Old School Memories Growing up, one of my favorite times of the year was the “back to school” season. I’d get so excited for a trip to the store to pick up a new backpack, notebook and writing utensils. I adored the smell of fresh paper and school supplies and even now as an adult, the smell of a Target in the month of August brings me back to those happy childhood memories. Traditions Are there any specific back to school traditions that you had in your childhood home, or new ones that you incorporate with your kids today? Are there specific stores, restaurants or activities you visit or participate in to prep for the new school year? Something that I didn’t realize until I was well past old enough – slightly embarrassing – is that not everyone grew up with a back-to-school fairy! Beginning with my earliest memories that I have of attending Kindergarten, come the first day of the new school year, I would wake up to surprise gifts and a note from the Back-To-School Fairy. The note was usually typed, so as to hide the recognizable handwriting of my parents, and was featuring a message that was typically a pep-talk for the year and any advice that I would be in need of, topics ranging from classes, friends, boys – sometimes even hygiene tips! With every note, there would be one or two small gifts. These gifts would vary from extra school supplies in elementary school (think cute pencil grips and colored glitter pens) to more practical gifts as I grew up. My first day of 7th grade, I was gifted shaving cream and a razor attached to a memorable note from the fairy announcing my official transition into womanhood – permission to shave my legs. Comical now, but to my 12 year old self, it really did feel like an honor. As a grown adult with a family of my own, I recognize the importance of upholding traditions that still match your lifestyle, while also incorporating new experiences that can grow to become an upheld tradition. Who knows, you may end up writing a new lifestyle that can become a cherished heritage for your future generations. Capsule Wardrobe Let’s talk about “back to school” clothes and shoe shopping! This was my favorite part of getting ready for the new school year, as I’m sure it was for many of you too. However, being the middle of five kids in my family, we couldn’t afford a lot of new clothes and shoes every year, so hand-me-downs and smart shopping were common activities that we prioritized. If you find yourself in a similar situation this year, or even if you’re trying to practice more sustainability and limit your personal product consumption, we have a fun initiative for you to try. Capsule Wardrobes! You’ve probably seen this concept on a cute graphic on Pinterest or in a “10 pieces of clothing 10 ways” video online. Whether you’ve heard of this wardrobe concept or not, we’re going to show you some examples of why incorporating a “capsule wardrobe” into your closet is a sustainable, creative and financially smart way to shop! To begin, we recommend owning basic clothing pieces in neutral colors that are made well. Better quality products will last much longer and in the long run, may even end up saving you money! Staple clothing pieces will be something like: 1 pair of blue jeans, 2 white shirts (blouses or T-shirts,) 1 patterned top, 1 neutral skirt, 1 neutral dress, 1 denim or leather jacket, 1 pair of pants (non-denim.) Of course, there are many more staple pieces, especially with color, that you can apply to your capsule wardrobe. However, the above list is just some suggestions to help get you started. As far as shoes and accessories are concerned for your capsule wardrobe, this is where Mikoleon comes in to help. The Miko team and I pride ourselves on offering shoes that are in classic shapes and colors that will never go out of style. By investing in our full-grain leather shoes or foot-loomed fabric accessories – you will have products in your closet that are built to last and are beautifully handcrafted. Whether you’re wanting a casual or dressed up outfit, our shoes and accessories will fit the bill. Check out our favorite capsule pieces below: Heirloom and Heritage Boots. The kids and matching adult women combat boots.Offered in a variety of leather colors. Available in Classic or Luxe (with zipper) styles. Kicker, Adela and Etta Boots. Cowgirl/boy boots for kids and adult women. Women styles in mid-calf (Adela) or tall (Etta.) Envelope Wallets and Backpacks. Fabulous accessories for adults offered in a wide array of artisan loomed fabrics and full-grain leathers. Usually available during limited Preorders, so sign up for our SMS alerts by texting JOIN to +1 (412) 328-2731. Back to School Mantra Everyone needs a little pep-talk from time to time, especially if this will be your little one's first time back to school post-COVID. There have been a lot of structure and habit changes in the last year, so shifting back to an in-person type of schedule may be a tricky adjustment for many. The Mikoleon team and I believe that using positive affirmations can result in amazing results, as Gen-Z calls it “manifestation.” You deserve wonderful things and it’s important for you to remember your worth! Here is our 2021 Back to School Mantra for you and your kids: I have made it through challenging times and I am stronger for it. I can embrace change because I am capable and smart. I am kind to myself, others and the world around me. I am going to wear a better story by doing my best to choose quality over quantity. I am going to support businesses and relationships that benefit myself and my environment. I am amazing and have so much value – always! Good Luck! As always, thank you for supporting our brand! I hope you realize that your support helps us give back to incredible artisans and give them the platform they deserve for their amazing craftsmanship. Have a wonderful school year – we at Mikoleon will always be here with beautiful handcrafted shoes and accessories for you to use all year long.