Melbourne made -CHECK. Ethically made - CHECK. Organic cotton - CHECK. When Melbourne mum - Sonali, was nearing the end of maternity leave, she bravely decided that she was going to create a growsuit that ticked all of the boxes. It was near impossible to find something with a modern yet classic style that also matched her values. Soon after, My People Co was born and a range of Happy Suits were on offer for parents who were also searching for a quality product. In this interview, biz owner Sonali, shares how she decided to fulfil a gap in the market and start a clothing line for kids.
HOOD MAMA SPECIAL - 15% off store-wide at My People Co. Join the hood to grab the code. Valid 2nd -9th August 2017.
1.Why did you create My People Co?
I created My People Co because I couldn’t find any locally made, ethically made, organic cotton unisex growsuits on the market for my baby.
2. How did My People Co begin?
I was nine months into my maternity leave and just cracked it because I was searching for these growsuits to no avail, so I decided to do something about it. It was right at the end of my mat leave (yeah, I know, very smart). We also delved into womenswear as well as growsuits (they were matching!) but recently decided to concentrate on what we loved most (Happy Suits) – and discontinue the womenswear line.
3. How does My People Co make mother’s lives easier, better or brighter?
EASIER: We have a two way zip for easy access and an opening at the back for nappy checks.
BETTER: You know your babe is in quality clothes made ethically. Organic cotton is great on growing bodies.
BRIGHTER: Well, it definitely depends on the colour Happy Suit you choose. But on a serious note, the peace of mind that your baby is in ethically made clothes, means that it wasn’t made at the expense of another child’s life (we just got a bit dark there, sorry).
4. How does it make you feel when someone buys one of your Happy Suits?
Amazingly happy and thankful for the customer’s trust: they believed in our product enough to put their child in it. Pretty scary and awesome at the same time.
5. What is your most popular product?
We only have one product now so that is easy to choose. Our Happy Suit. It’s a case of when you know it’s an awesome product, don’t mess with it.
6. What’s the most common frequently-asked-question about My People Co?
We often get two FAQ: Why don’t you do more colours and designs, and why is your clothing expensive?
Firstly, we want to do more colours but are funding everything from the first run, so it’s taking a while (especially given I have not put time into the business it needs – I had a baby six months in and put everything on hold) BUT I’LL GET THERE!
As for designs, I want to concentrate on the Happy Suits first… but we have a few ideas…
Secondly, we honestly don’t think our product is that expensive for what you get – an ethical full body growsuit. We source all our material from Australia and manufacture in MELBOURNE (so yes, our overheads are much higher because labour is expensive here comparative to overseas) but that was the whole point of my business. I wanted to know my manufacturer and guarantee their working conditions and the quality of my product, which I do and I can. My fabric is also woven and dyed in Australia. And all of us (being my manufacturer, fabric supplier & I) are ethically accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia in our own right.
7. Describe one thing mamas would be surprised about from behind-the-scenes of My People Co.
It’s just me (with the support from my husband and family) so everything from the design, to marketing, to packing orders and financials are all done by me. I don’t know whether that’s surprising though. Also, my husband has amazing photographing skills and did our current photos. That was surprising to me at least.
8. What aspect about My People Co do you love the most?
I love feedback from customers. Thankfully it’s all been really positive. Also generally being able to guarantee my product is high quality and ethically made gives me warm feels too.
9. When you’re not in business mode, what do you love to do?
Apart from spending time with my family, I love eating out with my twin sister (new cafes/restaurants - COME AT US!), going on holidays (beach with cocktails thank you very much), catching up with friends (did someone say wine?) and being crafty – making polymer clay beads/painting/drawing. I am not in anyway talented but I have passion (this comes directly from a school art teacher, thanks for that).
10. Any exciting plans for the rest of 2017?
Other than get our product out there more, we're just winging it. Hopefully we'll launch two new colours soon. Every small step is exciting…
ABOUT MY PEOPLE CO
An online ethical growsuit company - Happy Suits for Kids. Melbourne designed and made.
Biz owner: Sonali
Favourite café: : Neon Tiger Café
Coffee order: Flat white (with one sugar)
Join the hood to receive the HOOD MAMA SPECIAL.
Are you a Melbourne mover & shaker? Does your biz make mother's lives easier, better and brighter? We'd love to showcase your dreams and help Melbourne mums on their quest to shop small and support locals. Have a look at our Celebrate Melbourne page for more info.