The other day, I said this out loud in our studio:
“I feel like a fish in a very small bowl,
swimming in my own poop.”
This happens twice a year; while we are waiting on our samples to arrive from India and there are things to be done, but zero motivation. Usually, at the end of designing one collection, I am ready to go full speed ahead into the next one. But this year, I find myself going through the same old images in my head, thinking the same used-up thoughts. Nothing feels fresh or exiting.
After doing this for 3+ years, I realize that I should just walk away and let the inspiration come to me. And there was a time were I could waltz myself into distraction until the next wave of awesome hit me. But lately it has felt impossible to walk away. My arsenal is loaded with excuses: Aiden, business paperwork, renovating the studio, etc. So, I fall back on feeling like fish swimming in my own mental poop.
Turns out, the rest of the studio team has been feeling similarly. We started chatting about ways to refresh ourselves. Trips are being planned, books are being bought, and we are going to lock up the studio and force ourselves into the summer heat. There is certainly a seasonality to our creative process at Lali, we must endure the winter before spring (and spring is so much more fun to design!)
We looked into what other creative types are doing to keep the train moving.
What do YOU do when you’re in a creative desert?
P.S. All Lali musings are unofficially sponsored by Harney and Sons Teas :)
There’s so much anticipation for summer, yet, when it finally rolls around there’s a pinch of dread.
Kids out of school means a LOT of unstructured time. Schedules change, longer days mean later bedtimes (“Mommy…It’s not dark yet!”) and filling up the day-to-day can get rough. Some turn to curated attractions: summer camps, trips to Disney, theme park adventures, all of which can drain your pockets like no other!
That’s why I’ve decided to take the ultimate stay-cation this summer. Getting to know my neighbors, taking walks to nearby shops and parks, and living it up at the farmer’s market! Honestly, I am most excited for making some memories for Aiden with the kids next door. Having my baby in the studio all day is a dream come true, but with each day he is getting more and more BORED. Throwing some other babes in the mix will be a relief and a great time to recharge with other moms!
How does your little one spend their summer days?
The desire to be a mom was never a question for me.
I am personally blessed to have the best mother in the world. She is patient, loving and utterly selfless. A woman truly fulfilled by her family.
As for me? I had good 35 years to think about what type of mom I wanted to be. And where I am today is not what I had planned!
I was going to be a career woman, wife, friend, and a mom. I didn’t want to be completely defined by motherhood; especially after spending 12 years ascending toward that corporate glass ceiling!
But the second Aiden came along, my whole world changed. It felt as though I had given birth to my heart which was no longer protected within my ribs. The thought of leaving my little boy in the care of anyone else felt impossible, and that life I had once dreamed about seemed thoroughly ridiculous. Just as my own mom, I found out that nothing was as fulfilling as motherhood. So, I made choices that allowed me to spend my days watching my little boy grow. He’s become a part of our design studio, and he continues to grow, so does the brand!
How did this come about?
Owning your own fashion business has many wonderful perks, however it can feel isolating at times. To cure this, I have always made an effort to reach out to other creatives and entrepreneurs, locally. I recently met Cheree, mother of one daughter and two sons, artistic genius, and the owner and creative director of Cheree Berry Paper.
She is a Kate Spade veteran, with clients like Tina Fey and Target, and features in all sorts of Martha Stewart weddings! Right here in St. Louis! With all these accolades, you would thing she’d be an intimidating person to befriend. But she was just as exited to meet me as I was her. Cheree’s infectious energy and curiosity was SO refreshing. In the end, I found a warm, down to earth mom who I could call a friend.
Moreover, she regularly dresses her little Biz in the latest Lali duds. In celebration of Mother’s Day this week, check out her Instagram . We can’t help but be #BizzyPaparazzi
When we first started up, friends’ kids modeled everything for our shoots. We’d even have samples made especially in their size. As our brand has grown, and we’ve added baby items, the question arose:
“Should we hire models?”
A few summers ago, with the shoot rapidly approaching, I was stressing over who to put in these clothes we had spent so much time creating!
Lo an behold, amidst the suburban sidewalk, I met my long lost neighbors!
The most enduring and helpful family, with two lovely daughters, and one more on the way!
They did our SS2016 shoot, and from then on, we were hooked! Whether its a quick fitting,
“How does this look on an actual child?”
Or just a chance to twirl around, they always oblige. Being sisters makes modeling WAY more fun!
We inquired into their skills.
What is it like, working on the Lali photo shoots?
“It’s easy, we just get to hug and wear matching clothes!”
And the best part?
We’re thrilled to have such playful little misses helping us out!
And we can’t wait until the launch of AW2017,
where there’ll be a fresh new baby face joining her older sisters.
It’s Fashion Revolution Week!
As a fair trade company, we want to make fashion feel good.
That’s why we’re sharing the story of Urmila Devi, who makes your Lali clothes!
Urmila works in Jaipur, India, stitching garments and managing quality control of our products. She provides the primary income for her home, as her husband is hearing impaired. Urmila has a flexible schedule that allows her to spend time with family while still earning a living wage and contributing to her children’s education. She is a mother of 5, and her oldest daughters also work for the company during the summer when they are home from college. We are proud to say that our products benefit the lives of brave and honest women like Umrila, and that you can feel good about wearing Lali clothes!
We’ve added even MORE bows to our collection!
How better to welcome spring than with these bright blooms
All of our bows are made FAIR TRADE in the USA!
And they come in 3 styles:
– Big Quilted Bows
– Sailor Bow Headbands
– 2 Mini Bow Clips
We’re even looking into adding a BOW SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
Would your little miss love getting new accessories every month?
