I chatted with Kerrie Vascalis from Smitten for the Wee Generation, perfectlysmitten.com, to find out more about her shop and the "delightfully different toys and decor" she sells. Kerrie believes that "children’s things can be beautifully made, unique, and long lasting; that they can inspire children to create, to discover, and to imagine". Her shop delivers upon that belief, and I am Perfectly Smitten!
What led you to the world of children’s toys and decor?
"...I started out my adult life as a commercial litigator. When I became pregnant with my first child, we were in the midst of rolling recalls of children's products... Luckily, my legal background made me a skilled researcher and so I began to dig. What I found was concerning, to say the least, and instilled in me the desire to seek out safe, quality products for my kids, and ultimately my store.
...It is my ardent hope that the ideas and products offered at Smitten will allow you and the child in your life to quiet the chaos of modern day living and relax into a space where the wonders of childhood can flourish again, where kids can be kids, where people can interact, and where you can revel in the pleasure of simply spending time together and celebrating childhood at its simplest."
The shop’s name, “Smitten for the wee generation” is whimsical; how did you come up with that name?
"The name of the shop comes from a mixture of things. My grandfather, who was Scottish, frequently used the word wee when my sister and I were little... I remember him whistling and singing frequently and calling my sister and I over for a ride on his knee by saying "come here you wee thing". He also referred to "wee lasses" and "wee lads" when talking about my cousins, my sister, and me. He was the only person in our family to use the word, so it conjures up a sweet feeling for me still when I hear it.
Smitten was used because, well, I am. I love children, their inquisitive nature and their love of life, and the reminders they bring daily about what really matters."
How do you select the items/ brands that you carry?
"A variety of factors come into play. Ultimately, I seek out items that are built to become keepsakes; something people can get connected to, make memories with, and become sentimental about it. Price is also a factor. I believe that good design doesn't always have to be expensive, so I work to provide items that fit a variety of budgets.
Most of our items are handmade. I prefer the look and feel of a hand-crafted item and want to support the artisans out there that are still making things the good, old-fashioned way. Most, if not all, of the brands are also socially and ecologically responsible in their production. I love toys that encourage imagination, creativity, and ingenuity...."
Among the toys/decor that you stock, which are your favorites? Which are the most popular?
See image below for Karrie's favorite and most popular items at Smitten for the Wee Generation.
Here are my favorite items from Smitten for the Wee Generation!
Photo | Robyn Vining Photography - copyright robynviningphotography.com