This month marks the 4th birthday of Whale Spout! What started out as a little bit of fun sewing my girls some outfits for their birthdays, turned into a business venture I had never imagined. Posting the below photo on Facebook back in late 2010 resulted in friends contacting me and asking me to make the same outfits for their kids… it was a lightbulb moment and Whale Spout was born in October 2011.
Molly (4) and Grace (almost 2) in October 2010. Would you believe that these skirts still fit the girls 5 years later!
Four years on and life is crazier than ever. Three very busy children, a household to run, a part-time job, family and friends, and, a small business to manage. Something had to give, and I just didn’t have enough time to work ON the business as much as I was working IN it. I finally seriously considered an idea that I had been floating for a while. It was a scary thing to think about, and there were so many ethical issues surrounding it, but I finally made the decision to have my Whale Spout products manufactured offshore.
Earlier this year I travelled to Vietnam and met with my dear tailor, who has since become a very close friend. She introduced me to her incredibly talented seamstresses (there were 14 women!), and I visited them in their various workplaces. I saw their working conditions and chatted to them about their lives and their families. The ladies are happy, healthy women who enjoy sewing and are paid fairly for their work. They work reasonable hours in a safe and clean environment, which really does operate like a well-oiled machine. There is absolutely no exploitation at all, and I would never had decided to outsource my manufacturing if there was any risk of that.
In addition to being able to contribute to the income of these women and their community, I am now able to provide a larger range of products and shift my creative focus to the design side of things instead. Some changes have had to be made though and I am now concentrating on girls’ clothing only from baby to 6 years.
The new range will soon be launched and I am so looking forward to sharing it with you.
Thanks to each and every one of you for support over the years and I can’t wait to have you join me on the next stage of our journey!