Blog | Petit Couture - Part 5

Petit Couture Blog


Diary of an owl…and suitable shoes

February 2, 2010

We here at Petit Couture have been working our hearts out. In a good way, lately. And, today I’m excited to share with you some behind-the-scenes views of the makings of our Signature Collection pieces (and our lovely owl) and some of the production and finishing processes therein. Over the past year I’ve personally forged a tremendous partnership with OSI (Oregon Screen Impressions). They are the production genius team behind our magnificent Signature Collection pieces and produce the line right here in Portland, Oregon. For the past year, Casey Trimble (our account manager extraordinaire), and I have worked tirelessly to create all of the wonderful variations that exist today in our Signature Collection line.

Petit Couture Sewn Label

Petit Couture Owl Screens

Petit Couture Owl Screen

Petit Couture Screen

From troubleshooting rhinestone placement to tab alignment, to ensuring that the ‘Petit Couture’ name labels are sewn correctly to helping concoct the precisely right amount of sparkle for our Signature Glitter Ts….it’s been a tremendous partnership and continues to be magical. To that end, I’ve worked with OSI to bring you a behind-the-scenes view into how we make our Signature Collection items. Here are some of the images. I love to see these because they continually remind me that every one of the garments and accessory pieces that we produce are essentially hand made. Each piece sees anywhere from five to seven different people before a Petit Couture piece is considered final. I love that so many people have a part in creating Petit Couture – especially when I consider that only one year ago, roughly, I was working on the ‘vision’ behind the brand. Now, Petit Couture is a brand that is beginning to take hold and has some truly exciting momentum.

Hudsons Feb 2010 CoverEarnshaws Feb 2010 Cover

To that end, this month, Petit Couture is featured in TWO tremendous trade publications. Hudson’s and Earnshaw’s. Both of these children’s apparel trade magazines has a rich history and is truly valued in the industry. Over the past several months I’ve been working to develop industry relationships personally with the leaders behind these tremendous magazines as well as with independent sales representatives and children’s apparel showrooms. I’m thrilled to announce that as of March Petit Couture will be represented in the SW United States and on the West Coast out of LA. I am so excited by the prospects. Feedback about the quality of Petit Couture has been tremendous. I’m working to improve the digital images on petitcouture.com so they better represent the product, but just as in ALL products with representation online it is extremely difficult to recreate the richness of texture, quality of product and elegance of detail in a 72 dpi image. Every company that sells a tactile good struggles with this. Not only do colors not translate, but your monitor at home will even resolve this post differently than mine will at home. C’est la vie. It’s the digital world I live in and love and will continue to invest in on behalf of Petit Couture. But, this challenge also means that I’ll continue to develop partnerships with individuals who can help bring Petit Couture to life ‘in the real world’ and to store shelves for customers to experience first hand.

I hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes peek and the exciting momentum. I’m also thrilled to say that I’ll be attending KIDShow in Las Vegas Feb. 15 and look forward to the experience. I’ll post pics and share my thoughts as I meet with editors, publishers, reps and see the landscape. I cannot wait. Must find suitable shoes :) .

xo


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Mixing Social with Business – Flash Poll Re-Cap

January 8, 2010

Hello Everyone. Yesterday, we posted the following: “Flash poll for our Petit Couture fans: Do you think separating your personal and professional lives is a good thing online? (i.e. limiting friends in Facebook, Twitter and Linked In). Or, do you think its ok to jumble personal and professional – so your boss/colleague/etc. can see your crazy FB pics?”

the blend between social and personal...is it supposed to feel like this?

We received very thoughful responses via our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, thank you. Overwhelmingly, most of you agree that mixing both personal and business/professional information is pretty standard form and ‘why go against the tide’ as one poster explained. For some of you the passion that you feel for your work life automatically flows into your personal and that is a good thing. And, for some of you there is, and should be, a clear distinction between personal and professional stating that there could be challenges with subordinates or superiors having too much access to information. In both cases, we saw very passionate arguements and feelings for both perspectives and a clear reminder that self “editing” is required in both cases. And, that this topic is quite personal.

