KalliKids Interview Emma Parkes
We Interviewed Emma-Jayne Parkes, co-founder of SquidKids, to find out what it's like to work in the children's clothing industry.
How long have you been running SquidKids for?
The idea started in 2005, we launched Squid in 2008 including a few kid’s products and then in 2014 launched an entire kids range.
The product is so unique, how did the concept of color changing rainwear come about?
When Viviane and I were at The London College of Fashion working on a joint project in 2005 we were inspired by the artist Jackson Pollock and thought ‘how cool would it be to walk down the street, it starts to rain and your clothes change colour”! We then spent the next couple of years developing the idea and business plan and founded our business just before graduation in 2008.
What made you decide to enter the children’s clothing sector?
We started with children’s umbrellas in 2009 an they sold really well and at the same time we were developing our children’s Wellington Boots and Jackets. We always felt our brand and the originality of our idea would work perfectly for the children’s market, it was just about the timing!
What’s your favorite thing about working in the children’s sector?
The people! Everyone we deal with is interesting, friendly and accommodating. It’s so refreshing.
How has the children’s fashion industry changed since you started?
It has grown! The children’s sector is getting bigger and bigger year on year. According to Fashionbi it is estimated to hit a value of 173,6 billion dollars by 2017 and it was not affected by the meltdown of the global economy.
What’s the most common issue you face when designing children’s products?
Narrowing down the design selection, as we tend to have too many ideas!
We’ve just finished the KalliKids short story writing competition, are you a book enthusiast and what was your favorite children’s book?
We love books and have a few favorites; The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Hairy Maclary and Winnie the Pooh.
After a long week working in the children’s sector what is your ideal weekend?
It will always include a glass of wine with family and friends, home cooked food and some type of exercise whether it be the gym, a walk or a run.