This past week, we hosted a comment contest on our Facebook page, looking for the Mama Goose community’s favorite summer activities and WOW, did you guys deliver?! In addition to picking a winner of a $25 gift certificate to the Goose (Congrats to local Mama Larissa Rowe!), we were able to compile a list of must-dos for summer in the Finger Lakes. Is your favorite on the list? Scroll down to see what’s on our agenda for summer!
The overwhelming people’s choice? The Ithaca Children’s Garden! Beyond the natural beauty, ICG has great play spaces, educational programs and plenty of spots to relax with your goslings. Bonus – the Garden is open every day (from dusk til dawn) and always free of charge!
Summer between the lakes brings ripe and juicy fruits, and Finger Lakes families love the freedom of u-pick! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries grow in abundance – perfect for jam, pie, and good ol’ fashioned snacking! Our staff favorite? Indian Creek Farm, on Ithaca’s West Hill. Their tart cherry slushes are the ultimate way to cool down in the summer heat.
Music is an integral part of the Ithaca experience, and the summer music scene is hoppin’ – and totally family friendly! Catch a free show at Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Commons as part of the Summer Concert Series, or enjoy a more scenic show on the banks of Cayuga Lake at the Taughannock Falls State Park Concert Series!
Nothing wraps up a day of FLX adventure better than ice cream! Stop by Sweet Melissa’s Seneca St. location for one of their iconic two-berry twists. Not in the downtown area? No worries! Toad’s Too in Freeville is known for serving up seemingly endless flavors of premium hard ice cream and *drool alert* chocolate peanut butter soft serve!
This list… it could go on forever! Between hiking gorge trails, taking a dip in the lake, and visiting the Farmers Market, the possibilities for summer fun are a-plenty! Did we miss your favorite? Add it to the comments, and happy Summer from the Geese at the Goose!
Happy Mama’s Day Month! (We all know one day doesn’t really cut it.) This is a great time of year to remember that Mama Goose doesn’t just carry cute clothes for kids; we’ve got racks full of maternity clothes too.
This month’s gorgeous model is mama-to-be Shy and her first-born: future big brother James!
Look at these two, complimenting each other without looking too matchy-matchy – just effortlessly cool. Shy is showing off a pair of Lucky brand maternity jeans (size L, $10.95) with a Jessica Simpson striped tunic (size M, $7.50.) James is styling with a pair of slim fit pants (7 for all Mankind, size 12, $2) and a dusty rose dress shirt (size 12, $3.95.) Shoes are models’ own.
Keeping things totally casual and still chic, Mama and son’s second ensembles feature Levi jeans (size 14, $10.95) and a Zara tee for James (size 14, $7.95) and a Motherhood dress (size L, $5) and leggings (size L, $5.95) for Shy.
It’s hard to believe this duo could get any cuter, but we can’t wait to see what next level of adorable this family can achieve when the wee one arrives! And hey – an update just might be in order for next Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day to mamas of all kinds, from all of us here at the Goose.
With all the hubbub of spring, we somehow missed National Siblings Day! Lucky for all of us at the Goose, we get visits from adorable sibling sets daily. This month, cutie-patooties Sawyer and Silas showed up to show us two different ways to rock a formal look.
Good guy Silas is classic Clooney in a toddler tuxedo (size 3, $16.95) and Aster loafers (size 8.5, $10.95) with a toothy grin to complete the look!
Sawyer is more of a bad boy, rolling up in his faux leather pants (size 4, $6.95) and rock and roll car tee (size 3, AFirst, $2.25.) A black vest (size 4, $3.25) and Healthtex slip-ons (size 9, $6.95) complete the look. (Wanna ride on the wild side? Sawyer’s red bike complete with training wheels can be yours for $23.00!)
We just love these two cool dudes with two different ‘tudes:
Bring your favorite brothers and sisters by the Goose any time — we celebrate them every day!
There isn’t much we love more than springtime in Ithaca and the flurry of activity that comes with it – field trips for school, family hikes in one of our many “gorges” parks, and summer camp sign-ups. Oh my! But no matter what the fun activity is, one thing remains constant: a gosling’s gotta eat! So we’ve stuffed the Goose with great new sustainable snack and lunchware that your little one (and the environment) will thank you for!
