6 posts tagged brand spotlight
In 2007, twenty-something Amber Schaub was working her day job and dreaming of something different to do with her life. Within three months, she quit her job and brainstormed her product idea—RuffleButts, based upon the ruffled bloomers she loved to wear as a little girl and could no longer find in stores.
As a long-time entrepreneur (she started a grocery delivery business and babysitting clubs when she was a kid), Amber threw herself wholeheartedly into her dream. She took sewing lessons, made samples and worked with factories. In less than a year, RuffleButts was officially born.
By 2010, RuffleButts had already gained a following for their whimsical designs and incredible attention to detail and quality. And that’s when a children’s apparel start-up appeared on the scene. When Amber first heard of zulily, she was skeptical. But as she explains, “The more I heard about them, the more I could understand that they were creating an avenue to share products with millions of moms around the world. We’re a small company and zulily has so much reach. It’s fantastic because we’re able to share what we’re doing with so many more moms out there.”
RuffleButts, along with brother brand RuggedButts, is a company to watch. They’re one of the fastest growing brands in the children’s apparel market and they’re launching new lines, new sizes and new styles while still maintaining the quality and customer care they’re known for.
For Amber, one of her favorite parts of running her own business is the interaction with the people who love RuffleButts. As she says, “We have the most incredible customers. They’re über supportive and have really cheered me on since the beginning. We have over 160,000 Facebook fans and they’re constantly sharing photos of their children in our apparel along with words of support. As the creator of this brand, I find it incredibly touching and also so rewarding to see.”
Check out the event today on zulily.
Here’s a Q&A with Rishi P. Dhakal, founder and owner of Rising International. We’ve featured their unique products countless times, showcasing their bright and handcrafted apparel and accessories made by local artisans in Nepal. Today, we’re featuring them on our site and you can view their event here.
1. What’s the big idea behind Rising international?
Rising International Inc. is a US-based company trying its best to create a brand name for Nepalese handmade clothing. This company has flourished, using traditional arts and creativity on clothing, focusing on a new era of fashion. Rising International also promotes job opportunities for local Nepalese women, providing work at home while supporting the local community’s financial growth.
2. What makes your apparel unique?
Our apparel is handcrafted and based on the ethnic and cultural values of Nepal. We study the market and create new designs on regular basis. Our products are made by people in the community using local resources. Moreover, we naturalize the color of our fabric with stone washing and add artistic symbols that reflect local values.
3. What was the inspiration behind the brand and the clothing design?
The main concept was to reflect the diversity of fashion and creativity in Nepal. We wanted to showcase the local arts and support the economic growth of Nepal with Rising International’s business plan. The source of inspiration for our clothing design and brand continues to be Nepal’s artistic community.
4. Can you tell us the best Rising International success story so far?
Our products are unique—as they are handcrafted—and vibrant. We have continuously focused on market research and the demand for new fashion. Based on the need and demand of people, we are continually striving to create new and unique designs. We focus on high quality products with perfect sizing in a variety of colors. Moreover, we’ve established a good marketing network and are committed to having the best customer service. Recently, we were awarded Commercially Important Person from the government of Nepal for our contribution to the fashion market. I personally attended that ceremony.
5. Why sell your products on zulily?
We connected with zulily in a trade show. We approached them to sell our products. As our products reflect unique fashion, zulily wanted to tryout our product once. We followed zulily’s business terms and conditions and offered quality products. They were impressed with the positive responses from their customers and gradually started selling varieties of Rising’s products. Now Zulily has been selling huge quantity of our products as zulily is a well-recognized company with good customer relations and professional ideas of selling.
6 Shore Road was inspired by the lifestyle of the Hamptons, NY and launched in 2010 by designer Pooja Kharbanda. The line is meant to be worn while enjoying life and captures the spirit of carefree days and dancing with friends as the sun goes down. We had the opportunity to chat with designer and founder Pooja about her inspirations and passion for fighting cancer through fashion.
Be sure to check out all the great 6 Shore Road looks at today’s event running through Feb. 10.
Why did you start 6 Shore Road ?
I wanted fashion forward and comfortable looks that I could wear from the beach to bar or day to night.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
The carefree ethos of the brand comes from the Hamptons. I was born in India and grew up in Hong Kong & Panama, where I take a lot of design details from, whether it be the color palettes and/or embroideries. I love to travel and choose a specific place that represents the collection for the season.
What makes 6 Shore Road unique?
It’s transitional lifestyle. Many of the individual pieces can be worn to the beach or at the pool bar with just a swap of shoes! Or you can take them from day to night from a casual lunch to an evening out.
Tell us about Fashion Fights Cancer and why you are involved.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth in 2011. It was a life-changing event and as part of the fashion industry, it’s important for me and my brand to support this cause. I’m on the board of the Fashion Fights Cancer organization, which conducts fashion classes for children affected by cancer. We help them get their mind off the illness and focus on something positive.
Why feature your products on zulily?
zulily’s customer base sets itself apart from many of our current retailers. 6 Shore Road is such a versatile brand and can really be transformed to any style.
What’s your number one piece of style advice for women?
Wear color! It’s flattering to your skin color and attracts positivity.
At zulily, we are always on the lookout for unique products for you to discover. That’s why when we met the people behind Rockin’ Baby, we knew we had to bring this innovative and charitable line of slings to our moms. Being a mom means mastering the art of multi-tasking, and this lovable one-for-one brand of baby accessories is guaranteed to make your day go more smoothly and help less fortunate moms around the world at the same time!
