We are all born with the same physical assets: feet, legs, arms, hands, head, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hair, teeth, nails and skin! What sets us apart are the unique differences of each of these assets. Whether your hair is long, short, dark, light, curly or straight - it is yours and you can cut, color or style it however you choose to express your individuality! Many of us can be identified by friends and family simply by looking at our eyes, whether it's the shape, color or expression. Same with our smile - we each have unique shaped lips and teeth that make up the beauty of our faces. We spend many hours and lots of money on these fantastic features. Dentists, orthodontists, estheticians, dermatologists, cosmetologists and hair stylists are probably listed as favorites on our contact lists. Add to that the products we use to protect, preserve and enhance these features, and the list gets longer. All this, and we haven't delved into the professionals we visit and products we use to keep our bodies looking and feeling their best!
If you are familiar with Walking Cradles, you already know that our main mission is to provide women with properly fitting shoes. By wearing shoes that fit your foot size AND width, you might prevent painful trips to a podiatrist. Comfort is also important, and we pride ourselves on our Tiny Pillows that offer little cushioned pillows of comfort that are truly heaven for the feet! We are fortunate that our designer, Jamie Wells, takes a tremendous amount of time, thought and talent to also adopt current trends into the footwear she designs so our shoes don't fall into the traditional stereotype of "comfort shoes." In doing so, we are helping younger women avoid the pain and frustration resulting from wearing ill-fitting shoes, but also offering women who have foot problems a stylish and comfortable option. Ultimately our goal is to help women avoid foot problems with our shoes that fit the bill of fit, comfort and fashion!
WHEN LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE COME TOGETHER
A couple years ago, I met Lisa Selwitz, the CEO of Lily Lark Sun Parasols. Lisa is a vibrant, instantly-likable lovely artist and I was immediately drawn to her sweet personality (and amazing curly hair)! After chatting with her and finding how her creative path led her to launch Lily-Lark sun parasols, I was completely in awe of her drive to start this company and bring a different level of sun protection to women in the United States.
Sketch of Lisa Selwitz by artist Anne M. Bray
While strolling around a sculpture garden one day with my aunt, noticing her lovely Asian parasol, I had my aha moment! I was going to make something wonderful that would speak to today’s contemporary women of all races. After 24 months of researching and sourcing manufacturers in Asia, prototyping in the US and abroad, finding gorgeous prints and tweaking all the details, I’m proud to present our UV Lily-Lark sun parasols to you. I hope you’ll find great joy in using them to stay your beautiful and healthy self!
SUN PROTECTION AND LILY LARK
Lisa and I discussed a fun collaboration between Walking Cradles and Lily Lark, as both companies strive to help protect our important assets! We believe that taking care of our bodies - whether as prevention or in response to issues that have already occurred - is of the utmost importance, so this was a perfect match!
As important as it is to have shoes that support your feet and also look pretty, we feel the same priorities are important in a Lily-Lark sun parasol. It must support you in being protected from the sun and also be a beautiful accessory as well.
Lily-Lark is made with a rating of UPF 50+. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It’s the equivalent of SPF, but for fabric. The UPF number indicates what fraction of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clothes, hats, fabric, and parasols. A rating of 50+ will protect the user from over 98% of the sun’s UV rays, which is the highest rating that exists. Using a sun parasol can be a great barrier against the sun, and it won’t lose effectiveness like a sunscreen can when it wears off or passes its expiration date.
We don’t denigrate all sunscreens, and in fact, we should use them in addition to carrying a Lily-Lark sun parasol. But some sunscreens are harmful to the environment and can destroy reefs, and some have carcinogenic ingredients in them. In addition, you need to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you’re in the sun for it to be fully absorbed and working. Opening a parasol allows you to have immediate protection from the sun, and is completely safe to you and the environment.
Another great thing about carrying a Lily-Lark is that you’re bringing your shade with you. This is especially helpful when you’re on the go. It’s certainly nice to sit under an umbrella at the beach or on a patio, but if you’re walking around, it’s another way to protect yourself from the sun and feel cooler at the same time. Best, of all, unlike a hat, you never get hat hair!
While Lily-Lark parasols offer over 98% UV protection, the designs are a work of art. Handcrafted by a team of artisans in Southeast Asia, the inner construction of a Lily-Lark parasol is a centuries-old bamboo configuration, with canopies that are printed with fine art, collected from artists spanning the globe. New York Magazine dubbed them ‘The Tesla of Sun Parasols’.
To learn more, go to www.lily-lark.com.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN LILY-LARK AND WALKING CRADLES CAME TOGETHER!
Always colorful and inspiring, Jodie Filogomo with Jodie's Touch of Style, paired her Lily Lark Sun Parasol with Walking Cradles Orleans Tie-Dye sneakers (post/photos not sponsored by either company). We love that Jodie chose our two companies to feature - not only are we both promoting taking care of precious personal assets, but we love how the shoes and the parasol complement each other!
BLOWN AWAY BY KINDNESS
We all know that running a small business is a lot of work - especially one that involves the production of intricate items such as these sun parasols. These functional works-of-art are not only helpful in blocking harmful rays from the sun, but they are so beautiful! Lisa Selwitz' artistic talents definitely shine bright with each stunning fabric and handcrafted parasol.
I have a personal story about Lisa's kindness that I want to share. Last year, my mom found out she had a spot of skin cancer on her scalp that would require two surgeries - one to remove it and one to graft skin to her scalp, as the area was about the size of a quarter. Via social media, I asked that people keep my mom in their prayers.
Lisa read this and gifted a parasol to my mom! We were both completely blown away by her kindness. Her note was so compassionate, which added to the gratitude we both felt. In her note to my mom she said, "... the parasol will protect you from over 98% of the sun's UV rays. I hope you are able to stay safe! If it was my mother, I would want someone to help her out with this, as well. Here's to your continued recovery." Wow, WOW! - that's all I've got (well, and emotional tears, too).
My mom loaned me her Blue Squares parasol for a recent photoshoot that we had in St. Louis Forest Park featuring the Lydia sandal (image appears earlier in this story) and St. Louis Children's Hospital, where our model Bethany is a Pediatric Optometrist - featured below with the Delta Slip-On Sneaker in Soft Silver.
There are so many things I love about being the Creative Director for Walking Cradles. By far, the most rewarding is the opportunity to meet so many fabulous people! In a world where we hear so much about hate, violence and disruption, it is still evident that there is so much good and so many great people!
As a small company, Walking Cradles supports other small companies and we are extremely proud to have the opportunity to work with Lisa and Lily-Lark Sun Parasols. We hope you have the chance to visit the Lily-Lark website and make a valuable and beautiful purchase of a sun parasol, too! All of our assets deserve to be beautifully protected and cared for!
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