Brand Rep Search for a Beautiful Business and an Amazing Cause… The Borrowed Boutique

Many of you are aware that I have a styling and rental business called, The Borrowed Boutique. Well, things have taken off in the past year and this “baby” of mine has become a full-time job, apart from caring for my 3 year old, freelance health writing, blogging, and trying for baby #2 the hard way (aka IVF). My heart for medical missions and public health lead me down a path I wasn’t fully anticipating. I’ve always had a love for children’s fashion, styling, and creative design; but, I didn’t want to leave my medical background behind. Instead, I decided to become a social entrepreneur. You may not be familiar with this term, but most of you are probably familiar with TOMS Shoes. Same idea, except, for every item rented from my shop; I currently donate funds to help protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. GIVING BACK is what my shop is all about. Those renting give the dresses back, and in return, I give back to non-profits doing amazing work. 12118842_521452064699858_5224801051532503696_n12027668_10207385755860235_5895045795442512388_n

The journey to start this business has pushed my comfort zone on all levels. While my natural skills make styling easy, and my medical and public health background make the giving portion easy, the business side of things has been a bit more challenging. That’s okay. As most of you know…I’m up for a challenge. Getting through med school and residency taught me that perseverance and a positive outlook are more than half the battle. Sprinkle in some infertility with 10 cycles of IVF and I would say determination is part of my portfolio. So, late nights, dreams (and nightmares) filled with tutus, tracking packages, manually invoicing, filling orders, running to the post office and UPS, steaming dresses, etc. etc. have all been worth the sweat and toil when I consider the difference this business is making. In July, I travelled to Brazil where I was able to work with an amazing non-profit that helps protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. A partnership was born, and now Esthers Children is our first giving partner.M88B8847

Visiting the broken down homes of destitute little girls…broken windows, missing front doors, men passed out on filthy beds after shooting up all night, mothers intoxicated, food in scarce supply; and hearing the stories of girls as young as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 being exploited by 40-year-old men stirred a fire in me that I refuse to extinguish. In addition to giving back for each item rented, I have now launched a #Styledtogive campaign. 100% of proceeds from this campaign will be donated to our giving partners. While fashion may seem frivolous, and expensive photos a luxury, using these aesthetically gorgeous things (which I deeply appreciate) to bring inner beauty and hope to a less fortunate child or mother is anything but frivolous or luxurious. It is justice. It is compassion. It is empowerment. It is true beauty at its best.

I don’t say all of this to make myself into a hero. I’m simply sharing so that you too will be inspired to find creative ways to make a difference too. Make the ordinary…extraordinary. Add meaning to the mundane. Approach each task with the intention to incorporate giving. A truly full life is one full of generosity.

If you’re excited about my new venture and want to get involved, I’m definitely looking for partners in giving and business. I’m also looking for Brand Reps (which is why I started writing this blog in the first place!). Check out the details below to be considered. And, for more info on The Borrowed Boutique follow on Facebook and Instagram. The website is due to launch early February, but in the meantime you can still rent through the Facebook page.

BRAND REP SEARCH DETAILS!!!!

READY…SET…GO!!! The Borrowed Boutique will be choosing brand reps every several months to help promote our brand and business by posting images using our rentals; giving us major shout outs; promoting our events, and telling everyone you know about our business. This is a fun way for you to get rental items for free. Many of you have asked for trades of product for images. Here’s a way to have that dream come true. For those selected, we will send you free rentals each month that you are serving as a brand rep or enthusiast. Both photographers, bloggers, child models, and ordinary kiddos who love to have their picture taken will be considered.

Here’s how to qualify and how to enter:
1. Follow The Borrowed Boutique on Facebook and @theborrowedboutique on Instagram
2. Repost the picture below on Instagram and tag @theborrowedboutique and ‪#‎theborrowedboutique‬‪#‎theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch‬
3. Include these rules when posting the image so others will know what’s going on.
4. Share the image with three friends that you think might be interested on Instagram
5. You may tag up to three photos daily with #theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch
6. Your instagram account must be set to public to be considered. And, yes, you must be active on Instagram.