Attempt to contain your “SQUEE!” We’ve got an amazing selection of lunch bags and lunch kits from Bentology. These little cuties come in a variety of adorable patterns and different sizes. Larger kits come with durable containers and ice packs that fit neatly together, bento box style!
Don’t miss out on these charming reusable snack and sandwich pouches from Lunchskins! Not only do they come in delightful prints and bright colors, they’re easy to clean too – just toss on the top rack of your dishwasher. Who knew there was such a fun and easy way to downsize your consumption of single-use plastics?!
Now introducing KidBasix Safe Snackers! These BPA- and phthalate-free containers come in three sizes, a range of colors and are easy for little hands to open and close. The silicone seal keeps food fresh and contained, and the stainless exterior is durable and totally dishwasher safe. The best part? The lid stays attached so they are sure to return from school or camp in one piece!
In our mind, the only question left in the great straw debate is “silicon or stainless?” Mama Goose now carries BOTH options to please even the choosiest of sustainability-minded sippers.
U Konserve straws are a great alternative to plastic straws and come in a variety of finishes and colors, adding a little pizazz to each glass!
Didn’t see quite what you were looking for above? Stop by Mama Goose and check out the wide variety of sustainable products that we carry – there’s so much more than we could mention here. We’re talkin’ sippy cups, water bottles, utensils, food mills, and more. Let’s get your flock of kiddos fed and be kind to Mama Earth while we’re at it!
We’ve introduced you to the Mama Goose team and the Mama Goose founder and owner, but there’s one more woman we’d like to celebrate. She gave our beloved Mama Goose and her gaggle life – our incredible illustrator, Alice Heise!
With a ton of creativity and a sense of adventure, she began her career as a freelance illustrator in Ithaca, and hustled to make a name for herself in the area. When approached by Kelly and Michelle to create our original Mama Goose illustration, Alice was delighted and bartered for Michelle’s doula services – despite not yet having a child! The result of the collaboration between Alice and our founders was our iconic summer Mama, who perfectly captured the spirit of the Ithaca Mama at that time. Over the years, she helped us add to the gaggle – allowing our family to grow along with the store.
Upon turning 15, we decided to give Mama a fresh new look for colder weather. It was obvious to us that Alice was the only artist for the job. Alice dusted off her supplies and jumped in enthusiastically. She created our new tween goose (debuted HERE) from the ground up, and brought our winter goose up to date with timeless fashion and thoughtful accessories. She’s the quintessential Ithaca mom-on-the-go, with baby tucked under her arm (and close to her heart).
Alice is no stranger to local business – her husband of 15 years Kevin Cuddeback founded Gimme! Coffee, and Alice herself started their Krums Corners Bakery after taking a bit of time off to raise her two daughters, Elsie and Bea. Alice now uses her passion and creative prowess as a real estate agent in the area. Her collective professional experience – her creative mind, her attention to detail, and her ability to imagine new things – helps her guide each new client through the home buying process and imagine themselves in their new space.
So we’ve done it. We’ve introduced you to most of the incredible women that have played a part in the evolution of Mama Goose. So how do we celebrate 15 years? A trip to Vegas? Nah. Not our style. Bungee jumping? Hmm. Seems too risky. Let’s celebrate with you instead!This weekend, March 16th and 17th, stop by Mama Goose and save 15% on your entire purchase! Grab a snack while you shop and get your picture taken with our life-size Mama and our tween goose cut-out! Shop new gear like ErgoBaby carriers and Barefoot Books, or stock up on stylish spring and summer duds for your gaggle – it’s all 15% off! This celebration is all about you – the people behind the Goose, and all of our success!
It’s a Look of the Month first, y’all: a collaboration between Mama Goose and the dynamite derby darlings of the Ithaca League of Junior Rollers. We’re feeling the rebel girl spirit with our bold and brave models and the newest addition to our gaggle – our very own tween goose logo!
This month’s models — Wee Beastie, Speed Seed and Red Hornet — combine items from the Goose and derby gear for some killer looks worthy of these totally rad athletes.