Rockin’ Baby CEO and proud mama of six Kathryn Wiley has always wanted to help other women flourish too. Working as a social documentary photographer for many years, she dreamed of being a “vehicle for change” in a business endeavor. For Wiley, prospering alone was not enough. On one of her many trips to Haiti, she saw the opportunity to help moms and lower Haiti’s infant mortality rate, which in some areas is as much as 50 percent.
While in Haiti, Wiley noticed that many moms weren’t able to carry their babies simply because they didn’t have a method of doing so. This was concerning to her because carrying babies is an important part of fostering connection and a sense of security between mother and child. Plus, the more mobility you have, the better you can protect baby, a lesson Wiley never forgets since learning of a Haitian mom whose legs were run over in a truck accident. While her baby miraculously survived, the crisis could have easily been averted if the mom had her hands free. So, in 2010, Wiley bought Rockin’ Baby, keeping the brand’s beautifully designed slings the same but changing its purpose: for every sling purchased, Rockin’ Baby donates one to a mom in Haiti.
Wiley likes to say “The more you sell, the more you can give!”, and with celebs like Gwen Stefani and Angelina Jolie on board, a sales boost of 200 percent and thousands of free slings given away in the past three years, we’re pretty sure Rockin’ Baby’s Mother to Mother mission is just beginning. Rack up your good karma with these cozy, reversible carriers that give back.
We’ve partnered with Pelle Activewear for almost the entirety of our zulily existence and we love them for their bright colors, high-quality fabrics and the fact that every piece is made right here in the USA. But for the current owners of Pelle, Owen and Shawn, it all started in 2007. They had been married for just five months and were dreaming about owning their own small business when they happened upon Pelle, which specializes in gymnastics apparel.
They decided to take a leap of faith and purchase the business. Suddenly they were in charge. Although Shawn didn’t have a background in fashion or patternmaking, she began designing all of the Pelle leotards. Now with every style she creates, she thinks about the girls who will ultimately be wearing the leotards. She explained, “Some companies focus on gymnastics right from the start, but we focus on the kids. What are the kids going to love, and what are their moms going to love?”
An unexpected perk for Shawn and Owen was the warmth and friendliness of the gymnastics community. Owen explained, “The gymnastics industry is primarily family-owned businesses, so the whole field is a great one to work in. We’re not in this cutthroat business. We’ve become friends with the people we work with, and we help each other out.”
In 2008, a year after they took over operations at Pelle, a buyer from zulily came calling because her own daughter wore a Pelle leotard. Owen and Shawn weren’t sure what to expect from this new partnership, but they soon found that zulily provided them with fantastic brand exposure. Shawn said, “As zulily has grown, so have we.”
Like many small business owners, Owen and Shawn love watching their business grow. But for them, the most important part is the children who wake up, put on a Pelle leotard and get enthusiastic about going to gymnastics class.
Shawn told us, “When I’m designing our garments, I’m not just thinking about a fun, cute outfit; I’m thinking about how they help get kids excited about a valuable, creative physical activity that builds great kids! Believing in all of this keeps us motivated and inspired. If our garments can contribute to a child’s happiness, growth and development, then we are all in!”
Today, Jelly The Pug is a beloved brand known for its unique kids’ apparel. But once upon a time, founder Diane McAllister was a mom who made clothes for her own kids on her kitchen table. It took a little serendipity for Jelly The Pug to become the company it is today.
After a chance encounter over a used car advertisement, Diane met her future business partner, Adnan K. Mehmood at a small coffee shop in Manhattan Beach. When he asked her why she was selling her car, Diane explained that she was trying to raise enough capital to launch her own business. She showed him the clothing samples she had brought with her and Adnan watched as people stopped eating just to admire them. He was interested, and so was his brother, Adeel Mehmood.
The three of them decided to take a huge leap of faith and become partners. They knew nothing about the children’s apparel business, but Adnan had full faith in the uniqueness of Diane’s designs. He was soon proved right. At their very first trade show, they met a buyer from a small, children’s apparel start-up – zulily! Jelly The Pug was one of our first sales, and it was an instant hit.
So what makes Jelly The Pug so special? We think it’s because Diane, Adnan and Adeel are involved with every phase of the apparel-making process, from monitoring cotton quality to designing all of their prints. Diane gives each item as much detail as possible, with sashes, extra ruffles, bias-tape trims and layers that are perfect for twirling.
Diane says, “I want to help girls feel confident and proud to be themselves. I try to mix colors and patterns that are unique so every girl feels different in a positive and creative way.”
We think she’s managed to accomplish just that. At Jelly The Pug, Diane, Adnan and Adeel are thinking big. They’ve made a mark on the kids’ apparel world because of their distinctive style and they want moms to stay excited about what they have to offer. They’re planning to introduce new fabrics, embellishments and exciting lines like mommy and me, denim and daily wear.
Jelly The Pug may be growing bigger and better, but at its heart it’s still a simple company shared by two families. They love that they can share their clothing creations with families across the United States. Diane explained, “What I love best are all the pictures the families send to me. They choose Jelly the Pug dresses to mark important life events. I keep all of them. I am truly honored people choose our dresses for birthdays and special occasions.”