We will be selecting the first set of Brand Reps very quickly. READY…SET…GO!!1

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The Mom in Me, MD and The Borrowed Boutique

Print them…frame them…give your memorable moments a place!!

We’ve all done it…had precious pictures taken and then left them captive on a flash drive or CD. Almost three years after my daughter’s newborn session (better late than never), and I’m finally willing myself to pick frames, prints, and yes, a full-blown wall gallery!!!!!!DSC_2709

Check out this milk coma. THE BEST! And, her wardrobe…styling was a little easier back then when naked was all the rage…for her of course!!! DSC_2655
The cheese cloth swaddles come in every color. This purple is perfection…plus it’s now her favorite color. Using our kitchen hutch for some of the shots, our living room, and our master bedroom ensured that these photos would fit in with our overall decor and design sense. I highly recommend doing newborn sessions in your home instead of the studio! DSC_2631

 

DSC_2637DSC_2676DSC_2682This is just a friendly reminder to print them…enjoy them…remember those moments every day! DSC_2688 DSC_2698DSC_2727DSC_2737

 

Photography by Amy at Portraiture Studio

 

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Unicorn themed ideas for little girls…plus a giveaway!

Looking for some fun and fanciful ideas for the summer for your little girls???? UNICORNS! It doesn’t get much more whimsical.10493035_923847114332717_6285155184678789595_o 10475448_923973874320041_7683331523436697203_o

1. Best Unicorn Book

My daughter has been spell-bound by unicorns lately. It all started with a new book. I have to say this is now one of my favorite reads! It’s not too long and the story is heartwarming. Since purple is also a favorite color in our house, this book makes the best read list everyday. Uni the Unicorn is all around town but just click this link and you can snag it from Amazon.

2. Unicorn Photo Shoot

Yep, this is all the rage! Take a pony shoot and transform it into something mystical. Many photographers are now offering this type of session in the spring and summer with live ponies. My daughter just had her shoot with Hannah Hilliard Photography outside of Indianapolis, but don’t worry…another session is right around the corner, and there are still a few available spots! Oh, did I mention that my styling business, The Borrowed Boutique, is offering wardrobe options??? Shoot me a message if you’re interested.

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3. Unicorn Clothing

If you’re looking for a super cute online boutique that carries all the best brands, then my friend, Emily, at The MerrryLoveJoy Company has got you covered! She knows a thing or two about unicorns as well! Check out her unicorn inspired apparel and stay tuned to win some unicorn goodies!!!

4. Unicorn Toy

Jellycat Unicorn plush toys are just too cute!!!! And, one of these cuties could be yours! Enter to win one of these stuffed animals and one of these fun necklaces from The MerryLoveJoy Company at this LINK.
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5. Unicorn Inspired Party

I know I keep gushing about The MerryLoveJoy Company, but this online shop also makes party planning easy. Soon to make its debut to the website…you guessed it…unicorn themed party products! 11265830_753059850578_1031033514_o

Childhood passes too quickly!! I love that my little one still believes in make-believe. Today Tinkerbell landed on her head and Peter Pan flew through the window! A purple unicorn and a pink hippo decided to join us for lunch! Embrace it! Before you know it the fairies will have flown the coop.

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The Magic of Glitter…how to make your photos sparkle!

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Pixie Dust Please!

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Not Between My Toes!

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My Favorite Laugh…DSC_0338 DSC_0340 DSC_0343 DSC_0344DSC_0374 DSC_0352 DSC_0356 DSC_0367

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So all you need is a dark backdrop, some bottles of glitter, a cute tutu and a camera (and an excellent vacuum)! Find a local photographer near you and see if they have any Glitter Mini Sessions scheduled, or make a special request. Your Little One will love it! You won’t even have to ask her to smile. Boys can get involved too. Grab a top hat and a bow tie. Let him pretend to be a little magician!

