Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FrockQ: Jenny Celebrin, Yunginz Shoes

Here's a new little segment we'll be featuring in the newsletters and also here on le blog - basically, we ask a few not-very-difficult-but-hopefully-mildly-interesting questions to people working in the fash biz, for no real reason other than being curious little stickybeaks!

This week the lovely Jenny, co-creator of cool kid's shoe label Yunginz gives us the lowdown on how she created and runs her own fashion brand:

How did you come to create Yunginz?
Bored and frustrated with the corporate world and the lack of flexibility in the workplace when it comes to full time working mums, I started seriously considering my options and racking my brain about what kind of business I could start up. Out shopping for shoes for a special occasion for my then 5 year old girl, the lack of ‘trendiness incorporating quality’ when it came to footwear options for kids was all too apparent, and it was at that time that I realised what I wanted to do. I teamed up with my friend Yolanda, and we now share the responsibilities of the Yunginz business – creating fabulous trendy footwear for kids.

What are your duties on an average working day?
I’m more the sales/marketing and strategic side of the business – so for me it’s day to day contact with customers (both end user and trade), creating promotional strategies, crunching numbers etc. Yolanda’s main focus is more on the company branding (including look and feel of marketing materials, website etc) and she has the (always frustrating) responsibility of accounting/finance. Then there’s responsibilities such as pickers, packers, warehouse upkeep and most importantly the core of our business – shoe design – and these responsibilities we share equally. In saying that, no decisions are made without both of us being absolutely satisfied and in agreement, it’s a great partnership.

Where do you begin when designing a shoe style, and how long does it take from the initial idea through to production?
This is by far the easiest part of running the business! Design and ideas just flow so easily, even when it’s not time to start thinking about it. Having a couple of seasons under our belts now we look at what we’ve done in the past and think about how we can go another step better. In a nutshell we’ll come up with a design, Yolanda will sketch it out, we’ll look at it and go back and forth a few times with different amendments or different looks in order to get it right. Once design is finalised Yolanda creates a formal design specification sheet (drawing and instructions) then we send this off to the factory for a sample to be created. Initial idea through to production usually takes 6-9 months.

What's your style philosophy when it comes to kid's fashion?
Don’t think about it too much or they’ll look overdone! I love buying the latest trends for my daughter, but I also love her input she has her own sense of style and it’s great to go with that and see what they come up with. Keep it as simple as you can, you can pick up great pieces at great prices, mix and match, but when it comes to footwear don’t always make the fashion aspect of shoes the only consideration. Kids feet need to be nurtured or all sorts of problems can occur, so think about the comfort aspect for them as well – that’s where Yunginz comes into play – trendy and comfort at the same time!

What cool styles should we look out for from Yunginz in Spring/Summer '10/11?
We’ve got a number of existing styles which we roll over from season to season, simply because they’re totally unique and unlike anything else seen before in the kids footwear market, the styles don’t really date (in our opinion what’s ‘in’ and ‘out’ does occur as frequently – not as much as adult fashion anyway.) We’ve got funky sandal styles ranging from a black Gladette for the more ‘out there’ edgy kind of kid, our Princess of Hearts’ sandal – a bright multi coloured strappy sandal with love heart cut out, to the more subtle Bali sandal with it’s natural tan leather strapping, plus other styles which certainly speak for themselves.

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