Exclusive Exclusive Interview Interview with with our our Favorite Favorite Petunia’s Petunia’s
Owl Always Love You.
At Home with Layla Grayce
10 Years of Petunia Pickle Bottom
Welcome to the Winter Issue
By Gemma Booker From the world stage to backstage at the shows or in the office, if there's one thing that every person of style knows, it's that fashion cannot exist in a vacuum. Style is in each and every one of us, as people, as parents and as entrepreneurs. That's why child Style is focusing on the people who make the juvenile industry one of the most amazing, innovative niches to work in, we have brought you some amazinginterviews from local celebrities to legends in the making. It is our hope that reading these stories will give you the inspiration to take your company to the next level and follow your dreams. For us it's only the first act, I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring for child Style Magazine and for you. Thank you to all our subscribers and fans! We hope you enjoy the new format, and we would appreciate any feedback about it and/or the content. We also would appreciate any suggestions regarding topics you would like covered. Enjoy the issue !
G emma Booker
Editor-In-Chief Gemma Touchstone
Advertising Manager Jennifer Carey
Contributing Editors Brandon Windsor Nicole DeLoach Contributors Jeanette Dianda
Photography Gina Lee
Graphics Darren McGuire
Publisher I Booker Media
Dashin' Fashion talk about the power of the internet.
Layla Grayce shares the secrets of being a popular online store
Happy Anniversary! A decade of Petunia Pickle Bottom
Meet our featured photographer Gina Lee
We share our Rockinâ€™ finds for your little Rockinâ€™ Rebels.
The Launch of Jayneoni Moore New York
Owl always love you Etsy special
Back 2 School fashion for every budget.
WHAM (work at home mom) and designer of One Posh Kid
Child Style shares the best of times and products from 2009.
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CHILD STYLE: In creating Jayneoni Moore New York, what is the most exciting part for you? Jayneoni Moore: This has been my dream, and the most exciting part for me has been seeing my little girl in my designs and seeing so much of her and her personality in my designs. It is also such an honor for me to meet other moms and hear their compliments and feedback. I feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside, when I hear a mom say she loves the collection or that she is excited for her little one to wear my clothing, it makes me say ok mission complete!
CS: As a new designer, the most valuable pieces of advice you would share with someone starting out? JM: I think the biggest piece of advice I received was to know your vision, understand your point of view and stay true to that. CS: You own a popular marketing company, How does it feel to launch your own clothing line? JM: I have had my marketing company now for a little over 5 years now, but fashion has always been a big passion of mine and I actually designated my first children's collection about 10 years ago but I was so young and the timing wasn't right. Once my daughter was born I knew it was something I had to do now for she and I. it is a feeling I can't describe seeing my collection in stores and on tiny models - I am over the moon right now! CS: Do you think your line represents your individual style and why? JM: I am a true fashion girl, I love beautiful fabrics, mixing prints, bows, strong structured pieces with classic cuts and all of this is well represented in my line. I have always dressed my daughter as a mini version of me, I didnâ€™t ever want her dressed in teddy bears or as a princess. CS: What would you most like our readers to know about Jayneoni Moore New York? JM: Jayneoni Moore New York is made out of a mother's love for her daughter, I make clothes that make me smile when my daughter wears them and I love the idea making lasting memories in my daughters life. I hope the love for my daughter and the happiness she brings me will be represented in my collections and that moms can feel the same when their daughters wear my clothing. CS: What is your secret to balancing home, kids, work and now your new venture? JM: My first priority is my daughter and being the mother I want to be to her, I then design my life around that motto while making sure I do the things I need to do to provide the type of lifestyle I want for us. CS: How can we get our hands on the line? JM: The complete collection is available nationwide in high end boutiques and on www.JayneoniMoore.com CS: What do you see in the future for the Jayneoni Moore New York Line? JM: Jayneoni Moore New York is a lifestyle brand that will grow as my children grow, I want to provide moms everything they need for their little girls from clothing to bedding, outer wear, shoes, handbags and more. ChildStyleMagazine.com
Gina Lee P hotography
