The evolution of our designs - a designer brand with a soft touch
Posted on 06 October 2016
It all started with a Hippo.
I absolutely fell in love with a Hippo design by a very talented lady called Linda Robertus, whilst I was researching Calligrams (the concept of using words to form pictures). I knew i wanted to start the line using designs which were made up from words. I completely fell for the Hippo, and immediately bought the design and commissioned Linda to come up with some more calligrams. I loved the fact that Linda worked with her own children on the project, all of them inspiring each other and creating the designs in the school holidays around her kitchen table. To me this is what Snug-a-licious is all about. We then took the hand sketched designs, converted them to an artwork on graphic software and then adapted them to suit the look we were after. that set us off on the safari collection. Once we got the first set of samples, i sent them off to my good friend Deon, who is a very talented photographer in Botswana. He then took some walks with his gorgeous Son KB and hey presto, the best photos i could have hoped for!
The brand has changed a lot over the last few years, and I have developed the designs beyond animals to incorporate other icons that children respond to. My young son’s phases and serial obsessions with various animals, cars, trains, buses, dinosaurs and food have really helped me understand the kind of imagery that children love. There isn’t a prouder moment for a parent when their small bundle of joy utters “car” for the first time. I am not a psychologist but surely having these images around them all the time, including on their sleepwear, has got to be a good thing?
For example, one of our most popular designs has been the London Bus, as featured on the BBC America website. I took the lead from Jake with this design as he was obsessed with buses when we were in London. Also a trip to the Natural history museum in London, (which was amazing!), resulted in several dinosaurs in the range.
I have also appointed my 14 year old niece Kiki, as my chief design consultant. She is very articulate and slightly more emphatic with her likes and dislikes. As she is getting older she is able to give more input into the social media as she has a creative flair and naturally speaks hash tag! I think it is so important to keep children involved in the business, after all the product is all about their comfort and joy, and not just what looks pretty on a hanger. I now work closely with a graphic designer to come up with ideas that work well on the clothing and with the fabric, and as we continue to expand our range, we have great fun developing the images based on ideas that come from the all of the children around us.
I recently redecorated my son’s bedroom, and decided to involve him in the process. After picking a colour scheme, painting the walls and laying new flooring, off we go to the shops to buy some new bed linen. I had a rough idea of colours and textures in mind, and knew which range would suit the room well. Jake had different ideas. I came home with Buzz Light-year and Woody adorned sheets. I don’t have anything against Disney, and if this makes him enjoy going to bed, I can’t say no. But the point of the story is that if something catches a child’s imagination, it is worth harnessing that enthusiasm. And this is why the icons are such an important part of Snug-a-licious
Snug-a-licious sleep and loungewear is all about the softness and comfort of the fabric, but we aim to keep the designs unique and relevant. So watch this space. As I look on in awe as my son and his friends move with lightening speed through aeroplane, flower or colour obsessions, I know that there will be many more years of inspiration to come.