Let's be honest: life as a mom is busy! So busy that you probably don't have time to research all the clothing that you get for your wee one. Jen Hartford knew this about all of us moms before being a mom herself. Which is why she created Noble Carriage, an online shop and platform where all the baby things are safe for baby and the world.
“The organic food movement has done a fantastic job of raising awareness about the harmful effects of pesticides and chemicals used to produce the food we eat, “Jen said. “These same practices are done to grow the cotton that we put on our baby's fair skin. It's my goal to raise awareness about this issue and to create a curated shop of all of the best organic and sustainably made baby clothing, toys and accessories that people can trust."
More than making it simple to shop for your baby responsibly, Jen's store makes it pretty. Sure, all of the items are made with certified organic cotton and are free from harsh chemicals; but they are also super soft and with intricate and delicate designs, making your little one irresistibly cute all. of. the. time.
Of course, when Jen announced that she was expecting, we couldn't wait to see her very own noble babe sporting all of the noble clothes. But we were even more eager to see how her taste for beautiful, eco-friendly design would transcend out of her shop and into her little one's universe. So without further ado, here's a sneak peek at Noble Carriage founder and mom boss Jen Hartford's nursery.
1. Why did you decide to focus on environmentally sustainable and organic baby clothing/products? I started Noble Carriage as a way to address the growing concerns of sustainability in fashion and the harmful effects that this industry has on farmers, the environment, and ultimately the end consumer. This challenge is far greater than just one company can tackle, so I focused our efforts where we could have the most profound impact: babies.
2. How has your pregnancy affected the way you select the products that you sell on your site? My pregnancy, and the birth of my daughter Sofia, has already had a profound effect on the brands and products that we sell at Noble Carriage. So far, her biggest impact has been with our nursery assortment. It wasn't until I began to plan Sofia's nursery that I discovered the overabundance of things people tell you that you “need." I would say I am a minimalist, so this helped me focus on the products that are truly needed in the nursery. Everyone is different, but it's safe to say that there are only a handful of things that you actually need, so my goal with Noble Carriage is to simplify the product choices to help parents design a sustainable, safe and eco-friendly nursery.
3. How has working in the baby world shaped the way you feel about your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy? Working in the baby world made me realize that there's nothing more valuable than finding and maintaining a community of trusted moms. When they say “it takes a village," they aren't kidding.
I knew that the physical and mental challenges of pregnancy and parenting would be tough, but I totally underestimated the emotional toll that babies can have on their parents. It's impossible to prepare for the unknowns of pregnancy and childcare, which can quickly lead to confusion, frustration, and fear. I'm so lucky to have met so many wonderful women and mothers over the last few years who have helped me through my journey in business and motherhood. It's them, my tribe of mamas, that have helped me become a more confident mom.
4. Tell us about your nursery. What's the vibe you decided on? I like to think of myself as a minimalist, so naturally, I wanted to have fewer, nicer things. The room is very small, so I decided to paint the walls white and use light wood and other natural colors in the furniture and decor to open up the room and provide a blank canvas to introduce some fun art and pops of color. What transpired from there is best described as a modern earthy vibe with mexican accents (inspired by my latin mother).
5. How did you go about creating the space? To create more space and brighten up the room, I remove the closet doors and painted the walls white.
From there, I focused on the four things that I felt I absolutely needed in Sofia's nursery: a crib, a dresser, a changing station and a rocking chair. It's crazy how quickly space evaporates once you've checked those essentials off.
Next, I wanted Sofia to find solace in nature, so having plants as a key part of her nursery was important to me. Unfortunately, her room is located downstairs and has zero natural light, so this was actually a huge challenge. Luckily, I was able to find a botanical designer who I worked with to create a hanging plant portal for the space (basically, an art installation made from preserved plants). This plant art sits directly above our rocking chair, which we hope will stir Sofia's imagination and calm her while we feed and soothe her to sleep. This custom plant portal quickly became the focal point of the room.
6. Tell us about some of the biggies in the room. I overthink every little detail, so if it's in her room, it likely has a story and meaning behind it. The biggies to me are the 4 essentials I previously mentioned as well as the custom plant portal.
My favorite element of the room is the combination of the rocking chair and plant portal. The rocking chair is a custom piece made by Monroe Workshop exclusively for Noble Carriage. Their workshop is in the heart of Los Angeles where they make stunning sustainable furniture and wood toys for kids. The custom plant portal is hung from the ceiling directly above the rocking chair, which is a beautiful visual for Sofia and adds some unique dimension to the room.
7. What elements from Noble Carriage are you bringing into your nursery? How, if at all, is your nursery style echoing that of Noble Carriage? Like Noble Carriage, a lot of curation went into choosing the items that I would bring into Sofia's space. I did my best to choose items that are not only well designed, but are also free from any chemicals that could be harmful to Sofia.
The crib is made from untreated, sustainable birch wood and converts into a toddler bed. The hand woven baskets double as toy, book, laundry, and diaper storage. And even the clothing serves as a decor item.
8. What are some of the details or sentimental pieces that you think really bring the room together? I'm all about Sofia having strong female icons in her life, so naturally I have an obsession for Frida that I want to pass down to Sofia. Anything Frida-inspired in the room has sentimental value to me. The portrait of Frida Kahlo illustrated by Alex Carfioli(gifted to me by my mom) and our exclusive Frida Kahlo doll, handmade by a mama artist in Tijuana, Mexico, exclusively for Noble Carriage.
A few other pieces that mean the world to me are a mobile above the changing table, handmade by my sister-in-law, handmade native american moccasins, gifted to me by my other sister-in-law, and our Noble Carriage exclusive handmade Misha & Puff X Jess Brown doll (are you catching onto my handmade obsession yet?!)
9. What's the best piece of advice you'd like to give a mama-to-be who's about to create her little one's universe?
Start designing with the items you need and not the items you want. Paint, build, and open rugs well before the baby is due to arrive. No matter how natural a product is, there is usually still an element of off-gassing that occurs so you should allow that to happen well in advance. Lastly, remember that when you are happy, your baby is happy, so design a space that makes you happy.
Photos by Rico Castillero.
Shop the nursery:
Oeuf NYC crib