We are so excited to get to party with Kiley from Wren & James at our Pop Up Shop on July 13th! She is such a lovely woman and has so much to give! Kiley and her husband have two beautiful children who are the light of their lives. Kiley is truly passionate about motherhood and design, and has found a way to bring them both together. Get to know her more from the interview we had with her below and then come meet her in person at the shop!
Why did you start your company?
I began my company a little over 3 years ago when my oldest girl was only 2 years old. She along with my twin girls are my inspiration for starting a children's clothing line. I have always had a passion for design and fashion and even pursued my dreams of living in NYC to study fashion design.
Tell me about the journey of your company?
After having our first child, Mazie -- I began sewing quite a bit. I rediscovered my love for designing and creating. After making her first Halloween costume, I decided I wanted to pursue designing more professionally and opened an etsy shop. I sold my first peter pan top on the first day of posting on Etsy - and it just grew from there. My company has evolved over the span of 3 years and my company has become known for timeless classic pieces with a nostalgic and vintage flare.
What has been the most satisfying achievement so far?
The response I've gotten from customers has been so gratifying. I've had quite a few customers tell me they plan to keep an item ( like one of our signature pinafores) so they can pass it down to their little girl to carry on the tradition.
What has been one of the most difficult parts of starting and growing your business?
The consistency. Their are definitely ebbs and flows to this business and its all about keeping the momentum going.
What advice would you give to other parents/moms trying to start their own companies from home?
Life will inevitably get messy so just throw out any illusions that a "perfect balance" is possible. It's definitely not for everyone, but if you can learn to embrace a little chaos, then by all means, go for it!
What makes Wren and James stand out, what makes your products and brand different?
We are very aware of our pieces and impression they make on people. We strive to create timeless, classic pieces that will never go out of style. Too many things today are designed to break - to be replaced. It's unusual and refreshing to make something that's meant to last -and used for more than a season.
What have you learned about parenting and family as you’ve started your company?
That life is messy and far from organized. I've learned to let go of the little things like having a clean house at all times. With 3 children under 4-years-old, it's just not in the cards for us right now. I've learned to be easier on myself and I believe it benefits my children to have their mom present, without all of the stress. I've also learned that at the end of the day my company is just that: a company -- but my family is everything. They are my rock and support through it all.
What do you wish you had known when you started that you have learned?
I wish that I had more patience with myself. It takes time to grow a business - especially if you start without any capital and are growing it yourself. As successful as we are we continue to roll most of the money we make from sales back into the company. Which leaves little to no money left over for my family. It's definitely a challenge to keep momentum at all times, but because we believe in our brand we continue to persevere.
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
That I get to call the shots. The flexibility hours and when I want to work. This can also be seen as a challenge at times, but I'm working on being more disciplined about waking up before the kids to get some work hours in.
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your children?
Going to the park with friends or to Lagoon. We'll be spending most of our summer there because we caved in and bought a season pass this year.
What advice would you give to first time moms?
I know for me the best advice I received as a first time mother was no advice at all. Everyone has their own unique way of nurturing/parenting that I believe is tailor-made for you and your baby. Listen to your own intuition; it is your best guide.
If you had to describe your company in 3 words what would they be?
Classic. Nostalgic. Heirloom