I can't believe that after three fabulous rounds, we have now reached the end of The Sakura Bloom Styleathon. Doesn't it feel like it just started? I wish the fun could go on, but alas, the contestants have all worked hard and it is time to announce the winner:
Congratulations, Elizabeth Antonia, of The Littlest!!!!!!
Photo of Elizabeth and daughter Elodie, from her Round 1 Entry, Storytelling
Here are a few words from Lynne Banach, Styleathon Judge and Owner of Sakura Bloom:
I want to congratulate Elizabeth Antonia on her wonderful work in the Styleathon. This event left the judges with an extremely difficult job. With every entry so filled with awesomeness, it was very hard to pick a single winner. But ultimately, Elizabeth, it was you who stood out with the consistency of your voice, the quality of your images and video, and your strong perspectives on babywearing. We were all inspired and touched by your entries, and feel that you perfectly exemplify the ethos of Sakura Bloom. I look forward to collaborating with you on a signature line of slings!
I feel incredibly honored to have had such an outstanding group of women gathered here for the Styleathon. I fell in love with each one of you and your adorable babies and I cannot thank you enough for pouring your amazing creativity and gorgeous energy into this event. Thank you for giving it your all while at the same time supporting each other so beautifully. You are wonderful ambassadors of babywearing!
With so much gratitude and admiration,
Lynne and everyone at Sakura Bloom
As a final Thank You to the Styleathon audience, I would also like to take this opportunity to announce a very special surprise: starting now, Sakura Bloom is offering a sample sale featuring many one-of-a-kind slings and some of the beautiful slings seen during the Styleathon! Quantities are extremely limited, so hop over there while the gettin's good ;)
In case you missed it, here are Elizabeth's entries:
Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3
And a reminder of what the Grand Prize package includes:
- The iPad 2, in winner's choice of color
- A collaboration with Lynne Banach, Owner of Sakura Bloom, designing a signature collection of slings (a portion of the proceeds from the line will go to the winning blogger's charity of choice)
- Custom portrait of winner and baby in a Sakura Bloom sling, by Samantha Hahn
- Custom Marla Cielo handbag designed exclusively for the Styleathon winner by Andrea Tobin.
- $250 gift certificate to Lilla P and personalized shopping spree with the Owner and Creative Director of Lilla P, Pauline Nakios
- A pair of frames from Selima Optique, chosen for the winner by Selima Salaun, herself
The participants in the Styleathon went to this beautiful, spiritual place that I never expected -- writing about their respective parenting journeys, how their children have changed their lives, and how their identities as women have been transformed by motherhood. They did all of this with humor and grace and style for days, submitting photos and videos that made me laugh and made me cry and inspired me anew to cherish every moment I have with my kids.
The other thing that surprised and delighted me during the Styleathon was the genuine sense of fun that came through in each post. From Danielle's adorable documentary of baby Henry's first baseball game, to "Miss" James' and Gemma Bird's rainy-day romp, to Natalie's taking New York City by storm with Huck in a sling, to Melisa's warm and love-filled day-in-the-life with Blake and Devon, to Jen's picturesque strolls with Rowan, to Aura's life-embracing ode to adventure with Elodie. Each woman presented such a strong sense of humor and joy that added so much to the Styleathon.
From a style standpoint, the biggest thing I learned from these women is the ultimate power of being YOURSELF. It's about confidence, about knowing yourself and respecting yourself. I loved seeing the different fashion sensibilities of the Styleathon mamas. I loved seeing that in a field of very diverse expressions of flair, the common thread was a gorgeous radiance borne of self-confidence and strength.
I have also been moved by the response of the Styleathon readership. Thank you so much for taking the time to soak up the posts and leave such lovely, enthusiastic, and supportive comments. I am thrilled that so many of you seem to have been inspired by this event to babywear or try a ring sling. I can't imagine being a parent without the aid of wonderful baby carriers, so to be able to share that passion with the world makes me very very happy.