The reason we posed this question is that Petit Couture is largely a brand that has seen growth via social network and more ‘traditional’ online channels since our inception last year. We routinely post information that is both business-based as well as personal in nature about the growth of Petit Couture, Rebecca’s personal triumphs and/or set-backs associated with the business and various and sundry tidbits as they pop into our heads. As I write this post, I am reminded that only yesterday I posted a Petit Couture update from my “personal” Twitter account @rebeccakw. Honestly, it’s a lot to manage – multiple “personas” – and I’m happy that I’m personally comfortable by the blur and freneticness of it all. I personally, and professionally, have developed tremendous personal and business relationships by the use of both Twitter and Facebook and the “entertainment” value of both of the mediums is what personally keeps me engaged – regardless of the business utility for both. Petit Couture has gained a steady ‘fan’ and ‘follower’ base and would NEVER have been able to see the growth in brand awareness without these tools. For that, I’m personally and professionally grateful and continually entertained. I love that I can update everyone on Petit Couture happenings, comment on someone else’s joke, rate a fashion poll and tell you all the color of my bra. Ah…the power and fun of social media.

Thank you again for your posts and dialogue. We appreciate and and fully respect and honor all of the diversity in perspectives that our friendships, fans, etc. provide to us.

xo
Rebecca


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Hello 2010…and a fond farewell to 2009

December 31, 2009

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted on petitcouture.com. I’m writing in the last three hours of 2009 to ensure I make the cut-off. With three munchkins needless to say, JKW and I are “in” for the night. That said, some reflection from the past year and updates….

2009 is the year Petit Couture came into formation. It is still a nascent business with a tremendous opportunity for growth and I’m personally THRILLED for the reception and continued momentum. Every aspect of the business I am finding personally and professionally challenging and fulfilling and it’s just starting. I feel personally grateful each and every day for the fateful conversations started last January that prompted the creation of Petit Couture. Since the company’s inception, we’ve held six successful trunkshows, we’re carried in four high-end boutique stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland (discussions with two others), have one national ad featured in ‘Hybrid Mom’ magazine, will be live online in Australia in January with ‘Triflenet’, and there are interested sales and showroom representatives in Japan and California! I even have a discussion scheduled with a major buying team for a national retailer in February! We also have a great following on Twitter and Facebook and I continue to personally make tremendous connections socially now. The momentum is so incredible! I still cannot believe how much has been accomplished in under a year given momentum didn’t truly take off until this past summer. And, even that said…..I’m just really grateful for the reception for the brand, garments and business plan. I love it!

You might be wondering what else has been happening ‘behind the scenes’. Well, PetitCouture.com launched last month – thank you to the INCREDIBLE web skillz of Mr. Diggles. Ecommerce launches in January (thank you James Paden and Jascha Kaykas-Wolff :) . I’ve also been very active in local to Portland business groups like Mamapreneurs, Inc. (newly named ‘The Power MOB’) as well as the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. My main focus this last month has been ramping up all of the financials and business planning for Petit Couture. I’ve been working on the five-year financial roadmap and have submitted an application to present and pitch in Angel Oregon’s SEED competition scheduled for March 6 at The Nines in Portland. Fingers crossed. I’ve also been working with a truly wonderful branding and packaging firm here called Sandstrom Partners to coalesce all of the packaging elements associated with Petit Couture. I’m so glad they agree the brand is perfect ‘as is’ and that we’re looking to mature the packaging elements to create fun gift sets and collateral pieces. All fun stuff! Lastly, I’ve been working on NEW collection pieces and I’m SOOOOO EXCITED about them. All of the hard bits remain to be completed though (fully sourcing all bits and finalizing local manufacturing….but as with everything it’s ‘in process’).

