Thursday, August 1, 2013

Get To Know Your Favorite Kids Clothing Designer: Mustard Pie Clothing

Do you ever wonder about your favorite boutique girls clothing brands? How they were "born," where did the name come from, how do they manage to keep their designs cute, fresh and unique season after season? At My Little Jules we believe that every brand we carry - and the people behind it - has a wonderful story to tell. Through "Get To Know Your Favorite Kids Clothing Designer" blog series we hope to help our brands and designers share their amazing stories with you. And we hope to help our customers get a closer, more personal look into what inspires the creation of their favorite boutique kids clothing.

Our first post features Shannon Rihm, the founder and creative force behind Mustard Pie Clothing. Enjoy!

Shannon Rihm's son a daughter.
1. Your name, brand name and location:
Shannon Rihm, Mustard Pie, Chicago, IL

2. Describe your brand in 3 words:
 Fresh, Girly, Elegant

3. Tell us a little bit more about your brand, what makes it special?
I try to never create a piece that I would not put on my own daughter and often she has a say in what gets cut before we go to market. (She is 5:) I try to create pieces through a child's perspective that are fun, fresh, easy to wear and will stand the test of time (And lots of washing:). I LOVE color and mixing lots of prints and patterns to form a unique yet put together look.  I want your little girl to feel like a princess every day and feel confident to take on the world!  I love ruffles, lace, texture but in a way that creates a sweet simplicity.  I strive to make pieces that will keep your little girl looking like a little girl and not grow up too quickly. I LOVE what I do and I hope that shines through in the clothing we create!

4. How did it all start?
When I was on maternity leave with my daughter I was laid off from my job so I tried to think of ways to make a little extra money to spend on her wardrobe of course:)  I started an ebay business reselling high end items at a discount that I bought at places like TJ Maxx or Norstrom rack.  After a while I had created a pretty good following and stumbled upon a hidden group of designers who created custom One of a kind pieces and sold them in the size of choice of the winner.  I was simply in awe of these women and wanted to learn how to do what they were doing.  I took several sewing classes, read books, tutorials, and practiced practiced practiced.  As boxes and boxes of fabric and more fabric would pile up at our front door my husband began to question what was going on, but when he would see the finished products and my pure excitement he continued to support me and believe in my dream WITH me. Soon I had started my OWN ebay business of creating OOAK custom unique pieces for little princesses around the world.  It got SO busy in fact that I could not keep up with it.  It was then I decided to try my hand at a REAL clothing line. My husband and I did not know what to expect or what we were doing at that but we took our very first sample set to the October 2009 ENK Children's Club show in hopes of becoming the next big thing.  We were in for quite a surprise when we left our first show with barely $3,000 in orders and A LOT to learn. But, this only pushed me to try harder, learn more, figure it out.  We did not have much help along the way but continued to try and succeed at the American dream.  We have been through MANY trials along the way and I am sure there are more to come, but we have learned to roll with the punches, expect that things will NOT go how we think they will and find comfort in the fact that that is OK because we will get through whatever comes to us TOGETHER:)  I could not have done this without him and I am truly grateful everyday for the blessing this little business venture has brought us.  Sometimes I still go down to my sewing room and just have fun with my fabric creating this or that because for me it is the moment when the idea becomes reality and that final dress is in my hands.  I can't quit until the last stitch is sewn and I don't ever intend to:)

5. Where did the name come from?
A funny story from when I was a little girl and trying to bake a pie for my mom.  She always used to make Lemon Meringue Pies and when I was about 5 I told her I wanted to make one for her for Mother's Day. She helped me with the crust but I wanted to do the rest myself.  So sure enough I grabbed the Mustard bottle and squirted it all the way to the top.  The story came to mind when I started this line because I wanted the line to express the way we look at the world as children.  I think it is very important to remember:)

6. What inspires you? How do you get ideas for your designs and keep them fresh?
I am VERY inspired by music.  Anyone who knows me well knows I have a playlist for everything.  I LOVE hearing new music and often blast it while I'm designing.  But beyond that I am inspired by different things every day.  I often get ideas while I'm out and about on a normal day and have to jot them down in my little idea note book so I don't forget.  It could be a cool wrapping paper, store display, a friend's dining table.  All kinds of things bring inspiration!  I try to keep the feel of Mustard Pie consistent while bringing in trends that are fresh and a little bit different each season.

7. What are your top priorities when designing clothing (shoes/accessories)?
 Of course I love for our clothing to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye so we always try to make pieces that look fresh and fun.  But certainly as a mom myself I want our clothing to be functional, easy to wear and withstand the test of time!  This is why on our knits we have gone tag less as my kids HATE having tags at the backs of their necks itching them. We have also immensely upgraded our fabric quality season after season to insure the clothing will last wear after wear. We have made changes to reinforce stitching more efficiently, switched to elastic thread where needed and tried to listen when customers give advice that may better the quality of our product.  Of course if any quality issue should ever arise I always do my best to either fix the problem or replace it for our customers.  We don't ever want any customer to have to deal with an issue like this but if they do we feel it is of utmost importance to take care of the problem quickly and kindly.

8. What is your favorite season to design for and why?
SPRING:)  I LOVE colors and just feel very inspired by clothing that can be worn doing anything!  There are some limitations on Fall/winter if there is snow (here there is a LOT) so I prefer to design for a season where anything is possible:)

9. Where do you see your brand in a few years?
We hope to continue to be innovative yet constant as a solid brand that mom's feel they can trust.  I hope to continue to improve our quality each and every season a give kids and moms alike a brand that they feel comfortable and confident in and that makes them feel like the special little individuals they are. We also have an exciting new venture in the works that will expand the Mustard Pie brand....More info to come;)

10.  If there was one thing you could tell your customers (kids or adults), what would it be? THANK YOU!  We truly owe all of this to you and cannot thank all of you enough for your continued support in this brand and this dream.  You have helped to make it come true and we will continue to try and bring you the best and most adorable products out there.  We are so lucky to have you all!

Our daughters, Jules and Emma, love their Mustard Pie Clothing outfits! Here they are modeling sweet Mustard Pie sets you can find at My Little Jules boutique.
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Turquoise and  Mustard Pie Ava Shorts In Cream Lace
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Turquoise and  Mustard Pie Ava Shorts In Cream Lace
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Pink and Mustard Pie Clothing Carousel Crops In Rainbow
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Turquoise and  Mustard Pie Ava Shorts In Cream Lace
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Pink and Mustard Pie Clothing Carousel Crops In Rainbow
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Turquoise and  Mustard Pie Ava Shorts In Cream Lace
Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Pink and Mustard Pie Clothing Carousel Crops In Rainbow

Mustard Pie Clothing Clara Dress In Pink and Mustard Pie Clothing Carousel Crops In Rainbow
Mustard Pie Clothing - Juliet Dress In Rainbow
Mustard Pie Clothing - Juliet Dress In Rainbow
Mustard Pie Clothing - Juliet Dress In Rainbow and Mustard Pie Clothing Alice Jacket In Antique Grey
Mustard Pie Clothing - Juliet Dress In Rainbow and Mustard Pie Clothing Alice Jacket In Antique Grey
 Mustard Pie Clothing Rowan Tank in Pink, Mustard Pie Clothing Cordelia Skirt In Rainbow and Mustard Pie Clothing Mia Bells In Cream Lace
Mustard Pie Clothing Rowan Tank in Pink, Mustard Pie Clothing Cordelia Skirt In Rainbow and Mustard Pie Clothing Mia Bells In Cream Lace
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