The Making of Me: cool kids pyjamas
Words by Alienor Falconer, founder
of The Bright Company
After having my son Corwin, I found so many amazing brands designing kids clothing. But, I couldn’t find cool kids pyjamas. Bedtimes are important in our house. Losing sleep was the biggest shock to me as a new mother so I made sure Corwin wanted to sleep by making his bedroom comfortable. When I went back to work I found that my full-time job in fashion (with lots of trips away) didn’t suit family life. My own pyjama company seemed like the perfect idea: I wanted to design nightwear as cool as daywear. I also wanted it to come out seasonally in the same way as adult fashion.
Our design influence comes from all over and we love strong graphic shapes. There are more than enough patronising designs for children in the marketplace, we don’t need any more butterflies and tractors! We love working on collaborations; it’s always fun seeing how other creatives approach their work. We have designed two prints with Sarah Dyer and have one more in the pipeline. Sarah is a wonderful children’s illustrator and author with a seemingly effortless ability to create characters and stories. We also have some other really fab collaborations coming out that we can’t wait to share.
There are so many aspects of running a business that I hadn’t anticipated. I knew how to get a product to market but not how to manage finances or sell things. The number of hats you have to wear as a business owner is quite surprising. People say you never switch off and I couldn’t quite grasp that until we were well into it. I work most evenings and dream about pyjamas!
Life has changed dramatically since having kids. I used to work for a big(ish) company: I had a salary, paid holiday, colleagues. I could hand over the products when the samples were ready to sell. But I also had to travel when the company wanted and couldn’t be flexible. I had to rethink work completely.
Social media is essential to our business. We live at a time when you can build a business using it. Our social media following really influences sales; we can post pictures of products and drive business directly to our site. It’s a powerful tool to communicate directly with our customers.
There’s lots coming in the next year! We have two amazing limited edition collaborations in the pipeline and winter will bring some really beautiful new styles.
The most rewarding aspect of having your own company is the sense of achievement when you get it right. When a product sells out in a week or gets picked up by the press you get a tremendous buzz that really fuels you. For me, work started to feel a little frivolous after having children. Turning your passion into your business is so rewarding; I found it hard to replicate that feeling working for someone else.