What: Fun and funky fashion for children in sizes newborn to 8, for $10-$70. Think faux fur, shearling and shaggy wool.
Who: Jenn Davis’ mom taught her to sew as a child, and much of her wardrobe growing up was handmade. Then she entered puberty, and The Gap was oh-so-much-more appealing. Davis studied for a bachelor’s degree in fine art with a concentration in painting and went on to work in international business, helping to started an online business. “It was a wonderful career, and I was quite proud of my professional accomplishments,” she says. “It was also a soul crusher. After about six years, I found myself running on creative fumes.” That sparked this idea.
How: Originally, Davis did the entire production, from design to creation. But making the patterns, cutting the fabric and sewing each piece by hand while also working a 9-to-5 job began to take a toll. As demand grew, she went full-time with George & Fran. She still designs and makes all of her samples, she says, but is now getting assistance from local seamstresses with production. “I realized that in order for my business to grow, I have to bite the bullet and hire help,” she says.
On staying close to home: “I started out working primarily with knits and fused leather,” she explains. “Anything with stretch tends to be great for children (for anyone really)” – but she found them hard to source. So she began designing fabric herself and having it printed. That meant higher prices. “In an ideal world I would be able to locally source quality materials and manufacture clothing at a price point everyone could afford. In reality, this is not possible,” she says. Spring will bring a “slight price increase” but also, she says, “more intricately designed pieces that are 100 percent locally sourced and domestically manufactured.”
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Favorite piece: “I haven’t made it yet.”
Find it: www.georgeandfran.com.