For Cuties: Not your usual kid’s brand story
With a background in design, pattern making, grading, cutting and sewing textile for large international customers, Silvia and her team have started up their very own children’s brand, called For Cuties. Focussing on natural patterns found in nature, high quality material and a comfortable fit to let kids be kids, they have presented their first two collections at Bubble in London and are preparing for Playtime in Paris this winter.
We think that For Cuties offer a very unique approach and background in starting up a new label and wanted to share their story with you. Let us present For Cuties to you.
Hello Silvia! Thank you for your time in talking to us. Could you tell us about the very beginning of Cuties? How did you start the brand?
Two years ago inspired by my third little daughter and her drawings, I decided to establish this kids brand. Fresh colors, flowers and kids’ drawings are the heart of it and we have presented our first summer 2016 collection for girls this year.
We make our fabric designs and prints ourselves and start a new collection with an idea or some detail found in nature or our every day lives. There is no formula or precise work process that we follow, we let ourselves flow with imagination and discover what comes of it.
As we are professionals in pattern cutting, it is not difficult for us to bring our ideas to life and to make our sketches and designs into real garments. We usually start with a round of first samples, assess these and then make alterations. Sometimes also new ideas arise and we start anew. I love this process so much, to see how your ideas become real. But what makes me even more happy, are the kids who stop and ask their mums to come in our shop.
That sounds lovely. Do you have a physical store?
Yes, we have a store in Sofia but most of our sales are done online and we are currently looking for an agent who can present our brand outside of Bulgaria.
Where else is your collection visible?
We have presented our first collection at Bubble tradeshow in London and will be present early next year at Playtime in Paris. We hope this next tradeshow to be more productive than the previous two and to be able to make more contacts. It takes time to make a brand popular and to enter the buyers’ awareness, who are mostly suspicious of new brands coming into the market.
However, there are already some media talking about us and last winter we met the perfect photographer for our brand – Syarifah McDonough – whom we would like to thank. Together with her kids she made an amazing photoshoot of our latest collection.
Other there other hard things, other than finding customers, in setting up your brand?
Yes, I would say that there are many difficulties for start-up brands. One of these is fabric and material supply. Suppliers do not want to sell small quantities but you do not need big quantities – This means the cost stays high. Especially for certificated and safety materials that we use for our children’s clothing. It’s really not easy, even more so coming from a small country that is very popular as quality clothing producer for biggest brands, but for its own fashion labels.
That’s why we are very happy to have been awarded the Bronze Junior Design Award in the category of Best International Fashion Brand. This is confirmation for me that we are on right way and our designs are noticed and appreciated.
Congratulations! These are great news! To come back to the beginning of For Cuties: You said you are professionals in pattern cutting. Could you tell us a bit more about your backgrounds?
Yes, we have started out focussing on a full range of CAD/CAM services with our company Apparel Services Ltd. and only then developed For Cuties. We try to approach every client individually taking into consideration the machine park and human resources, as well as the established ways of working in their company. We make patterns, samples and production services. We also do consulting on designs, provide technical sketches for the cutters and on occasion work closely together with designers.
From design, pattern making, grading, marker and sample making, cutting and sewing up to finishing the garment, our services are used for starting-up production companies, designer labels and for large international companies. We are currently working for many international companies for fashion womenswear, menswear, sportswear and workwear.
How do you work with your customers? Is all communication done remotely?
Some of our client and costumers come to visit us, especially those whom we work with constantly, but, yes, most communication is done remotely. For us online sales and communication are the most crucial part and account for about 90%. Social Media has also helped us develop our company offering services to other brands and becomes more and more important these days.
Can you apply the processes you have worked out here to your own brand Cuties?
Yes, absolutely! I think it’s a great advantage! We have learned a lot from preparing and producing for other brands so that our processes have become smoother and of course, the online distribution and Social Media are applied to For Cuties just as much.
What are your plans for the future?
Our goal for Cuties is to offer highly comfortable clothing to always favor the well-being of the children. Relying on the attentive choice of the materials, this selection reveals a universe of gentleness. In addition, the practical aspect of our clothing – like coat styles with removable hood and down part (skirt) so the kids could wear it as a long or short jacket – has facilitated the kids’ life day after day.
Our collections are resolutely sophisticated and mix different styles such as pure and children’s imagination. They are fun with many designs, shapes and cuttings. We are dedicated to the modern European look and trends.
Our children’s clothing are made from high quality materials, safe for children in accordance with the European standards and we are part of the National Childrenswear Association of United Kingdom and Ireland as well as the Bulgarian Branch Organization for Textiles and Clothing. All of our clothing are carefully sewn and every attention is taken to detail. We put our hearts and souls in these clothes hoping everyone will feel and rediscover the magic world of children.
You must really love kids and your work to stay in this business.
What a beautiful sentence to end this interview. Very true, a tough business with lots of passion! Thank you very much, Silvia. We are looking forward to seeing more from For Cuties!