Red Hornet (above left) layers her black and white pinney over a two-piece Body Glove outfit (tank and dance tights, size 7/8) and paired with knee-high socks ($1.95) and a Balera jacket (size small)
Speed Seed (pictured above) rocks her red jersey with rainbow tights (size 10/12) and purple mesh shorts (size 12) and a hooded denim vest (Children’s Place, size 12).
Wee Beastie (pictured above) layers up with pink tights (Hanna Andersson, size 140), Under Armour shorts (size 7/8) and a pink racerback tank (X-treme. size 7/8).
Keepin’ the derby girl spirit alive, we would like to introduce our BRAND NEW tween goose to the Mama Goose family! She is serving up a funky layered look with a smidge of sass. And just like these mini masters of mayhem on the track, she is strong, empowered and ready to tackle any challenges headed her way. We like to think this new goose would be the perfect addition to the Ithaca League of Junior Rollers. Maybe we should get her some skates?
Do you (or someone you know) want to learn to skate, gain strength and confidence on and off the track? Girls and boys ages 8-17 are invited to join the upcoming spring session, starting April 23rd. Gear rentals are available and no previous experience is required! For more information check out the Ithaca League of Women Rollers/ILJR website or Facebook or even stop by our sister store Mimi’s Attic and chat with our very own derby-playing Violet Crimes!
Splish, splash! Winter may still be hanging around, but things are slushy enough to make us think ahead to the rainy days of spring! Sweet pea (and puddle enthusiast) Kaleb stopped by Mama Goose to help us show off this season’s selection of brand new rain gear!
This one-piece rainsuit by Splashy (size 3, $35.00) goes perfectly with Western Chief firefighter rainboots (size 12, $25!)! Super protective, you can throw one of these easy-zip suits on over your gosling’s school clothes or special occasion outfit and not have to worry about last minute changes or soggy socks!
A full suit not your little one’s style? Not to worry! Check out how adorable Kaleb looks in our two-piece rainwear option! His blue Splashy pants (size 4, $25.00) and hooded jacket (size 4, $32.00) tuck right into fleece-lined dinosaur boots (size 12, Western Chief, $30.00.) These separates are easy to move around in – making them perfect for those soggy spring sports!
If you’re ready to start doing puddle prep for your little ones, the Splashy suits and Western Chief boots come in several other colors and styles. Some of our boots even light up! Pop on down to the Goose and check them out!
Throughout the start of 2019, we’re celebrating 15 YEARS of Mama Goose! Ever since our beginnings on Seneca Street, Mama Goose has been powered by the energy of strong and discerning women. Our current staff is no exception. From our all-female management team to the ladies on the sales floor, there’s no doubt at all – who run the world? Girls, for sure.
It’s lucky for us that our current store manager, Rebeka Livingston, loves a challenge. Her first project upon joining the team was to plan and execute the 2017 Coat Sale Extravaganza. She hit the ground running and has approached her role with energy and decisiveness ever since. Top priorities for Rebeka are leading and inspiring her team, overseeing new products and making sure that community stays at the heart of Mama Goose.
Rebeka is mama to an adorable two-year old daughter, and loves bringing that mama experience to work with her every day. She enjoys getting to know other new mamas and helping them find the parenting tools and products that will work best for their family. Whether she is engaging with customers or staff, Rebeka thrives on building up other women, and helping them recognize (and own!) their individual strengths and capabilities.
The girl power behind the Goose runs all the way up the ladder. Our Company Operations Manager, Violet Goncarovs, came to work at the “Little Goose” when she was a senior in high school and now runs the show! Owner, Kelly Moreland, still recalls how composed and self-confident the young Violet was when she approached her for a job.
Violet continued to work for Mama Goose while she attended Ithaca College and received her Bachelors of Music in 2012. After graduation, Violet went abroad for several years to Jordan and Palestine and then (lucky for us!) found her way back to the company in 2015 calling it “one of the most rewarding jobs (she’d) ever had.” Leading comes naturally to Violet which is probably why she makes her high-pressure role look effortless. Violet also has a management trick up her sleeve – she blows off steam at night by playing roller derby with the Ithaca League of Women Rollers!
Violet’s many years with the company, as well as her thoughtful and discerning approach to management, have made her an invaluable company leader who inspires us all.