I continue to be amazed at what a connected universe (and a very small one) Portland is and how fortunate I am to have landed here while Petit Couture matures. I feel like that has been the biggest kismet moment of them all. I am so fortunate to be working with some of the best NW business talent there is to help me shape the vision and business planning for Petit Couture as well as the nuts and bolts of creating true ‘cut and sew’ orginal creations. I mean, Portland is an apparel town. I never really thought about it before. But with Nike here so many other large and small apparel businesses are here which is OUTSTANDING for Petit Couture. Great talent and I feel truly humbled to be working with so many great people here.

With that…look for exciting updates in 2010 and THANK YOU for being truly, truly, truly great supporters of Petit Couture. I love what Simone told me yesterday as we drove past a FedEx truck (she is 7 and can read now). She said, “mommy…what is FedEx (I tell her)?”. “Hmm….I like your Petit Couture better (meaning the logo)”. Ahh…Love it.

And, lastly….thanks to Sofie (who will only wear Petit Couture on ‘owl shirt friday’), Jules (who has no choice but to always be in owls), and Simone (who gets her friends to want ‘owl shirts’) and JKW…who is tirelessly, as I type, working on final ecommerce updates. All of them the reason, and opportunity, for me to be moving Petit Couture forward each and every day….

xo and Happy New Year.
Rebecca


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Petit Couture now at Village Maternity in Seattle’s University Village

November 13, 2009

What a great way to end the week! I attended the fabulous product expo that Village Maternity hosted last night in Seattle. Owners and reps from local and wonderful mama-run businesses were in full force and the crowd turnout was fantastic! Thanks to Kat at Village Maternity for extending the invite to Petit Couture. I donated one of our Signature white one-pieces to the raffle cause and it was really exciting to hear so many positive reactions to the line. I honestly heard nothing but positive feedback and “gasps” at the cuteness and the quality. Lots of questions regarding washability (which comes with bling) and I can honestly say these little numbers wash extremely well. I’m really proud of the products and the care put into them. I wouldn’t be so visible if I had ANY reservations about them. I love them and am so encouraged at the positive feedback thus far.

IMG_1576

IMG_1566

IMG_1570

With that….Petit Couture is now available at Village Maternity, 2615 NE University Village Street, Seattle, WA 98108. Much of the line is accessible in limited sizes. Please pop in the store, purchase and provide feedback! They, and I, would love the interest!

Yay!
Rebecca


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Reminder: Petit Couture at Village Maternity – 11/12/09 6-8 p.m.

November 10, 2009

Reminder, please join me at Village Maternity in Seattle on Thursday, November 12 from 6-8 p.m. Village Maternity is hosting a childrens and maternity product expo that Petit Couture will be participating in.

villagematernity

Also, thanks to all of you for your feedback and support as I’ve launched the Petit Couture site. I’m super thrilled with it’s initial release and will be working to improve functionality in the coming weeks. As some of you may have noticed the site doesn’t have full ecommerce capability yet. I am in the process of finalizing that with my partners at Shopatron and am really excited for the release. For now, I have enabled invoicing through PayPal. Please contact us at “sales@petitcouture.com” if you’d like to make a purchase. And, if you sign up for a newsletter (at www.petitcouture.com) mention “NEWSIE” you’ll receive 10% off your total purchase PLUS there is free domestic shipping through the month of November. Super chic!

Thanks again everyone!
Rebecca


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Petit Couture New Site Launch

November 9, 2009

Petit Couture now has officially launched our web presence! I am THRILLED to say the least. I hope you enjoy the images, learning more about the company and purchasing Petit Couture.

Petit Couture's New Website

The site was technically created by a truly fabulous fella by the name of Benjamin Diggles. I am astonished by his web artisanship and technical prowess with 72 dpi and fully, fully, fully believe him to be a kismet relationship as well. For a guy who has never purchased a onesie or held a baby bottle….he is a fabulous partner to Petit Couture and has beautifully executed the digital extension of the Petit Couture brand. THANK YOU!! I promise not to break code, listen to your web advice and not bother you too much with “so….can you just…” requests. You are a rock star! xo Mr. Diggles.

