Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label
We are two sisters Ruth and Lauren, born 15 months apart, different in many ways but share the love of design and sewing. Ruth has short wavy hair, brown eyes, uses an iron A LOT when sewing and keeps her workspace spotless. Lauren has long curly hair, blue eyes, only uses pins and makes an absolute mess.
Our love for design and sewing came from our mother who made most of our clothes when we were young and taught us our skills. We can remember waiting days for her to finish our outfits, once particularly for a wedding – it was a blue tartan dress for Lauren and the same dress, but red for Ruth. Very 80’s but a fond memory!
While Ruth has been busy teaching Textiles and Food Technology and Lauren doing rehabilitation and working with kids as an OT, in our spare time we’ve always made clothes for ourselves, for others and now since having sons of our own, we’ve made clothes for them. After receiving comments and interest from other mothers and fathers about the clothes our sons were wearing, we put our heads together and made a decision.
With us living apart, the Blue Mountains and Newcastle, we figured not only could we start a small business, but also we can have more time to share together, drink coffee and watch our little boys grow!
Who inspires you and your creative process?
Kindje is about un-designing; to express the child, not the clothes they wear. Born from a belief that good design draws out true character and brings people together, kindje uses natural fibres and simplified forms to celebrate innocence and honesty.
We love the idea that children can be free in their clothing – free to run in the wind, splash in the water and make mud cakes, as well as parents trusting the design is honest, the fabric is comfortable and the garment will wash effortlessly and maintain its shape and integrity.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for kindje in the next 12 months
There are so many things to look forward to! Ruth just had her second baby boy, Louie, who will definitely inspire some new newborn designs that will be made from pure natural fibres but still be very functional for all their nappy changes and sleeping needs! We are currently sourcing some new 100% linen fabric in a range of colours and are hoping to release them soon, possibly for Finders Keepers (fingers crossed).
Since starting kindje we have had such a positive response to our pieces. One of our biggest goals for the next 12 months is to expand our collection to include a larger sizing range, hopefully up to at least 4 years. We’ll probably need to call on some help – maybe we can convince our mum to retire from teaching and work for us for free… ha! As Ruth has a strong background in textiles, we are also hoping to explore natural dyeing further, creating a beautiful earthy collection.
Name one resource that your label could not live without
Well… practically it would definitely have to be our Mum and Dads lounge room for our cutting out space! It is seriously more effective to cut out 10 garments rather than 3 with our boys running all over it!
Psychologically, most definitely our husbands Ben and Alan for always encouraging our vision. They never hassle us when we’re talking to each other 10 times a day and are always good for a late night/early morning, sewing on buttons or labeling garments.
In pure general life, our best friend Janina is our go to woman – with a design background she has an honest sense of design and is happy to tell us when things are good or if they suck. Janina has designed our branding and will always go out of her way for a coffee break when there is simply no time!
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection
Ruth’s favourite piece is the Rover romper! The romper’s simplicity in design makes it practical to wear, particularly with the crotch studs. It is a versatile piece that can be worn with or without layers and has interchangeable back straps, so you can change the colour depending on the outfit.
Lauren’s favourite piece is the Bruiser. It is part of our basic collection and is super flexible. You can wear it in summer with the legs rolled up and in winter, with a shirt underneath.