7 Reasons to Shop Local This Christmas


1. Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Support your friends, neighbors and yourself.  Invest in our community; help create a stronger Columbia by keeping money here.

2. What Goes Around Comes Around: Two or three times as much money spent stays here in Columbia when you spend at locally owned businesses.

3. Community Sustainability: Local stores help sustain vibrant and walk-able shopping centers, keeping the neighborhood feeling alive.

4. Keep Columbia Unique: One-of-a kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of Columbia.  (There’s no other Little Lambs & Ivy anywhere!)

5. Create Collective Prosperity: Locally owned business invest more in local labor, pay more local taxes, spend more on community-based decisions, and give a helping hand to those in need.

6. Local Owners Care About Columbia: Local owners live in and love Columbia

7. Give Back and Take Care: Local owners buy more from other local businesses, because they believe in the community.  Locally owned companies and their employees are more likely to give to local charities.

Let’s hear it for the small businesses of Columbia, especially those on Devine Street.  Hip, hip, hooray!

(Thanks to shoplocalvictoria.com for this paraphrase)

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A Rubber Giraffe an International Celebrity?

Meet Sophie the Giraffe, the rubber teether from France that is loved by babies the world over.  Sophie is stocked in baby boutiques all around the world, and her face and name have become a legend. Just about anywhere you can find a baby, you’ll find Sophie.

Why? It’s her sweet simplicity that appeals: she is a rubber giraffe with brown spots, big black eyes, a long neck, and she squeaks when squeezed. Every Sophie is handmade and handpainted in a small factory in eastern France, phylate free and made of all natural rubber.


Sophie has been a part of French babies’ lives since 1961, and only in 2006 was she sold outside of France by the French company, Vulli.  The company got it’s start during World War I making rubber balloons used to spy on the Germans, and by the 1960’s, they used their expertise to make rubber – not plastic – toys.

“Vats of natural Hevea rubber arrive from Malaysia every month at the factory on the outskirts of Rumilly, a small town with red-roofed houses at the base of the Alps.  A worker pours the milky liquid into round plaster molds with the shapes of 10 giraffes fanning out from the center.  The molds go into an oven where they rotate for a couple of hours, coating the casts and creating a hollow rubber toy.

After their baking, the Sophies sit in boxes for two months while the moisture in the rubber evaporates.  Then, in a drafty room, a half dozen women polish the giraffes, insert the whistle, spray them with food-grade paints and mark them by a laser with a tracking number.”

Christina Passariello, The Wall Street Journal

Doesn’t it just make you love Sophie even more to think she is lovingly handcrafted for your baby, one rubber giraffe at a time?  No huge manufacturing plant, no cutting corners or upgrading to “New and Improved” – just a simple, sweet rubber teether made the same way for over 50 years.

Come meet Sophie, the international celebrity, at Little Lambs & Ivy – no appointment necessary!


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Baby Essentials #3 – Three Marthas Hooded Towels

Years ago, I met a fascinating young woman from Texas who had started a new baby line called Three Marthas.  We instantly clicked when she spoke of her talented family (a mother, a grandmother, and an aunt, otherwise known as the three Marthas) who encouraged her to start a business making superior quality baby things.

Three generations of talented sewers helped Rebecca start her company, Three Marthas, by sewing Rebecca’s delightful applique designs on bibs, burps, and best of all, hooded towels.

Why is a Three Marthas hooded towel a baby essential?

First Reason: Many babies love their bath, but the moment that little wet body meets the cold air – Waaah!  What to do? Cuddle them inside the warmth and softness of a thick, thirsty 100% cotton towel from head to toe. Instant comfort! They really work and are indispensible for new babies.

There are many hooded towels out there, but very few with the heft and feel of Three Martha’s cotton.

Secondly, the large sized Three Marthas hooded towel can still cuddle a rambunctious four year old. Or, better yet, a 4 year old can fly throught the house with the towel as a “Super Cape”. There are years of use ahead for this baby towel.

Thirdly, these towels are perfect for a wet baby at the pool or beach – a styling baby at the beach.

Also, Three Marthas makes a towel and washcloth set perfect for monogramming –

Come take your pick of more than a dozen delightful designs of Three Marthas hooded towels at Little Lambs & Ivy.  It’s a perfect baby gift!


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