Velocitoddler || Unisex Baby and Kids Clothes || Made in USA

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Life Outside(ish) Baby

Go to Bed, Guilt

Life Outside(ish) BabyTabatha HansenComment

My education didn’t leave me feeling helpful. It left me wondering what I am doing on Earth. While I have developed my own sense of my place in the world (I am an ant who could be squashed by any thing at any time and it isn’t because God wants me), I still haven’t recovered from my education.

I got excellent grades, from the moment I skipped kindergarten until the day in high school I decided to smite my GPA and stop turning in all assignments. Excellent grades again once I started college, all the way until I graduated. A+ A+ A+ A A- A+ For me, a millennial who had a mostly analog childhood with a digital adulthood, those As were akin to the heart, the thumbs up, the new notification. They lit up my circuitry, they got me science fair money, they kept me studying so I could keep on getting boosts of dopamine. I was the kid that showed that extrinsic reward systems produce results. I wanted to be the best because I didn’t know there was a better thing to be: helpful.

What I want for my kids is for them to grow up and be helpful. For them to be able to see a problem in the world that needs fixing and be a part of the effort to solve it. Our current methodology in education doesn’t help develop an interest in community. American financial ideology teaches us to rise up on our own, be the best, make the most, take it all, let no one drag you down. Fuck capitalism, and fuck winning. Fuck pitting our children against each other, ourselves in a competition to outsmart the people around us.

It is agonizing for me to have a job that involves me taking money from other humans, but it is even more painful to consider what it would be like to take money from other humans for clothing I didn’t hand make. Sometimes I call this guilt a form of self-sabotage, the guilt that says, “You enjoyed doing that, ergo you don’t deserve to get paid for it.” Sometimes I think, “People need to have clothing options that aren’t sexy-ing their girl babies and numbing their boy babies, I am being helpful.” Other times I think, “I am taking people’s money and what if they now will have to dip into their credit cards to buy dinner?” I make the best small shoes I have come across, but do people really need them, or is buying handmade a luxury and should I be underselling my work to make it more accessible? Am I really good at this because I really care about it, or am I really good at this because that is what I have trained to be?

Right now, Iris says she wants to be an engineer or a surgeon. Part of this is because her other mom is an engineer, and the people Christina works with are surgeons. But she never says, “I want to design clothes like Mommy Tabtab.” She did recently say to her 2-month-old brother, “Felix, do you want to be an engineer, or do you want to make clothes?” Maybe Felix can identify my problem and solve that, take over this little business, expand it to really give kids options outside of compromised fast-fashion, heteronormative babywear.

Whatever they do, just please let it be helpful. I stopped playing my guitar, writing music, working in theatre, doing photoshoots, smiling, I have stopped smiling because smiling isn’t utilitarian. I am crushing myself with the guilt of ruining our planet, contributing to the rise of the plastics industry, not giving enough support to local farmers by growing my own garden, denying myself all creative outlets because they feel useless right now (despite only feeling less terrible from looking at the art of others). It is late at night. Perhaps these feelings are because I am a new parent again, that I am valuing myself less because I am creating less.

Or perhaps these feelings are because I truly feel like my entire formal education system taught me to only think about myself, and now that I have been out of school for years, I can finally see there is a great big world outside of myself and I am just drowning in it.

Goodbye, IRL Shop

Down to Business, Life Outside(ish) BabyTabatha Hansen3 Comments

I had a shop, and then I didn't have a shop. It's been two weeks since we broke up, and it's time I let you know. After all, you were a part of our relationship, too. The most important part. But this breaking up thing, it's not you at all. It was Them. 

Know what we like waaaaay more than being inside? Being outside, around town, at events, at markets, listening to local music, eating food made by our friends, watching kids balloon-swordfight. 

Know what we like waaaaay more than being inside? Being outside, around town, at events, at markets, listening to local music, eating food made by our friends, watching kids balloon-swordfight. 

Call it weakness. That's what I keep calling it. Them. They ruined the relationship, it wasn't me. Kind of a cowardice, isn't it? It is to me, between the moments when I call it courageous. 

So, what happened? That's what some are asking on the voicemail, what some are messaging me about. I packed up and vanished in a night. I was planning on being there for years, but in a handful of hours we vacated, leaving behind a front door of broken glass.

