Like many of us, Bianca Reis first became interested in kids’ apparel when she became an aunt in 2010. And like many of us, she was frustrated with the stereotype-enforcing kids’ clothes available. Her quest to find clothes to suit her nephews led her to found Agatha Club, which describes itself as a “home for the weird, the wonderful and the unexpected.” Sounds like just the kind of fashion label we can get behind.
You won’t find the typical blue and trucks for boys and pink and princesses for girls on Agatha Cub. Instead, the brand celebrates all kids’ unique styles, from babies to tweens, with one-of-a-kind prints splashed across T-shirts, sweatpants, jackets and accessories. Now a mom herself, Bianca knows even better what parents and kids need, and also runs a blog space on Agatha Cub to discuss anything from cyberbullying to breastfeeding. We recently spoke to Bianca about the development of Agatha Cub, and how motherhood has changed her style. Read our full conversation below to learn more.
How did you come up with the idea for Agatha Cub? What made you want to start a kids’ brand?
The idea for Agatha Cub began when my sister started having children. I found it extremely difficult to find thoughtful, exciting, stereotype-free games, toys, clothes and books for two boys with wildly different personalities and tastes. I knew that I could fill that gap when it came to cool and weird kids’ clothes, so I started making things for them.
Did having kids change the way you look at clothing and shopping?
Absolutely. Functionality, comfort and fit are so important when it comes to these little beings, and it’s hard to comprehend just how fragile they are as newborns until you’re responsible for taking care of one yourself! And then of course a neckline too tight or a label too itchy for any seven-year-old means a battle in the morning. These little people also have opinions of their own, and giving them autonomy in their wardrobe can be fun.
How has your style changed since becoming a mom?
I don’t have time to try on eight outfits before I leave the house these days, and I don’t have the luxury of being able to readjust uncomfortable clothing while on the go. So I definitely look for uncomplicated garments, comfortable clothes for every day. I think of my look more as a uniform.
Tell us about your background in fashion.
I had been in the fashion industry for about ten years before I started Agatha Cub. I worked primarily in women’s fashion as a designer for brands such as Helmut Lang and Kenneth Cole.
Do you operate more with a business mindset or is it more of a creative approach?
When I started it was more of a creative approach, but having run this business for four years now, I’ve definitely shifted a lot of my focus to the business side. Having said that, oftentimes a business problem requires a creative solution, and I’ve found myself to be very good at finding that middle ground!
Do you have any tips for new moms?
Be kind to yourself. It took me about six months to get a grip on life as a mother and a small business owner, and then another six months to stop holding myself to the standard I had for myself pre-baby. My priorities had shifted and my schedule had changed, yet I was still trying to fit my new life into my old life. I’m at a great place now, where running my business in a balanced way actually makes me a better mother.
Any tips for raising kids you can share?
Treating my little guy as an equal with opinions and feelings that are valid has been the single most productive parenting tip I can give. Of course when a dangerous situation calls for intervention, then safety is most important. But being patient enough to have each conversation, no matter how trivial it seems, creates a relationship of mutual respect.
Anything you can’t live without?
At the moment, I absolutely cannot live without my water bottle at my side. I’m pregnant again with baby number two, and between pregnancy symptoms and toddler chasing, that thirst just seems eternally unquenchable!
- Image Credit
- Jessie Sara English