Wardrobe and Styling: The Borrowed Boutique (yep…that’s my online styling and boutique rental shop): Tutu Du Monde Center Stage Onsie tutu, Show Stopper Shorts, Tank, Sweater and Ballet Slippers

Photography: Sweet Plumb Photography

(Safety Note: Please don’t do this with any child who isn’t able to follow directions well. I wouldn’t recommend this for any little one under the age of two just due to the concern that they might put glitter in their mouth or not understand to close their eyes. Also, make sure that you are not pouring glitter directly into their face since glitter does have sharp edges, and if it gets into their eyes it can cause irritation and possibly even small scratches on the surface of the eye if they rub. You never want to use powdered glitter since this can be inhaled and cause irritation to the lungs. Instead, make sure that you are using the large square flakes of glitter. Sorry, to spoil the fun with a disclaimer but don’t want any babies having injuries!)

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Valentine’s Day Forecast…Cloudy with a Chance of Lovely!

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It’s raining hearts and lovies around here!

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Everything is always cuter with little red rain boots!

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Looking for some Valentine’s Day Inspiration????

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Nothing says sweetheart like Tutu Du Monde.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY XOXO

Styling Tips:

Look #1:

Janie and Jack Red and White Striped Romper, Baby Gap Red Coat: sold out but similar option available here Little Princess Red Dress Coat,  Hunter Original Kids Gloss Red Boots, Gold Heart Knee Highs: Ry and Rue, Matching Red Hair Bows Sold out but similar at: Girls “Evie” Small Bow , Red Ballet Flats: Mini Melissa

Look #2:

Little Urchin Pink Tutu: Tutu Du Monde, Faux Fur Vest: Target, Feather Headpiece: Tutu Du Monde

Look #3:

Marshmallow Tank Top: Tutu Du Monde, White Whisper Tutu: Tutu Du Monde, Rosette Clip: Tutu Du Monde

All Tutu Du Monde items are available to rent from The Mom in Me, MD! Simply click on any of the Tutu du monde links above and add yourself to the closed Facebook group. A full rental website is coming soon!!!! If you prefer to purchase…head to Shop Belle, this super sweet US-based boutique not only carries Tutu Du Monde, it also has countless other designer goodies for your little ones (and the shop owner is incredibly helpful). Shop Belle was my “go to” for all of the tutu du monde you see above!

Photographs by Hannah Hilliard Photography

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A Little Bit of Love…photos and frills!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I decided to give you a sneak peek of some of our photos and frills! Nothing says lovey dovey like a precious moment in Tutu Du Monde captured on film.  10818395_882697531761900_4193040430618545280_o

 

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The first of our Valentine’s pictures…compliments of Brittany Marie Photography. All of these frills (dresses, tutus, and accessories) are available for rent from The Mom in Me, MD! Make your little one’s pictures perfect in an affordable way. Click this link to join my Facebook rental page, but stay tuned…a full website with its own catchy boutique name is coming soon!

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Help Me Pick…which is your favorite picture?

I need your help! Which is your favorite picture? I’m trying to get my media packet together and need some feedback. They’re all starting to look the same to me:) I’m thinking the first one or the last? Leave a comment with your vote…please!
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WOW! This post is looking a little conceited! I promise I’m not this self-absorbed! Let me throw in some family photos too! Then maybe it won’t feel so weird! I need a favorite family shot too!

