As I’ve noted here before, my late-night breastfeeding in the past month and a half has led to a ton of shopping and plenty of new connections with other bloggers and mamas out there. Thank you, Instagram, for helping me to stumble upon Hammer & Pepper, a truly extraordinary family brand producing handmade goods inspired by the designers’ baby girl Zara. In addition to their awesome products for your littles, mommies like me will be excited to find options for ourselves, too.
Willow and I are obsessed with our mommy-and-me coordinated Illusion Headwraps (choose similar colors or straight-up matching) which can fit any head size for easy back-and-forth sharing. We’re also pumped to go on a shopping spree at Hammer and Pepper, which is going to be even more exciting now that they’re offering my readers (and me, natch) 20% off ANY order, now through January 25th with discount code WILLOW at checkout. Woo! Read on for interview with this incredible Mom-Pop-and-Zara company, and make sure to follow them on Instagram @hammerandpepper.
Turquoise Geo Headwrap, $14, one size fits all.
BTBAB: It’s clear that your beautiful little girl Zara is the inspiration for the line Hammer and Pepper. What was it that first sparked the idea? How many people are on the team and what are their roles?
H&P: I really wanted to have a few headbands to match Zara’s outfits so I decided to get some craft supplies and make our own headbands. Our family and friends began to notice Zara’s bows and I also received compliments from people on social media — everyone was asking my husband and me where they could buy these bows and they were surprised to learn that I made them! We decided to open an online boutique using StorEnvy and Hammer and Pepper was born. Hammer is my husband’s nickname and Pepper is mine. Our core team is made up of my husband, Zara, and me (and our new Brand Reps). I come up with ideas and designs. He is responsible for the logistics and customer service. Zara is responsible for Quality Assurance — everything we make has been tested on Zara.
Brave Lion bow tie, $10. Newborn on up.
BTBAB: Walk us through the design process a little. Where do you find inspiration and how do you figure out what customers will love?
H&P: Inspiration for our products is our little Zara — we don’t sell anything that we wouldn’t put on her first. We are always looking at new trends by checking out Pintrest, Instragram and Blogs. Our Brand Reps also represent other brands, and it is from some of their pictures that we get additional ideas. Customers want an experience — that starts when they discover us. It continues through an interaction between the customer and us. When they make the purchase, they have chosen to bring our labor of love home to them which makes them family. We value family and we want to make sure we do right by them. We celebrate them when they wear the product and we welcome them back to try us again.
Dainty Rose Halo Headband, $10. Newborn – adult.
BTBAB: What are some trends you’re focusing on now in headbands, turbans, and onesies? Top sellers? Any unusual colors or patterns you just love to put on babies? And what about teens and adults, any favorites?
H&P: Our turbans and headwraps have been our top sellers. We are gearing up for spring, so it’s time to rethink our bows and headbands. We will be looking forward to bringing hard-to-find patterns to our customers this season. Gold is our universal signature color that works on both babies and adults. For little children, the brighter the colors the better especially when it comes to taking pictures of them. For adults, it seems that the tans, wild prints, and black and white colors work best. Everyone has their own style. We cater to both the subdued and the exotic. Generally, we try to do new patterns and share a story about them.
BTBAB: Willow and I are very into matching — what are some of your top styles for “mommy & me” fashion?
H&P: Start with the bow-paks or the headwraps. Headwraps work very well for Mommy and Me on a day to day basis. If there is an occasion that is bit more fancy or social, we recommend the Turban Fire collection. The blues and pinks are so pretty on moms and their daughters.
Snow Bunny Bow Turban, $12
BTBAB: What’s the most fun part of the design and creation process?
H&P: The most fun I have with the design and creation process is imagining what the products will look like on Zara. Also, it is checking out the latest fabrics that come to market. Is it bursting with character, color, and patterns? What can I transform the pattern to? Will it look better if it comes to life as a bow or a turban? It is the discovery and then the transformation that is fun. Finally, when I see the product on Zara, that seals the deal.
BTBAB: What advice do you plan to impart on little Zara when she’s old enough to understand?
H&P: The best advice we can give Zara is that there are no limits to your dreams but making them a reality is hard work. Persistence is key. Never give up. Also, I hope that what we are doing is for her. We have learned a lot ourselves in terms of balancing and sharing the work between ourselves.
Make sure to follow Hammer and Pepper on their exciting journey into 2015, including new product launches and lots more to love. And as always, I encourage you to SHOP SMALL — this lovely shop donates a portion of proceeds to autism. And with the 20% discount, you have no choice but to indulge in a little retail therapy. Enjoy, mamas!
Bow-Paks! $12 for three, choose a newborn – adult headband or alligator clip.