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Tilda Publishing
heroeS, interview

«Giraffe Kids creates happiness and shares it among kids»

4 the most important steps: how to open a clother brand of your dream
the best tbilisi shops, georgian designer, what to bring from georgia, the best things to see in tbilisi
— Hi Ruso! Please tell us about Giraffe Kids.
— Hi Lero! We started our kids clothes brand Giraffe Kids in 2017. At the beginning we were selling our stuff at Flying Painter Store, in Fabrika. It was kind of an experiment. We were producing different things and checking in what our customers liked more. We slowly started our Facebook and Instagram to get more feedback about our items. I think, when we started sellings in Flying Painter at the first time people didn't really identify us like a separate brand, separate line.

— Yes, I remember your collection in Flying Painter.
— From business point of view it wasn't interesting for us because when you sell your goods at somebody's place the price gets very high. There are too much extra costs and the customers is supposed to pay. So it became necessary for us to have our own shop. We opened our own selling point in March 2018, but still our production is very small. We are a small company, there are only 5-6 people behind everything; we have only 3 people producing stuff and it's not enough for the market demands. It is always higher demand than we can produce. And the major plan for 2019 year is to enlarge the production line and then start thinking about enlarging the content as well.

We opened our first shop at Merani shopping mall on Rustaveli avenue and then we moved to City Mall Kavtaradze. This place sounds more interesting for us. Rent is more or less the same like in Rustaveli. But this is more active place, more people are getting here. That mall have its own customers and we are so happy that we are here.

There is a 2 categories of people in Georgia. People from the first category think they should promote georgian products and should encourage it. I always buy random stuff for presents and try to buy something georgian. The second category thinks that georgian stuff has low quality, sizes is bad, not fancy, outstanding andthey try to stand away from it.

So for everyone who producing georgian products is very important to work on it, to make georgian fancy, good and popular.

And, a little about the brand itself. The idea of Giraffe Kids is to create comfortable clothes for every kid, so parents of any income are be able to buy at least one piece in our shop. We are trying to balance the quality, the design and the price of the goods. Our customers have the opportunity to compare our products and other brands and notice that children's products are greatly overvalued, this often happens in Georgia. So if you look at our prices they are pretty reasonable for Georgian market. It is not easy to keep reasonable price, because material are not cheap especially when you are working for kids, where you have to we pay attention to the composition of the fabric, and the colors and quality of prints.
— By the way, about prints! Do you use kids drawings?
— We had the idea to print kids drawings on our clothes, and other ideas how to to involve kids but it has a lot of pre conditions. As we are doing everything ourselves, together with our major professions and it is hard to do everything altogether. So, for now, we don't use them, but we are trying to stay in touch with kids in other ways. As they are our models we always ask them how they feel in our clothes, what they like, what they don't. We are trying designs on our kids and getting their feedback. My friend who is in charge of the design has 3 kids. I don't have kids myself but I love kids a lot! Whenever I am around them I always observe what they wear, what they like, what they don't. Because parents have their own different priorities. Kids are top priority for us and the idea of Giraffe Kids is to make kids and their parents happy.

So far we are not using rubber stickers or similar stuff on our clothes. All designs that are on our clothes are done by ourselves. Because rubber is something that does not breath and in the end, uncomfortable for kids.

We wanted to do hand paintings on t-shirts and considering to collaborate with young Georgian artists to use their prints. It will be a good collaboration for us and for them.


— How did you get with the idea to start clothes brand?
— It was an idea of me and my friend. we had a hostel Darchi, you may heard of it. It was many many years ago. And then we came to the point that we closed the hostel and that moment we promised that we would start another business together.

But it is one thing that you have an idea and it is another thing to make idea work. In our case as well, it took a long time when we the time came and we said «ok if we want to do it we need to do it now» and we started. At the beginning it was really small, more like a hobby then an actual business. Then step by step we developed, got plans, and once we got feedback from our customers, it encouraged us to do more and more and here we are - growing and advancing. The process is very complex, we are learning a lot of things on the way.

Its really hard actually to start. The large part takes so much time, so much thinking, and so much debating. We are very close friends but still sometimes want to kill each other, because we have different point of views.

And sometimes you do certain things, that you don't really think its the best solution but still you have to do it. Its very interesting. Since we opened Giraffe i have no personal time. All different time is taking by Giraffe but still is so pleasant when you get a good feedback.
Happiness is a deeds and doing what you love.
— What about design, who and how?
— There are 3 of us who are in charge of design. 2 of us are also in charge of buying materials. When we are buying materials we already have an idea what we are you going to make, but the third one is a designer by education, its her profession. So when we get together and discuss future designs she has a voice that we consider. And then we start production process. At the moment, we have very limited collections. We create for kids 0 to 7 maximum, but there is a high demand to increase the age limit and we are considering to follow the demand. But it necessitates more resources which we do not have right now. For this time, we made a new line of jackets, we had them before and kids and their parents loved them.