Also, the beautiful product photography is, of course, the fabulous work of Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry. Many thanks and appreciations to you Jenn. Looking forward to seeing you in Jan for our next shoot!

Lastly, thank you to my outstanding partner in life, Jascha. He is my IT guy and voice of reason. xo

I’m thrilled and I would love to hear from you directly and hear your thoughts about our site. Please post comments here!!!

More Later….
Rebecca


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Category: design,industry,marketing

Petit Couture’s First Ad Feature

November 6, 2009

DSC_0009

Wow. Let me just start by saying “Wow”. I just received a copy of the Winter 2009 edition of ‘Hybrid Mom’ magazine. Petit Couture has a full page ad featured in the edition and I still get teary when I look at it. The overwhelming pride I have in seeing Petit Couture featured is just amazing. The ad features Simone and Finn and our signature thermal Ts. I remember the day we shot the image and the fun that was had by all. We wrangled 8 kids on a very hot day. Noree and I styled all of the kids, managed some tantrums, combed, pined, pulled back hair countless times, changed clothes (three times per model!), and art directed all of the product shots. We also had the assistance of Jascha, Scott and David who avery patiently watched the chaos and graciously handed out juice boxes and nibbles for the talent. Jennifer Tai was of course wonderful and captured the essence of Petit Couture flawlessly. The day was perfect.

Last month, when I was presented with the opportunity to feature Petit Couture in the magazine – I knew which shot I wanted. I chose this image not only because it features a great image of one of our best-selling products, but also because the expressions on Simone and Finn’s face embody the spirit behind Petit Couture. For me, the vision has always been to create a company that is rooted in passion and fun – creating something, selling something, marketing something that I personally love and feel passion for. I love what I do for Petit Couture every day.

All of it is a tremendous learning opportunity and I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, and continue to meet, along the way.

Simone & Finn In Signature Thermal T's

Meeting the marketing VP at Hybrid Mom (Robin) was another “kismet” moment. She and I corresponded via Twitter and as luck would have it…some good (limited to 140 characters at a time of course :) discussions were had, then a few emails and voila. Petit Couture’s first ad in a national publication. And, on a silly note….I’m THRILLED that Petit Couture is in a mag that also featured my cherished Christian Louboutin’s. The magazine is such a great venue for Petit Couture as it too is a “mama-powered” enterprise. Hybrid Mom is all about showcasing mama-based businesses, their products and the incredible mama’s that “do” them.

More updates later. Had to share this one tonight. I’m jumping for joy!

P.S. Check back Monday for the new Petit Couture website :) .


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Truly Great Updates and a Date

October 27, 2009

Hello! Quick update to let you know a few key events. I’m thrilled to update that the Petit Couture corporate site is nearly complete. The development version looks AMAZING and we will

Sneek Peek

no doubt have a stellar ecommerce experience using Shopatron as our retail engine. This association will enable Petit Couture to take and fulfill orders online and I cannot wait for our direct business to flourish. I’m dedicated to ensuring that Petit Couture is a 2.0 company and you’ll see a lot of growth “below the line” as they say as a result. Launch date set for early November (just have a few nuts/bolts to tighten prior).

Also, I’m in the final phases of last phase certification for our finished goods. This is a great process to ensure that our garments and accessories meet the requirements of the CPSIA which ensures there are no harmful chemicals in toys or accessories worn by young children. We know our products are in the clear as we’ve worked tirelessly with OSI for months to ensure our inks and final finishing embellishments are “ok”. This is just the final testing phase. Great news!!

Additionally, I’m speaking with two new retailers with presence in Canada and Portland who have expressed interest in Petit Couture. Great news and will post an update ASAP!

