When Bethany isn't behind the counter at the shop, you can find her making wands for her side-business: whimsiekids. These handcrafted fairy wands are designed to inspire imaginative play for any child at any age, or gender! Read on as we chat with Bethany, to find out what makes whimsiekids so special!
Can you share how + why you launched whimsiekids?
I’ve always loved being around children, and being part of a large family there was never any shortage of kiddo time. Imaginative play was always my favorite: dress up, “office” or any sort of pretend play. As I started to outgrow that phase of life, I found it so fascinating and beautiful to watch my little nieces and nephews create their own worlds within their playtime and how creative they could be with their logic and backstories for each scenario they would come up with. When I started working in children’s retail back in 2017, I knew that this was my niche, but I had a hard time figuring out what product I wanted to create for the kids in my life and beyond. I drew inspiration from companies like Rockahula and Alimrose who specialize in accessories, and dolls/play items but noticed that their products were very hyper-feminized and I wanted something to encourage pretend play among any kid of any gender.
Throughout my years of activism work, I found a special connection to the trans and gender-fluid community and I knew I wanted my brand to reflect my own beliefs and efforts to be an ally and provide a safe space for children to explore not only their own imaginations but also allow themselves to be their most authentic selves without any gender barriers blocking their way. At the end of the day, how a child chooses to play is up to them, but I want to provide a safe space for children to just be themselves: nothing more, and nothing less.
What do you find most rewarding being a creator of these amazing fairy wands?
I love being able to include my family members and people within my community. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful children in my life and it brings me endless joy to play with them while we do photo shoots and see the different worlds they create. I also love that I am able to seek creative advice and inspiration from people like my mom, Erika, and the lovely kids around me. It also warms my heart to see kids that come into the shop love their wands.
What has been your favorite wand to make? I’m sure there are stories behind the inspiration of each!
There are so many to choose from! Right now I’m loving my pom pom wands! These started out as a commission for a new shop in Santa Rosa, but I loved the idea so much I decided to play around with it a little more! Half the fun of making these wands is thrifting the materials for them and I love how each wand is unique and once I run out of the fabric, it is time for a new design! It keeps things interesting!
What’s next for whimsiekids?
Where to start? I am working hard on creating a fun Valentine’s Day collection that is to die for, but I also want to branch out more into other play accessories such as capes and crowns and eventually venture into apparel. It can be so easy for me to get carried away with all my ideas so it’s always a task to keep myself in check but I can promise you that this is only the start of whimsiekids and there are many magical things coming in 2022!
Where can we find you?
On my website whimsiekids.com where you can shop directly, on instagram and facebook as @whimsiekids, and me personally hanging around Bon Ton Baby!