Let us know in the comments below!
Photos by Lizzography
Spending too much time in the studio drains us of creativity.
And spending too much time in the play room turns my little darling into a nightmare!
So here at Lali, we do our best to soak up the sun.
How do you keep your kids (and your self!) occupied in the great outdoors?
One of our favorite adventures is a stroll to Sucrose, the most delightful local bakery, and our second office.
Here’s the owner’s daughter enjoying some fresh-air-fun of her own (in our Jolly Dress, of course!)
Check out their mouth-watering Instagram
From our Pi Day trip!
As a lover of all things artisan, I’ve forever swooned over Anthropologie.
And when we started Lali,
there was always a quiet desire for us to eventually make it into their collection.
Well, we did it!
I was in blissful disbelief when they approached our brand to collaborate
on custom baby pieces for their new Kids section.
And the whole studio is positively delighted with the end result!
In addition to our blankets and baby sun romper sets,
they’ve added these playful fringed bibs and bloomers!
Available only through Anthro, these are the cutest summer baby gifts —
and because they’re in Lali prints, you can get
matching big sister outfits and bows though our website, too!
Thankful and Thrilled,
P.S. The styling with Cheerios is TOO CUTE! It appeals to all my mommy senses :)
We’ve all experienced the taffeta nightmares
that pop up in departments stores each Spring.
Why not put your daring in something a little less crinkly and a little more fun?
Our Grace Dress is airy, sweet, and perfect
for all sorts of summer weddings and special occasions!
What goes into a great Easter basket?
More than just chocolate and grass…
We asked the Lali studio what sort of loot they’d expect from the Bunny,
and here’s what we got!
1. What Easter outfit is complete without a bow? Our Quilted Clover Bow has a bit of silver sparkle,
and precious pastels to match all sorts of springtime outfits!
2. LUSH Cosmetics “Chick n’ Mix” bath bomb is the perfect bath time treat for all ages.
Made of gentle, natural ingredients, and this adorable Easter exclusive is not tested on animals, so you can keep the bunny safe for another year!
3. What is an Easter basket without the iconic chocolate ears poking out the top?
Lake Champlain Chocolate’s Milk Sea Salt & Almond Bunnies are organic AND fair trade certified! YUM.
As a fair trade company, we love supporting products that are friendly to the world and its inhabitants!
4. Who needs baskets, anyway? Do away with the wicker and trade up to this Floppy Eared Backpack from Antrhopologie that your little darling will love!
Fill it with all of the above and then continue using year-round!
What are your favorite Easter treats?
We’re so excited to be featured in this month’s edition of MilK Magazine. What better way to kick off Summer than with an editorial? We love the carefree California style of Anna Palma’s Surfin’ USA shoot and we think our Come Play Cloud Romper was the perfect fashion fit!
Summer is on the tip of our tongues and we can already hear the twinkle of the ice cream truck down the street. Take a big whiff! The smells of outdoor grilling and poolside chlorine are in the air. We’re ready for road trips and beaches and s’mores!
In fact, we’re craving the freshest of fruit that only grows during the hottest part of the year: Mangoes.
It happens every year as Spring gives way to the heat. As a little girl in India, Summer signaled the start of mango season for me. As children, my brother and I would sneak into the groves during early afternoon while the adults were taking naps. We’d go through great lengths to get the mangoes, sneaking past guards and climbing through wire fences! We had mangoes at home in the fridge, because they were in season and anybody could get them at the market. They were abundant, but stolen fruit tastes better!
Local produce, seasonal eating, and a little risk – that’s what Summer is all about! Bold flavors and bright colors cue the season change, and we couldn’t be more excited to taste all the adventures waiting, with you!
Kinnari, Owner and Designer
The best thing about doing this job is the wonderfully creative people that we work with on a daily basis. Michelle of Untamed Heart Photography did a lovely post about us and our spring photo shoot. We will be doing a proper introduction to talented Michelle soon. In the meantime, check out her blog to see more lifestyle images from the Lali SS2015 collection: Summertide.
The “Big Cheese” behind Lali
We are starting a series of interviews to give you a glimpse behind the world of Lali.
First up is is the Big Cheese..Our owner and designer, Kinnari.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up all over India and then moved to Chicago as a young girl. Chicago feels like most “home” to me.
What was your most loved outfit from your childhood?
I wore a school uniform most days, so my closet was not full of fun dresses. In fact, I didn’t have my own closet like most kids here! But my favorite play clothes were a pair of flip flops and this one linen dress that looked very similar to our Princess Dress. I refused to let my mom get rid of it, even when it had holes! I was by no means a stylish child, all I wanted was something loose that kept me cool in the hot weather of India.
What did you want to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be a creator and inventor. I use to mash up leaves and create balm that would heal everything magically. I wanted to make a bed that would fly.. I was really a crafty kid which got me in trouble a lot. Once I cut up my mom’s silk Sari to make a dress!
What do you do that inspires you most in life?
Traveling and reading.. We are a family of travelers. I grew up moving around new places and making new friends and then moving to another place in few years.. It taught me to reinvent myself.. it also made me very adaptable. It forced me to open up, and look at what’s around me that I could engage with. I think when you move around and travel with an open mind, you find inspiration in unexpected places. I feel reading also does the same thing for me. It allows me to glance into worlds that I may not be able to experience. I read all genres but Children’s Lit. has a special place in my heart.
Two words to describe your self?
Kind and Klutzy
Two words that your friends use to describe you?
Culinary and determined
What is a surprising fact about you?
I have a Masters in Engineering