I was about 6 months pregnant when I first spotted Love Well Handmade’s collection of adorable baby leggings and bloomers at Shop Good. And you guys… I started crying. I was pretty hormonal, sure, but I knew that I would very soon have a very real baby rocking said leggings – and it was just… way too cute and maybe a little overwhelming. Since Fox has been born he has been rocking the leggings (above he’s wearing some from the Great Plains collection) and getting cuddly with Love Well Handmade blankies on the daily. (I’ve since stopped crying about how cute it is. But it’s still pretty darn cute.)
So when I finally met Jonathan and Candice, the creative duo behind the cutest leggings ever, I felt like I was meeting baby fashion rockstars. And now I’m happy to be featuring them here and sharing a little bit about how they got their start and where they’re going next with their creative business.
&K: Tell me a little bit about why and how you started Love Well Handmade.
LW: Inspired by our twin babes, Linc & Viv, we started Love Well with a simple idea – to pair our passion for design and craftsmanship into a family business that could advance good in the world by giving back. We love the idea of connecting every purchase to a cause, allowing every customer to share that concept with their family too. And let’s be honest – making ridiculously small bloomers for newborns is something that can make anyone smile.
Once we had the vision, we jumped in with both feet and the business itself came together really quickly. We reached out to a friend who started a non-profit building wells in Central America, which provided a perfect first beneficiary of our shared proceeds. Jon designed our first round of fabric samples while Candice started refining patterns, eventually forming our first collection. Before we launched our online store we had a great opportunity to host a pop-up shop and jumped at the chance. It gave us just the deadline we needed to get everything in order, and so LW was born in July 2013.
&K: You have two sweet little babes. How do you balance (or blend) your work and home life? What is your biggest struggle and what has been one of your most successful solutions?
We have really been able to embrace the blend because we know we’re creating something meaningful together. Finding ways to involve Linc and Viv – outings to our retailers to drop off products, bringing them to pop-up shops, and of course letting them rough up our prototypes – has been fun. They love going places and have made a lot of new baby buddies along the way. At the same time, we strive to protect their day-to-day as much as possible by maximizing naps and focusing on sewing and designing after they go to bed.
All this to say, every day is a constant process of figuring out how to manage it all. When we’re up against a deadline, things get pretty chaotic so we’ve had to learn to say “later” or “no” to some opportunities in an effort to be realistic about our priorities and what is possible in this season of life. We also are so thankful to have our families close by who help us through busy times.
Just recently we made a big step in our business by hiring someone to help us with some of the administrative tasks, and it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made. Offloading some of the tasks that are outside of the creative process has freed up more time for us to focus on the core of our business.
&K: Tell me a little bit about your creative process. Do you design the fabrics, create the patterns, and sew? What inspires your designs?
LW: Love Well is a creative extension for both of us, but in different ways.
Jon focuses on the fabric designs and marketing of the business. We share a love for an accessible, modern aesthetic and that’s something that’s hard to find in kids clothing. When designing our collections, we are inspired by quirky and unexpected sources. For instance, one of our latest lines features a geometric alpaca, inspired by our recent family trip to Peru. For each new line, we sort through dozens of ideas and color combinations to find something unexpected and fun. From the beginning we have hidden our signature heart in every design, and we’ve loved continuing that as a reminder of our mission. Yep, the alpaca’s face is the heart 🙂
Candice focuses on crafting our product line from design to construction, including sewing every item by hand. Her design process blends inspiration from current modern trends with a nod to vintage. Our apparel is soft, unique and something you want your baby to wear everyday while embodying a modern+hipster fit.
&K: What’s next for LoveWell? It seems as if your biz is booming here locally. Any big growth (more reach? More product?) on the horizon?
LW: We love being a part of the local creative community in Oklahoma City and are grateful for how LW has been embraced in our first year of business.
What’s on the horizon? We are loving collaborations with other creatives and have a couple ideas up our sleeve for the months ahead. We are working through details of scaling the wholesale portion of our business to expand into new markets in Oklahoma and beyond. We’ve also started work on our next line that will be coming out this fall.
We’re really excited about a collaboration event happening in OKC on May 9 at Collected Thread in the OKC Plaza District. We’ve partnered with some other local/handmade businesses to host an event called Love Mom Well. It will be a fun night to connect with other local mamas and daddies! Event details here.
More info and all of our products are available at our website www.lovewellhandmade.com. We also love the Instagram community – find us @lovewellhandmade or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovewellhandmade.