the evenings and on weekends, so I can work on my business. It may not sound ideal to everyone, but that is what we came up with. It's time to take care of our daughter, but I don't want to give up the business and my husband doesn't want to give up his job. We are very lucky that we are both happy in our chosen careers. My daughter is sick and that makes me sad. My business makes me come alive and that makes me happy. I'm sure it will take some time to find our balance in this new world, but we will get there. After everything we have gone through, we are one tough family unit, not to be messed with :) And you will be seeing more of us, too, since we will be out and about enjoying our new world. I will admit that I am terrified and excited at the same time.
Bring it on, life.
The story behind House of Koopslie's high quality prints February 14 2015, 0 Comments
Have you noticed that the designs on your House of Koopslie hats stay looking great through all that wash and wear? Our designs don't crack.
We've had many customers who have had one of our hats for years and the print on it still looks brand new. It's not an accident; we've worked very hard for it to be that way. When my company started, I did all the silk screening myself. With a little help from my friends and the internet, I taught myself to silk screen by experimenting with different types of inks and techniques. I quickly learned what worked and what didn't and gained a large respect for the printing business. It was a tough thing to do and I ruined many (many, many, many, seriously so many) hats in the process.
We now have an amazing person who does the majority of the prints. Finding Mr. G wasn't easy. In my search I talked to many silk screeners and told them that our main goal was to have quality designs that that and do not crack. Since I was dealing with beanies and they were so stretchy, many printers didn't even try. One of them silkscreened a design and stretched it out to prove to me that it couldn't be done. The design cracked, but I wasn't going to give up and my search continued.
Mr. G was an accidental introduction by a friend. I told him that I wanted to have quality, non cracking prints on stretchy hats and he told me that he had the answer - a special additive which is added to ink and will make it stretch without cracking. A few days later Mr. G showed me a perfect sample. He told me there's some science behind how much ink and additive is mixed together and he had experimented and found the perfect combination for our bamboo fabric. Solution. Check.
Mr. G has been working with House of Koopslie for a few years now and his amazing work and knowledge is next to none. He is part of House of Koopslie's team of experts that work very hard to meet and exceed our customer's expectations for high quality, made in Canada, products.
The story of House of Koopslie's vintage inspired, bamboo flowers February 11 2015, 0 Comments
House of Koopslie's vintage hats and headbands with hand crafted flowers are our signature items and a hit with customers big and small. Even babies who dislike wearing anything on their head will happily smile with a House of Koopslie hat on (see proof below).
The process to create a flower takes a great deal of care and attention. Every single flower is carefully hand crafted and inspected to ensure it meets our high quality standards.
Finding a way to create our signature vintage flower took a lot of love, attention to detail and some serious trial and error. Monika worked with a small team of seamstresses and a textile expert to understand how different fabrics behave when cut and sewn in different ways until they worked out the best methods that work with our super-soft bamboo fabric. The end result is our beautiful, nature mimicking flower which adorns our vintage hats and headbands.
The way our flowers are made is a true work of art and only our small and greatly trusted team of artisans knows how to beautifully replicate these precious gems.
Bamboo - I love you! November 03 2014, 0 Comments
In case you haven't noticed, we at House of Koopslie love bamboo! Our entire collection of hats and headbands is made from the softest, most awesome bamboo jersey ever. Recently we came across something so amazing, that we created an entire collection of clothing and accessories for kids AND women (YAY!) around it. Fleece-lined bamboo. I'll give you a moment to take that in. Yes, fleece-lined bamboo. If you love bamboo as much as we do, you will definitely love our fleece-lined bamboo. It is just as soft and awesome as our current bamboo, but it is fleece-lined for extra warmth, making it perfect for fall and winter clothing and accessories. This stuff is seriously amazing. We have hats, headbands, leggings, mittens, neck warmers and scarves made from fleece-lined bamboo and we invite you to try them on and see how incredible this fabric and collection is.
In case you're not convinced, not only is our fleece-lined bamboo collection awesome, each piece has been carefully crafted with a mother's experience in mind:
Our fleece-lined bamboo leggings are made with a higher rise, so they actually sit at your belly button. For those of us who have children, we need not explain why this is awesome. Good-bye muffin top! They are very stretchy and fit sizes from extra small to extra large. Whether you are running your kids from activity to activity or just having a bit of me time, these leggings will make you feel comfortable and stylish. With a wide range of colours and awesome fit, they are a must have for this chilly weather. As a side note, men have bought these as a base layer under snow pants and we've heard nothing but great feedback from them, too.
