Thursday, 26 July 2018

Interview With Justina Of Ethical Brand La Petite Alice

La Petite Alice has a truly magical Instagram account (@lapetitealiceshop), with photos of the collection in beautiful beach and woodland settings. The designs in La Petite Alice are very distinctive - they are timeless and comfy, made from earthy or pastel coloured linen. Justina's designs range from baby clothes to bags and dresses, most of which are finished with the cutest little hand-embroidered designs of animals.  In a world where almost everything is mass-produced, it is especially lovely to have something embroidered by hand. 

1. What is the inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration is Alice - my daughter who will already be 3 in September. A desire to give her the best things in life took over it all. I try as much as I can to provide her with only natural and organic things... from food to clothing. 
2. Why do you choose to work with linen?

I wanted the clothes to be natural and organic and look a bit French and Vintage. My husband is French, I am Lithuanian and I wanted to find a way to connect everything. So I thought linen would give the best vintage look, plus I had a friend who was very much into linen and she really encouraged me to keep it that way.  Also, linen is a folk Lithuanian material that people forget about and now it's starting it's second life in other people's minds. 

3. Who makes the clothes for La Petite Alice and who embroiders them?

I have one sewing lady who works full time for me, her name is Aleksandra. She left her old job at a sewing studio and now works from her little house, outside of Vilnius. I also have Asta on my team, who helps to shape each cloth and transform my thoughts into reality. And there is Alina, who in fact had never embroidered before, but she just tried once - and voila! I believe she has it in her blood as her Grandma embroidered. I tried to embroider myself, and I can say it's not as easy as it looks like... so my team is very small, but I like it that way. 
4.What inspired you to start your brand?

My little Alice.  She is the reason I decided to create clothes, for her and for other children.  I couldn't find a dress that I would like to buy for her in the shops, so I decided to create one myself... and then somehow it turned into a whole children's line. I remember I wanted to just start with 7 models, where there was not even a dress (now I am laughing)... I still have that draft paper with my drawings. When I look at it, I still have butterflies in my stomach. 

5. How long does it take to embroider each design?

It depends on my complexity of the embroidery, but on average 2-3 hours.

6. The colours and the styles of your designs are very timeless! Do you intend for them to be passed down from generation to generation? 

I love to think about it and I would definitely say - "Yes!!" Actually I am collecting all the clothes Alice is/wearing and I put them in a separate box. I hope one day my grandchildren will be wearing them.  In fact my mother-in-law told me she was wearing passed-down clothes when she was little, so it seems like I am not inventing anything new.  I am reviving things that already existed.  Also, I get so emotional when clients send me messages just to say that they put a La Petite Alice wrap shirt on their baby to bring him or her home from the hospital and will keep that first outfit as something special to remember.  It gives me wonderful emotions! 

7. What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on a couple of things: first of all I am remaking my website.  At the moment sales are only available on the Etsy shop.  I am also working on automating the stocks system.  With this system I am hoping to make communication between me and production people better, smoother and faster and keep the stocks on automatic mode. Despite all that, I am constantly in search of new ideas for clothes to bring to life.   

Thank you very much to Justina for answering my questions.   What a lovely thought that your beautifully crafted clothes are becoming family heirlooms for your customers!

Go and have a look at her beautiful designs over on her Etsy shop here!

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