One thing we strive to create at Mama Goose is a sense of loyalty. And who better to foster the feelin’ than Assistant Manager Theresa Knobel, who has been with the family for nearly 10 years (and her sweet 10-year-old son has obligingly modeled for us most of his life!). Theresa’s down-to-earth attitude and her personal connection with many of our customers are just two of the attributes that make her such an intrinsic part of our success. She also bakes, purchases and selects the perfect unique birthday gift for every staff member! When asked about her favorite memory of her time at the Goose, she cites the friendships she’s made with staff and with the customers. “Everyone I have had the pleasure of making acquaintances with has in some way enriched my life.” And when you ask her what every mama needs to succeed? “At least one person who she can confide in without judgment.” As she trains incoming staff, she’s able to pass along her attitude and her vast repository of Mama Goose knowledge. (For real, test her – she’s basically our personal encyclopedia.)
Because there’s so ding-dang much to do at Mama Goose, we have two Assistant Managers. Anya Barta joined the management team in 2016, and her special area of responsibility is ordering all of our new products and making sure they get out onto the sales floor as quickly as possible. A mother of two boys (2 & 3 years old), Anya has a special understanding of what mamas need and how precious time is to busy mamas.
Hi there! I am Kelly Moreland, the owner of Mama Goose and Mimi’s Attic. I am so grateful to be celebrating 15 years in business, and am super psyched to have our winter Mama Goose get a new outfit and welcome a sassy tween to our gaggle. Stay tuned for the unveiling later in the month!
We talk a lot about “The Big Cheese” at both Mama Goose and Mimi’s Attic, and the interesting thing is we are rarely referring to me as the Big Cheese. I think this is because, when I first opened Mama Goose, I read a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, and was inspired by the concept that business owners should work on their business rather than in it. I definitely miss the early days when I did everything and knew each and every customer, but I also know that – most days – the most helpful thing I can do for my staff is to get out of their way.
So with all these “Big Cheeses” around, what exactly do I do? For many of the last fifteen years, I spent the bulk of my work days on marketing communications and print graphics (such as flyers, forms, signage, email blasts and ads) because I love that stuff and love collaborating with the team on creative endeavors. Those projects are now spearheaded by Communication Assistant, Heather Eriole and Operations Manager, Violet Goncarovs, but we all continue to collaborate as much as possible.
Another big part of my role in the company is what I call “connecting the dots”. This is basically a lot of communicating and making sure everyone, throughout the company, is on the same page. It also means tirelessly working with the team to hone organizational systems, policies and procedures. These systems may sound boring, but I have always believed that they are our secret sauce. Not only do they help us make sure the customer experience is consistent, they also create a work environment that allows each team member to shine and bring their best game because they are not bogged down and burdened with inconsistencies.
One of the true pleasures of being a part of these stores (besides shopping at them!) is seeing the growth and empowerment of each staff member. As I look back on the old photos we have unearthed for this anniversary, I feel grateful and inspired by all of the amazing women who have helped Mama Goose grow and flourish.
Last, but certainly not least, I am truly grateful for you – the fabulous community of Mamas, Papas and goslings who continue to inspire me every day with your commitment to live your values and shop locally and sustainably.
Our anniversary celebration continues! Over the last fifteen years, we’ve hosted art shows, porch parties, diaper & baby wearing workshops, “Meet the Doulas”, yoga classes, ICG Sprouts, Extravaganzas, reading clubs and more. Ithaca families – the heart of the Mama Goose community – where would be without you? We thank you for the years of inspiration to have fun, do a little good and to celebrate… a lot. Do you recognize anyone in these photos? We wish we we had photos of all of you!
Coming up with creative ways to build community with our customers has always been a collaborative team effort. A huge shout-out to senior staffer/Assistant Manager, Theresa Knobel, for revving up our social media day after day and to Meryl Phipps, the author and photographer of our popular “Look of the Month” blog posts! And of course, we would be nowhere without Heather Eriole’s creativity that she brings to all our marketing campaigns.
Beyond all the soirees and celebrations, could the gaggle have grown without a Mama? The real deal, nest-tending, joke-bringing mama to end all mamas? That’s right. We’re talking about the original Mama Goose herself, Kelly Moreland. Check out part III of our series to learn a little more about how the original Mama reflects on 15 years of Mama Goose.