Inspired by the birth of her son and a pair of up-cycled jeans, Amanda’s playful and adventurous label Macaroons Kids includes handmade heirloom treasures for your little lads and ladies. Today we chat with Amanda about her motivations and what drives her fun and ethical business.
Tell us a bit about Macaroon Kids and what we can expect to discover?
Macaroon Kids is a colourful handmade children’s label, creating practical and fun clothes for kids and keepsake heirloom and timeless gifts for babies and children. I design and create items to last and be handed down rather than on-trend items that only last a season. I am very conscious of my footprint on this earth and I want Macaroon Kids items to be around longer than I am. This philosophy really drives my design and fabric decisions. I appeal to those customers that prefer to buy handmade quality rather than just quantity. I also love colour.. my children colour my life and I want their bedrooms to reflect this as well as their clothes.
What inspired you to start your own label?
I have always created and always wanted my own label but could not narrow down one main genre… I want to create and improve on so many different things but after my two children were born I finally had a focus and Macaroon Kids was created. My goal is to have an ethical business that is relevant to parents and allows me to explore and share different creative outlets. I cannot decide on creating just clothes or just toys so I keep creating both.
What inspires your work? What keeps you motivated creatively?
My children are my inspiration and meeting their needs drives the creative process. As they are always changing so are their needs and this challenges me to push the boundaries. I am a problem solver and love a challenge, my brain never gets switched off except at bedtime, I always go to bed exhausted. Life is a constant source of creativity but motivation can be lacking at times and again this is when my children’s needs drive me forward.
What is your workspace like and what is your creative process?
My workspace is totally chaotic! It really is! I have a studio where I work and I try and contain everything in that one room… ha ha… and I rush in there any spare moment I can get. At the beginning of each week I plan a long list of what needs to be done, then I try and cross things off the list whenever I can between looking after the children. My daughter’s nap time is the time you will find me sewing away in my little studio… or cutting a new batch of fabric ready to be sewn. Designing is left to the evenings once my children have stopped demanding my attention I will encourage my daughter to have her nap for as long as possible…
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Starting a new label is an incredible labour of love and huge learning curve! There is so much to grasp and be on top of all the time but I love every single aspect of it. From the original idea, to the pattern making and sampling to working out the best way to sew each garment takes a considerable amount of time but my favourite part is when it all comes together and I can book in the photoshoot! There’s no other motivator to finish everything than a photoshoot! Being able to be a part of great markets like the Finders Keepers means I have first hand contact with my customers and hear their feedback.
The biggest challenge for a handmade business like mine is creating items that are manageable. I am a reasonably fast sewer, but each seam still takes time. I have so many grand ideas but bringing the final design process into a scalable and manageable form is always such a challenge having a handmade business certainly has its limitations in this commercial world. I’m a maker rather than a great business person and I acknowledge the drawbacks of this.
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see Macaroon Kids in the future?
I am continually working on new ranges and the next range will feature even more unique fabrics created by myself, a costly process, hence why I am treading into it slowly. I love pattern and I love printing and printing techniques so I slowly want to incorporate more of this into my ranges. Currently my focus for Macaroon Kids is to create unique items that still have my unique fingerprint but are more easily scalable. At the moment every single seam in every single garment takes an incredible amount of time and love. Something many people and other small businesses scoff at but its an old tradition that is still close to my heart. The art of creating in whichever medium is something I admire and respect incredibly.