We're pretty pumped to introduce our first ever children's sponsor: Petit Fauve! They focus on stylish & quality apparel from around the world featuring work from cult favorite Ace & Jig (yes they do make itty bitty adorable versious of their women's clothes - cutest mother-daughter outfits ever), Bobo Choses, Gray Label & Noth Mini. Sarah, Petit Fauve owner, works tirelessly to source goods from independent designers & artisans - and man does she do a killer job. Now if only all this stuff came in our size!
You have the dreamiest online children’s shop. We’re often lusting after your kiddo clothes cursing their tiny size. Tell us how you found yourself working in children’s clothing?
Well, without a doubt, my enthusiasm for children's fashion was ignited when I was pregnant with my daughter, Avienne. Pretty much the day we found out we were having a girl, I started scouring the internet and local boutique shops around Austin for clothing I would feel good about dressing her in.
Having a baby made me much more aware of manufacturing processes and I became really conscious about where her clothes were coming from and how they were being made. As a knitter, I also understand the effort and passion that goes into designing and hand-making items, so I was eager to support small businesses to get my fashion fix. What I discovered was a whole world of independent and home-based designers making gorgeous children's clothes while supporting themselves and their local communities in the process. I was sold.
How did you come to shop ownership? Long time dream? Do you have a history in the field?
It sounds totally trite, but I really had an interest in fashion from an early age. My mom would buy me massive easel-size sketchpads to sketch my designs on when I was 8 or so, but it didn't take me long to realize the ideas in my head were never going to materialize into decent drawings on paper - I just can't draw. But, I continued sketching and always gathered magazine clippings of my favorite outfits into little notebooks. I'd watch runway shows on TV all the time, make my own clothes and never stopped enjoying fashion as a hobby of sorts.
I took a break after my first semester in college to take a 3-month workshop on "The Business of Fashion" at the London College of Fashion which is where I discovered my penchant for the number crunching part of the industry. My first exposure to retail was doing admin and accounting for new H&M stores in California. Later, I worked as an investment assistant at Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton in Paris and most recently as a personal stylist in Austin.
Being from a family with roots in entrepreneurship (my grandparents opened and owned Rio Rita in East Austin back in the 60s, and my dad ran a transmission rebuilding company for over 30 years), starting a business seemed like the obvious direction to take after Avienne was born. When she turned one, I realized all the time and effort I was putting into finding special pieces for her could be spent curating a bonafide shop of my personal favorites. And, thus, Petit Fauve was born!
Not only do you run Petit Fauve but you’re a mom too! Can you talk to us a little bit about the challenges of running a small business & a family. Maybe it’s just us, but that sounds tough!
Well, now that you mention it...
After 7 months in, I don't nearly have it all figured out yet, but I'm working on it! In the beginning, my biggest challenge was time management. Running an online shop means we're never really closed, so there is some expectation from customers to be there 24/7. Luckily, I've found that I don't need to keep "normal" hours to be responsive to our customers and keep them happy.
Right now, I do a large part of my work while Avienne sleeps and when she's in school for a few hours each week. Thankfully, taking care of business is often as easy as sending an email from my phone during a coffee break. Having an insanely supportive partner helps, too, and I could definitely not make it through those long and busy days without my amazing husband.
What are your plans for the shop in the future? Any dreams of a brick & mortar?
There are some big changes on the horizon for Petit Fauve, and I can't wait to share them all in the coming months. We are working on incorporating the ability to check out using Paypal, and that's something I'm really excited about. (Is that weird?) I'm also stoked to be adding a few of our in-house hand-knits later this month.
And, although we don't have any plans set in stone (pun intended), our goal is to have a brick & mortar shop opened at some point in the not-so-distant future. Interacting with customers face-to-face seems like the ultimate reward for a shopkeeper.
Tell us something surprising about yourself!
Until I met Guillaume (my husband), I never, EVER wanted to get married or have kids. Thank goodness he convinced me to see the error of my ways.
Images 1 & 2 via Petit Fauve, images 3, 4 & 5 via Peereboom Photography