As any parent knows, young kids love to wear clothes that reflect their personalities and which make them feel and look good whilst they are enjoying their active lives. But finding kids clothing that not only looks great but is also affordable can be challenging. Samantha Collen and mom Jenny, co-founders of growing, trendy kids clothing brand JenniDezigns has the answer.
LoA found out more about this wonderful kids clothing company this month,
What does your company do?
Classic, quirky African print children’s clothing for every occasion! Made in South Africa, JenniDezigns is a mother-daughter duo; Jenny (the dezigner) & Sam (her daughter) who share a passion for allowing children to be children & with this the freedom to dress like children. Each dezign is given an African name to bring to life the vibrant ShweShwe prints and style combination. The range is aimed at children aged 1-9 years and includes practical every day styles and something unique for Parties and Special Occasions. All made to the highest quality to ensure comfort and durability for active children. We work together with a collection of local suppliers & manufacturing partners to bring you a truly home grown, Proudly South African product!
“We work together with a collection of local suppliers & manufacturing partners to bring you a truly home grown, Proudly South African product!”
What inspired you to start your company?
Jenny: I have always been a ‘dezigner’ at heart. I started out making my own clothes as a teenager which were always rather “different” to the standard teenage gear, because I have always loved bright colours. I then moved on to designing children’s clothing when my daughters were born, always enjoying dressing them in beautiful clothing which makes them feel special. Over the years it became more and more difficult to find this clothing at a reasonable price. At the time I was not able to turn my passion into a business due to financial constraints and needing to support my husband in his endeavours. But, late in 2015 when sharing this story with my now grown daughter, Samantha, she encouraged me to revisit the idea of and JenniDezigns was born'.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We are a Proudly South African company from start to finish. We use the local 100% cotton ShweShwe prints (sourced only from DaGama textiles) as our canvas and partner with local business to make up all our designs. All styles are made with children in mind - making them feel special, but comfortable too. We value a quality product that parents can trust and support a sustainable ethos with a product that can be well used and passed on.
“We are a Proudly South African company from start to finish. We use the local 100% cotton ShweShwe prints (sourced only from DaGama textiles) as our canvas and partner with local business to make up all our designs. “
Tell us a little about your team
As mentioned, we are a mother-daughter duo who make use of third-party suppliers to deliver our product (see imagery of staff in supply chain -#whomademyclothes, for further stories) Jenny is now a granny, with time to focus on her passion. She is based in South Africa and focuses on design & production. Samantha (daughter), is based in the UK with her family of 2 kids, boy (8) and girl (7) and focuses on sales and marketing for the business.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Samantha: I started my career in business consulting in a top SA firm, but soon found that big corporate was not for me. Early on I moved into working with start-up projects in financial services in South Africa, and later in the charity sector in the UK. After taking some time out to have my children it was time to start with a new project - JenniDezigns.
Jenny: I have helped run several small businesses, from legal firms to medical companies. JenniDezigns is the culmination of that experience.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our ambition is to be a credible, authentic brand in the children's boutique clothing sector, with established distribution in key boutique stores both in South Africa and abroad. Expanding our footprint in South Africa is about partnering with new boutiques aligned to our brand ethos. We are also experimenting with opportunities abroad through selective trade shows focused on kids’ boutique fashion. The last piece of the puzzle is to make sure our range is available direct to our customers via an easy to use online store, providing local and international delivery: www.jennidezigns.clothing.
JenniDezigns currently sells in South Africa through a select group of retail stores - mostly to a tourist audience. But we have recently partnered with a local store in Pretoria to give access to local customers, alongside our online store. And continue to invest in growing the brand locally. We also recently showcased in London at MiniMode London Kids Fashion week (http://www.mini-mode.co.uk/)
“We value a quality product that parents can trust and support a sustainable ethos with a product that can be well used and passed on.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
When customers come back and say great things about your product is always a win. And getting a 'yes' to exclusive showcase events that you have been working hard to get in to
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Before you jump into your venture, do your homework and be sure there is a market for your product (even if it means you need to create it first) and make sure you have credible support networks to advise along the way. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely and frustrating journey that is made easier with this in place. Be willing to listen to others, but always filter the advice and make sure you action only what keeps you true to your brand.
We wish you all the best in your ventures
Jenny & Sam
Contact or follow JenniDezigns
Why LoA loves it….
At Lionesses of Africa we love hearing the stories of family businesses being created by women entrepreneurs across the African continent. So it’s wonderful to see mother and daughter entrepreneurial team, Samantha and Jenny, building a successful business creating world-class products that are finding markets globally. Their brand is inspired by ShweShwe prints and interpreted in a way that creates real fans, both children and their parents alike. This is a proudly South African brand that is on the move! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa