FINALLY I thought to myself when I stumbled across KaPow Kids. Finally, a collection of locally designed clothing for baby and toddlers (newborn to size 2) that delivers a refreshing and unique range. Where mismatched prints and patterns create playful juxtaposition and evoke playfulness and individuality. From clouds and rainbows to lighting bolts and bats, tigers and deers, KaPow Kids is a must go-to for little ones threads.
KaPow Kids is a local Melbourne brand and behind it is Andrea Goulding who after years as an architect sought a more creative and fulfilling role after the arrival of her son Flynn (now almost 3). Just like the many new connections I am making, Andrea is passionate and generous and I have no doubt that with this energy and vision KaPow Kids will continue to propel and grow.
If you are not already one of the 13,000+ instagram devotees, I suggest you jump on board and snap up a piece (or two) from the range. Oh, and be quick as each piece is hand stitched by Andrea and they quickly, very quickly sell out.
How did KaPow Kids come to be?
I was working part time in architecture after having a baby, but on my days home I needed something to stimulate my brain. So I decided to start an etsy store with some kids clothing and accessories, as a hobby. A lot of my friends in architecture had etsy stores selling jewellery or art so I thought it was about time I started a shop too. I never expected to be where I am today! We are now off etsy and have a webshop but etsy was a great place to start.
Who makes up KaPow Kids team?
KaPow Kids is made up of myself, my husband and a team of sewers. I design the garments, and run most of the business full time – answering emails, managing the sewers, packing orders, ordering fabric and supplies and running the social media pages. I still often have to sew some things myself although I am trying to cut this job out completely; easier said than done. My husband helps me even though he has a full time job. He does all the studs on our bibs, post office runs, pick ups from sewers, quality management and like most small businesses with little families, my husband when he’s home on the weekends often has to look after Flynn while I work, work, work.
What is your career background?
I am an architect, but after being in the industry for about 10 years, have found that its not really for me. After having a baby, working in an architecture office part time just didn’t work for us. The good thing is that everything I’ve learnt from architecture can apply to fashion.
What inspires you creatively and personally?
I am inspired by fun and bold prints, patterns and images. I’ve always liked to dress a little differently so I just apply my own sense of style to the KaPow garments. I just love anything quirky and unique, animal prints and geometric prints are always my favourites. When I was younger I was a bit of a tomboy hence I don’t design anything too girly and try to keep the designs unisex where I can.
What has been the best thing about being your own boss both before and after children?
I have only been my own boss after having Flynn and I have to say I don’t think I could ever go back to a ‘normal’ job. I love the flexibility of working for your own business, especially when you have a child. Flynn goes to daycare 2 days a week so I can get the bulk of my work done. He often gets sick, as young children do, so its so nice to not have the pressure or guilt of having to stay home with him when he’s sick.
How do you balance (juggle) family time and work time? Who is your ‘village?
We don’t have much outside help as Flynns grandparents work full time or are interstate. When they do come over though, they often take care of Flynn so that we can pack orders. Having a home studio makes the juggle much easier as Flynn can play with his toys while I work on my computer or packing orders. My husband is really supportive of the business so he helps out a lot with the daycare drop offs and pick ups, grocery shopping and things like that.
How are your days structure around your children and family and the shop?
We have to pack orders 7 days a week so we are constantly working. With small business you really don’t get a break. So Flynn is just used to it now and he has learnt to play on his own or he’ll get his toy computer out and do some ‘work’ too. Flynn still naps for hours at lunch so that’s when I get most of my work done, or at night when he’s asleep. We are always at the post office so Flynn just comes along to that too.
What exciting things are coming up for KaPow Kids?
We are excited about our collaboration with illustrator, Andrea Lauren. She has designed some really cool fabrics for us, which are currently getting screen printed in Brunswick. Some fun bats and lightning bolt prints will be featured on leggings, bibs, and shorts for the upcoming range. This will be our first go at our own fabrics, as previously we have just being buying off the shelf fabrics. We think it’s a natural step forward and eventually hope to have all our fabrics exclusive to our label and screen printed and manufactured in Brunswick with our new manufacturer. We hope to use these prints for cot bedding and pillow cases too. We keep getting requests for more kids bedding and cushions so we would like to work on that area too.
Best piece of advise you have been given
In reference to raising a family – don’t listen to advice is the best advice I’ve been given. People are always giving advice on how to raise children but sometimes its best to just do whats right for you and trust your instincts.
In reference to how to make it all work – oh I hope someone gives me some advice on how to make it all work because id love to know! I don’t think anyone can make it all work, its always going to be a struggle to work and have a family. you just do your best and drink lots of coffee.
What are your goals for KaPow Kids in 2014, 2015 and beyond.
My goal is to be at the stage where I don’t have to sew anymore, so that I can concentrate on all the other aspects of the business. I really need to increase production as things just sell out too fast. This is the big hurdle we are trying to overcome at the moment. We have found a local manufacturer so we are just testing this out and hopefully this helps with production.
Tell us a little about the current range?
We are always releasing new products and the current range (just released on Thursday 7th August) will include our new screen print tshirts and rompers. They are pretty bold and for children who want to stand out from the crowd. The new tshirt range will feature some fun slogan tees and some bat and superheros.
Andrea’s Petite Edit
Best place for Sunday breakfast?
We always go to Birdie Num Nums in Carlton North as the outdoor courtyard has a sandpit full of toys so my husband and I can enjoy breakfast while Flynn can run around and be a boy without causing a scene.
Best place for a family getaway?
We are long overdue for a holiday but we are hoping to fly to Noosa or somewhere like that soon to escape the Melbourne cold.
What is your go-to resource?
My favourite resources for inspiration and ideas on fashion, prints and cool new things would be instagram and pinterest. And of course blogs like The Petite Edit and Babiekins.
Favourite childrens fashion range?
Give a shout out to another inspiring business (ran by parents)
Anarkid – a friend, Kelli who has started her own baby label. She is inspiring because, like me, she doesn’t have a background in fashion, she is a graphic designer.
Shop the Kapow Kids range.
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