Kirkwood eco-friendly baby store debuts Southern-themed linePhnewfula Frederiksen opened Happy Mango in Kirkwood in 2016 (Photo courtesy Leff & Associates)
By Patrick Saunders, contributor
Atlanta, GA — Black-owned eco-friendly baby boutique Happy Mango is celebrating Southern food and families this holiday season with its new onesie line.
The Kirkwood shop debuted its Southern Alphabet Series this month, featuring onesies adorned with sayings like “B is for Biscuits & Gravy,” “G is for Grits,” “M is for Mac & Cheese” and “O is for Okra.”
It’s all about how people share love through food, according to Happy Mango owner Phnewfula Frederiksen.
“I cook for everyone,” she told Decaturish. “So when I wanted to come up with an alphabet, food was a no-brainer. Food is made with love. You make your grandma’s peach cobbler or your aunt’s potato salad. That’s how we carry our ancestors’ legacies through.”
Frederiksen got the idea for Happy Mango while living in Los Angeles over a decade ago and not finding the eco-friendly baby products she needed for her newborn son. She started an online store, then had her daughter, decided to quit her career doing promotions in the music business and moved back to Atlanta to be closer to her mother.
“It was a perfect opportunity to quit my job and open up my store,” she said.
Frederiksen opened Happy Mango on Hosea Williams Drive in Kirkwood in 2016. It came out of a passion to protect the environment.
“The footprint of babies is ridiculous,” she said. “Diapers alone, they never disintegrate. Our diapers are still in a landfill somewhere. And they’re babies, their bodies are still growing, so when you put any of these toxic chemicals on them it has a long-lasting effect.”
Happy Mango also has a number of items fit for the holidays, including eco-friendly toys like scooters made of recycled materials, and a line of candles made of coconut and apricot wax for the parents.
Frederiksen also praised Facebook’s new #BuyBlack campaign to highlight Black-owned businesses during the holidays. Facebook created a #BuyBlack gift guide and is encouraging people to tag their favorite Black-owned businesses with the #BuyBlackChallenge hashtag to encourage others to join in and shop.
“I really think it’s important because the conversations we’ve been having around race are great, but the conversation doesn’t do anything without action behind it,” Frederiksen said. “Black businesses just have less resources. The non-Black businesses generally have more advertising money, so in order to make us equal you have to put a spotlight on Black businesses.”
And Frederiksen had nothing but praise for her Kirkwood neighbors.
“Kirkwood is an amazing place to be,” she said. “The feel of Kirkwood I love. It’s great to be in a community where you get to see the children grow up.”
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