Fleece-lined bamboo leggings for kids. Our owner's 4 year old son calls these his most comfy pants. He has recently started to refuse to wear any other pants. Seriously. There are actual tears when other pants are even being suggested. Need we say more? They really are that comfortable.
Fleece-lined bamboo mittens. These mittens come in a variety of colours, two sizes and feature an extra-long cuff. The cuff is awesome for so many reasons. Number one, it fully covers your child's wrist, so that skin between the jacket and the mitten that was once exposed and cold, is covered and warm. Number two, slip the mitten cuff over your child's sleeve before putting their jacket on, and say good-bye to bunched up sleeves and getting out the door frustrations.
Fleece-lined bamboo neck warmer. How many kids like having a zipper done all the way up and rubbing under their chin? We don't know of any. If yours do, then you're truly lucky. The neck warmer was designed to solve the problem of kids not liking their jacket zippers done all the way up and thus making little necks and chests cold, and parents worried. Slip this ultra-stretchy neck warmer over your child's head and their neck and chest will be covered and protected from the wind and the cold.
Fleece-lined bamboo headband. This headband is awesome because it's warm, stylish and fits a variety of head sizes from 2 years old to adult.
Fleece-lined bamboo beanie. This beanie is perfect for everyone aged 1 year and up. Little ones can wear it slouchy style but it also perfectly fits adults as a regular beanie. It's a must have for everyone in the family.
Fleece-lined headband with loop. With all the same benefits as our fleece-lined bamboo headband, the loop provides a small pop of colour and added style!
Fleece-lined bamboo infinity scarf. Mama needs a scarf. So does aunty, grandma, sister and the list goes on. Having this amazing fabric next to your skin will warm you up while making you look super stylish. The scarf can also be worn as a hood when the weather turns extra cold. We've just started working on a hand-dyed cuff to go with our scarf and will have some very cool options for you soon. If you're in Alberta, come see us at any and all of our upcoming shows. If you live further, please check out our website for our latest fleece-lined items and feel free to contact us with any questions. If you want to be the first in the know, sign up for our newsletter today!
Stay warm. House of Koopslie has you covered!
How to lose your mommy tummy and get your kids to eat Brussels sprouts May 27 2014, 1 Comment
Yummy Brussels Sprouts Chips. Photo credit nomnompaleo.com
"Mommy can I have more Brussels sprouts, please?" is something I never thought I'd hear in a million years from my picky eater and 4 year old son, Nevan. Especially not followed by "mommy, more Brussels sprouts, mommy, please mommy" from my 2 year old daughter, Milla. But this has been happening for a few months now. So here we are and Brussels sprouts have become a staple food in our home. How did this happen? To tell you the story I have to go back a few years. I had my daughter 2 years ago this January and I still haven't lost the baby weight. Let's be honest, it wasn't the baby weight anymore. It came off pretty nicely after my first child, but this extra 20 (some days more) pounds has been sitting with me for far too long. I've tried different things. I went on a low fat diet a year ago and I lost some weight, but I felt miserable and hungry all the time. I was also constantly eating; 3 meals and 3 snacks a day was too much. I had to lug food around with me everywhere I went. I felt hungry all the time and the diet didn't last very long. I gained even more weight back and have been telling myself that I just need to get back to it. A year later I still hadn't and was stricken with guilt about not trying something else to lose the weight. I also tried to count calories using an app on my phone, but again found myself restricted, hungry and losing less weight than I had hoped.
About 3 months ago I decided to try out the Paleo diet. I had a few friends who went on it not as a diet, but adopted it as a lifestyle for health related reasons. They lost some weight and I thought that I had nothing to lose (except the weight!). I committed to 30 days to try it out. The diet consists of eating animal proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts and eggs. At first this seemed incredibly restrictive to me. Especially since most days I started off with cereal, had bread, rice or pasta for lunch and dinner and inevitably at one point during my day I snacked on crackers or whole wheat nacho chips. I haven't touched any of these things for over 3 months and I feel amazing. I'm actually lying to you. About 3 weeks into being paleo I ordered some sweet potato fries (these are allowed every once in a while) and they were battered in something. Some sort of flour mixture, I assume. After eating just a few I felt like I could lay down in the middle of the floor for a big nap. I was exhausted and had a really heavy, gross feeling in my stomach, which I hadn't felt in weeks. I never wanted to feel like that again.
