Thursday, 28 May 2015

INTERVIEW | KATE PEARSON OF BELLA & LACE








While Kate Pearson worked in the fashion industry for many years, she didn’t really have a firm plan for her childrenswear label Bella and Lace. Rather, it evolved after she had twin girls Mila and Ezara. However, since launching only a few seasons ago, the label has already started to gain a lot of traction. “The momentum and drive of it just keeps me going,” Kate says. This year, in particular, has been a big one for the brand. There are more stockists and more orders in general. Kate has added a few homewares pieces into the mix too and hopes to continue to grow this side of the business.

Born and raised in Sydney, Kate has been based in Brisbane for the past 13 years. She now has her sight set on a womenswear collection then homewares. “Then I think I have covered all the things I love,” she says.

What was behind the decision to start Bella and Lace? I had always wanted to start my own label and after having my girls it really forced me and gave me the confidence to do it. 

What had you been doing previously? I have always been in the fashion industry and I’ve worked in design, manufacturing and production. I have always enjoyed where I have worked and I have made some really beautiful lifelong friends along the way. In Sydney I worked at a really beautiful company, my boss was a lovely man and I often think back and take on board a lot of his work ethic - he worked really hard and was a very kind and giving man.  

What is important to you when designing children's clothes? It’s about having fun. I love putting together those “OMG, I would have loved that when I was a kid” styles. Although we are a kids clothing business our main target market is really the parents and grandparents. For me it’s that they are fun, not too pretty and a bit earthy.  

How do you try to differentiate your products from others on the market? Australia has amazing designers and I really don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. When starting Bella & Lace I never really thought I was filling a gap in the marketplace, I was really just putting together styles I loved, but as time has gone on we can see that we are filling a big gap in market. Every season we change styles very few items are ever repeated, we hand draw our own prints, we change colours we look at what trends are happening overseas, if something sells out we very rarely repeat it. Every season we add in a few special pieces like out vintage wonder women, and people are really taking to them. 

What has been completely unexpected since starting your business? All of the amazing people you get to meet along the way. I love supporting other labels and store owners, I love meeting other women in business. I always do a little "yeah, rock on sista” to myself.

What is something that people often don’t realise about your wares? Where they are made; that we make styles ethically. It’s a part of the business that is very close to my heart and I do get somewhat emotional about it. It’s a big behind the seasons part of Bella & Lace. The factory is owned and run by a woman who was brought up in a very poor family. She wanted more for her life and started her factory with just two machines. Now she manufactures for many labels and her staff love her and she truly loves them. I love going there and being apart of it.

Where do you look to for design inspiration? I look at all sorts of things. I love looking at fashion trends. I also take inspiration from styles my mum kept from when I was a little one.

What do consider when dressing or styling children? I’m not into neat. Kids are messy so when we do a shoot we let them be them. We never do their hair, we don’t tell them to pose, we just let them be kids.

What role do you want your products to play in a childhood? I want them to be memorable. I want them to think back and remember how much they loved that tutu or leotard. I know I have pieces that I loved when I was a child. But I can tell you those skivvies weren’t one of them!

What was the last great children's book that you read? Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, my girls and I love this book and its beautiful illustrations by Anna Walker.

images courtesy of kate pearson from bella & lace

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