Fairly Sage Offers Natural Fun for Kids

by | Dec 2023

Michael and Elissa Lynch with their children, Sage and Mason.

Michael and Elissa Lynch with their children, Sage and Mason. Photos: Chris Emeott

One Minnetonka mom offers nontoxic, eco-friendly products for babies and kids in her online shop.

Elissa and Michael Lynch both grew up in Minnetonka, graduating from Hopkins and Minnetonka high schools, respectively, and knew it was where they wanted to raise their own family. “We moved back home in 2014,” Elissa says. “It’s great to be locals.” Now, with two boys—Sage, 4, and Mason, 2—they are busy with all that comes with parenting young children.

In the summer of 2022, Elissa decided to turn her mom-expertise into a business—one that would offer hand-picked products that are safer for babies, kids and parents. That September, she launched her online boutique, Fairly Sage. It features clothing, toys, blankets, nursery décor and other items for babies and kids, all with a focus on materials that are nontoxic and environmentally friendly. “Our goal is to only consider items that are as close to low tox and chemical-free as possible,” she says. “Since we’re parents ourselves, we care about what children are exposed to, and their health matters to us.”

Fairly Sage Toys for Kids

Elissa noticed the increased research and media attention that’s shining a spotlight on toxic substances in everyday products. Flame retardants, phthalates, PFAs and other chemicals appear in countless household products and are said to disrupt endocrine systems and have other physiological effects. When she’s curating products for Fairly Sage, Elissa says she always asks about materials. “There are a lot of dyes that are really toxic to your hormone system,” she says. “I ask about ingredients and shelf life for things like baby wash—usually a product that lasts three or four years probably has a preservative that I’m not going to love.” She also stocks fragrance-free products and those that have a small environmental footprint. She says, “If things are being shipped all over the world, that’s not very fair to the environment.”

That’s the genesis of the boutique’s name, too. “Fairly” refers to products that are “fair to nature and to our kids,” Elissa says. “Sage” is an homage to her oldest son. “Kids don’t get a say in what we’re dressing them in or using in the home. Anything I can do to prevent chemical exposure, dye exposure—that’s what’s going to be fair,” she says.

If running an online shop isn’t enough, Elissa is also busy with a cause close to her heart. “I was a fellow with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation from 2018 until 2020,” she says. “The fellows represent veteran and military caregivers. We advocate for them.” Her husband, Michael, is a U.S. Army veteran, who was injured in Afghanistan in 2013. “Ever since then, I’ve been caretaking for him,” she says. Serendipity connected her to former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, whom she now considers a dear friend. “My father-in-law worked for a limo service, and he met Dole while driving her,” Elissa says. Dole told him about the foundation, and the rest is history. Elissa travels to Washington, D.C., almost every year to advocate for veterans and their caregivers and works with Hidden Heroes, an online community that offers support and resources to caregivers.

Child-Friendly Gifting

Holiday shopping for little ones can be really fun, but if you’re overwhelmed by options for your tiniest giftees, Elissa says it helps to focus on a few versatile, heirloom-quality items that will last through the baby years and even beyond. Here are a few of her Fairly Sage picks this season:

  • Organic Footie Pajamas. “I think every parent appreciates when pajamas have zippers!” Elissa says. These cozy jammies transition perfectly to daytime play, too.
  • Wooden Spelling Box. “My 4-year-old, Sage, loves this,” she says. The box features flashcards and alphabet blocks for spelling simple words.
  • Magnetic Tangrams. Elissa’s toddler, Mason, uses this magnetic set in the car. “It’s super nice that it’s not electronic for travel,” she says.
  • Wooden Swing. This sweet, handmade swing can be easily installed in a toddler’s room for gross-motor play. (And it’s adorable!)

Fairly Sage
Facebook: Fairly Sage – Organic Baby + Kids
Instagram: @fairly.sage
Pinterest: FAIRLY SAGE – Baby + Kids


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