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- Nick Joblin, 35
When self-taught graphic designer Nick Joblin decided to launch a kids’ fashion label with his partner, former occupational therapist Amy Joblin, in 2005, they didn’t have children – but they saw a gap in the market.
A background in streetwear design helped get Minti off the ground.
“When we launched, there wasn’t a lot of cool clothing for kids,” says Nick, who moved to Melbourne from his native New Zealand in 2008.
“A lot of streetwear retailers would ask us to do a kids’ brand. We didn’t really know what kids would want, so we created clothes we liked and thought they would wear.”
The couple shares all aspects of work life – from design to the daily running of the business. They’ve been together for 11 years and have a two-year-old daughter called Lottie.
“We are lucky that we work together really well,” says Nick. “The hard bit is not talking about work all the time when we’re at home.”
The Minti collection is inspired by Melbourne – from its people to laneway street art, as well as the city’s landscape, music and art scene. “With artwork we always like to be a bit quirky and not take things too seriously. We’re all about making comfortable fits that look cool,” he says.
Minti is stocked online and in Australian and New Zealand shops.
We Are All
- Rebecca Amos, 37
Businesswoman Rebecca Amos and her friend Chantelle Phillips-Hill were catching up for a coffee when they decided to get creative and put their industry talents to combined use to start a kids’ fashion label. The result, We Are All, offers fashion-savvy pieces for 2-12 year olds.
The friends spent a year working on their brand and developing their philosophy, creating designs and figuring out the fine print involved in overseas manufacturing and global marketing. But perhaps their most important goal was to create a street style that could seamlessly shift from playgroup and daycare to parties and park life. They also wanted to create lasting fashion items rather than disposable clothing.
Their debut boys’ collection for spring/summer was inspired by the street art of the 1980s New York artist Jean-Michael Basquiat, while the girls’ collection takes inspiration from the oversized florals recently seen on European catwalks, but repurposed with a kid-like gaze.
“We felt that parents were looking for good quality and stylish clothes,” says Rebecca, who is also the co-founder of 3 Degrees Marketing with her husband David Abela. The couple have two children.
“They want something different to what the mainstream brands offer and that’s what we focus on. We went on a buying trip to Paris and it was there that we decided to do this.”
The six-month-old label has already been given the nod of approval by celebrities, including Megan Gale and Lindy Klim, who have posted social snaps of their children wearing the brand. It helps in getting the word out, says Rebecca: “The focus for the first collection was to push our brand online and use social media to help us with that.”
Rebecca has recently returned from London, where she introduced the brand to British mummy bloggers and media. She says life is a juggle but she’s determined to make it work. “I’m a mother first and a businesswoman second,” she says. “But I also have ambitions, and I’ve always worked, so I need to keep myself creatively inspired and busy.”
- Kelli Marchewka, 46
Kelli Marchewka spent 20 years as a graphic designer before she considered launching a baby fashion label.
Kelli, who lives in Point Cook with her two children and a stepchild, says her garage is now a warehouse and her hallway is filled with stock – something she didn’t consider when starting Anarkid. For her, it was all about being able to offer something lacking in the marketplace.
Four years ago, she decided to work on a 100 per cent organic-cotton range that didn’t look organic and was affordable for parents. It meant a few trips to India to find the right manufacturer.
Her debut range was just four onesies; when they sold out, she expanded the collection, which now caters to 0-3 year olds and is released twice yearly.
Kelli has put her graphic design background to good use, creating original prints for boys and girls. She has garnered 27,000 followers on Instagram and Anarkid is stocked in 70 outlets worldwide.
“I couldn’t go into this business knowing I was hurting someone along the way,” says Kelli of her decision to go organic. “It was about knowing how the garments were made and I made very considered decisions to manufacture with organic materials. It was all about creating ethically made clothing for kids.”
Her garments are Global Organic Textile Standard certified, which means an independent body has visited the manufacturer and given the tick of approval that items are made ethically. While she works hard at promoting her label via social media, Kelli says it’s also important to be loyal to her bricks and mortar stockists.
“I don’t want to be the biggest, but want to do what I do in an honest and respectful way.”