Celebrating My Kids’ Differences

My children are too young to know it, and it really shouldn’t make a difference, but they truly are unique. Of course they have their own personalities and quirks, but I doubt they will meet many people with backgrounds as diverse as theirs. My mother is Chinese, my father is Jewish and a mixture of Eastern European heritages. I grew up in an incredibly diverse town in New Jersey so though no one was exactly like me, most of my friends were of mixed races too.  In fact, I didn’t realize being bi-racial was unique until I went to college.  My husband is white, he is Irish and Italian and was raised Catholic, but grew up in the same small town and was exposed to a variety of cultures as well. This means our children are multiracial, which shouldn’t matter in the melting pot of America, but it does, especially in the small town in Florida where we live now.

We have chosen to raise our family by exposing them to their various cultures and religions. We have decided their differences should be celebrated, not hidden, and I hope that this remains the case when they are old enough to realize they are different than other kids. We celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, Easter and Passover, Chinese New Year and St. Patrick’s Day. I know St. Paddy’s Day had real meaning in Ireland and is different than the green beer drinking fun we have in the states. But St. Paddy’s Day means the arrival of “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirts in stores. Since my children are part Irish, I’ve always delighted in dressing them to “honor” their Irish heritage that one day a year.

It occured to me that because St. Patrick’s Day has become such a huge commercial holiday in the US, there is no shortage of Irish themed clothing and merchandise in stores, at least for that month or so between Valentine’s Day and Easter. But what about the other parts of my children? I have seen shirts from time to time celebrating Italian backgrounds, and there seems to be one Hanukkah themed shirt for every 20 Christmas ones, but  I had never seen a shirt actually celebrating Chinese culture. Yes, there are dragon shirts galore, but nothing truly embracing being Asian. So I decided to make one myself. And the idea to add custom shirts to the kd Closet boutique was born.

I began by designing shirts for my children, because of their unique cultural diversity and just recently added them to kdcloset.com. First I made tees for the kids that read “Mommy’s Lil Dumpling” with a pair of chopsticks. Is it a stereotype? Maybe, but I choose to embrace it and let my children be proud of being 1/4 Chinese.

Next I made “Mommy’s Lil Matzo Ball” shirts because it was spring and there was bunny and Easter egg merchandise everywhere,  but nothing to celebrate Passover, at least not locally in our small Southern town. So I made my own.

My kids call my mother-in-law Nonna, because she is Italian.  So then I made “Nonna’s Lil Meatball” shirts. I was having so much fun being creative and I love a corny pun, so I began making shirts inspired by Disney characters and hip hop music.

Adults liked my Wu Tang Clan inspired C.R.E.A.M (COOKIES Rule Everything Around Me) shirts so much that I began making adult sized tees too. I made a few Disney inspired ones that work both for kids and adults and make great matching tops for everyday or trips to Disney. The best part about making shirts is I get to have a creative outlet.  Every shirt is made to order, so custom colors, sizes and designs are all possible and I love working with people to design their ideal shirt!

Head over to kdcloset.com and check out the customized section. Soon I will add bags, cups and other personalized items so you can find both made to order and designer fashions at a great price!

Spring Holidays

easter hip hop bunny kids

Spring used to be my favorite season when I was growing up in New Jersey. I loved feeling the winter chill disappear and seeing flowers begin to bloom. I also love Spring holidays! I was raised Jewish and my husband was raised Catholic, so our family celebrates Easter and Passover. If the holidays fall around the same time, we try to go to New Jersey to celebrate with our families. Our children are only 2 and 4 so they don’t really understand the meaning of the holidays, but they do get excited to see their cousins. I struggle with finding appropriate clothing for the kids (and myself) because the spring in the Northeast is so unpredictable. This year both holidays are in mid-April and when we get to Jersey, it may still feel like winter or it could be warm and mild. I have found the best solution is to dress in layers. Kayla has several spring dresses to wear to the various family get-togethers we will be attending. If it’s warm she can wear the dresses on their own. If it is chilly, I will add a cardigan and tights. Derek is even easier to dress in layers. I am planning on putting him in polo shirts and khakis. If it is cold, I can add a sweater on top. The kd Closet boutique has a great selection of dressy fashions for your little one to wear to a Passover Seder or to meet the Easter bunny. Search Easter on kdcloset.com or browse our Special Occasion categories for each size. We even just launched a new sort function where you can view newly added fashions first!

I have been toying with the idea of adding a custom designed section to kdcloset.com where you purchase order custom tee shirts and other items made to order and personalized if desired. I’m testing the waters with an exclusive Hip Hop Easter Bunny tee that will not be available on the website. Check it out:

hip hop bunny final pic

Baby, Toddler and Children’s size are only $14.99 shipped and Adult sizes are only $17.99 shipped. These exclusive shirts are made to order so I will only be accepting orders until March 31. If you would like to order one, please send an email to abby@kdcloset.com with your full name, shipping address and size. I will send you a PayPal invoice and you have 24 hours to pay or your order will be cancelled. This shirt is only available in gray with a black bunny and white text. Please choose from the following sizes:

🐰6-12 Months
🐰12-18 Months
🐰18-24 Months
🐰2T
🐰3T
🐰4T
🐰Kids XS
🐰Kids S
🐰Kids M
🐰Kids L
🐰Adult S
🐰Adult M
🐰Adult L
🐰Adult XL

Happy Easter and Passover! Please commment with your favorite tips for Spring weather dressing!