With a business sprouting as fast as they are, two young Chicago girls are tapping into a market they know best: fashion for toddlers.
Since children, ages 7-years-old and 3-years-old, respectively, Stephanie and Samantha Smith have had a passion for fashion – and a mom with a business sense to capitalize on it.
Myla Patterson Smith, the mother of both designers, moved on the opportunity.
“They were making these different designs and outfits and I looked at them, thought ‘these are really good, these are really cute. I wonder if we could make a business out of this,’” she told WGN News.
Parents Myla and her husband, Stephen Smith, say their daughters have always shown a flare for clothing design. Stephen remembers what he calls “heated discussions” with his then 3-year-old Stephanie about dressing for preschool.
“I’m like a guys guy, ya know,” Stephen smith said. “Just throw on jeans and a t-shirt and keep it moving and it was like ‘no dad, you have to color coordinate.’ At 3-years-old, and I was like ‘ahhhh!’”
Myla told WGN that she first noticed Stephanie and Samantha’s talent when they received a fashion drawing pad for Christmas.
Last July, she helped bring her daughters visions to life and launched an online store called “Sasse E-Todds” – a clothing line designed by kids for kids.
“They pick the colors, they design the looks and they fill the textiles when we buy them,” Myla said.
With 8 different mix and match looks, the girls keep busy learning all aspects of business, from design (NAT) to sales. With the help of focus groups, Myla and her daughters select favorite designs and send them off to a clothing manufacturer in New Jersey.
But Myla says this experience is more than a business for her little ones, they are learning about themselves.
“Creating confidence inspiring other kids, identifying what their passions and talents are early on,” Myla said.
The Smiths say it’s important to expose children to different opportunities and ideas, but it’s also important to have fun.
“We just want them to be the best person they can be, so whatever avenue we can help them travel down, we are willing to do that,” Stephen said about the goal of the business.
You can find Stephanie and Samantha’s garments on their website.