The challenge with Paleo to me was that I didn't know how to cook without pasta, rice, flour, dairy and all the different sauces and packaged foods I've grown to depend on. In addition, my daughter is allergic to eggs and nuts, so these have also been eliminated from family meals. Don't think that all we eat is massive hunks of meat with bland vegetables.
On the contrary. For the first time in my life I am making the most amazing meals and am loving cooking. Things like Vietnamese pork wraps, baked salmon with Metropolitan chef spice, curry burgers with sweet potato chips, and caraway chicken drumsticks have become family favourites. What's even better, is that my kids are loving the new foods. They are no longer filling up on rice or pasta, but eating their veggies, fish and meats. I've even looked for ways to incorporate new things that my kids would have never tried before into meals and I found huge success. My 2 year old's favourite veggies now include roasted cauliflower with leeks as well as Brussels sprouts chips. My now-less-picky 4 year old LOVES Brussels sprouts chips. He may actually be addicted to them. When he comes home from daycare his first words are "Mommy, what are we having for dinner?" If part of the answer is Brussels sprouts chips he will throw his hands up in the air and shout out a "YAY" in excitement. Sometimes he does a dance. I am not exaggerating even a little.
I am also feeling better these days. My skin has cleared up, my lower back pain is gone, I sleep way better at night and my mood just feels more balanced. I eat three good sized meals a day and I don't feel like snacking most of the time because I feel full. When I feel like snacking, I do it, and I don't feel guilty about it. I eat food that is nourishing, super tasty and good for me. After I eat I feel full, but not the way I felt after eating those battered fries. I don't think about food all the time because I am not hungry all the time. I am also feeling more happy every day. I love how much my kids are enjoying meal times. My weight loss journey continues. I have lost some weight, but am still working toward losing some more. At least now I feel like I am on the right path and it is not a temporary one. And my kids LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS!
Roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon (I love bacon!)
Photo credit nomnompaleo.com
I'd love to hear from you! Let me know if you tried out these Brussels sprouts recipes and how you and your family liked them.
Exhibiting in New York City! March 24 2014, 0 Comments
New York is called many things, the city that never sleeps among some other descriptions that cannot be written here for they may offend someone or even many. To me, it is the city that let my creativity come out of its recent hiding place and run around like an unsupervised, hyperactive child in a massive candy store. I didn’t expect that to happen. You see, my trip was to go to NYC to show my line, House of Koopslie to the stores in the United States. I wanted to expand my client base. I didn’t think much past that. I didn’t think that the most significant thing that would come out of this trip was a change in me!
I was so wrapped up in getting ready for the ENK Children's show, that I didn’t do much in terms of research about what to see and do in NYC. When we got there, Allison, who started out as my wonderful helper and quickly became a good friend, went to get us a map from the concierge and came back with a few things circled. The thing that instantly caught my eye was the garment district. They have a garment district? I didn't know what that was, but I immediately wanted to go there. It was like a magnet was pulling something hidden out of me. I think it was my drive to be creative. You see I had been feeling very stressed the last little while. I was doing one show after another, sending out orders, talking with customers, but I was missing one thing. The thing that made me love my business more than any other job I've ever done - it let me be creative and express myself.
The moment we stepped into the garment district I was mesmerized. The first store that we went into was a button store. The only thing they sold was buttons. Can you imagine? I don’t think that a store like that would ever survive in Edmonton, but in New York, this was one of many!! The button store was only the beginning. Next, we entered a trims and notions store. Yes! This store was full of trims and notions only! We came in about 10 minutes before closing and left 30 minutes after, and only because the sales people were giving us the “it’s time to go” looks. I could have spent 4 hours in that amazing place. I bought several trims including strips of iron on flowers, a black bib with silver and black jewels, which would look perfect on a black shirt or dress, or as a necklace or, or, or!!! So many ideas.
I also got some black shoulder embellishments with stones and chains. Super cool! We then visited another really funky trim store, where I saw something I had never seen before – synthetic horse hair, it was so cool I picked up several colours and sizes. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I can feel that it will be amazing. I also got some really cool stretch elastic – one with gold studs and one with metallic gold hearts. I was so happy I wanted to dance around. The store owner was amazing and told us all about the business. She offered to connect us with her supplier if I came up with a way to use the horse hair within house of koopslie’s line. She gave us tons of advice about the fashion district, cards for businesses to check out and even directions! Then she gave me 15% off of my purchase just because. She was so fabulous I had to hold back from giving her a massive hug.