The short story is, that seeing shattered glass for the third time since our lease started broke me, too. There's a much longer story in here about the daily transients who would wander in, some of them aggressive, some of them refusing to leave, some trying to grab items on the way out, all of them requiring that my toddler go hide quietly in the back of the store. The heroin needles in the garden bed outside the door, the occasional person passed out blocking pathways. My dad is an addict, and when he relapsed I'd see him every day, walking down the street. I became more accessible than ever, and I was concerned I was an easy target. I knew I was an easy target. I know. But the short story. 

That senseless violent act against the front door where Iris and I essentially lived forced me to ask myself: what am I doing this for, and does it need to continue in this format? 

I came into the shop two Monday mornings ago to find my front door shattered. Looked like someone shot the door with a BB gun. Our neighbors also had their window broken. I was coming to the shop to grab packaging tape to mail orders. Iris was sleeping in the car. The moment I saw it was the moment I knew I didn't want this to be where I existed most of my waking hours. I don't deserve this. My kid doesn't deserve this. If we were in the shop at four in the morning, if I stayed late, being in that space meant being unsafe. I went to counseling to learn how to set boundaries in my relationships, yet here I was, subjecting myself and my kid to a place where people broke boundaries every week. Where people mumbled at me that I should have money to give them, why don't I have money for them, but not out in the open street with a small safety net of other people; in a small, enclosed space with walls that made every uncomfortable word louder. That senseless violent act against the front door where Iris and I essentially lived forced me to ask myself: what am I doing this for, and does it need to continue in this format? 

We had a sewing studio with a shop in the front. We were in the shop to be able to be a part of a neighborhood we love in a city we love. We wanted a place where people could visit with their babies, where we could design custom shoes and listen to music and sometimes I'd talk politics with customers, talk music, talk about living in our city. We were there to give more structure to our lives, to have our kid be a part of our family business, to get our studio out of the house. All of these reasons shouldn't require our safety as a tradeoff. 



Goodbye, cute shop. We might revisit this again in a different location. We might not. We are, after all, freshly broken up, and it's hard to say if we'll ever get back together. Right now, we've got things to look forward to: 

1. The Downtown Growers' Market! The market season starts in a month. We're going to be bringing all of our stock to Robinson Park on Saturdays. Check out the Events page for the specific dates we will be there. 

2. More work on our Webshop! Since many of our items are one-of-a-kind, it's tricky figuring out how to best list those goods. We're going to figure it out. Maybe a "shop our Instagram" type of thing. We were working upwards of 60 hours a week running the shop, the webshop, and attending markets. Making our internet thing cooler sounds real nice, especially since we will still have human interactions at the DGM. 

3. SO MUCH TIME TO WORK ON ART. I've totally failed to work on expanding my own line. Without all of the hours required in the shop, I'm hoping to reallocate that time to creating. 

4. Again, so many extra hours in the day. Cutting out drive time, moving the toddler from place to place, waking the kid up to drag her sleepy body around. 

If you are a local, use code ABQSHIP for free shipping since we no longer have pickups. When the market season begins, pickups can happen there, but until then, I'll ship it straight to you. Tonight, I'm going to get working on our new canopy design. We're going to make our booth as much as a pop-up shop experience as we can. :) 

Until then, see ya on the internets. 


I have a crush on Kristen Stewart and Other Thoughts that Happen Late at Night

Life Outside(ish) Baby, Living with a Toddler, Pregnancy/BirthTabatha Hansen2 Comments

It's eleven at night, a time that has shifted in purpose over the last few years. Right this moment, I'm claiming it to write about the cache of topics on my brain. I hear that the brain can only prioritize four things, so here are the four that spark the brightest: 

Iris' Toys


It's unbeknownst to me why this is at the top of my priority list. I don't have clear intentions for this thought, what's happening mostly is that my kid has toys that I like a whole lot and I'm thankful to get to be a parent so I can play with her toys. My favorites are her Gameboy, her magnets, the perler bead monsters, and miniature food-shaped toys. 

Having A Second Kid

I'm back to myself, which I didn't realize I didn't have until I went through a solid year of self-loathing at 28. We've been trying to get pregnant for nine months, now, and I've had three miscarriages so far. I might have something living inside my body, I might have something trying to live that's going to die because my uterus shuts the whole thing down. Parts of me wish I kept a pregnancy blog so I could tell the difference between PMS and early pregnancy. Parts of me know I'm not so thick when it comes to my own physiological awareness but I like to pretend I am so I can sit up for hours poring through pregnant lady threads like I haven't been through miscarriages six times before. 

