Do you ever play the game of „People Watching“? Looking at the strangers around you and wondering who they are? Where are they going? What is their story?
I used to sit in the back seat of my parents’ car and watch the cars go by. In total aw, stuck in daydreams, I would think up the most interesting stories about the people in the next car waiting at the red light with us. For a short moment I would slide into a separate colorful world, completely different than mine.
Isn’t it amazing how many people are in this world? Each with their own background. Their own life. Their own world. Their own story.
That’s what it like for me still. I often ponder on who it is, that ordered the products as I carefully package them up and send them on their way, to make a child out there in the great big world happy. I like to imagine the family, enjoying the music they make with our instruments. The pictures being hung up by grandma, drawn with our crayons. The doll being gently put into bed and sung a lullaby by its mama. Oh the joy and fulfillment we are able to supply thousands of families and children with our products. It make some so happy!
Today I want to give you a glimpse of the people who’ve spent endless hours, days, months screening suppliers and choosing the high quality, imagination encouraging, and soul nurturing items found at Acorns & Twigs. The family behind Acorns & Twigs. The parents of four children who personally placed all your items into the box you will soon open. Let’s make this world a bit smaller.
Hi! I’m Jenn and together with my husband Gerhard and with a little bit of help from our children we run Acorns and Twigs in America’s heartland on a small acreage in Iowa.
I was born and raised in Iowa. As a high school graduation present from my parents, I went on a vacation to my Oma and Opa’s house in Germany for a three month summer vacation. I was very lucky because in the same house as my grandparents lived another family with two daughters around my age. Very quickly I meet their whole circle of friends, including my future husband, Gerhard.
After about two weeks of getting to know each other, we were engaged! Our plan was for me to go back to Iowa, go to college for two years, and when I was finished, move to Germany. But of course it didn’t work out that way. I just couldn’t wait two whole years to spend the rest of my life with him.
January 2004, I flew to Germany to be with him forever.
I got started right away, learning German and took up a dual apprenticeship as an industrial sales clerk, meaning three years of part time vocational business college and part time practical work at a large automotive safety systems company.
In the mean time we had married and after my first year of work with my degree in my pocket, we were expecting our first child and it was clear to us, I would be home caring for our baby. That summer I started up an English School for Children to work from home.
Gerhard and I wanted to take a birthing class for partners and we called every midwife in our area, with little success. What we did find, though, and quite by accident, was a wonderful midwife that opened a new door for us, by simply asking one simple question: “Could you imagine giving birth in your home?” This was the question that changed our lives.
Our Midwife suggested some wonderful books, which I just soaked right up (informational books are my weakness) and we just kept rolling into new topics and ideas. Cloth diapers, Baby Wearing, Attachment Parenting, Baby Led Weaning, Family Bed to name a few. I was in my element!!
Six months after Amy was born we joined a local Emmi Pikler play group, recommended to us by a friend. And again another door was opened to us. What a journey the teacher took us on! I learned so much! Topics regarding appropriate clothing, toys, nutrition, limits and consequences, mindfulness and awareness for babies and toddlers were discussed in small peaceful groups of parents lead by the teacher two evenings per semester.
As Amy turned 1 1/2 years old, we moved into the next play group age and took part in the same teacher’s forest play group.
Five years and another three children later, I was somehow constantly in either the baby play group or the toddler forest group, or in both. I ended up accompanying as a co-teacher and giving my experienced mother tips to other new moms.
At the age of three and a half, our oldest children both went to a Waldorf Kindergarten nearby and we were taken into the community very warmly, and yet again another door opened for our family. I took over the organization of our annual Fall Bazar and offered weekly crafting evenings.
As it came time for us to consider our school options for our oldest child, and after reading A TON of books on the topic we came to the conclusion that Unschooling and Waldorf Home Education were the only options for us. Unfortunately Germany does not allow homeschooling. Attendance in a government approved school setting is mandatory. No exceptions. That became our biggest dilemma.
After lots of consideration and meditation, Gerhard and I decided it was best for our family to sell the house, quit our jobs, pack our bags and move back to my home state Iowa, before Amy was forced to go to a German school.
And so here we are!
Our dream is to provide other families with the things we have grown to love. Most of our products are items that we personally own as well, and truly recommend from the bottom of our hearts. Things that we discovered, hidden behind all these doors that were opened for us. We hope to open some doors for other families and provide them with nurturing, imaginative, natural products.
So when you open your next package from Acorns and Twigs, please remember that it was me who prepared it just for you. There are no employees here. Just my husband and me running our small family business, between diaper changing, grocery shopping, animal feeding, and homeschooling. It was me daydreaming about you, wondering who you are, where you are going, imagining your story.