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Photography: Angela Talley Photography

Ayla’s Outfit: Turqouise Dress-Tutu Du Monde, Silver Shoes-See Kai Run, Feather Headband-Tutu Du Monde, Flower headband-Avry Couture Creations, Pink Swan Princess Dress-Kate Mack, Pink Jeweled Headband-Enchanted Shimmer Designs

Emma’s Outfit: White and Grey tiny floral print dress-Banana Republic, Silver Bangle-Tiffany & Co., Diamond Earring Studs-Kay Jewelers, Neutral Heels-Discount Shoe Warehouse (DSW)

Dave’s Outfit: White Dress Shirt- Brooks Brothers, Tailored Sport Coat-Carven, Jeans-Banana Republic, Tan Shoes-Cole Haan

Don’t forget to VOTE!!!!! Leave a comment with your favorites! 

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Our Merry Christmas Card…a little bit of gold…a little bit of glam…a whole lot of cheer!

 

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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas! Hostetter-12 Hostetter-13 Hostetter-14 Hostetter-15 Hostetter-16 Hostetter-17 Hostetter-18

May Faith, Hope, and Love Light Up Your Holiday
Hostetter-19Merry Christmas!!!!

Photographs by Hannah Hilliard Photography.

Ayla’s Outfits: Red and Gold dresses, gold cape, and star headband –Tutu Du Monde, Pink Cape and gold shoes-Joyfolie, Knee High Gold Heart Stockings-Ry and Rue Kids. Gold Star Crown-J.Crew.

Emma’s Outfit: Gold sequin and multicolored metallic dress and matching belt-Anthropologie, Bronze Metallic shoes-Kenneth Cole.

Dave’s Outfit: Brown Velvet Sport Coat- Banana Republic, White Dress Shirt-Brooks Brothers, Tan Shoes-Cole Haan from Nordstrom.

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Reeces Peeces Christmas Crown Giveaway from The Mom in Me, MD

Ribbons, red berries, white flowers, gold leaves, and soft greens…what could be a better finishing touch for your little one’s Christmas crown? I have such a gorgeous halo, compliments of the online boutique Reeces Peeces, that I’m giving away! I had already ordered two for my little one for Christmas pictures when the owner of this sweet accessories shop offered to send an additional for one lucky winner. So, clearly I was already a fan of these! photo 2

These crowns match perfectly with white, gold, red, or green outfits. I paired mine with the Joy dress from Well Dressed Wolf. It couldn’t have been any sweeter. Love, Love, and I know you will love it too! This is an extra quick giveaway (2 days only) because you NEED it in time for the Holidays! Click Here to Enter THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATS MEGHAN BARBER

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14 Easy Ways to Capture Infant and Toddler Pictures Worthy of Any Christmas Card

Getting great infant and toddler pictures can be challenging. Little ones are often either on the move, spitting up, or crying…just in time for pictures! Since I’m a photo fanatic, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that worked for us and that will hopefully add a little cheer to your Christmas pictures this year.

1. Skip Santa!

WHAT???? NO Santa???? That’s right. If your little one is terrified of Santa…why put yourself through the misery. Besides, I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind a warm vacation this time of year. There are countless other cute Christmas photo ideas that don’t include Santa Clause. Keep reading. I’m about to share!Santa Claus sunbathing lying on the beach

2. Open up a bag of Christmas bows. Stick one on her head and let her play with the rest!

We used Christmas bows as a great distraction during last year’s Christmas photos at Portraiture Studios. I threw a whole bag of them into a little red suitcase, and my one year old was in bow heaven! Just be careful because many bows do have staples holding them together. Supervise closely and don’t let them go in the mouth!

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3. Bring Some Blocks

Decorative Christmas blocks are great for little hands to hold. Not only do they keep your little one happy and distracted, they also work as a great prop for photos! Some of my favorite blocks can be found at birdsANDblossomsgiftil_570xN.523495270_2sep

4. Find a Holiday Mask 

By mask, I’m not talking Batman! Many stores have cute holiday masks made to resemble reindeer, snowmen, elfs, you name it! Don’t try to cover your little one’s eyes. That will just lead to tears and possibly even some tiny hand smacks (meaning your little one is doing the smacking!) Simply slip the mask on the top of their head/forehead like you would a headband. This gives a great effect. If you can’t find a mask, holiday headbands with reindeer ears are just as cute! 1504290_637445469648786_316762566_o