Eventually Screenprinting

I designed a print that says "Binary is for computers." I drew it, I just need to print it. I don't have the money to print it, but spending the money I don't have to buy screenprinting supplies might mean an item I can sell at a lower price point that's speedy to make. It also might mean I am drowning in giving myself more tasks when I want more time and want others to be doing the tasks. I need to write down a three-year plan to move towards manufacturing. I need to give myself a solid hour of creation time every day, it should be in the morning when I'm snuggling Iris. 7AM-8AM? Sounds to me like screenprinting is like making croissants, so I need less vacant hours to schedule in piecing this shit together. I can't bring myself to buy new ink for my printer, so getting myself to get a screenprinting system together is unfathomable. Unless I write it down. Right here. And then fill out my damn planner that I've been avoiding out of terror of progress. 

Help I'm Poor

Oh yeah! This one. End of first year of the shop being open, we made 24,000 but had 23,000 in expenses so this last year we dug pretty far into credit cards because usually I bring in about $5,000 to help with groceries throughout the year. It hurts my head and heart and entire body to consider how much I need to work to be able to make enough money to pay myself minimum wage. All I could think this last year is that I would have been able to pay down an entire credit card if we didn't have the brick-and-mortar. We still have a year and a half on our lease, though, so until then we'll definitely be open. The little shop is the cutest shop. Might transition back into the house afterwards and work solely online and force myself to go out in public to stave off depression, revise our biz model, transform. I am in love with the idea of a family business, but I'm also in love with the idea of having a few kids and homeschooling them and I don't know if I can be a fucking superhero and do that. Iris works at the shop with me every day, but I can't imagine slinging another tiny person to my back and chugging along. Chug. Chug. Ug. 

Woah. New top of the queue items: 

I Have So Many Crushes: Kristen Stewart. I'm super crushing on her right this second. Dreaming of Christian Bale. My own sexuality seems like something I shouldn't have to analyze too much because I am married to a woman, but there it is, all the time, every day. 

I'm An Actor and that's Confusing: Confusing because I am getting alright at working on mini scenes for under-fives and also because I'm moving towards working on things I enjoy and sort of align with me. Except for a Lifetime movie I didn't know I worked on. 

The Farmers' Market and the Shop are both on Saturday: We need to be open Saturdays so I need to have so much goodses. 

I'm Watching Movies and TV Shows Again: Right now The Clouds of Sils Maria. Just finished The Handmaid's Tale. Last December I watched approximately 50 movies for nominating SAG movies. Watched Easy. Black Mirror. 

And next four? 

My brother is still sober! Parenting two siblings: My little brother has 90 days clean today, he is living with us, and I'm fucking thankful he's still around. A few months ago, my sister's boyfriend killed himself with heroin after decades of sobriety (we didn't know he had a past until after his death). I miss him, we spent the last year with him and it's hard for me to enjoy reading Harry Potter news and even thinking politics. He was so fucking smart and bizarre and depressed. This relates to my brother because he was involved with scoring for Adam in the days leading up to Adam's suicide. Drake is here, and I don't know how much guilt he has over Adam's death but I somehow feel responsible simply for not inviting him over to dinner more. Also, my 16-year-old sister is living with us. She dropped out of high school in September and I helped get her enrolled in an online school. She's with us 3-4 days a week working. I had to teach her how to write a 5-paragraph essay, she'd never written an essay before in her life. 

My home is artless: It is, mostly. So many blank walls. Do I create the art? Am I too paralyzed by self-doubt to do anything? yes yes yesy yesyesy esys eys

My hands are guitarless: The calloused parts of my hands are hardened from fabric, not strings. I'm not particularly skilled, but maybe I'm actually not bad or maybe this comes back to the self-doubt thing

I miss making music: It's true. I'm working on singing less off-key. 

Anything left? 

I will not touch my cervix: A thing hard to do when you know your cervix slides up really far in your body the moment you are pregnant but you are trying to not think about pregnancy because you're probably going to miscarry. 

I am crushing on Weird Al today: Crushing on everyone today. Crushing on all my friends, on everyone I see on television. Wanting to kiss every human I interact with. 

Women have mental illness, too: A woman soundlessly mouthed a stream of words at me while shaking all the garments in the shop, unfolded things, hit things, folded things back up, eyeballs making direct contact with my own for a solid five minutes before she walked out. I saw the Octopussy woman at the grocery store a week ago, which confirmed that she is a real living being. She was my first customer. She asked for my name. I responded. I asked for hers. She said, "I go by no name." 

Kristen Stewart is my favorite actress: Tonight, anyway. Am currently crushing on her voice, her subtlety, her face, her eyes. 

Down the list! 

I have a crush on Kristen Stewart: Yea