I have always had a soft spot in my heart for brands that giveback, so when I had the opportunity to collaborate with this AMAZING brand & Family I jumped at the opportunity. We loved Gells belts and hats in our family long before I started blogging; they are adorable, fit great, and stand up to our lil’ boys. Read on for my interview with Ashley and to learn more about this cause based company!image1

Our family loves Gells, I’d love to learn more about the company and your goals?

We are trying to create a lifestyle brand for the entire family. Our products are classic in look with quality construction, and our apparel is durable, fun and practical; tested by even the most junior members of our family. With every Gells product sold, we have “gelled” our inherent commitment to philanthropy by supporting charitable organizations that we have a personal connection with.  In addition, we donate products, participate in key events and collaborate with the charities on social media.

We initially launched with an adult belt but quickly saw an opening in the children’s market, so we added kid’s sizes with playful designs.  We stock 5 core designs: anchor, lightning bolt, jolly roger (pirate flag), lobster, and a whale fin (inspired by one of our Partner Charities!)  We frequently have limited edition and seasonal designs too!AnchorLightning Boltskull and cross bonesGells Belts in TinsWe also offer monogramming and design custom belts for corporations and youth sports teams. We really enjoyed working with Yellow Turtle in Stowe Vermont to make custom VT Belts! They are an adorable accessory that does their job in keeping little ones pants in place! IMG_2199Where did your idea come from?

We wanted to collaborate on a product that would be fun and practical, and provide us with a platform to raise awareness for organizations we already had a connection with.  With my husband’s background in the business world and mine in the accessories and beauty space, we agreed that a belt would be the right fit because it’s a staple in everyone’s wardrobe.  Furthermore, we could have some fun with the belt colors!

How do you pick your charities?

Everyone has causes that are close to their heart and we are no different.  We selected charities that have touched our families and our community.  We have been so lucky to work with these 5 – it’s what makes this whole venture worthwhile and fulfilling.  We want people to “Feel Good About Their Look” by buying something that looks good, and feels good because you are supporting deserving causes.

  • Arthritis National Research Foundation : We have friends and family who have dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other forms of this debilitating condition – we need more research.
  • National Canine Cancer Foundation : Our company mascot, “Can-Can”, lost her battle to canine cancer at a young age – we are in the fight to find a cure!
  • Breast Cancer Alliance : We have immediate family who have been diagnosed (and survived!) breast cancer. Treatments have come a long way but there is still work to be done.
  • Thanks USA : We each had Grandfathers who served our country – we can’t forget about all of those who are the real heroes.
  • Blue Ocean Society : The Beach is one of our favorite places to spend the day as a family. Of course we are going to do what we can to keep the beaches and oceans clean.IMG_5941

How do you juggle being a mom and running a business?

It’s all about balance and multi-tasking!  I have some dedicated time at my desk every week and am working on social media and store visits daily.  I find inspiration for our products through daily life with the kids and being in coastal Connecticut (hence all the nautical designs!).  That said, there are times I am visiting stores to drop off belts and the boys are running around …I just try to laugh and embrace the crazy! ALP_9992What is next for Gells?

We just launched a redesigned website and have a new line of hats, with t-shirts coming soon.  Belts will always be our core product but we’d love to be a lifestyle brand with products for the whole family.  People often forget that we do have adult sizes!IMG_5946Bonus question: As a Mom of two lil boys do you have tips for other Boy Moms on how you manage the boundless energy?

They do have boundless energy!! It’s incredible.  I always need to have a plan for the day with at least one activity out of the house!  Staying at home or indoors is not an option.  The winters can be tough but we try to spend as much time outdoors as the weather permits. Walking on the beach or the golf course are favorites! The boys love sports, so there’s a lot of that going on too.Stowe Belts 2

If you love these adorable Belts and hats as much as our family please use the code LILVT for 20% off at www.gells.org Giveback and treat your family to a belt & hat of your own. For my local Stowe friends, you can check out these belts at our very own Yellow Turtle and receive the same 20% off discount when you mention this LilVT Blog Post.

Posted by:lilvermontadventures

As a working mother of two 'lil boys I am experienced in the work/life juggle, and fluent in construction vehicles. After a decade in Boston at New Balance, we moved to Vermont where I lead a portfolio of strategic coffee partners at Keurig. I cannot wait to share our outdoor adventures in Vermont sprinkled with some fun lessons in work/life integration, taking care of yourself, organization, and being a boy Mom.

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