Lastly, the official Petit Couture launch party (to celebrate nearly a year AND the site launch) is scheduled for early December in Portland. This will be a true celebration of the business and the people who have made it a reality thus far. And, this provides me a way to thank the folks who have extended many of the kismet moments enabling Petit Couture to date. I’m working with a tremendous publicist in Portland – Ivo @ 24 Notion. Thank you! Not a mama, but a true rockstar woman business owner!

Many more updates/details to follow….
R


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Petit Couture now at Bump Maternity and Pop Tots!

October 12, 2009

Rebecca and Noree @ Bump Maternity

Whew. Busy weekend. Great customer feedback and reception. Thank you to Kelly Buck, owner of both Bump Maternity and Pop Tots for her support of Petit Couture. Select Petit Couture items can now be found at both store locations. Be sure to check them out for the perfect newborn and toddler gift for the holidays! And, if stores don’t have the size you need – be sure to let us, or them, know, we’ll get it for you!

Bump Maternity – Bellevue Square. 575 Bellevue Way NE, Ste. 1075 – Bellevue, WA.

Petit Couture @ Pop Tots 920 NE 64th Street, Seattle, WA

Pop Tots – 65th and Roosevelt area. 920 NE 64th Street, Seattle, WA 98115

Also, posting some pics from this past weekend. Was a fun time. Glad to be back in Seattle if only for a short visit! Thanks to Jennifer Tai for stopping by, snapping some pics and catching up. Amazing what she’s doing with her business - Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry.

And, thank you to JKW for his tireless help and assistance. He’s on a plane to London now after spending the weekend supporting Petit Couture. Rock Star Papa :) .

More later!
xo
Rebecca


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Petit Couture is on fire and then some :)

October 5, 2009

Jens in our signature cap sleeve T

Wow. It’s been a bit since I’ve provided a post with any depth. So much has happened in the past few weeks! Jascha and I also just hired a part-time nanny to help me during the day – THANK YOU COPIOUS AMOUNTS RACHEL!!!!!!! Cannot wait for Tuesday :) The kids have been wonderful, but to allow me a bit more flexibilty during the day, I needed someone who could help care for Sofie and Julien.  On any given day, Julien (who just turned 1 last month) makes a run for it and crawls up the stairs….only to get stuck at the top and then “fingers crossed” I get to him before he tries to get down himself. I’m getting faster, but so is he. Enough is enough. Sofie lets me know only when he’s at the top of the stairs and starts screaming that he is going to fall and die. So, you can see how ‘focus’ might be elusive on some days.

With that, I’m amazed at what has been accomplished thus far.

Also, a huge “Thank You” to those of you voting in the Home-Based 100 Competition. Just one month to go! Petit Couture is “on fire” because of you and we’re thrilled. Thank you. Fingers crossed! We’ll keep you updated along the way.

Here’s where we are…

1.) Petit Couture has been selected to show at Bubble NYC! The show is March 6, 7 and 8, 2010. Believe it or not, there is a lot of prep starting now that will go into our showing in NYC. I’m thrilled. Bubble is a tradeshow that has drawn much praise over the past logo-bubblenyseveral years at providing exposure for higher-end, artisan, special children’s brands and we’re so fortunate to be in the company of so many beautiful children’s brands. Thanks to the Bubble team for providing Petit Couture this exposure and opportunity – especially to Corinne at KX Consulting. Merci Beaucoup!