5. Put them in their PJ’s

While dressing up is loads of fun, staying in their PJ’s can be fun too! Find some cute holiday pajamas and kick back! Your Christmas photo shoot styling is complete! Well, maybe not! If they don’t have footies you may want to throw in some cute slippers. Pinterest was loaded with ideas like this! 55d5a57c8935986d15e1aca6e79082ea

6. Rent a Dress???

If your budget is limited, renting a Christmas dress or romper may be the perfect solution for your little girl. One of my favorite brands, Tutu Du Monde, has some amazing dresses that photograph beautifully. I’m even willing to share some from my little one’s closet! Take a peek at her rentable wardrobe (sizes 6 months to 12 years) by joining the “Rent Tutu Du Monde and Dollcake” group page on Facebook.photo

7. Open up the Christmas lights

Plug in the Christmas lights and trail them around your child on the floor. Supervise VERY CLOSELY! You don’t want these making their way into your infant or toddler’s mouth!!!! It may be helpful to give your little one something to hold in their hands, or if they aren’t crawling yet, place the lights out of reach. a152af93bf66fd11e85e05a714f73512

8. Let him play with an wooden nativity set

As I mentioned above, anything that you can do to make picture time “play time” will guarantee you some amazing shots. Wooden or even painted nativity sets photograph amazingly well. They can add more than a little charm and Christmas spirit to your pictures.

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9. Find a friendly donkey or a reindeer

You may think I’m kidding, but this is the girl who contemplated renting an elephant for her daughter’s second birthday. Every carnival needs an elephant, right?? My husband boycotted and won that battle. Ah, well. Christmas is the perfect time to take pictures with animals. Many local churches host live nativity sets and walk throughs. Dress your little one up and snap some shots along the way! Check with local photographers and see if any of them are using live animals for their Christmas sets. And, if you want to be even more bold, check with local farms to see if they might have a friendly, photogenic donkey who is willing to pose for a few minutes. This fella from Pinterest didn’t seem to mind!

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10. Give them a cookie!

Yep, make them a cookie thief! Strip your little one down to just a cute diaper cover or some red and white striped pajama pant bottoms. Throw on a little Santa hat and hand them a cookie! Carefully place a plate of cookies and a jug of milk with a little sign propped up that says “For Santa Only”. Take it one step further and let your little one hold a bottle of milk too! Lana Sky Photography perfected the idea with this shot! 278

11. Let them be the Present! 

Wrap an empty box (large enough to set your infant inside) with Christmas paper and place a cozy blanket inside. Lay your little one on top for some adorable shots!c2c5d4b1d67f226136a697d48fa5ded5

12. Let them Read! 

Books are always great props. A classic Christmas tale such as a vintage version of The Night Before Christmas or The Twelve Days of Christmas is another great way to occupy little hands and keep your little one in ONE PLACE for more than 2 seconds! Make it a little less traditional by using How the Grinch Stole Christmas and putting a cute red, white, and blue hat and socks on your little one. il_570xN.546163292_bxnz

13. Let them Go Sledding! 

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Find an old fashioned sleigh and let your little one explore! They will want to climb, sit, and stand. Let them have fun! If you have an infant, simply put a fur blanket on the sleigh and lay them down for a cozy shot.

14. Give them Some Plastic or Fabric Ornaments to Hold

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Of course you aren’t going to hand your little one a glass ornament for pictures! These days, plastic or fabric ornaments are just as cute! Arrange some on the floor around your little one and then make his day by handing him a few to hold!

These are just a few ways to make your life a little easier and your infant and toddler a little happier during Christmas pictures. Leave a comment with your suggestions and head to the Facebook page to post Christmas pictures of your little one! I might just have a Christmas present for the cutest picture! And, don’t forget to follow The Mom in Me, MD on Pinterest for more great ideas!

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