Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 3:32 pm | Fair 77º


Local News

Eco-Friendly Children’s Store Opens in Montecito

Adriana and Mark Shuman's Summer for Kids store carries a year-round supply of green products.

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Adriana Shuman, holding daughter Summer, and her husband, Mark, have opened Summer for Kids, a new eco-friendly children’s store in Monecito. (Mark Shuman photo)

With a children’s play area in one corner, a nursery vignette in the back, and four walls lined with colorful children’s clothing and educational toys made of safe, eco-friendly materials, Adriana and Mark Shuman have set out to improve the lives of children in Montecito and beyond.

Their new store, Summer For Kids at 1235 Coast Village Road, will hold its grand-opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Some of the proceeds will go to CALM (Child Abuse Listening & Mediation).

“I want to be involved with children and have people feel good when they shop,” Adriana Shuman says. “As a parent myself, I don’t like worrying about whether a toy, a baby bottle or a sippy cup is made of toxic chemicals, or whether a piece of clothing may be uncomfortable or give my baby a rash. I also really believe that children should be given the best possible life. I want other kids to have what my baby has — safe toys and comfortable clothes made only from natural materials that are also safe for the Earth.”

As often as they can, the Shumans also buy items made in the United States to help the economy.

“Not everyone thinks the way that we do,” Mark Shuman says, “but the organic, green, eco-friendly world of children’s clothing and toys is a growing market amidst fears of lead paint from China, pesticides and chemical additives that can make their way into baby’s and toddler’s mouths. News stories about kids who’ve gotten ill from these kinds of things scare a lot of us, so we thought we’d be responsible and try to do something about it in our own community.”

Summer for Kids is not a store that aims solely to provide items related to summer time. It carries a year-round supply of clothes for newborns to children up to age 4, as well as shoes, hats, bath towels, bath and sun products, cotton and wooden toys, baby blankets, nursing pillows, bibs, teethers, plush stuffed animals, crib mobiles and other branded items made of organic cotton and soy inks with no pesticides.

The store also carries “Sticks” (a line of hand-painted nursery furniture from the East Coast), green Plan Toys, silver frames and “first tooth” and “first hair curl” holders, as well as christening and other clever gift packages such as “It’s a bunch of baby clothes” where the clothes are arranged in a box or bucket like a bouquet of flowers. Another product, snuggle nests, now allow a parent to bring their newborn baby safely into bed with them when they’re tired.

Adriana Shuman says that even the store’s “baby safe feeders,” baby bottles, nipples and sippy cups are all safe, with no bisphenol-A or phthalate or PVC. Some things in the store are made of melamine instead of plastic for the same reason — to make them safer for children. Some things, such as the children’s tea sets, dining ware and sand toys, are made of safe, nontoxic, recycled plastic.

The Shumans also are creating a place in the store where people can bring in and donate their own top-condition items for less fortunate children in need of toys and clothes.

So where did the store’s name Summer For Kids come from? The store is named after the Shumans’ year-old daughter, Summer.

“Summer is our favorite time of year,” Adriana said. “My husband and I met during summer. We were engaged a summer later. A year after that we got married, and a summer later our baby was born. So we decided the name Summer was perfect for both our daughter and the store. Our daughter was the inspiration for the store.”

Jonatha King is a public relations representative.

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