Babies in Black: Olive + bo creator sews accessories for little ones that break the rules

When pregnant with her daughter Olive in 2009, Lori Thomson quickly became tired of seeing blues for boys and pinks for girls in baby accessories. So she created olive + bo, an Etsy craft store that sells cotton rattle toys, quirky quilts, whimsical mobiles and gifts.

“I’ve always sewn my whole life,” Thomson says. The Lansdale, Pa., resident started with baby blankets and took a quilting class. Before long, she was creating unique, handmade items that reflected her take on the modern baby—like her black and gray skull quilt and gender-neutral yellow and gray pillow. 

The “bo” part of the moniker comes from her Welsh terrier, Bo, and Thomson adds that she plans on selling dog items, too.
While Thomson says her Etsy shop does well, she tends to sell more at craft fairs, such as the Go West! Craft Fest, because buyers can feel the quality of her products. She uses natural materials for her wares—easily washable cotton and wool blends for her kid duds and quilts, wood that she cuts and stains herself, and hemp and canvas for the mobiles. So, it's perfect if you're looking to wow a mom-to-be with an unconventional baby gift. 

“When people don’t want flowers and butterflies, they come to me,” she says, laughing.

To learn more about olive + bo, visit etsy.com/shop/oliveandbo