Mother Essentials: Annie Messing, Mom of 4 & Founder of Brimful

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
11:00 am
02/24/21
Mother of four Annie Messing certainly has her hands full. But, as she explains it, it’s all by design. A military spouse (currently based in Germany) and mom to Evangeline, 14, Ephraim, 12, Tikvah, 9, and Shiloh, 6, she added online entrepreneur to her résumé 8 years ago when she launched Brimful, a thoughtfully curated toy shop for kids. “In my first year of becoming a mother, I quickly realized that I missed the stimulation of my day job as an event planner, but also as a military spouse, would have a difficult time finding a job that I could sink my teeth into with the constant movement of military life,” Annie explains. “By the time my third child was born, I dreamed up the idea of having my own online business. I wanted it to be a shop that could stay as small as I needed it to be while raising my children, but also something that I could call my own, apart from motherhood.” Mission accomplished! A proud supporter of small brands, authors, and artisans that are making the world a more beautiful and imaginative place, it’s no wonder Annie’s Mother Essentials list is filled with delight.

Phenomenally Asian T-Shirt. “I bought this T-shirt a few years ago and adore it so much. Especially right now when there’s been an uptick in violence against Asians, I am so proud to support a brand that is fighting racism.” Phenomenally Asian T-Shirt, $35, Phenomenal.

Watercolor Pencils. “These vibrant watercolor pencils are excellent, and my four children love how they can be used dry or wet.” Derwent Watercolor Pencils (12 Count), $27, Michael’s.

Iron + Vitamin C. “After years of struggling with anemia, I now religiously take iron and vitamin C every day. What a difference it has made!”

Flip and Tumble. “For groceries, library books, PE clothes, and everything in-between, my family uses these reusable bags every day. They roll up into little balls and are just so cute and functional!” Flip and Tumble Bags, $4 and up, Flip and Tumble.

A Great Book. “I like to trade off between fiction and non-fiction. Right now I’m reading James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.” The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin, $12.83, Bookshop.

Ginger Chews. “A little bit spicy and a little bit sweet, these ginger chews hit the spot when there’s a sugar craving.” Prince of Peace Ginger Chews Candy (3-Pack), $13.49, Amazon.

White Flower Oil. “This potent little bottle of oil is very popular in Asia and probably found in most Asian homes. My grandmother (PoPo) always kept one in her purse and the smell always reminds me of her. Whenever my kids get an insect bite or are feeling a bit under the weather, they come running for a dab of ‘Bai Hua You,’ which means White Flower Oil in Chinese.” White Flower External Analgesic Balm Oil, $13.50, Amazon.

Basket Tote. “This tote is just the right size for carrying all my stuff without being bulky. Added perk, I feel like I fit right in when walking around our quaint German farming town.” Everyday French Market Basket, $62, Homesong Market.

Wooden Animals. “My younger two children spend many happy hours making up imaginary scenes with these beautiful wooden animals from France.” Wooden Animals, $8 and up, Brimful.

Face Masks for Kids. “4 kids x 5 days of school = 20 masks washed. These have held up so well and are adjustable around the ears.” Lululuvs Face Mask, $20, Lululuvs.

Go-To Podcasts. “I love listening to podcasts while I run. Code Switch and Unlocking Us by Brené Brown have consistently stayed in my top favorites.”

1,000 Piece Puzzles. “Like many people who’ve been staying home during the pandemic, I have really gotten into puzzles. The 1,000-piece ones from Galison and Eeboo have fantastic art.” Bookclub! Puzzle, $16.99, Carolyn Suzuki x Galison.

Earrings. “These are my go-to earrings and I love that they add a bit of edginess to an outfit.” Hammered Triangle Threader Earrings, $30, Brimful.

Bolga Basket. “For holding toys, collecting bits and bobs from around the house, and (of course) Easter eggs, this mid-sized bolga basket is just the thing.” Petite Bolga Basket, $30, Brimful.

Lavender Salve. “For chapped lips or a scrape, I’ve been using this lovely lavender salve from New Mexico for over a decade. It smells so good!” Los Poblanos Lavender Lip Salve, $6, Los Poblanos Farmshop.

Sleep. “More than anything else I can do for myself, in terms of self-care, getting the right amount of rest is essential!”

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencer Joanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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1 comment

Emily Levitt

Thanks for including eeBoo puzzles in your review! Had to leave a comment because I am also currently reading James Baldwin The Fire Next Time.

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