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Our Inspiring Q&A With Kelli From Rylee and Cru

Here at Sweet Threads, one of our favorite children’s clothing designers is Kelli Murray, founder of Rylee and Cru. Her designs are inspired by her own children, with a unique mix of vintage colors and modern graphics. Every piece is dyed by hand, which gives them a soft, wearable feel right out of the box. Her pieces are comfortable and make for easy wearing that’s perfect for mama and baby. 

We had the awesome opportunity to communicate with Kelli and ask her some questions about Rylee and Cru and her inspiration.

Shella Garcia: When did you know you had a knack for your creative side?

Kelli Murray: For as long as I can remember really. I’ve always been the creative one in my family. Growing up, I loved arts and crafts and my grandmother taught me how to sew at a very young age. I remember in high school starting my own “business” where I handmade custom skirts for all my friends. I guess that was my start in entrepreneurship! I ended up going to college at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and worked as a graphic designer and merchandiser for a clothing company for 6 years before having kids. Once my daughter arrived, I decided to go freelance to pursue my illustration work more full-time (which is something I always did on the side). I always had it in the back of my mind that I would one day merge my passions in illustration and fashion design and start a children’s clothing line of my own….and here we are!

Shella: Where does your inspiration come from?

Kelli: I am constantly inspired by nature, by other creative people in my life, by vintage story books, and minimalist design.

Shella: What’s been the biggest struggle with running Rylee and Cru?

Kelli: Rylee and Cru got started with a bang. I remember being shocked at how quickly we sold through our very first collection. I was so nervous about how sales would go and if this would be something I could actually make a living doing, but after experiencing the success of that first season, my confidence was boosted tenfold. I knew we were onto something. The struggle all along has been trying to keep up with all the different factors that go into designing and developing a complete collection, while also being a mama to two small kids. It’s SO much work.  More than I think I was prepared for, even after having worked in the fashion industry for years. When it is your own company, it’s just different. Everything holds so much weight, and for me, it’s all a reflection of who I am. I juggle a lot of roles, from design, to tech packs, to fittings… communicating back and forth with our factory, coordinating photo shoots, creating lookbooks, attending tradeshows and keeping up on social media…. It’s a lot, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Shella: Are there any hardships or challenges that you had to overcome that turned into a success?

Kelli: Well, the brand just turned 2 years old this November, so I feel like we are still growing and learning so much. One of the biggest challenges so far has been regarding production. It’s tough when you go through all the steps of designing something you envision, only to see it produced not entirely the way you expected. I remember in the very beginning sometimes just wanting to give up because we just couldn’t seem to get it right with the factory, and as a designer it was so discouraging. Still to this day, we have ups and downs, successes and failures, and with each of them, there is a chance to learn and get better. I feel like that is the outlook I have now. It’s never as easy as it seems… there will always be bumps along the way and mistakes made, but as long as I learn from them and keep pushing on to reach to my goals, there will be fruit in that.

Shella: When you started, how many people were on the team and how many are there now?

Kelli: It was just me and my husband in the beginning. Mostly, just me, with his support! Now we have a mighty team of 5, two of which are my husband and my dad! You can definitely say it’s a small family business.

Shella: Are you hiring? And if yes, what positions are you looking for?

Kelli: Not currently. The next hire will definitely be an assistant designer for me though. We are just not quite there yet.

To see more of Kelli’s awesome designs, check out her pieces on our online shop. And if you’re looking for inspiration for adorable outfits, follow Kelli on Instagram @ryleeandcru. We can promise you, you and your little ones will love these looks!

Giveaway

It’s a Holiday Giveaway!!

Guess what?! We have been busy at the shop getting ready for our in-house brand, Paush Holiday Release. The launch date will be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for more info. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!

To celebrate, we decided to host a special Holiday Giveaway brought to you by some amazing handmade brands, Fancy Free Finery, Raine and Skye, Tiny and Wild, and Paush from Sweet Threads! Don’t regret skipping out on this giveaway. It’s a really good one!!

One LUCKY follower will win this entire children’s look:

@fancyfreefinery Felt Floral Crown

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@raineandskye Silver Mini Bucket Bag

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@tinyandwild Custom Pillow Doll Design of your child in this entire look

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@shopsweetthreads Paush Mauve Lace Pinafore Dress (up to size 3T)

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Here’s how to enter on Instagram:

*Follow

@fancyfreefinery

@raineandskye

@tinyandwild

@shopsweetthreads

*Like this photo on each of our Instagram pages

*Tag a friend in the comments below the Instagram post

*Extra entry per comment

Open internationally to public Instagram accounts only! Giveaway ends in 24 hours on Tuesday, 10/6/15 at 10:00am PST. The lucky winner will be announced under the @shopsweetthreads Original Giveaway post that evening!

