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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gender Neutral Fashion: Jill & Jack Kids

Looking for something different in fashion for your kiddies? How about gender neutral designs that step away from the pinks & blues and combine quality and fit? Meet Jill and Jack Kids, an eco- friendly, socially responsible line of t- shirts that will be premiering on Kickstarter this Monday (May 19). I am so excited to introduce Jenn & this creative clothing line to TPB readers!

My name is Jenn, and I'm starting a gender-neutral kids’ clothing company called Jill and Jack Kids to inspire the next generation of leaders to think beyond pink and blue. We make playtime-worthy clothes in sizes 2-8 that challenge gender stereotypes. 

I’ve been working on this project full time since October 2013. My inspiration was how surprisingly difficult it was to find fun, bright coloured clothes for my daughter (especially before I knew whether she was a girl or a boy!) 

Parents are frustrated with the limited clothing options that are currently available: pink, glitter, and ruffles for girls; blue, trucks, and sports for boys. At Jill and Jack Kids there's no girls' department or boys' department - just awesome clothes for awesome kids. (For more on Jenn's inspiration click here).

We’re launching on Kickstarter on Monday, May 19th and we would love your support in changing the messages we’re sending to kids by helping to spread the word about the campaignThe shirts will retail for $22 each + tax and shipping, but during the Kickstarter campaign you can get yours for $25 each including shipping! If all goes well, we’ll be transitioning to an online store at www.jillandjackkids.com after that.

Our products are eco-friendly, socially responsible (no sweatshops!) and made in Canada with US- sourced materials. They’re made from high quality cotton and eco-friendly dyes, and they’re perfect for handing down, whether you have boys, girls or both!

We all want to make sure that the kids our lives have as many opportunities as possible, and helping them to see that their options are not color coded will broaden their horizons, and help them to develop their own sense of self, free from outdated ideas and expectations. These kids will run the world one day, and if they pursue their passions, instead of feeling like they don’t belong, we‘ll be better equipped to deal with the challenges that the future will bring.

We need more girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems and more boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition. To get there we need to change the messages we’re sending to kids. Giving them more and better clothing options is just the beginning.

3 Quick Questions with Jenn

 How did you decide what to do?
I started with a big market research survey, and that’s when I discovered that 60% of parents shop for their daughters in the boys’ section. I wanted to provide a real alternative to that—shirts in bright colours with designs that challenge gender stereotypes that aren’t too short and too wide. As a graphic artist I was able to develop some hip, modern (and kind of nerdy) designs. Since I’m also an academic researcher, I looked at measurement data from kids’ health studies, and develop shirts that fit actual kids.

What is your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is getting to do lots of different jobs! At Jill and Jack Kids I’m the photographer, the designer, the bookkeeper, and I work in marketing, IT and sales too! I also love connecting with other parents, aunts, uncles and others with kids in their lives who are frustrated with the lack of variety in kids’ clothing. And working from home is pretty great, too.

Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, the first step is to find something that makes you feel angry or frustrated that you can do something to fix. That frustration will fuel your passion and keep you going, and if others are frustrated about it too, then you know that there’s a market for your solution!

You can find more information  at www.jillandjackkids.com and on social media.

Twitter: @JillandJackKids

Images & logo: Jill & Jack Kids

May posts sponsored by Noah's Ark Hypnotherapy