Laura Roso Vidrequin, a former buyer of Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, founded the children’s fashion brand Kids O’Clock in 2020. A special kind of fashion company that is sustainable to the core and has grown rapidly in the first year. It formalizes the existing framework for distributing children’s clothing to family and friends, and acts as a resale community for parents, godparents, and more to deal in high quality children’s clothing that is often loved by designers.
This is where Vidrequin tells us what it takes to start a brand for kids and embrace the circular economy.
Understand the market
“It’s important to really get to grips with how children’s clothing works. The UK approach to children’s fashion is very different as many children wear uniforms in North America unlike many European countries and schools in North America. This means that many parents do not believe that it is worth buying a lot if it is only worn on weekends. We took in a lot of informative data as we were preparing for this brand and I would say this was when I realized that a real platform was needed to help the wholesaler and make it more efficient for the parents shape. It was also when I realized how useful this would be in the UK, as roughly 80% of a child’s wardrobe goes idle, especially as they grow out of it. ”
Build a community
“For a brand like this, the community is very important. If it’s a good community, people will trust each other and just keep buying and selling. I make sure that we actually speak to almost everyone. Right now we have 1000 registered users and we are learning from them what works, what doesn’t, what they like and what doesn’t. And it’s not just parents, but also aunts and uncles as well as friends and grandparents who get involved. When people asked me how I came up with the idea I said, it’s not a genius at all. For so many years and decades, if you had a child and your neighbor or sister or family friend had a child, she would come up to you and give you all the clothes your child has outgrown. This is what we do and why the community connection is so important. ”
Be as sustainable as possible
“You have to focus on it, but you also don’t have to beat yourself up if it’s not quite perfect. The key is to try! For us, the only thing we haven’t done sustainably is shipping. I’m just trying not to put too much pressure on myself or the company, and I’m encouraged that we see the offer being built by different churches in different countries. Hopefully one day they can locate this community and share, buy and rent with one another. No shipping! “
“The key to a second hand business is marketing. Vintage has always been a major inspiration for high fashion, but the shopping experience has never been seen as luxurious. We’re going to have parents say vintage isn’t a really nice place to shop and browse because I get lost. We tried to improve this experience with Kids O’Clock. I think we’re seeing a lot of vintage, preloved or circular economy fashion brands now. It all depends on how you market it. ”
Think like a parent
“I never use my own experience as a benchmark. Some parents are super frugal, others hate the idea of buying used, all parents are so different. But one thing I just learned was that you have to make the whole process as easy as possible as parents always run out of time and their attention is always split in a thousand different directions. The key is to connect with the parents, not just the parents who are like you. It is difficult because we always think that we are keeping a very close eye on a market or a community. But now we have a wider community where we can understand how different everyone’s perspectives can be, and the feedback we get is so useful. You really have to grapple with this parental mindset in all of its forms to run a kids clothing brand. “
Make it accessible
“We work with charities because we’ve found that a lot of parents just use children to get rid of charity items too. And for me it is very important to make a clear distinction between what can be sold and what should be given. We don’t want charities to be missing out because this is where these garments are put to use now. That is why we work with a charity in the UK and one in France. We also want to help parents use Kids O’Clock without going out of their way too much. So we’re going to work with preschools and schools and get parents to drop off their clothes and just create their account. We want to make it widely available to parents of all incomes. ”
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