**Goodluck!**

Giveaway

Last Day! | A Sweet Auction

Did you know we are auctioning off this Sweet Package? 🍭 Inspired by our customer @gbeloved ‘s heart of gold, we’ve teamed up with her to do something special this holiday season.💝 Including one of @gbeloved ‘s very own #Paush Rompers in sz 12 mos, Sweet Threads will also be auctioning off an additional 4 Custom Paush styles in any size you see in this post! The Sweet Package will deliver in January but we can deliver the Red Velvet Romper in time for Christmas! 🎄 Auction ends December 9 at Midnight tonight.

All proceeds will be donated to K.I.D.S (Kids in Distressed Situations) who help families and children fight poverty and tragedies. Please see our Instagram post for bidding details. If you want to place a bid, please do so on the our Instragram post.

Thank you everyone for all your support.

#tistheseasontogivehope
#Shopsweetthreads
#Paush

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New Arrivals

Millipy for Sweet Threads Dropping August 16th!

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We are so thrilled to announce our collaboration with local Mompreneur, Ana Estella from Millipy, a brand hand crafting and designing the cutest, whimsical accessory pieces for your little ones! Millipy is inspired by children and strive to represent the curiosity, energy and uniqueness that every child possesses. It’s no surprise that Millipy offers stand out pieces! 

Sweet Threads had a fun time working on this project with Millipy designing playful crowns and bandana bibs! This collection is inspired by Sweet Threads‘ favorite shop colors and the start of Fall! Sweet touches of tribal woven textiles + Millipy prints were designed into the collection.

Save the date for August 16th for the drop of this exclusive Millipy for Sweet Threads Collection!  The collection will be made available at the Cerritos St. 1st Annual Block Party in Long Beach hosted by Threads Events.  They will also be made available online at www.shopsweetthreads.com August 17th.

A very special thanks to Katie Ging for always capturing the vision. The images are exactly what we expected; playful, whimsical and SWEET!

Model pictured is Ana’s adorable daughter, Amelia!

 

 

 

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DIY UPCYCLED BOOK | A Pinwheel Tutorial

If you’re like me, you don’t like to throw away much. Especially if it is sentimental. Let us show you a fun upcycle DIY you can enjoy with your kids. Turn an old book into a creative, whimsical pinwheel! 

Supplies needed

Ruler 

Vintage Books

Lollipop Sticks

Push Pins

Mini Floral Puncher

Scraps of scrapbook paper

Scissors

Glue

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Story Time at Sweet Threads

The turning of the page, the beautiful illustrations that were printed with the most vibrant inks that popped out of the books, the imaginations that ran wild after a good read. Those were things I enjoyed about reading a book. Nowadays, it seems ebook reading has become favored over reading printed material. Not to say that ebooks aren’t a good form of reading, but I believe there should be a healthy balance of ebook reading vs paper book reading. According to TheTelegraph.co.uk , “the number of young digital readers has doubled in the last two years.”

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As a child, I have always been drawn to books. When I was 8, I found a book about mermaids that I would read in the dark with a flash light. I wanted to recreate the feeling of being deep, underneath the water just as they were drawn in the book.  It was much easier for me to learn to read because I actually enjoyed reading for the very fact that I could actually hold a book, run my finger through the words as I read each line, turn the pages back to where I left off and see that I was halfway through the book, leaving me feeling satisfied. It gave me a sense of self accomplishment. Remember folks, reading doesn’t come easy for all children. So for me to get through a book and understand it was self gratifying. Every summer growing up, I made a trip to the library to join the reading book club. I just don’t get the same satisfaction from reading off a screen. Call me old fashion, but I prefer an old book over an ebook.

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To spread our love of book reading, Sweet Threads will be offering Story Time at the shop for families with children 18 mos – 7 years starting Friday, September 13th at 9:45 am to 10:30 am. Pastries and refreshments will be served at 9:30 am before reading starts at 9:45 am. It will be held as a first come first served basis for 4-5 children and their families due to the size of this small, cute shop 😉 Please email shopsweetthreads@gmail.com or visit Sweet Threads at 3301 E. 4th Street Long Beach, CA 90814 to sign up.

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Sweet Threads will also be alternating Story Time weeks with Tiny Eco Urbanite in Long Beach. Follow them for more updates!

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SWEET THREADS IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

Hello my friends!

Sorry it’s been a bit since i’ve blogged! As you will see, I have been quite busy preparing the shop for its grand opening this past Saturday! I’d love to share with you the shop details and please know I put my blood, sweat and tears in building this fun, little space for YOU and the KIDDOS!! I wanted to make sure that each and every one of you who came into the shop came in feeling happy, excited and a whiff of nostalgia hoping it brought you back childhood memories!

Take a peek into my little world…hope you come by and visit and don’t forget to bring the kiddos! 🙂

We are located at:

3301 E. 4th St. Long Beach, Ca 90814

For any inquiries, please email us at shopsweetthreads@gmail.com

xoxo, Shella

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