— Oh yes, my daughter has a green bomber jacket. It is soft and comfortable, and as good as new after an active sock. Where are you get such great fabric?
— We buy materials wherever we found suitable ones. It's really tricky and hard to find good quality, nice print material for kids, as we create comfortable clothes for kids with natural fabrics.

Material has to be soft and natural, that did not cause an itch on a gentle children's skin. Colors has to be bright and happy.

We have to consider all these major aspects as well as other small details before selecting a material. If the material is not 100% natural we reduce the price of goods. We say that it is a mix of natural and synthetic and customer knows what they are buying. Our regular customers could feel how much we care about them.

— Do you have any problems regarding your business?
— The problem, not only we are facing is that it is hard to to find good, reliable staff. After many months of hard work we created a great team, we are a community and i'm very happy with that. Our production side is located in Gori and we had problems of finding qualified staff there as well. So we took another approach, we are hiring unqualified but determined young ladies and teach them. In rural area like Gori they do not really have an access to develop their skills. This approach is not easy, takes time and efforts, but it worths it. As I told earlier finally we made a great team. We are a kind of community so we are trying to help each other to develop.
— Did you have any fund at the start?
— We started our business by our savings. But plans are getting bigger and we also need extra funds. This year we are going to apply for grants or loans to develop production line as well as open a small shop in Gori. The shop we contain factory, we think, will be a small community for our stuff, local people and attraction for tourists.

I think if i was living or working in Gori i will be happy to have this shop. The price is still low. When you have shop and the production together you can do more custom things there. If they want certain things on we are trying to help parents. For example, mother ask to overol a batmen logo. She uploaded a photo and we overall huge logo of the Batman. You know, kids love this superheroes (laughing).

— What about your inspiration?
— I don't know how to describe, but the Happines and this feeling is our inspiration. We are doing that makes us happy and we want to share it with other people. Buying is the kind of sharing the energy. Also, kids themselves are inspiration for us. And our goal is to make them happy.

Giraffe Kids creates happiness and shares it among kids. We are doing our best to fill our products with good energy, so when you buy it you also buy positive emotions.

— So happiness is the deeds?
— And to do what you love. Not to force yourself to do something. And when you are happy you can share it and make other people happy. Giraffe kids is spreading positive vibes.

— Do you have moments when you think «Or no! Nobody cares»?
— Everybody have the moments likes this, but we are trying to turn such moments into a new energy and let it motivate us to create more. When you are a startup there are mistakes and motivation goes down, but we never let them stop us. Sometimes we make mistakes with design, with production and we say: «Ok. Leave it here and start from the begining and get to this point again, we have to find solution».

But never let black feeling drop back or make you sad. There is always a new day, new idea, new achievement and success in the end.

By the way, we have an exciting news to share — Giraffe Kids is selected as one of the exhibitors of Pitti Bimbo 89, an exhibition dedicated to kidswear and is an extraordinary platform for presenting the new lifestyle trends for kids. The exhibition is held every year in Florence, Italy. This is a worldwide event and it is a huge success for us to be represented there and debut our fall/winter collection. The exhibition will be held on 20-22 June and you can imagine how busy we are right now as we want to represent best of Giraffe Kids at the exhibition.

4 steps to start business of your dream

Me and my friend were always interested to start our own kids fashion brand. In the end it took us a year or two to realize our desire.
1
Responsibility
The hardest part was to take a responsibility… responsibility in front of ourselves was one thing and responsibility in front of each other was another. It is a part of human nature that we are afraid of failure and this fear obstructs us from making very important decisions in our life.
2
To make a decision
It was the hardest for us as well, but I think one day we got tired of repeating our wish and we just said "ok, either we start doing it now or we will never talk about it anymore and maybe regret not doing it the rest of the life". To say long story short, the hardest part of starting your own thing is to make a decision, to convert "I want to have a business" into "I have a business" and take a responsibility.
3
Officially approve
Once we made a decision, we decided to officially approve our resolution. We went to the Entrepreneurial Registry and make a business registration. It takes a few hours at the registry to file papers and a day to complete registration, but on an emotional level you feel that you made an official announcement that there is no way back.
4
To start
Within few days we started production process. The best part indeed. At this phase you get busy, tired, creative, you have ups and downs, make mistakes and if you work hard only after working hard you get positive feedback, satisfaction from what you are doing and gives you energy and encourages you to do more.
the best tbilisi shops, georgian designer, what to bring from georgia, the best things to see in tbilisi

Inspiration from Ruso

Ceramic
Rabbit Hole Ceramic create the best ceramic designs I have seen lately. They have small studio where they have classes for amateurs.
Artist
Irakli is my fav Georgian artist, he use unique printing techniques Mezzotint.
Kids painting
By the way, about printing kids paintings, there is one girl in Tbilisi, she produce ceramics, her name is Maya. I loved it, check this out.
the best tbilisi shops, georgian designer, what to bring from georgia, the best things to see in tbilisi
Contacts:
Giraffe Kids is open to cooperate with young artists and will be happy to take part in interesting projects. Write us!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giraffekidss/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/giraffekidss/
Pictures via Gyraffe Kids
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