I am Tessa, a mother of four wonderful children. Our oldest son Mees is 14, then we have Polle who is 11, Guus from 8, and little Keetje who just turned 2.
I spent my younger years at art school in Rotterdam. After school I met my husband, who had his own organic, French bakery next to where I lived and I worked at the shop connected to his bakery. We met and fell in love and shortly after that our first son was born.
From that moment, we decided that I would be a stay-at-home mum, and I still cherish that decision every day. It feels like a big luxury that we were able to make that choice. I have never regretted not having a career or something like that. For me, being their mother day and night is the most natural feeling and it feels like the best way to live my life.
I have always been a wool lover: it is so pure, strong and beautiful.
From the moment our first baby was born, it became even more valuable to me, for its beauty and comfort. All four of our children are highly sensitive, a special gift that sure is a blessing, but also makes them very sensitive to stimuli. Babies can’t protect themselves from any kind of stimuli, so I had to find a way to protect them against this otherwise they wouldn’t sleep at all and cried a lot. So I kept them close, wearing them in a wrap for the first months and dressing them in a wool or silk bonnet to gently comfort their heads.
For the little ones, I think wool and silk are the most perfect fibres to use, as it regulates their temperature, which newborns aren’t able to do themselves.
Now they are bigger, I still try to protect them - they wear a wool/silk item every day. Especially when going to school, I think this is important for them. It can be a sleeveless top under their clothes, a pair of socks, or a t-shirt, cardigan or leggings.
We wear woollen items the whole year round!
Our style is very natural. We don’t wear many vibrant colors or clothes with visible brands. For me it is very important that the clothes we buy are sustainable and honestly made, without harm to the environment. I avoid buying fast fashion, and by explaining to my children how they are made, makes them aware of what it means to the world. This way, they can truly understand our reasons, and they never ask for the clothes their friends are wearing in school.
Also when it comes to toys, we try to make the same decision: buying less and buying honestly-made, sustainable toys. We love the open-ended wooden toys a lot. They stimulate creativity, they can be used in so many ways, and next to that they are soothing to the eye. This is very welcome in a busy house with four children with an effect that is calming for these very open, sensitive children.
We wear wool every day, all year round, and even at night. In summer when temperatures are higher, I prefer to wear a mix of wool and silk. It is very light, and doesn’t feel too warm. We wear sleeveless vests, leggings and t-shirts. My little girl also wears a lot of woollen/silk bodies.
For Autumn and Spring we also wear wool/silk items, but mostly as a base layer like a sleeveless top under our clothes. What we wear on top is mostly also wool (or sometimes linen or organic cotton). We love the wool/silk basics and the children wear a lot of leggings and shirts on a daily basis.
When it is really cold, mostly when it is winter, we wear a lot of layers. Layers are perfect for keeping us warm. We combine sleeveless, wool tops with a top layer of wool and a jumper or cardigan over it to make us feel really warm and cosy. Woollen leggings (or maillot) are a perfect under layer to keep your legs warm and we combine these with another layer of woollen leggings or pants. For our little girl I prefer the woollen suits as a finishing layer when we go outside. And again, paired with woollen bonnets and gloves.
Mamaowl is definitely my favourite webshop for woollen clothes and sustainable toys.
I love almost everything they sell, so it is not easy to make a selection of favourites but I will try. Engel is a brand we wear a lot, I just love the special MamaOwl colours so much, the quality is very good and the fit is perfect for our slim children.
For socks and tights, we really love Mamaowl’s own brand, the colours are again my favourite, and we wear them daily. Disana is strong and warm and perfect for outside play on the colder days.
Soor Ploom, Apolina and Misha and Puff are three brands I really adore, and I am really happy Mamaowl sells them as it is easier and more sustainable to order everything here than on separate websites. Mabli and Minimalisma are two brands we also love to wear. They have the softest clothes and beautiful colors. For shoes we love Angulus and Amy and Ivor very much.
For toys, we love Ostheimer, Grapat and Grimms very much: all open ended toys that stimulate the childrens’ creativity.
Mostly when I make an order at Mamaowl it includes some Engel base layers, Mabli leggings when winter is coming, and a little Ostheimer animal (saving them for a birthday or St. Nicolas). If possible, we also order one item from the new collection of Misha & Puff, Soor Ploom or Apolina. I often add some woollen socks and a bonnet as well.
I try to wash my woollen clothes as little as possible. After wearing my clothes, I just hang them by an open window or outside for some fresh air.
Only when our clothes are really dirty (mostly the childrens’) and with stains, I wash them in the machine on a wool programme (cold water). I only use a bit of organic wool wash products and sometimes a bit of lanolin oil, to make them feel extra soft.
If the clothes are really delicate, I wash them by hand. When we have holes or other damage I try to fix them, so we can wear them for longer. Otherwise we wear them at night as pyjamas.
All Images Courtesy of Tessa
Tessa's children are wearing the following items from the MamaOwl website.
SISKIN Forest Sweaters in Ochre and Cinnamon, Wool Rib base layers in Nutmeg and Ochre, Organic Wool base layers in Cinnamon and Romper in Rosewood, Engel Exclusive Slate Fleece, Disana Dungarees, Angulus Shoes, Typically Red Hats & Misha + Puff Accessories.