Social Encore: Baby Expo welcomes local parents
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
I’m at the age where many of my friends are embarking on a new chapter in their lives. Many of those involve starting their own families, and many of them are first-time parents. If you are looking for child resources, apparel, toys and services, head to the Blaisdell Center this weekend for the 17th annual New Baby Expo.
17TH ANNUAL NEW BABY EXPO
» Where: Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, 777 Ward Ave.
Knowing there wasn’t an event that helped educate parents on new childcare trends and resources, New Baby Expo founder Anna Lau-Parish said she was motivated to start the expo because of her experience with her first child. She said being a parent with a busy schedule makes it hard to find the time to learn on your own. With this weekend’s expo, everything parents would possibly want to know is all in one place.
Whether your baby is in the womb or has already made his or her debut, free demos and guest speakers mean there is something for every parent. Join educator and doula Brooke Saltsman as she covers five areas of the birthing process, including as labor and birth; environment, positioning and movement, back pain relief, breathing and muscle relaxation.
Also present at this year’s expo will be infant researcher Dr. Robert Titzer, who believes an interactive approach to the written and spoken language will help with your child’s brain development.
The moms I know are always juggling and multi-tasking between work, home, spousal and parental responsibilities that they never have time to pamper themselves. Skin Deep Beauty, a full service mobile spa will bring the spa to you during the expo. They offer services like sunless tanning, waxing, airbrush makeup, facials and even full body massages.
The expo is not just for babies and parents, but for toddlers too. PBS’ favorite guniea pig Hooper, Curious George and Yoohoo will be there to pose for pictures. And what little girl doesn’t want to meet a princess? Cinderella, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty and the Frozen Queen will create storytime with live musical performances. For the boys, Mark Mauricio will hypnotize with entertaining magic tricks.
Local vendors will show off their latest toy, food, tech and apparel creations as well. Vendors will include Jaclyn Carreira of Keiki Elements, a baby boutique that designs things like blankets, stroller liners, and reusable diapers. She started her business six years ago when she lived on the Big Island.
Having a mother who sewed, Carreira grew up designing and sketching clothes. However, it wasn’t until she became a stay-at-home mom when she decided to bring her sketches to life.
“When I was at home I thought to myself, I have three little babies and I want to do and have something to myself,” she said.
She started off by making baby blankets with cute animal attachments. Word got out about her designs and she soon started selling out at craft fairs. Her blanket ideas then inspired her to create more. Her reusable diaper design is one she is most proud of.
Her family often spent their free time outdoors hiking and spending time at the beach. While raising her kids, she always wanted to create a easy to use, reusable diaper that saved parents time and money, as well as having less of an impact on the environment.
“When I had my first child, back then reusable diapers were old fashioned and required you to use pins … it was just so messy,” she said. “I wanted to modify the reusable diaper and have it have a little aloha touch on every baby’s bum.”
At this year’s expo Carriera will be premiere her island-inspired apparel line, So Koi. Her style of dresses are playful and sheek while the prints for the boys’ aloha shirts would compliment any active Hawaii boy’s personality.
Carriera’s kids are now 7, 9 and 11, and she hopes her business teaches them something about life. She said the concept of her reusable diapers helps teach the concept of giving back to mother nature by helping to protect our natural resources. She also hopes that keeping her kids involved in the designing process of her business will encourage them to never stop dreaming and always be creative.
If you are a new parent, currently parent, or just want to be the cool auntie or uncle with great gifts, check it out this year’s expo. For more information, including how to receive a free gift if you’re an expecting mother, visit http://www.newbabyexpo.com.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.