Much.Most.Darling.: Monday Introductions // Deck & Oar + Giveaway!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Introductions // Deck & Oar + Giveaway!

H: Tee // Leggings + Mama: Tee // Leggings

I found Deck and Oar on Instagram almost 6 months ago and fell in love with Nyssa's "Barefoot Breastfeeding Momma" tank. I have not been shy about my passion for breastfeeding as long as was right for H and myself, and everything about the shirt gave me literal heart eyes. After a few weeks, I finally got up enough courage to reach out to Nyssa about doing a collaboration together, because I knew I had to feature Deck & Oar for Monday Introductions.

Every time I would scroll past a picture of one of her sweet kid's tees or beautiful mama tops, it would instantly make me feel happy. Being a 'momma' has been one of the biggest blessings I've been fortunate enough to experience, and breastfeeding has been a huge part of that. The fact that time slows for a few sweet moments when he would come over to snuggle and nurse, and he would look into my eyes and hold my hands as his belly filled - I will forever hold those moments near and dear to my heart.

Deck & Oar's "Barefoot Breastfeeding Momma" muscle tank is screen printed with non-toxic, water based ink, and is so incredibly soft - the perfect mix for soft nursing cuddles. Our 645 days may be over, unfortunately, but that doesn't change who I am and how much this shirt resonates with me. 

Nyssa has so many wonderful shirts in her shop, and I knew I had to get one for H as well. The long sleeve Barnacle Baby onesie in the mint color jumped out at me from first glance, because that's exactly what my sweet toddler was when he was a baby (and still is as a toddler!). Its part of why babywearing was (and is) such a huge part of our lives as well - he needed to be carried constantly when he was a newborn, and I often joked that he was like a barnacle clinging to his lifeboat. I got a lot of flack for holding and 'coddling' him as much as I did, but once again I have no regrets, as he now rarely slows down long enough for me to get in any real snuggles anymore.

His tee that I chose, the Be My Friend Toddler Tee, however, fits him and his personality so perfectly right now. He loves everyone he meets and is totally 'that kid' at the playground - the who tries to join in with all the other kiddos, even when they are years older than him. I love that he is so outgoing and caring and affectionate, and I love that his tee reflects that part of him.

Nyssa, the creator of Deck & Oar, is a stay at home wife and mother, registered therapeutic horseback riding instructor and small business owner. Nyssa, her husband, John, and their sweet almost 11 month old daughter call the East Coast home but currently live on the California coast. She is passionate about minimalistic living, and, to my awe and admiration, the three of them liv in an 800 sq. ft, one bedroom apartment! Living on the coast, they enjoy combing the beach whenever they can, and none of them would never turn down sourdough bread (I can't blame 'em!)!

Before she became pregnant with her daughter, Nyssa worked as an assistant barn manager. Horses are definitely a love of hers and it was a struggle to come to terms with her morning sickness. However, as the babe grew, so did her love for my her role. She stepped out of the assistant barn manager position and into a new one as a stay at home mom! John and Nyssa both grew up with their mothers at home and they were thrilled to have the recourses to provide the same to their daughter. At the same time though, Nyssa felt a need to have something unique to myself... other than milk stained shirts! With her background in Fine Art, she directed her attention to in-home art and eventually landed on screen printing. Nyssa says that growing this business alongside my growing daughter has been a complete joy!

Fashion was never been a huge interest of hers, and in fact Nyssa's sisters ragged on her for years for her go-to jeans and men's t-shirts. Her wardrobe's slogan is "Simple Comfort", and is why she takes extra care to ensure that the clothing she sells is soft, easily layered, flattering, and something you can feel at home in (and I can promise you both mine and H's tees are so incredibly soft and comfortable, and I wear mine to sleep in often because it feels so nice against my skin!). Nyssa believes that having not only soft and comfortable, but also organic, ethically made clothing and toys meant to last help to make her feel like she has a good deck to stand on. Something to believe in. She wants to provide that same feeling to other mothers; to empower them in their role. And thus, Deck & Oar was born!

I love her story of how she came up with her brand name of Deck & Oar:
"When my husband and I were first dating long distance, we would travel to different parts of the US for "date weekends". On one such trip to Virginia, we were out exploring antique shops and happened across a pair of wooden boat oars. Grey, weathered to a patina perfection, the pair stands in our one bedroom apartment that has made room for diapers and tiny toes. It reminds us of the adventures we had that kindled the love that created our family. As parents, and as a family that moves quite often, our "deck", our place to stand on to raise our family, has to be created within. Our home has no particular walls, no familiar rooms, just what we place in it to call it ours.

Their faith is their driving force. Nyssa shared a moment with me where she felt very connected with her fellow mothers - a few weekends ago, she was standing in the back of their home Church desperately swaying her (at the moment very loud) daughter back and forth, but she wasn't the only one! No, there were other tired mommas there too. They all exchanged those all knowing glances and nods that I myself have become familiar with, especially during H's playgroup meet-ups. Each of those women inspire Nyssa, and she is so thankful for her fellow mommas for all the times that their prayers are their loving actions.

Nyssa and her husband and sit down over morning coffee every day and talk about their "hidden agenda". Their agendas may include that Nyssa has 20 shirts to screen print or John has a lengthy paper to write, but by openly communicating their goals for the day, there are no surprises! If and when they agree on reasonable goals, both she and her husband can help each other achieve them, and so far it is working out really well for them! Nap time is also 'golden' and when she is able to get a lot done!

When her sweet daughter is up and awake, she is so active and eager to learn it can be hard to keep up with her, and Nyssa frequently takes her to the beach, library, park, and aquarium to explore. However, one of her favorite things to do with her daughter is to take her on Chipotle runs. They can easily waste an hour there while Nyssa eats a rice bowl and her daughter eats all the guacamole -  a little foodie in the making!

Nyssa acknowledges that "being a momma isn't just about breastfeeding" and so her next few designs will be in support of other phases of motherhood, and she may or may not have dropped some serious hints at a line of baby toys - I am so excited to see more from Deck & Oar (and Nyssa!) soon! One of the new designs will be exclusive to the Papillon de Fer Baby Boutique, so make sure you follow along with Deck & Oar on both their store account @deckandoar, as well as Nyssa's personal account @deckandoarlifestyle, to keep up to date with the releases!

AND, because Nyssa is such a wonderful and generous person, she has graciously offered to giveaway a $24 store credit to one of you! With prices ranging from $16 - $24 for baby, toddler, and mama clothing, you're sure to find something perfect for your family!


  1. I loved reading this post. I feel like we're on such similar paths, being from the east coast, now living in California with young kids, after a long-distance relationship and we both started sustainable children's lines. Best of luck to you- I look forward to following along on your journey! Rachel Schohn

    1. Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for your support. I would love to hear more about your products! It's always nice to meet fellow mommas on the same journey. Warmly, Nyssa

  2. How lovely! Your pictures of your little one is so sweet.

  3. What a wonderful company! I always love hearing about the people behind the products. :)

    1. Nyssa is the SWEETEST mama I've 'met' in a very long time :)

    2. Aw thank you, Shannon! You've been a joy to work with.


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