The next day I visited the garment district on my own. I went to about 10 different specialty fabric stores and several trims and notions stores. It was very apparent that each store owner worked very hard to ensure they had unique items. Each fabric store had different fabric and each trim store had different trims. I didn’t see any repeats. I was in heaven! I visited one store which specialized in spandex fabric only.
The cool thing about fabric stores in NYC is that they all offer sample cuts of the fabric. You can come into a store, pick your favourite fabrics, and they will cut 4 by 4 inch squares for you at no charge. This was really helpful in figuring out which fabrics go with which trims. I went back the next day and bought the fabrics that I sampled. I bought black fabric with gold animal print as well as black with gold metallic polka dots to go with my previously purchased trims.
My last day in New York didn’t start off great. I woke up feeling incredibly sick, stuffed up, and was ready to go home. My friend and I had plans to check out the city and do some shopping, instead I stayed in the room sleeping and feeling horrible. There was also a building explosion in East Harlem that day and that put me in an uneasy place in my heart. I was scared because Allison was out and about and I thought that if something terrible was going to happen, I would feel better if I was with my friend. I phoned my husband and my mom to let them know I was alright, just in case they heard anything on the news. I watched the local news, while trying to force myself to pack and get ready. NY officials explained that it was a gas explosion and I started to believe that we were going to be alright. It was finally time to check out of our hotel room, the fabulous New Yorker, and I had no choice but to leave my room. Thankfully Allison had come back by that time and we went to eat at the Deli downstairs. We had plans to go see a flower factory and knowing that there wasno imminent threat to our safety, we made our way to one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen - M & S Schmalberg Custom Fabric Flowers.
We met Adam, one of the owners of this family run business, which had been operational for over 90 years. He gave us a detailed tour of how flowers are made. First, large pieces of fabric are starched, then the fabric is stretched onto massive frames (think biggest window in your house times 3) to dry. Once the fabric is dry, it gets cut out into different flower shapes using one of the hundreds of dies in stock. Adam explained that some of these dyes have been in his family for over 90 years. He showed us how they used to manually cut out flowers by hitting a die with a hammer and how they had to alter the original dyes to fit into a specialized machine, which is operated by a man who has been with the company long enough that he was around when the machine wasn’t!
It was so cool and made me once again realize, how much work goes into each piece of clothing or accessory that we wear. We're just running around not realizing that it took 3 or more people to create that flower that carelessly and beautifully sits on our daughter's headband or dress. Until I started house of koopslie, I didn't know and now that I do, I am in awe when I see a unique embellishment or something that has a lot of detail. That is a lot of love and a lot of work that go into each item.
I picked a few of my favourite flowers and Adam graciously gifted me a few of the butterflies I had selected and we left for Mood Fabrics. Mood is famous for being the store on Project Runway. It is also an incredibly cool place stocked with fashion fabrics, home decor fabrics, trims, notions, and buttons. It was 3 floors of awesomeness. I could have spent much longer than we did there, but we had to leave to catch our flight home.
The next day I stayed in bed until 10:30. I still felt very sick and in a bit of shock to be back home. In the early afternoon I started to feel better and started pulling out all the notions and fabrics and my imagination took over. I came up with some ideas for my hats, headbands and also my newest item - bamboo leggings (a full line of leggings will be available in late summer 2014). It's been a few days since I came back and the ideas are still flowing. I think it will take a while yet to finalize my NYC collection, but when I do, I can promise you that it will be fun, unique and full of life - just like the amazing city of New York.
A look back at 2013 December 23 2013, 0 Comments
I have never dreamed of being able to work for a living on something that brings me so much joy. There are days when I start working the moment my kids leave for daycare and then look at the clock to see that four hours has just passed by. This happens regularly.
You may not know this, but I was ready to close my business this year. My beautiful baby girl was sick for over six months and it took everything out of me. It was a tough and sad decision, but I just felt exhausted and defeated. Thankfully my wonderful husband believed in me when I had stopped. He talked me out of it and I listened.
As the year comes to an end I find myself being very lucky that house of koopslie, my dream job, is still here. My daughter is well again. I feel stronger than ever and excited about the future. I am thankful to all the people that help me run my business. Without you, you know who you are, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am especially thankful to all my customers – because of your continued support I am able to take my business to a place I never dreamed when I started three years ago. I am extremely honoured that you continue to use my hats and headbands as your children grow and that you give them as gifts to your friends and family. Thank you so much. I want to wish you a beautiful Holiday Season and an amazing 2014!
Monika - proud owner of house of koopslie
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