Child Style: Your passion shines in your pictures, why childrenâ€™s photography? Gina Lee: I found my passion for children's photography through the eyes of my own children. I just wanted something different, something fresh. Something colorful with no restrictive backdrops. I love the overall feel of natural lighting in a natural setting and how it just accentuates the beauty of my subjects. It also has a lot to do with my love for children in general. I love their innocence, Their smiles, and little things they say. I just love being around children, so it only made perfect sense for me to do what I love. CS: What are your tips and tricks for balancing a wonderful business and your family? GL: I just try to keep my life simple, which is one of the key ingredients to my business model as well. I also work around my children and their schedules and with the support of my husband, it makes it so much more easier. At the end of the day, my family comes first, so if I have a ton of work on my plate, that's where a cold can of Red Bull becomes my best friend. CS: How do you come up with new ideas and fresh perspectives? GL: I am constantly inspired by my friends and peers and life in general. It might be a child sitting on a bench eating an ice cream cone in front of a ferris wheel and other times or it might be something my son or daughter says. Other times, I just have to get away, so I grab my camera and see where the car takes me. CS: How do you stay unique to you? GL: I love, love, love color. and I think this spills over into my work. Children and families are colorful and I wanted that to represent in my style and what I have to offer. :) CS: How can our readers see your work or book a shoot? GL: I can be found at www.ginaleephoto.com and you can view all my latest happenings and gossip on my blog. CS: Where is your favorite place to shoot? GL: I say anywhere where there is nice yummy buttery light, Ya know, that Sunny Natural light. I am there, I think you can put a child anywhere and make it beautiful. I think shooting in different locations make it interesting and keeps me on my toes. CS: What would you tell an inspiring photographer? GL: Anything is possible if you want it, you can make it happen. The sky is the limit, but also invest in education. I am pretty much self taught and never knew there were so many great resources out there and the reach out to the photography community there are so many photographers willing to help out and share. CS: What's in the future for Gina Lee? GL: Aaaaah! more fun of course! In the new year I will be launching Lifestyle a Family-ography, A mix of portraits and video. I am so excited for this new adventure.
Wendy Estes & Tiffany Harris
CHILD STYLE: Where does you inspiration come from? Layla Grayce: Inspiration comes in big and small ways even when you aren’t looking for it. We find it in a simple fabric or a particular piece of furniture to fashion and design trends found in magazines, blogs or trade publications. We enjoy every minute of the creative process, but we certainly struggle to keep our look fresh and different. Layla Grayce is constantly evolving and changing. Ultimately, we are fortunate to work with incredibly talented web designers that are patient with our wild ideas and never ending requests. CS: What is your design philosophy? LG: While neither of us necessarily belongs to any one design genre, Layla Grayce believes that design isabout people and creating a space that is functional and beautiful for real people and families to live in.No stale show homes for us. The Layla Grayce style is about combining old and new pieces that evoke feelings through texture, color, personal touches and scale that express the lives of those the pieces surround. We love to mix in unexpected pieces to keep the look fresh and on trend. Important design philosophies we live are repetition, balance, scale, and symmetry. Most design rules can be broken depending on the space, but successful design always looks more complete when some (not necessarily all) the rules of design are followed. CS: Is there a specific piece of advice you would give to other on line retailers? LG: Decide what your goals are as an online store and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Stay true to yourself and follow your own instincts and you will never be sorry about any decisions you make along the way. Being unique is what will make you successful. CS: What rule do you follow that defines your style? LG: We Absolutely follow rules while buying. Product that tells a story is what will initially draw us in, but our number one rule is that it must blend with the products we currently offer. With so many products on the market, we don’t allow ourselves to get caught up in something ultra trendy. Our customers look to us to provide timeless items that in some cases will become heirlooms, it is no secret that many of the products we offer are not inexpensive. Made in the USA or Europe. CS: What is in the future for Layla Grayce? LG: The possibilities are endless. A store, a catalog, who knows. Recently, we redesigned our blog www.laylagrayceblog.com. We will be featuring well-known designers and manufacturers as guest bloggers and are evolving to include more transitional furnishing and accessories for home and child within the store. Growth is something we shy away from because we never want to lose the personal touch we have with our products and customers. Bigger isn’t always better. As with life, we will see where Layla Grayce takes us. 20
Wendy Estes & Tiffany Harris
CS: How long have you been an on line proprietor, and what has been your biggest hurdle? LG: Layla Grayce just passed her 5 year mark and how quickly it has flown by! Running a business is full of daily hurdles but the biggest hurdle in the beginning was convincing artisans to allow us to sell their products online and believe that we could sell a sofa or $5000 armoire online to a customer who has never seen or touched it before.
