small for big

Run by a toy designing mom, Small for Big brings you affordable kids design picks from that fantastical place where parenthood, modern design, and your strict budget hold hands and do the hokey pokey. Stop by for toys, books, clothes, links, and...

Mari is a winner of Top 25 Kids' Style

What inspired you to start blogging?

I’d been designing toys for almost ten years before I started Small for Big, but when I became pregnant I realized I wanted a place to keep track of the trends, products, and inspiration I was already researching while working on designs. Suddenly, I had another reason to keep track of it all. It’s now grown to become an important place where I can be mom AND designer, instead of being just one or the other. I really love building a community with like-minded pals, too.

How do you keep up with the latest kids' fashions and being a mom?

I’m obsessed with everything visual. So for me, it’s a natural thing: every time my girl grows out of something it’s time to go on the hunt. I love searching out unique modern kids fashion with an eye on small budgets, a good dose of vintage and a strong nod to color and pattern. It flows through everything from fashion to toys and décor. Be young, silly, and a little loud!

What are three things parents should think about when styling their kids?

1. Keeping your kids comfortable (and dirt-ready) does not mean elastic waists and boring T-shirts. I love for T’s (they have GREAT sales too) and jeggings from H&M for everyday.
2. Always start with the sales area of your more expensive favorite brands. Often the quirkiest pieces are still available at a much more affordable price. But my favorite places to look are flash sale websites – I’ve listed my favorites in this post.
3. Mix it up, kids feel more unique when you layer things up from different sources. They’re kids! So think less about coordinating and more about mixing up colors and patterns. And when they help pick the things they wear, the fashion is theirs.

How do you make shopping for your family's clothes affordable?

Mari Richards

I have a hard time spending more than $30 on anything for my girl, Birdie. So, to keep things fresh and unique, I’ve accidentally found a shopping system for her style finds that keeps me budget-friendly and keeps her "mixmatched-cool". I always start with my favorite flash sale sites – the Mini Social, Gilt, Hautelook, ideeli, Zulily, etc. for great brands at a much better price (you can see my post on flash sale sites too for a full list). We tend to get most of her dresses, tops, and shoes that way! We find most of our Tshirts from Threadless during their $10 Tee sales, they have awesome designs! We love the jeggings and jeans from H&M and pants from Naartjie Kids (I love their sales, but not all of their fashions, so I try to be picky). While leggings and Pajamas always come from Target or Old Navy. Plus, I love to find great retro and vintage finds either on etsy (shop their vintage children’s category!) or at our local thrift stores. My tip: I often buy her tops and dresses a size larger than necessary, they still fit fine (and are probably more comfy) and they last so much longer. Our goal is always comfort and fashion together – it’s a motto I swear by for myself too!
View All Answers