Disclaimer: I wrote this post in Nov. 2016. All is well now, but the message still applies.
I am sitting. I sit in a bleak, white walled room, trapped in a maze-filled building, surrounded by corridors of white. Instead of contemplating when I will leave, the truth of why I am here to begin with, or any other relevant thought, I wonder, why fashion? Why children's clothing? Why do I do what I do? What drew me to this industry?
Perhaps like many of you, I have been passionate about many things in life. At various points in life, I have loved music, reading, acting, guitar, tennis and the list goes on and on - but never fashion. Fashion was never a priority - until it was one.
I care about how my children are dressed. I care about how they are perceived and whether someone takes the extra millisecond to notice their clothing and how uniquely awesome they are, in small part, because of it. My children are awesome in general (what mom doesn't think so?!?), but their clothing captivates attention before their personalities can be calculated.
Now, I’m sure before your child was born you spent at least some time imagining an outfit dressed on your tiny little newborn. You probably did more than imagine. I'm certain that, like me, you purchased at least one outfit that you were obsessed with. Did you have a favorite “look” before he/she arrived?
Yes, I bought a few outfits, but they were laughably dissimilar to the style of dress my children sport now. The clothing I bought back then was, just plain uncool and unoriginal.
I mean. Just look to your left. That doesn't even match. Not cute.
Then, on one fine day, I saw a child dressed in amazingly unique unisex clothing. My eyes shot open wide in disbelief, “where did you buy these clothes?!?!?"
The only word that adequately describes my first days surfing through all of the adorable infant/toddler shops is “WOAH!” A rush of excitement raced through me. I had opened up Pandora's box and was obsessed.
My taste did grow over time ( I dare you to comment with a photo of your child's first "small shop" look below). Not only that, but I grew to appreciate the world of small shops. I formed friendships. My appreciation ran so deep for the hard work it took for these shops to maintain originality. I became entrenched in the desire to spread the word and help introduce others to the community I had discovered for myself. And, I did.
My children were a walking advertisement for everything that is right in the world of fashion. I loved when someone would ask me where I shopped.
I mean, look at these two.
But, if I'm honest with myself, there is another looming reason for embarking on this adventure.
I have written openly in the past about my eldest's chronic blood condition. It has meant hospital stays, IV’s, central lines, decreased limb mobility and a helicopter mom attitude to keep him safe.
I welcome positive attention for my children. I welcome any positivity that lifts us from the deepest despair that a chronic condition can evoke. I would imagine that there are a lot of moms to kids with conditions, special needs, ailments, any differences, who might agree with my position above - we just want our kids to feel special - in a positive way.
From this overwhelmingly positive experience, my own original ideas were borne. Once the flood gates opened, I was drowning in ideas, concepts and collections. Happy. Inspired. POSITIVE. (the meaning behind the ever cool acronym H.I.P.) Kid Apparel was created.
Creativity is a necessary outlet for those in pain. It heals pain, it promotes growth and it lets you in to your inner mind, allowing a self-assessment that may not otherwise be possible. I have always written, another outlet of choice. Naturally, the idea of writing on children’s clothing excited me. I can write. I can write on clothing. Hey, this might be fun.
And so, fashion and words collide.
I ponder this today because of where I sit. I am in a hospital, a surrounding I am all too familiar with since the birth of my son. Now, more than ever, I turn to my creativity, to help me through a difficult time. And yes, every single Nurse, Doctor, Technician and Specialist has commented on how my son is the most stylish child in the hospital (when he isn't wearing their pj's), and that brings a simple smile to my face.