More recently it would be to differentiate ourselves from the thousands of online stores that have popped up in the last 2-3 years. Another personal business hurdle was moving the business headquarters from one state to another, becoming familiar with new local and state laws, hiring all new employees. We moved on a Friday and were up and running on a Monday with the help of many. Virtually no down time with our orderfulfillment but it was a VERY hectic, challenging time. CS: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment as a designer & store owner? LG: This is an interesting question, because we don’t look back and say to ourselves that this or that was great, we never stop looking forward and trying to find ways to improve our store or our customer service. However, looking back our biggest accomplishment has probably been to create an online store that is more than just about “selling” products. Each item we sell, and every customer we work with, we treat like our best friend that we are sharing our favorite finds with. Layla Grayce is about a lifestyle that we are all searching for; to create a place where we all “love our life, and express our style.” Our tag line isn’t just words, we live it and share it through our practices and multi channel outreach with our customers, through our Backroom on our website, Blog and in social media venues such as Facebook and Twitter. We build relationships with our customers, forming friendships - a true accomplishment that we strive for with each call taken, each email sent. We attend trade shows and have the opportunity to obtain positive feedback from our manufacturers on our business and discover what the general perception of Layla Grayce is. We are stuck in the day to day operations of the business so it’s rewarding to hear that all of the daily efforts are making a difference. CS: What are your secrets for balancing family and work? LG: I have 4 kids, It is difficult to manage it all and do it well and I don’t. Something has to give and sometimes its family, sometimes its business, sometimes its friends. Friends and family would love to see my computer shut down at 11pm (instead of 1am) or the Blackberry tucked neatly away in my purse. Fortunately, I don’t require a lot of sleep and family and friends expect it now. That said, both Tiffany and I are blessed to have patient and understanding family and friends who are just as much a part of this business in their own way because they allow us the space we need to get it done!
www.laylagrayce.com Winter 2010
Child Style: Who is Petunia Pickle Bottom? Korie: PPB is a lifestyle brand that celebrates the fact that a parent's sense of style doesn't disappear withthe birth of a child. We create intuitive products in unique, eye-popping fabrics that are uniquely Petunia. We leave no detail to chance and don't make decisions on a whim. We have a purpose for everything we do and everything we make. CS: After ten years what do you think has been your greatest accomplishment? Braden: "Personally it has been the accomplishment of a goal; to build a product, a business and a brand around our ideas we all have. What we like to design, who we want to sell to, how we want to work with people and what story we want to tell in doing it." Korie: "I think building more than just a product. What started out as a diaper bag has turned into a living, breathing brand with an amazing group of people behind it. We are so fortunate to have found dedicated people in our corner who want to see this business thrive. It's exciting to see that ten years later, we are much more than the products we make and that is evident in the people we talk to, our fan postings on Facebook and the buyers we work with--they usually have a story to tell us about Petunia and how much it has meant to their life as a parent, or in the case of our retailer partners--to their business." DeNai: "I am most proud of the way we have stayed true to our ethics and ideals while building a business while still balancing life at home. I believe I am only as good at what I do professionally, when I have achieved what I need to at home as a wife and mother. Without knowing I give my best to them, I can't deliver the best of my abilities to Petunia." CS: Did you expect to be the designer of America's favorite Diaper Bag? Braden: Our goal was to innovate and design, by doing this we became a favorite. Korie: I still remember seeing the first prototypes staggered on the steps at DeNai's family cabin. I didn't know anything about diaper bags or what it meant to be a manufacturer, but to be honest, I knew there was something there. It was those early samples and the true unique and creative nature of them that gave me the courage to "throw away my career" as many of my co-workers and friends put it to give this thing a go. We often think about the early days, one time in particular when DeNai looked at me with wide eyes and said "I think these things might actually sell!" DeNai: Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would get this far. I started out in a tiny cleared out space in a storage loft above my parent's garage cutting out each bag by hand! So no, I really did not think we would be here 10 years later--it's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and gratitude. We all come from very supportive families who make you believe anything is possible and that has played a big part in our journey. CS: What made you start designing diaper bags and how has your focus changed over the last decade? DeNai: Odd as it seems, since I was somewhat fresh out of college and nowhere near motherhood, the diaper bag was just one those ideas I had rolling around in my head. It was when a close childhood friend got pregnant that I became aware of what was out there (or not out there) and when I sort of realized my idea actually might be a good one. Thankfully the opportunity arose for me to take the leap and those (now very embarrassing) first samples made their way on the market. Today ten years down the road, our focus on design is where it should be. I finally have the time to use my creativity again. I get to focus on creating fabric designs that are iconic to the brand, find new ways to develop the structure and function of a product, and also sort of know who I am as the designer of PPB. Apart from that, the biggest shift has been becoming a mother, it has greatly influenced the way we expand our product line or improve upon the current offering. Korie: Perhaps the biggest difference between now and 10 years ago is that we are allowed to focus on design. So much of our time was spent keeping the cogs turning with as few resources as possible, and simply keeping up with the demand, that there was little time left for DeNai to design or me tell our brand story. A typical day for us in the early building block phase of the business was answering phones, taking orders, filling orders, shipping orders, customer service, office management--you name it, we did it. But at the core, we knew we had good design and we have spent the last decade building on that original promise of Petunia to create something that is thoughtfully designed and without compromise.
