” People who haven’t gone down the entrepreneurship road probably anticipate that it is all about freedom and work-life balance, when in reality it is about toughening up inside-out, taking complete responsibility and pushing your limits. With all its challenges, it teaches you to keep walking and to never give up. This song just encapsulates hope and the fighting spirit needed for it.” So here is my wish
Liz , founder of the brand Liz Jacob spent most of her professional life in the company of creative people at multinational advertising agencies in Bangalore doing advertising campaigns for leading fashion and lifestyle brands. ” Every day began with out-of-the-box creative thinking and ended with concepts that we were so proud of. Every night when I hit the bed, my mind wanders into a space of everything pretty, eclectic and creative. This eclectic world of art, crafts and design is my universe! ”
Liz is from Kerala, but spent a good part of her life in Bangalore. ” I owe a lot of my appreciation for the beautiful and finer things in life to my large family back home, from whom I learnt the subtle nuances of understated elegance.” This is evident in everything the family does – the clothes they wear, their home décor and even the family events. Everything is subtle, yet elegant and memorable.
The brand started off with hand-painted clothes for kids which were unique and instantly noticed within the industry. ” I used to personally paint these designs for my customers when we started the company.This line, while very popular, was not scalable and profitable. Painting on fabric was as tedious and time-consuming as painting on a canvas for days and I could not command that high a premium for the effort and time taken. ”
So , Liz began to experiment with different artistic techniques such as embroidery , appliques, screen printing , woodblock printing, tie and dye , digital printing and more. This is where she found her joy , by pushing the limits of her own creativity.
“I love to travel and understand cultures. Very often I find my inspiration for the next collection coming from my experiences during these trips. For example, our ‘Origami’ series was inspired after a holiday to Japan. In fact, if my clothes can excite the child wearing it and make them understand and appreciate various art forms of the world, I’d be happy. ”
Developing exclusive and differentiated fabric prints is a key area of focus for Liz Jacob Designs . ” We spend hours trying to come up with a theme concept that can be creatively developed as an interesting collection. This is the most enjoyable part of our design process where we also end up providing a livelihood to skilled artisans who bring our graphic designs to life.” Says Liz
” In 2014 , many more home grown boutique kids brands began to merge and it seemed a daunting task to cut through the clutter in the category. I continued to design with a complete passion for it , and thanks to a growing customer base of discerning parents who actively searched out handcrafted , artistic brands , we are still around today.”
“Everything we develop must – most importantly – be comfortable for the child. We are always sourcing the finest cotton fabric that is also easy to maintain. This in itself is quite tricky. The softest lightweight cottons get creased heavily on wash and end up losing their luster and freshness. It is our constant endeavor to find fabric compositions that have a soft hand feel, but are easy to maintain even after multiple washes.”
Responsible fashion is a philosophy they connect with. The brand although still small, tries and ensures they outsource their work to studios that have fair trade certifications. They also ensure that everyone associated with their brand is treated with respect and paid on time and as per fair trade norms.
” My main thumb rule is to make clothing that I am personally excited about. It has to be something that I can proudly make my own child wear. It has to appeal to me in its entirety – from the fabric quality, to the stitch quality, to the printing finish and the overall fit. Attention to detail is something I insist on relentlessly with my team and it takes a while to develop that desired level of perfection across the board, especially when working with different tailors and artisans.”
So we asked Liz our favorite question on five must have Liz Jacob’s pieces all moms should get for their little ones ?
And here it goes :
Our handprinted range is very close to our heart . It is effort intensive , as the prints have to be developed from scratch on the computer and then developed into wooden blocks, screens or large digital files depending on the print method employed. This range brings alive a theme and is distinctly different from what you find in most marketplaces. This collection is for moms who appreciate and treasure handcrafted products.
Our origami inspired woodblock printed line for boys is something we will bring back soon. This line sold out within a few days of its launch and will soon be re-introduced. It’s that special something for little boys that you should look out for!
The linen-ikat range comes in a variety of pleasing shades for little boys and they really stand out in a crowd. The geometrical ikat patterns used as contrast turn-ups is a look that many of our customers appreciate.
The embroidery range for girls is elegant and sophisticated. This range of formal wear is made out of lush fabrics like silk organzas and appeals to mothers who are looking for formal wear options that look dressy, yet are understated.
Our baby wear range has been moving fast even though we have very few style variants on offer currently. Gifting is very high in the newborn category and this is something we will be focusing on in the coming year. We hope to add baby wraps, sheets and blankets too. Quite a few moms have told us that they feel like having more babies when they see our babywear line. I find that compliment really adorable and heartfelt. Sometimes moms even ask for designs in their size. That’s a lovely compliment and it is these candid remarks that keep us going and motivated through the good and tough times.
The brand wants to develop their own marketplaces – both online and retail. Today, they sell a lot through aggregators on a commission basis, and the direct connect with new customers is sometimes missing. Our goal is to drive more traffic to our online store at Lizjacob.com and in the future open several Liz Jacob kids clothing boutique stores offering an amazing shopping experience to discerning parents who want high-fashion quality at competitive prices. They are also exploring international markets for their product line.
“Our prints and designs are eclectic and we believe that we can cater to different markets once we get our brand out there. There is a growing global demand for unique and responsibly handcrafted clothing from India and we feel we can cater to that in the kids segment someday. But, it’s a long road ahead.”
” There is nothing easy about being an entrepreneur. It is way more tougher than I thought, but I will never regret this journey, whatever the outcome. What I have learnt in the past few years with Liz Jacob is a lot more enriching than what I learnt over a decade at my corporate desk.” says Liz
Buy Liz Jacob clothes on their online store here. Watch out for their new handprinted collection launching soon in December.
Read similar stories: https://lizjacob.com/handprinted-range/