With organic materials and whimsical prints of owls, seascapes and bears as their calling card, Australian baby wear label Sapling Child has created an aesthetic all of their own. Now barely three years in they’ve already hit a major milestone, landing an exclusive collaboration with Jaime King. We sat down with founder and creative director Peta Stinson to talk new collections, late night phone calls and the wild ride of success.
What is the aesthetic of Sapling Child? What do you consider when coming up with new designs?
Our aesthetic is quite whimsical, and nature inspired. That being said though, our tastes are always evolving, so often our collections will look quite different from one another. Comfort, durability and ease are always the first things that come to mind. Always. The clothing has to be easy to put on, super comfortable, and durable.
We try not to look at trends and forecasts, as this can be super distracting. If you focus too much on trend forecasts, and what your competitors are doing, you end up chasing your tail! It’s so important to stay focused and true to your own design aesthetic.
In launching a business from scratch, how important is it to build up a social media presence? What are some strategies you have used to gain a presence online as quickly as possible?
Our followers always show us so much support, and we are able to reach out to them directly and ask them what they like or don’t like. I would feel so isolated from my customers if I didn’t have a social media presence!
It’s important to remember that it’s not that important how many people you have following you, but whether or not your followers are engaged with what you are doing. Pinterest has been a huge driver of traffic for our website too. Our customers are able to easily engage with us through that platform, and it’s so visually rich and rewarding to find beautiful curated products on there. In short I would say don’t stress about getting a huge number of followers super fast, concentrate on getting the right followers.
How did the Jaime King collaboration come about? What do you hope to achieve by designing a collection in partnership with her?
Our collaboration with Jaime was quite a natural progression for us. We reached out to eachother via Twitter and Instagram, we started chatting, and eventually came up with the idea of a collaboration. Jaime is so well known for her fashion choices, and impeccable personal style, but what people don’t know about Jaime is that she is such a loving, giving and feeling person.
What new design input is Jaime bringing to Sapling Child? What point of difference does her collection have?
Jaime’s design collection is very much about her story of growing up in the sprawling fields of Nebraska, dreaming and staring at the sky under a blanket of stars. Her collection is quite unlike anything we have done before, it’s very water colour inspired, quite distinct.
Tell us about the collaboration process? Do you have any stand out memories from the experience of working with her?
Phew! It’s hard work. Its’ really hard work. Jaime is a perfectionist. Completely and utterly. She is involved in every single aspect of the design process, from initial concepts, to drafts, to colour palettes, EVERYTHING. If it’s not up to scratch, or if we haven’t captured what’s in her heart then it’s back to the drawing board! There were late night phone calls to each other, brainstorming sessions, laughter and tears!
What has the response to Sapling Child been like so far? How are you measuring success?
The response has been beyond phenomenal. We didn’t even dream that we would be where we are today when we began. We’re only 2 years old, so it truly has been a wild ride. We measure success firstly, by customer response. Are our customers loving the product? What are people saying about our product? We also measure by brand reach, so how many people know about us?
And of course we measure our success financially. We have had a 400% growth rate just in 2014 alone.
What are your goals for the future?
We are making a big move to North America shortly. We hope to open a distribution network over there and replicate the success we’ve had in Australia! We would like to keep growing our range and product offerings as well. We have some SUPER exciting collaborations coming up too (one coming out with Jessica Alba’s Honest Co on Nov 1st), so stay tuned!