My new website will feature some brilliant baby wear designers, including the fabulous Slugs and Snails range of tights for boys (and girls). I make no secret of my great love for this brand – which we could not live without on cold winter days – so I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with Slugs and Snails. Here’s my recent interview with the amazing lady behind it all, Kathleen Redmond. She kindly answered these questions shortly after her second boy was born, but I’ve waited awhile to post the interview so that I can share with you some photos of Snarfle modelling his latest selection of Slugs and Snails tights.
Snarfle in his new Squirrel patterned Autumn Slugs and Snails tights.
What prompted the creation of your range of patterned tights for boys?
It was our first born Noah and the total lack of anything comfy and funky for him to wear. I have a real issue with boys being forced into jeans whilst wearing nappies; it just seems so uncomfortable and cold!
Have you ever had any strange or bemused reactions when you tell people what you make, and if so can you share them?
Yes, in fact I had been developing the company for almost three years before I told anyone what I do, I still don’t tell people what I do for a living. Being based in rural Ireland it is hard to explain ‘boys tights‘ so I just don’t bother. When we first launched the national radio got wind and although we had more positive comments than negative the DJ took a call from a woman who claimed ‘Ireland wasn’t ready for that sort of thing!‘ I sometimes get tweets telling me boys tights are wrong but worded in a slightly more insulting fashion!
Where do you find inspiration for the patterns on your tights and what is the process of putting them into production in knit?
Again Noah is always our chief designer, although his daddy is the man who does the real designing. We sit down as a family and design our collection and draw inspiration from Noah‘s latest fads or favourite things, in fact this season he asked for the ‘rubbish trucks and dumpers‘ on the Loader design. It’s a long process though, from inception to creation takes about 9 months, and this season it took 11 months from start to finish!
Why is it important to you to use organic cottons in all your designs?
We currently have six organic designs and all of our designs are Oeko Tex 100 certified. We have a product that sits on the skin and we need it safe for new born babies and even premature babies. Organic cotton not only means there are no harmful chemicals in the tights it also means that the factory is GOTS certified and their dyes and processes are strictly monitored and therefore not being dumped into the water table.
What is your personal favourite design and why?
I love Hampton (featuring sailboats on a blue background). It’s got that vintage look which I love and looks great worn with little blue shorts or a red dress. You can’t beat a classic image for little kids and it is pretty gender neutral.
I love the new lifestyle shoot – where did you do it and what was the brief for the babies and children taking part?
We have a wonderful photographer based in Texas called Ashley Jinks Larson who is a mummy herself and we simply left it with her to decide. It’s helpful sometimes to let someone else interpret their ideas about Slugs and Snails, and she came up with some really beautiful images. In fact she’s in charge of our lifestyle shoot for this season too we can’t wait to see what she comes up with this year!
I was lucky to discover you when I had my baby last year: how are people discovering you now, I hear you’ve had some great (and well deserved) press?
I think there are so many tights out there now that Slugs and Snails are selling themselves. We can’t afford the high prices of PR companies and national advertising so we are lucky that our product is high quality and unique because nothing sells better than a genuine recommendation. In fact because we have become so accustomed to recommendation press we have become a bit lax on promoting ourselves, via Twitter etc.
Last winter Snarfle was crawling and he lived in Slugs and Snails tights. This year he’s walking – how do you suggest the slightly older child styles his tights?
Personally I think Slugs and Snails are awesome if the little person is still in a nappy: worn on their own, they accentuate all the yummy chubbiness that babies and toddlers have. Once they get longer and skinnier Slugs and Snails looks so lovely with little shorts or rolled up trousers.
Snarfle models his Slugs and Snails Fun Guy tights.
You have (literally) just given birth again, how easy is it to run your business whilst being a mother and how do you juggle the two?
Ha-ha, well it’s not easy at all. Rohan was born on 1st November I was back in the office on the 4th with two kids in tow. It’s hard work and as I am breast feeding I have to bring Rohan with me to the office which can be difficult, it would be great to have a set of arms to hold him and a set to pack orders! I love being my own boss though and I do this for my boys – Noah loves seeing all his friends at Kindergarten in Slugs and Snails. I remember once someone said to me that when Noah grows up he will be bullied by his friends because he wears tights and his mummy and daddy make boys’ tights but what that person didn’t know was that all of Noah‘s friends both male and female wear our tights. To them it’s normal and it’s already part of their childhood, so hopefully they will then grow up and make it part of their own children’s wardrobe.
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