In my ongoing quest to bring inspiration to your day; Sparklefly Candle Company has reached out to some other amazing entrepreneurs to share their stories and products. As always, I encourage you to explore these small business owners with me and remember to shop small all year round.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
Today, the focus is on a very special friend, Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe and her very special mission to spread awareness about the environmental and social impact "Fast Fashion" manufacturing through her Kickstarter campaign (Click this link to see video:https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/projects/196...). Not only does she design and manufacture the most adorable, kid-friendly clothing, she approaches her line with a global mind. I can't say enough good things about her. She only has 11 days left to raise the funds needed in her Kickstarter campaign. Check out her story.
Q: Tell me about The Smallest Tribe and how you got started?
My son being born was the first time I really paid attention to the clothing options for kids. Up until then I’d been an early childhood teacher, teaching lower grades at primary school. Here in Australia we have school uniforms and the uniforms at all the schools I’d worked at had been incredibly practical and comfortable for kids, so it didn’t ever really cross my mind to be something to think about… until we started being given cargo denim pants, 11 pockets included, to dress our baby son in. I could choose from red or blue, dinosaurs or skulls and crossbones when I tried to buy him baby clothes. I’ve always enjoyed making and being creative, so when I couldn’t find what I wanted, I made my own. The rest, as they say, is history!
Q: What would you like to accomplish with your Kickstarter campaign?
Kickstarter is a platform individuals use to raise money for projects with backers receiving rewards, so obviously it’s a little bit about raising the funds to take the big leap into local manufacturing. I’m no longer able to keep up and produce the quantities necessary for the brand to continue to expand and grow and continue making a difference. The other thing I want to accomplish with this campaign is to spread awareness about the environmental and social impact Fast Fashion is having on our planet. Fashion and the textile industries are the second largest pollutant in the world. The Oil industry is the first. That’s a pretty shocking statistic. The majority of the world’s clothing - roughly 80 billion pieces per year - is coming out of factories in countries with developing economies and human lives are being sacrificed for the West’s access to cheap, plentiful clothing.
Q: What should a customer expect from The Smallest Tribe when making a purchase?
Well apart from the obvious, tangible things like, a high quality piece of clothing, specifically designed with each and every child’s need to interact, explore and engage with their surroundings in mind, they also get the added bonus of knowing they have made a proactive step in securing a healthier, more equitable, safer world for their child’s future.
Q: What are some of your best selling pieces?
It changes from season to season, shorts in Summer, pants in Winter, but the Let’s go on an ADVENTURE tee has been a long standing winner. It was a short sleeve tee last Summer and has continued to be popular in it’s long sleeve version during Winter.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest inspiration for you?
Oh gosh. Way to make me cry. It’s so cliche, but my kids. When I was deciding whether I was really going to do this, was I really going to give up a steady job, holidays, great entitlements, security, on the off chance that I could build a kids’ clothing line with absolutely zero knowledge or experience in the textile industry, the one thing that tipped the scale was knowing that, if I did, I was going to always and forever going to be able to say to them, “You can be whoever you want. You can do whatever you want.” They’ll know that’s the truth because I’m showing them what that looks like. When I want to give up, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I remember who’s watching and what they’re taking away from that.
Q: Do you have any special events or offers coming up?
Well, you just never know your luck in a big city. I CAN promise you that people who sign up to receive emails from The Smallest Tribe are always, ALWAYS the first to know and most of the time they’re only available to those people, so that’s a very good newsletter to get in on. You can join by visiting the website and leaving your email in the black and white box up the top.