Happy Mother’s Day!

May 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Baby Eco Trends @ 9:31 pm

In 2008 while Dr. Laura Stachel was observing a hospital in Nigeria as part of her work in maternal child health.  The electricity went out and a C-section that was already in progress had to be completed with the aid of flashlights.  In some cases, women were bleeding to death during child birth because there were no phone systems with which to summon a doctor.  Dr. Stachel shared her frustration with her husband and together they created a “solar suitcase” she could take on the road with her.

Once back in Nigeria, Statchel’s “solar suitcase” was being used to power LED lights & walkie talkies as well as ultrasound machines.  As the word spread, other hospitals began submitting their requests for the solar energy kits.  This growing demand and the need to meet it gave rise to WeCareSolar.com.  So far, the “solar suitcase” has helped people in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mexico, Haiti, Thailand and Burma and will very soon be used in Uganda.

Each suitcase costs about $1,000 to build, but can mean the difference between life and death for a mother in labor and her baby.  We would like to celebrate this Mother’s Day by donating 1% of our total May sales to WeCareSolar.com and we encourage all our friends to join us in making a donation to this very worthy cause.


“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.  Everything gets reduced to essentials”,  Meryl Streep

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What Makes Amish Baby Furniture Such a Great Investment?

May 3, 2010

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture — Baby Eco Trends @ 1:34 am

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet one of the families that makes our baby nursery furniture & tour their workshop.  After a most pleasant drive through bucolic Northern Indiana, we arrived at the birthplace of some of this country’s finest solid hardwood furniture.  Being Hoosiers, we have always associated “Amish” with quality & value.  But for those that do not have the same familiarity with Amish hand crafted furniture, this relatively new cottage industry is sure to elevate your standards of fine furniture.

Not too long ago, during the boom years of this millennium, Northern Indiana was riddled with RV manufacturers, their suppliers and other related businesses.  When the economic downturn wiped these businesses out, the resilient & industrious Amish communities joined forces to create small family owned businesses offering nonpareil Amish baked goods, quilts, furniture & toys.  These much sought after goods were hard to come by in the past, but well worth the search.  Now, thanks to the internet, Amish hand crafted solid hardwood furniture is available to all Americans.

Amish hand crafted furniture is built according to old world standards that call for quality materials, expert hands & an eye for detail.  It is my belief that if we adopted some of the Amish ways, we would never experience another economic downturn (not to mention what it would do for our sense of community).  Unlike most of the practically disposable furniture found at major retailers, Amish furniture is meant to be passed down generation after generation.  If you make something well enough, it will last far longer & cost far less in the long run.

In addition to having a long life span, Amish furniture often transforms to offer multiple uses & save space.  Tables & chairs are built to accommodate a handful or a large group of people.  Our Amish Baby cribs easily change into day beds & eventually full size beds & back to cribs with conversion kits.  Available in 4, 6 & 8 drawers, our Amish Reversible Baby Changing Tables have drawer slides perfectly centered on the sides so that it can be flipped over to make a dresser once baby outgrows diapers.  There is even a high chair that when turned, becomes a rocking horse & turned again, becomes a writing desk.  In the coming months, we plan to feature more of these heirloom quality items.


The Amish are committed to working with other local businesses and source as much of their supplies locally as possible.  The lumber, hardware, stain/paint & even the powder coated mattress springs are made by local family owned businesses.  There are, of course, many other small businesses that indirectly benefit from this kind of local business community.  When one family benefits, they all benefit.  It’s so nice (and so rare these days) to be able to make such a positive impact in an entire community here at home.

Our furniture maker buys lumber from a local, family owned lumber yard that hand selects their wood species to ensure the highest quality.  The lumber is sawn by quality sawyers who make expert decisions about the best way to cut each individual log for maximum beauty & utility.  Once the lumber is shaped into the parts that will make a crib or a dresser, the pieces are joined together using mortise & tenon joints and English dovetails (both in front & back) that offer strength, stability & maximum storage capacity. 

The attention to detail really sets this furniture apart from mass produced pieces that look good brand new but do not stand the test of time.  Floating panels ensure that furniture will not warp or bend with changing climate conditions.  Euroglide full extension drawer slides allow you to fully open drawers effortlessly.  Each piece is hand finished with safe, non toxic, USA made stains but are also available unfinished.  Each coat of stain or paint is allowed to dry completely & then masterfully sanded before another coat is applied.  This, by the way, is one of the reasons why well made furniture takes several weeks to produce.  Once finished, your new piece of heirloom furniture can easily be kept clean with a damp cloth.  With very little care, Amish furniture will retain its unique charm for generation to come & its appearance is only enhanced with age.

 

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You choose the hardwood, you decide if & how it will be finished.  If you require customization, our master craftsmen will honor most requests.  In addition to our current offerings, other wood species, hardware, stain colors & finishing techniques are also available.  Both Baby Eco Trends & our furniture maker are committed to delivering excellent products & exceptional service.  We welcome any & all questions, concerns & feedback.  Thank you for shopping with us & thank you for buying furniture that is sustainably made in the USA!

A word about the Amish:

I encourage anyone interested in the Amish to do a bit of research on their history.  The facts are easy to find and rather interesting.  What I would like to point out is that contrary to popular belief, the Amish are not absolutely opposed to technology.  Most accept that technology is inevitable, what they would like to do is slow its march.  Within the community, the impact of any new technology is widely & openly discussed to determine its impact on family & community ties.  Wouldn’t that kind of thoughtfulness serve us well every time we were faced with the newest wave?  Trips like this always remind me that some of the most amazing things are actually very close to home.

 

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