2.) Petit Couture has also become a member of a tremendous business organization here in Portland. The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. OEN primarily provides funding, networking and educational opportunities to start-up companies in the seed and repeat funding phases (via Angels and VCs); OEN also actively seeks and recruits leaders in the community who may be good candidates to provide seed funding for start-up companies. I’ve been able to connect with some key leaders within the Portland community through OEN in the past month as well as connect with other entrepreneurs with “like” brands in the Portland market. I’m having some GREAT discussions and honestly meeting logoincredible business leaders and creative visionaries through the process. I’m thrilled to be part of OEN on behalf of Petit Couture.  Some of you may be asking “why” Petit Couture would be part of a group like this. Twofold: One: To enable Petit Couture to develop a place in the Portland business community by participating in the right discussions where they apply to similar business interests. Two: To seek capital! In the next few months, I’ll be pitching for angel funding. This, I hope, will enable Petit Couture to grow exponentially and to be able to provide the baseline operations to fully function at a luxury brand level. We’re doing AMAZING work now working within our own budget, but seeking outside funding will help escalate our efforts. Outside funding also means that a ‘board’ comes with the $. This is a GOOD thing that will enable Petit Couture to grow sustainably and smartly – it’s always great to have people with a wealth of portfolio experience helping advise your brand and business. I hope to learn a lot through the process. Thanks to Sarena for all of her assistance thus far!

Sell-Thru!

3.) We have been having great customer feedback and sales thus far. Our two retailers Sugarlump in Seattle and Seaplane in Portlandhome have been good outlets for us and we’re seeing our products move! That’s a great sign. I’ll be bringing more stock to Seaplane this 800week and will be announcing another “Play Date” (our version of a trunkshow) at the end of October/Early November. Seaplane is moving to a new location this week and we cannot wait to help celebrate the new location and visibility for Petit Couture. I should also mention that Petit Couture is the inaugural children’s collection featured at Seaplane which is known for bringing new cut and sew designers to the Portland market.

4.) Upcoming Play Dates:

Get your calendars out. Petit Couture is going to be in Seattle this weekend.

October 10 - Bump Maternity in Bellevue Square. From 12-4, Noree and I will be in store showcasing our present line. We are thrilled to be showing in Bellevue Square and hope to see some of you then!

Bump Address: 575 Bellevue Way NE, Ste. 1075, Bellevue, WA 98004

October 11 - PopTots in Seattle. From 12-4 we’ll be at PopTots which features amazing, hard-to-find infant, toddler and maternity wear. We’re priviledged to be in the company of so many great brands and look forward to the day. Please stop by!

PopTots Address: 6405 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

And, a play date at Seaplane is being scheduled now. I’ll update when our date is final.

5.) Website. You’ll be happy to know that though I love this blog, it isn’t our only .com destination for long. I’ve been working with an amazing talent, Benjamin Diggles, for the past month and we have a great web launch planned for early November. Just in time for your holiday shopping. I’m honestly honored to have his insight and talent behind Petit Couture and cannot thank him enough for his involvement. Grazie Ben! You are a completely rockin’, kick-ass, fella whose got a lot of skills re: web and stuff! You’ll see what I mean when the site goes live. Big announcements, virtual balloons, the whole works!

6.) Refining finishes and processes with our finishing partner, Oregon Screen Impressions. For the better part of 2009 we’ve been working with OSI and have developed a tremendous relationship and do I ever have respect for the art of screenprint and finishing. OSI is hands-down the best. We are super fortunate for finding them (thanks Kelly at Sandstrom again and again). In the past month, we’ve decided to take a look at our garments and make some improvements to the finishes and then also produce new pieces for Spring 2010 and Fall 2010. Our orders in and press check is in two weeks. I cannot wait. Thanks again Casey T. Rock star mama!

And….#7.)

We’ve booked our 2010 photoshoot with Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry. We’ll be ringing in the new year with Jennifer here in PDX as we shoot our collection locally. We have some great locations planned AND some partnerships with some sister clothing brands in Portland. Details to follow in the coming months. Needless to say, I am over joyed with the professional friendships made and the potential to come. GREAT STUFF is in the works!

Whew! Fingers hurt. Hope this finds you all well….I have an early Barre3 class tomorrow and can’t wait. I’m addicted and luckily Julien and Sofie like the play area there :) .

xo

Rebecca


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Category: industry,marketing