Shop Spotlight: Islands and Castles

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Game Changer Tee by Islands and Castles
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Feature Photo from Chic Fete’s Launch Photoshoot. Photographer: Confetti and Rose

Over the summer I had the pleasure of having Sophie be a model in Chic Fete’s Launch Photoshoot. For one of the photoshoots the theme was black and white and the little ladies got to each wear one of Islands + Castles t-shirts. I fell in love with their organic t-shirts and original designs and was so excited to be introduced to another great local mompreneur.

Michelle left her full-time job in corporate sales when she had her son Lucas. It was a hard decision for her to make, but is really thankful that she made the decision to be a full-time mom, “it really is the best job in the world!” said Michelle.

Islands + Castles was launched when Michelle’s son Lucas started to have really bad eczema episodes. Michelle said, “I found that using eczema preventive measures (special lotions, bath soaps, laundry detergent) and organic clothing, t-shirts specifically, since the eczema would flare up on the back of his neck and sides, really helped in control  his breakouts.”

Islands and Castles Shop Spotlight on Creative Wife and Joyful Worker

At this time it was really hard for Michelle to find organic tees that had fun designs and reflected her style. “I had remembered a screen printing class I took and how fun it was to have your own designs materialize. I printed a few designs on 100% organic cotton tees for Lucas and saw a need in the market for more organic shirt options. That’s when Islands + Castles really came to life,” explained Michelle.

Creating a business name can sometimes be one of the hardest steps of launching your own business and I just love how Michelle came up with Islands + Castles. “I wanted the business name to reflect a part of us without being too obvious. The name is derived from our combined nationality, ‘Islands’ representing my Filipino heritage and ‘Castles’ representing my husband’s Scottish heritage.”

It is really fun for Michelle to be able to be home with Lucas in the days and still explore her creative side through Islands + Castles. Not only was she being creative but she was also able to start providing for her family in a way that best suited her personality and hobbies. “Being able to have a creative outlet while being able to stay at home with my little is what I found most appealing when I started islands + castles.”

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Each step along the way Michelle dove in and took on the challenge to teach herself how to get it down. Some tasks were harder than others, for Michelle setting up social media and her website was really a challenge, but by being consistent and persevering Michelle has been able to figure it out and make it work for her. If you ask me I think she is doing an amazing job with her Instagram account! She admits to making mistakes along the way but that is what makes it so awesome, her honestly and patience to work at it until she got it to a desirable state.

Michelle has had an incredible mentor along the way which is something I would highly recommend to someone wanting to start a business of their own. Connecting with another local maker and running ideas past each other can be the best thing for your business. Michelle even said to me, “One of the best things in starting this business is connecting with other shops, there are so many wonderful people I’ve encountered. One specific person that I would consider my mentor would be Jessica of Mint and Birch. I met Jessica at a pop up shop and she has helped me in so many ways. She’s given me tips and been there for all my silly questions. Not only is she a great example of a successful small business owner, she is also become someone I consider a good friend.”

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It is an absolute pleasure to Michelle when she sees other children wearing Islands + Castles, she loves it when her customers share photos with her or stories about how much they love their new clothing. Going into the New Year Michelle hopes to participate in more craft fairs, markets and hopefully work towards being carried in some local boutiques.

Michelle left me with one of her favorite quotes, “Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”

We are so pleased to also offer our readers a special coupon code to our readers — Use code CWJW20 for 20% your purchase of Islands + Castles clothing.

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Photos supplied by Islands + Castles.

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  • "Big Grandpa died Mom and we need to go get him back." Sophie said as she pulled at my arm from my bed. I lay down not feeling well trying to explain to Sophie about heaven and she said, "Mom, I don't want my parents to die, get better mommy." Oh my heart.
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This weekend, we lost my grandfather. He had been sick for a little while, though I really did think his stubborn character would pull him through for more days here on earth. He's resting now, in heaven with our Heavenly Father. There is so much peace in that, though it is never easy to say goodbye, I am especially thankful for God's love and his sacrifice.
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For anyone else mourning a loss right now I'm praying and sending love to you tonight. Especially those with little ones who we want to be honest with, that we have the words to let them understand in the most suitable way.
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Photo @juliechristinephotography
  • For a minute I thought Ezra was only a head shorter then me. We still have time people, notice the feet on tip toes in his shoes... not quite there yet. (Soooo... it's been noted that I'm wearing heels and he really IS THAT TALL NEXT TO ME!)
  • Weekend started early with a little trip to the island with my sister @roxannredekop. The weirdest part about being away from the kids is always bedtime. We are tucking into bed early tonight and I can't help but feel weird knowing that the wee ones won't be around in the morning.
  • The whole family gathered for a taste around my latest @DQcanada creation. Sophie kept asking if it was for Evelyn's birthday, which I think it would have been perfect for since I custom designed the top border with florals.⠀
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So here's how I made it. I went into dqcakes.com and found this heart shaped cake. It originally had balloons and "Happy Birthday" on the top with a plain white border around the edge. In the personalization option I simply asked for no words or decor on the top and a floral border in purple around the outside top border. Voila! You can do it to! Head to the link in my profile and play around with the different styles and options available on DQcakes.com⠀
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#LoveMyDQ #Partnered #heartcake #cakesheartme
  • Don't forget to take time to stop and smell the flowers & to stop in and check out @musefashion at Highstreet. Their pop up shop ends on Sunday, have you had a chance to go?
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My dress and shoes from @musefashion | Evelyn's dress and shoes from @lilhavenco & @minimoc
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Photo by my girl @juliechristinephotography
  • Evelyn popped a front tooth today. Excited to see her cute little grin with a few more teeth soon. They are coming in, slowly.. hehe! Currently 3 total.
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