If you are a fellow mom, you will completely empathize with me here...my children have entered the age of never-ending birthday parties! Don't get me wrong, this means loads of fun for my kiddos and a nice opportunity to meet new parents, but it also means a never-ending to-do list of birthday gift buying.
So you would think as the CEO of a children's apparel company, we would just gift our own stuff, but the reality is that most 7 year old girls and 4 year old boys don't get all that psyched when they open their new pair of shorts (or other everyday apparel). I also feel a little self-promoting at times giving out RB goodies. So, I have found a happy blend of the RuffleButts & RuggedButts stuff that always scores major points for my kiddos, along with a few go-to add-ons that fit the bill. I know how tough it is for me to get creative, so I thought I would share my top 5 go-to's here:
Cute and easy birthday gifts for girls:
- RuffleButts Rash Guards ($26.50-$29.50) are always a huge hit. Want bonus points? Add their monogram. I don't know about you, but monograms are SUPER popular with my daughter's friends at the moment. We offer our swimsuits as small as size 3-6m and go all the way up to size 8. Want to go for the stand-out gift that everyone is talking about? Find a simple beach tote at Amazon, throw in the monogrammed rash guard, add a monogrammed beach towel and a pair of RuffleButts sunglasses ($14.50). While perfect year-round, it's extra perfect for a summer pool-themed birthday party!
- For our younger friends, girls ages 2 to 5, we often opt for a RuffleButts Petti Dress. Those were prime dress-up years and their little faces light up at the sight of these massively fluffy and feminine creations! I typically receive cell phone photos within a week of the party with the little lady twirling in her present and the text "she won't take it off!" Of course Aubrey always loves when her friends tell her that she brought their favorite present. I don't know where she gets that competitive side...wink, wink.
- This one can be in addition to #2 above, or a part of a collection of gifts. For Aubrey's 6th birthday, we invited their 18" friends to the party as well, and provided each of them a miniature version of the petti dress (above) to take home as a party favor. This was a BIG hit with the girls! If looking for a simple gift, you could pair the RuffleButts doll dress with some Our Generation accessories from Target, all for under $25-30. If you are looking for a more extravagant gift, put them inside this Wooden Wardrobe and cover your ears for the girly scream!
- When it comes to 1st birthdays, these are the easy ones. From what I have found, kiddos usually have more than enough toys at this age, so some over-the-top clothes usually work perfectly. Our go-to is this First Birthday Tutu Set ($39.50) and we usually add her name to make it extra special.
- For the Southern Girls (we live in Texas now, but it was always a hit in North Carolina too!), seersucker is almost always a winner. For little ones turning age 1 or 2, we usually opt for a monogrammed Seersucker Swing Top ($34 with the monogram) and the matching RuffleButt ($19). For the older girls, we have TONS of new seersucker styles coming in the Spring 2016 Collection!
Popular and easy birthday gifts for boys:
- My go-to for pretty much every age is our Rugged Butts Birthday Number Tee. Funny enough, most little guys get pretty psyched to wear their new age plastered on a new tee! Sometimes I'll pair the tee with our Rocker Gray Wash Jeans to make a great outfit, other times I pair it with a sweet lego set. Really depends on the child here.
- Legos, legos, legos. I don't know about you, but my little guy is pretty much obsessed with legos and has been for a few years now. This is my easy go-to on Amazon Prime for any upcoming birthday bash.
- For 1st birthdays, I am usually thinking more about the parents than I am the kids, let's be honest. So, for the football fans, I usually go this route with themed apparel. From Rugged Butts, I know it will come all wrapped up and ready for me to throw in a birthday gift bag, which works extra well for moms with no time...well, that's all moms really!
- One of the best birthday gifts we gave was put together in a mad rush, but the mom raved and raved about how much she loved it. I combined one of our Rugged Butt fedoras with a coordinating bow tie, short sleeve dress shirt and chino shorts. If you are looking to keep it under $30, a fedora and coordinating bow tie works great!
- In more of the $50 range (which is more than we spend on just a regular classmate friend), the VTech Kidizoom Action Cam has been a huge hit. Jonas received this as a gift at Christmas and has really enjoyed it. A little pricey for a kiddie toy, but certainly less than a real Go Pro!
For the past 2 weeks I have been holding one-on-one meetings with every person that is employed at our RuffleButts headquarters to discuss their feedback and goals for 2016. One of my many goals for 2016 is improved and increased communication with those in my life, both personal and professional. This is step one. As I have been processing all of this communication, which has been totally wonderful by the way, it brought me back to my own goals for this year. The post below may sound a little cheesy to some, but those who know me well know exactly what I am saying here. So anyhow, I am sharing publicly and ignoring any fear of judgement that lies within. At 36, judgement has lost most of its power (most, not all). While I likely thought most of this ten years ago, I definitely would not have published it.
For 2016 this is what I pray here at RuffleButts...
Please use me, every part of me, to do Your work. To help those around me in whatever way I can. To notice those who need the attention; empower those who may need the confidence; to teach those who need the wisdom; to lift up those who experience doubt; to push those that may need the motivation; to challenge those who may need the humbleness; to listen to those who need to be heard; to share Your love in everything I do.
Please help me to show my gratitude to You and to those around me on a daily basis. I am eternally grateful for my life, my family, this business, for the people in my life, for the comfort of a heated home, for the daily use of running water, for the gift to impact others, for the blessing to pay it forward, for your grace when I make mistakes and most of all for Jesus.
Please continue to guide me in this business to do with it what You have always intended. I can not put into words my gratitude for RuffleButts, a literal answered prayer. For the amazing people You have sent into my life to walk this journey with me, to challenge me, to inspire me, to teach me. I only pray that I have given them a small faction of what they have given me. Thank You most of all for blessing me with a built-in business partner to make it all happen. Lord, You know our story would be so very different without him!
God, please guide us in communication, the communications with our customers and the communications with each other. It is so often we assume someone knows something that we have not said. Please lead us to share the joy of this business with as many people as possible. Help us to touch our customers with happiness; to make a grandmother smile with joy; to give the gift of precious memories to many, many mothers; to make a little girl sparkle with confidence in her new ruffles; to shower little boys in the compliments that will lead them to strong young men. We are so extremely grateful to see these smiles coming back to us in photos and letters from our customers. There is no bigger joy!
Please continue to guide me in how to use this business to help others. Please lead us in our efforts with Cooks Children's Hospital and multiply our gifts. We are so very grateful for the blessing to bless others. I know Your plans are very big in this area and I just pray that I am able to fulfill them to the max!
Lord, please prepare us for this AMAZING year ahead, because I know we are ready to take it on!