To celebrate our exclusive launch of Globetotter's Miami Soft Block, we talked with the creative mind behind the design, Angela Clair, Globe Totter’s co-founder and designer. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Angela started Globe Totters with her husband Justin, combining her background in design and brand development with her experiences as a mama of two. We talked with Angela about building a business, how she comes up with each block’s design, and the many ways soft blocks can support little ones as they develop.
Tell us a little bit about the process of creating each City Soft Block from concept to production.
My goal is that each block teaches and inspires kids (starting with my own!). We begin by thinking about an iconic city and brainstorm the landmarks, famous foods, parks, art and sculptures that make it special. I start sketching, then our final design is sent to be printed on organic cotton sateen with non-toxic, water-based inks. Once our fabric is delivered, our small group of sewers construct our City Blocks.
We are in love with the beautiful illustrations that you create! What inspires you when working on the images for each city?
Thank you! We’re always thinking about how we can educate our clientele of little ones. We choose a vibrant color story for each city that will visually attract newborns, infants and toddlers. We always feature a repeat-pattern of food on one of the block’s sides because we know infants respond to repetition. We include landmarks, parks, sculptures, and city icons that will inspire babes to discover the world around them when little and older.
Describe some of your favorite ways to play with a City Soft Block.
We love dangling and waving blocks above our infant’s head as she intently looks at all the sides. She responds to the soft jingle bell sound by moving her legs with excitement, which is great for physical play! Each city block has a fabric loop, and we’re introducing the loops to her as she will eventually want to grab hold of them. It’s important to talk to infants about the world around them even if they don’t respond, so we love describing the colors, buildings, foods and different cities of the world. It helps both of our children learn, especially our oldest on building her vocabulary. With our toddler, we love explaining all of the different landmarks, which has helped her become especially knowledgeable about her own hometown soft block—New York City!
You’re a mama to two adorable little girls! What have been the surprises—both terrific and trying—about parenting and running a business?
It’s been a blessing to be able to work from home and manage a business. Though trying at times, it’s so rewarding to be able to watch our two girls grow every step of the way. As most working moms will say, it’s finding the balance that is the most challenging.
What advice do you have for women who are starting the journey of creating their own business?
Follow your dreams and don’t give up, no matter how daunting and impossible it may feel. Whatever you accomplish is so worth it in the end! And it doesn’t hurt to rely on family friends for help along the way.
What have you found most rewarding about the journey of creating Globe Totters?
Knowing that I’ve created a product that is educational, that teaches the next generation about the world around them and isn’t harmful to the environment or children—all soft blocks are stuffed with 100% biodegradable eco-fill that’s derived from corn. I’m also proud that we’ve built a business that creates job opportunities in America. Globetotters has allowed me to stay creative, plus we’ve met so many interesting people and brands along the way. It’s been a lot of fun!