Meet the Moms: Introducing Carley
Meet Carley from California
Meet Carley, one of our UpChoose moms from Santa Margarita, California. Carley is a first-time mom to Barrett Michael who is now 15 months old. Becoming a mom led her to convert her family and home to more sustainable consumption behaviors. She joined UpChoose when Barrett was 6 months old. You can follow her on Instagram @carleyjosouza.
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Carley Jo Souza
Live in? Grew up in?
I was born and raised on the Central Coast of California. Today, we live in a small town called Santa Margarita, California.
You’re the mom of...
My sweet son's name is Barrett Michael Souza. He is now 15 months old!
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for you or your family? Was there an “aha” moment or a specific event?
When my son was still really tiny, it was time to start purchasing clothes for the next size up. By then, I'd had a chance to try several options when it came to fit, material, brand, etc. When you first have a baby, you buy what's cute and you get gifted so many amazing things. It takes a little while to really figure out what you like and what works for your family. I noticed that there was something all of my favorite items of clothing had in common... they were organic. At first, I didn't really care about the fact that it was better for my baby. To be completely honest, I had no idea how much safer it was for my baby's skin. I had no idea about the potentially toxic chemicals that are used in clothes made with conventional cotton and polyester. Of course, now, I know better. But before, to me- they weren’t better because they were organic, they were better because they seemed to be more comfortable, they were softer, and they held up in the wash without falling apart and fading like some of the other brands. I started doing a little more research and decided right then and there I would try to at least buy organic clothing as often as possible. I know so much more now than I did when I was a brand new mama 15 months ago. It started with switching to organic clothing for my baby, but I am proud to say that we have converted to more natural and organic products for my husband, myself, and all throughout our home as well.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
I guess I kind of answered that one above. haha sorry!
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
The organic fabric is so soft, it seems to be more durable, and it's just overall amazing quality!
❝ I started doing a little more research and decided right then and there I would try to at least buy organic clothing as often as possible. I know so much more now than I did when I was a brand new mama 15 months ago. ❞
Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
Start small. It can seem overwhelming, but when you know better, you do better. Just try your best to be intentional with your choices going forward. Even the smallest steps toward change are still steps in the right direction!
You picked a Preloved set on UpChoose, what made you pick that set in particular?
Babies grow so stinkin' fast. Sometimes items will have only been worn a couple of times! I know when I have done cleanouts of my son's clothes, there were even some things that hadn't been worn at all. It seems so wasteful to pay full price for something brand new when you can purchase something like new that has been loved by another family. Not to mention, it feels good to not be so wasteful. I absolutely love that UpChoose offers a sustainable option that does the earth some good while also giving the option to save UpChoose families a little money.
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?
L'ovedbaby jumpsuits are a staple in our home. I feel like we get so much use out of them! Barrett lived in these when it was cooler out and he still wears them every night for pajamas! I bought them big when we got out first UpChoose set, so he wore this size from the time he was 4 months old and he is just now starting to outgrow them! This is a size 6-9 months.
Barrett Michael in his favorite L'ovedbaby outfit from his first UpChoose set!
What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
I love UpChoose for so many reasons. I love what this company does to spread awareness and educate parents. More than that, I love that they are making this kind of lifestyle accessible to everyone. A lot of these brands really are more expensive. You get what you pay for! Unfortunately, that can leave some people out who just can't justify spending so much money on a single item of clothing. The preloved sets and payment plan really help those parents out who want to make more conscious choices when it comes to their children's clothing, but might not be able to afford it on their own.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
That's a tough one. I think I would love to have the option of time travel!
I don't think I have one! We watch so many movies in our house. It's so hard to pick!
I don't think I have one. Too hard to pick just one, or even just a few!
Dream place for a vacation?
Anywhere tropical. I love the beach, I love warm weather, and if there's a good spot to hike with beautiful scenery- I'm in!
I am a sucker for Mexican food!
What Carley picked for Barrett
6-9m: UpChoose Clothes-Only Set, Classic, Preloved
12-18m: UpChoose Clothes-Only Set, Classic, Preloved
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