CS: What do you think makes Petunia Pickle Bottom so successful? Braden: Itâ€™s the people at Petunia and the great vibe we have. Also, that the three of us trust each other, have integrity and talent in different but complimentary fields. DeNai: I would have to say the people that make our business live and breathe. We have the most amazing and dedicated group of people that we have the honor to employ. We can turn out the best designs and the most eye-popping fabrics, but would get nowhere without the support of all the people involved in every aspect of the business. Korie: Hands down it's the people we have around us from employees to family and friends. They make our world go 'round. In fact, it was our parents who were right there with us doing a lot of the hard work in the early days, especially DeNai's mom. I always joked that she retired just in time to practically become our full-time employee. We wouldn't have been able to do it without them then, and especially now. They support us every step of the way and we are fortunate to have their help on in-office days so we can meet the demands of the business. We also don't do a lot of looking behind us. We know competitors are watching us, sometimes even copying us, but we keep looking forward. It actually fuels us to do even better. CS: What are some of the magic moments you attribute your success to? Korie/Braden/DeNai: Experiencing demand exceeding our supply and trying to harness all the momentum to propel the business forward. Getting our first office space in a beautifully refurbished historic, creative space that lent itself so perfectly to what we do. Another standout is our first magazine story, there is something about seeing your story print that shakes you up--in a good way. CS: What advice would you give a small company entering the juvenile market? Braden: There is a difference between owning your own job, owning a business or building brand. No shame in any of these accomplishments, but you have to know what the difference is, then be deliberate and base all your decisions on your end goal. Also be true to your time; so many people enter this industry once they have children and see a hole in the market. Be realistic when it comes to your new family and fact that starting a business is hard enough without a newborn or toddler running around the house. DeNai: It's a different market today than is was 10 years ago, you really have to have something different with an amazing brand story to stand out in the market today. Even though the market has changed the juvenile market has stayed true to being a family of business owners that are willing to share their struggles, we tapped into that early and surely wouldn't be where we are without the support of our comrades.
CS: Do you have a particular philosophy you consider while designing new products and styles? DeNai: My personal style is a mixture of old and new and that's the same thread I weave into the design of Petunia products and fabrics. It's a sensible marriage of modern and vintage that has sort of become PPB. When it comes to designing new products, I know what I am drawn to, when walking into any boutique, it's always color and pattern that first catch my eye, function and silhouette are a close second, so that's probably the order in which I start the creative process. Also, our fan base really let's us know what they want in terms of new product design as well as the fact that weare our own best guinea pigs as parents ourselves. Korie: Design without compromise. I always say we create products we love that love to be used. I should also say that DeNai won't always design something that works for the mainstream and we have to give her that creative freedom. Allowing her to keep things new and exciting keeps our brand young and our product offering unique. CS: What's been the most exciting aspect of your business ? Braden: There has never been a boring day after 10 yeas of business. For me it's the deliberate nature mixed with the creativity in the business strategy. Building a business is the act of creating a painting or composing a song. If it's out of balance or rhythm, people can tell. Seeing this business, product and brand develop has been the most amazing experience so far, and we aren't even close to being done. DeNai: Using our God-given talents on a daily basis and growing our business as well as our families simultaneously. Korie: There's never a dull moment! Everyday seems to bring something new and it's the type of business that suits all aspects of my personality. I don't feel unfulfilled in any way and perhaps the most exciting aspect has been watching the three of us really come into our roles within the business. We all have different, yet converging talents and it's been a process of letting each other really seize our potential.
