Meet the Moms: Introducing Madison
Meet Madison, one of our UpChoose moms from Maine. She's the mom of Emmett, who is almost two years and a half, and baby brother Mason Henry who is seven months. She joined UpChoose just before Emmett was born. You can find her on Instagram @maddiekg_
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Whitney, but my friends and family call me Whit.
Live in? Grew up in?
I grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, but my family and I currently live just outside of Portland, Maine.
You’re the mom of...
I have an 18m old boy named Emmett and another little boy arriving in December!
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for yourself or your family? Was there an “aha” moment or a specific event?
I grew up in a community that was very invested in environmental practices. I never really put much thought into the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle, because they were just a part of our daily lives. When my husband and I started our family, I kept my eye towards more organic products, mostly because they were brands I already knew. When our infant arrived prematurely and was staying in the NICU, I realized I wanted to be an even more conscious consumer in regards to the products we were using for our infant. Every decision we make as parents impacts not only the immediate well-being of our child, but also the state of the world they will inherit, and it is our job as parents to make sure we are helping to create the safest environment possible.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
My research really started with skin care products. I wanted to know that the soaps, creams, lotions, and detergents we were using were super safe for our infant's sensitive skin. The more research I did the more I started to think about not only the raw materials and their direct impact on my little's health, but the business practices throughout the supply chain impact the health of the environment potentially having long-term effects on health. I was already using brands that were marketed as organic, and they were made from organic materials, but what about factors like how much use a product is going to get or how the company ships their clothing (most of them shipped each item in its own plastic sleeve within the larger plastic sleeve). Eventually, I found UpChoose through an advertisement and was super impressed at how thoroughly they were looking at addressing eco-friendly supply chain practices, so I figured we would give it a try.
Meet Emmett 🧡
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
I have LOVED everything UpChoose has sent us. My biggest fear was that since we were getting preloved clothing, things wouldn't be in the best condition, but everything that has arrived has been like new and flawless. Communicating our needs has been beyond easy. Our little guy has grown slowly, so we haven't needed shipments as frequently as expected, but once a month a staff member checks in with me via text to find out when we might be ready to size up, so it's one less thing to worry about. Sending our items back has meant less need for storage in our home, and that items are continued to be used by others. Upchoose has also helped me discover new brands that are also using sustainable practices as well as reducing the ever-expanding cost of clothing for a growing infant!
❝ Every decision we make as parents impacts not only the immediate well-being of our child, but also the state of the world they will inherit, and it is our job as parents to make sure we are helping to create the safest environment possible❞
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?
My advice will always be: do your research. Determine what things are important to you and your family and look for brands that support your values. You often hear the phrase "vote with your dollars," and that really does ring true. Make sure the brands you are choosing to support match your values and priorities.
Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far?
We use the clothes only, preloved set in earth tones. I love that the earth tones set has a mix of neutrals (whites, greys, browns) but also some fun oranges, blues and greens. Everything is so easy to mix and match, which makes getting our son dressed everyday easy. I chose clothes only because we received a number of linens and accessories at our baby shower so I didn't feel like we needed more. We always have the basics on hand and can add our own layers and outwear as needed.
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?
We have two! Colored organic was a bee brand to us through UpChoose and this orange jumpsuit is a family favorite! Also, the loved baby linen overall shorts were worn many times this summer, and are perfect for the Fourth of July!
Emmett in his favorite L'Ovedbaby overall from his 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 that through UpChoose I am able to support a company that shares my family values, and helps me find more brands that also align with these. I like knowing that taking this one small step is helping to create and support better practices in the infant clothing world that has so much waste.
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If you could have any superpower what would it be?
I wish that I could wash all our dishes with my mind. Wouldn't it be great to look at a sink of dirty dishes and have them all cleaned thirty seconds later?
Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?
Our little is currently very into peek-a-boo. Whether it's just with our hands, blanket, or around a corner, it never fails to elicit a fantastic belly laugh, which is my favorite sound.
I think we have watched the first 20 minutes of Moana at least 1000 times. My little one loves watching the scene where Moana helps the turtle hatchling to the water and then being able to see all the ocean life as she interacts with the water.
My favorite song is our wedding song, Free/Into the Mystic by Zac Brown Band and Claire Bowen. I love that it brings together newer music with an oldies favorite.
Dream place for a vacation?
Currently dreaming of going anywhere new even if it's an hour from home, because just getting away would be a welcome adventure, however, my ultimate dream is the Almafi Coast! I love the thought of enjoying the beautiful beaches and exploring the local vineyards and lemon groves.
We are a pasta household! I love picking up local fresh pasta and mixing and matching it with different sauces. Most recently is a simple Cacio de Pepe. Light enough for summer, but the pepper gives it the perfect kick to transition it into the Fall.