I’ve gotta say, I do love me some Instagram! When you follow someone because they are so cool and amazing, then you get to meet them and they’re equally cool in real life… Wow. Just wow. Here’s to meeting Shim, the mama behind Dragons & Daisies.
Dragons & Daisies- We like to make t-shirts with big bold prints inspired by our hobbies and adventures in life; music, reading, nature etc. Each print originates in the heart and imagination of Mlle E and Mstr Zee and is brought to life with the help of our very talented graphic designer. Our tees are for likkle peeps who want to express their uniqueness through street art inspired prints and those who love stories.- Dragons & Daisies
It’s been a while since we were all able to get a group shot done, so it was the perfect excuse to have a lil’ party. Location, the Z’s bedroom (that’s Zach & Ziggy). The date, ah, sometime in 2017, and the dress code? Why, Dragons & Daisies of course!
These T-shirts appeared in the form of a gift, so I thought, what better way to return the kind gesture than to let you guys know about the brand itself.
Check out the T-shirts below and then read about the mama behind the dragons…
SARETA: Where did the concept behind your brand come from?
SHIM: I’ve always loved timeless and quirky fashion; items that stand the test of time but the embellishments make them. I’ve never liked wearing what everyone else was wearing. When I fell pregnant, excited about clothing for my new arrival I was so disappointed with the sea of pinks and blues, and slogans for girls pertaining mostly to their looks and need for reassurance and boys mostly empowering and assured. My other half and I are music-obsessed sneaker freaks with a penchant for street art from the 80’s and 90’s. With that in mind, whilst I searched for clothes for my daughter in a bid to not get caught up in the nonsense available on the high street I started thinking about doing unisex clothing with slogans that empowered both girls and boys. Allowing them to express their individuality and steer away from cutesy kids fashion – kids are cute enough, right? One evening whilst the kids were in the bath – they were 4 and 5 at the time, I asked them if they could wear a t-shirt with their favourite thing on it what would it be. The ideas started flowing albeit from concepts that sounded a little out there but we ended up with about 50 ideas for prints! We whittled them down to 6 and our first range was borne. From concept to our first samples it took roughly nine months.
SARETA: I absolutely love your website, branding, and concept. Everything seems well put together, animated, bold and fun. Was it easy starting up a business with two little ones? Because you’ve made it look easy!
SHIM: I’m so flattered, thank you! I always feel like I’m never doing enough as there’s always so much to be done. I do everything myself from the photography and website design to copy and marketing. It’s hard work but I love it. It is definitely a moving target and a constant work in progress. The muggle (mummy juggle) is real. Our role is relentless with the constant stream of dirty dishes and laundry to be done as well as nurturing our kiddos (and partners!). I have a very supportive partner who acts as my mentor too, he encourages me and is a great sounding board as he has run his own business for nearly 15 years. He’s a great dad too so if I need a couple of hours to update my website he’ll take the kids out or entertain them. The in-laws live nearby and are always up for helping out so I owe a lot to them. Plus the kids love Dragons & Daisies and treat it like their baby too so they’re very supportive and are always contributing ideas and help with stock takes and picking and packing orders. I feel like they’re being exposed to life lessons and hoping they garner some business acumen. The main lesson for me being a working mum is to ask for help and not feel like I have to do everything myself.
SARETA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
SHIM: My ideas are always overflowing, I do get carried away sometimes and have to reign it in. My ultimate goal is to host a quarterly music and shopping event for the whole family. It would be DJ’s playing the best in music so parents can listen/boogie to good music and have a drink with no judgment whilst the kids are entertained with activities. I’d collab with a few brands for a kids fashion show. So somewhere you can hang and know the kids are safe but also shop brands not found on the high street. I would also love a bricks and mortar store…. we’ll see. I’m passionate about bigging up kids and empowering them so teaming up with a charity would be awesome as well as some entrepreneurial classes for young people which teaches them not to be afraid of being outside the ‘box’.
SARETA: What influences new designs?
SHIM: My son and daughter. They come out with the craziest ideas, things I’d never be able to conjure up as the playfulness is next level. I mean, the idea of a baseball cap-wearing octopus reading books whose favourite number is eight, is not something that would naturally occur to me. But to the kids it’s normal, Our Octoboy t-shirt sold out in the first 2 months of us trading, who’d have thought? We work with a bada$$ graphic designer who takes the kids’ concepts and makes them into characters and slogans with a street art twist with direction from me. Art is pretty much everywhere so walking around my local area of Brixton and Croydon as well as Shoreditch and South Bank is always inspiring, and flicking through our massive collection of vinyl always brings fun and bold ideas for graphics. Look at the cover of Kelis’s album Kaleidoscope – not only is it a kick a$$ album but the artwork and colours make you feel good. We also get a lot of feedback from our customers so they play a part in design too. They’ve asked us for a white tee and an adult tee so they can twin with their little one. We introduced white tees in the summer and adult tees for Christmas by request.
SARETA: What about now? You have a little one due soon (yay!) so what’s the plan for 2018?
SHIM: To be honest most of 2018 will be winging it as who knows what our 3rd addition (due in January) will be like or how smitten I’ll be whiling the days away staring at my baby. But the main focus will be bringing more brand awareness for Dragons & Daisies and getting out there more through blogs, magazines and brand collaborations. There’s a tendency to hide behind the squares on Instagram or Facebook posts so doing more networking and events with cool and quirky brands like you would be great. We have been working on new designs for next year which is very exciting and nerve-wracking which we’re hoping to showcase at trade shows and pop-ups.
Mother of Dragons (and daisies), I thank you!
Sareta Fontaine is the founder of Kiki Blah-Blah; a modern lifestyle blog aimed initially at mum’s but has since grown. Since 2016, Sareta has worked on the platform, both designing and creating a space for other bloggers to share their thoughts and feelings, while also sharing hers.