Child Style: When did you realize that you were on to something? Wendy Von: I started off making Baby Blankets for friends and family and selling them to Boutiques. When they did well, I decided to give my true passion a shot and began making and selling girlie clothing. Having a daughter that loves all things “Cheetah and Pink” helped a lot! CS: You still make a lot of your creations yourself how do you balance your craft and your kids? WV: I’m still working on that. I am lucky to have a helpful husband and daughter. I try to make sure that “my Job” doesn’t consume my whole day and that I turn “work off” and dedicate the evenings and weekends to my family. CS: What would you say has been your biggest hurdle starting your company from home and letting it grow? WV: That’s easy, Time and Money. Home life and work life often merge together when working from home. Setting up specific work times for myself, has been the best thing I have done for my business, myself and my family. Money because I chose to play it safe and let my company grow organicly. I work a lot and reinvest into the business. This was not the advice that I received from most entrepreneurs, but it has worked for me. It may have took me a little while longer to get to that next level, but I am glad I did this way. I know at the end of the day, the decisions that are made; I am proud of. CS: What is one decision you made as a Work at home mom and designer that took your company to the next level? WV: After sewing 8-10 hours a day, trying to keep up with the demand just wasn’t realistic anymore. Having a manufacture has helped me to keep up with the demand and allowed me “a little more time” to concentrate on the business and marketing side of One Posh Kid. CS: Where can we find One Posh Kid and who are your reps? WV: We are available in over 50 stores across the US; adding new stores weekly. One Posh Kid is also available online too www.OnePoshKid.com We are now available in 2 showrooms; Katwalk Kids in Dallas, Karen and Lisa have been so helpful. They have really shown me the ropes and have been a huge part of One Posh Kid’s success. We have also hired The Glitter Box Showroom in LA. CS: What do you see in the future for One Posh Kid? WV: My immediate future is to continue to add new retailers nationwide and abroad and to increase my seasonal lines. The future of One Posh Kid is so exciting to think about. CS: It has been so exciting to see your company grow. Do plan on expanding your line? WV: We are working on expanding our line to include “tween” sizes and a Holiday Collection in the near future. Watching One Posh Kid grow has been so exhilarating and rewarding. CS: Do you have any past experiences or advice you would like to share with other entrepreneurs that have a Big Dream? WV: Hmm, giving advice is hard, because I feel like I still have so much to learn, but go for it and be ready to give it all you’ve got! Have a plan and follow it, go with your instinct, don’t hold back. If you have a great idea, do your research and see if there is a market or demand for it. Starting a line takes hard work and dedication and a lot of sleepless nights. Be open to advice from others. I have been very fortunate to have met a few wonderful people that have given me such great guidance and lead me down the right path. At the end of the day all of the sleepless nights have been worth it. ChildStyleMagazine.com
East & West Owl Always Love You: Go to www.Etsy.com and search owls or
visit some of these fine Etsy shops:
www.etsy.com/shop/PillowSewCute www.etsy.com/shop/tinytangerines www.etsy.com/shop/thecraftpantry
www.etsy.com/shop/uniqueartpendants www.etsy.com/shop/woollyfabulous www.etsy.com/shop/smeeta
www.etsy.com/shop/MomNMiaQuiltsoutique www.etsy.com/shop/threeyellowstarfish www.etsy.com/shop/aprilfoss www.etsy.com/shop/vivikas
Shop Our Favorite
1.www.etsy.com/shop/sugarcookiedolls, 2. www.etsy.com/shotp/tinytokensdesigns 3. www.etsy.com/shop/chickabiddybaby 4. www.etsy.com/shop/IcingOnTheCupcake 5.petuniapicklebottom.com 6. www.oneposhkid.com 7. www.etsy.com/shop/karenswimmer, 8. www.etsy.com/shop/LittleBittyBakery 9. www.etsy.com/shop/bitsnpiecesetc
Published on Oct 1, 2010