Thursday, August 14, 2014

Meet Martine // Quirkie Kids

Do your boys like the color pink? Do your girls like Bob the Builder? Just a couple questions that will set the tone for the direction we are going with this feature ;) May seem strange, but according to Martine... these are questions that shouldn't demand a certain answer. Our children should be free to answer yes or no to questions like these without there being this certain expectation of gender deciding for them. Do you agree? I think the point she's getting at is pretty valid. We want our littles to be who they are, not what society says they should be. Martine's clothing line, Quirkie Kids, was born out of the desire for kids to be able to express their individuality through clothing. Here's a little snippet from her website that would probably explain better..

"The idea that a color is either masculine or feminine is absurd to me. I want my boys to grow up to become confident men who stay true to who they are. And that is what Quirkie Kids is all about: encouraging kids to embrace their uniqueness.



...To me, Quirkie Kids is about more than just pink t-shirts. It's about giving both boys and girls more options to express themselves through their clothing."

I love that Martine has taken a stand in this way. Let kids be kids and choose for themselves what they like. Go check out the website and see for yourself! There's some light pink, some dark pink, and maybe even a splash of purple :) There's also a couple onesies for the wee ones. Here's a few photos I took of my littles in their Quirkie Kids get up! I'm happy to say that every single one of my kids said these tees were now some of their favs. I'm sure it helped that all three of them love matching each other haha. 


just a little sibling love



Nyah is wearing the "skull" tee (skirt dot dot smile)

Kylan is wearing the "chompers" tee

Ryder wearing the "best friends" tee
All the tees are printed on American Apparel 100% cotton tees. They're soft and durable which makes them great for kids! Martine is so easy to talk to so if you ever had any questions, concerns, input... I don't doubt that she wouldn't make it a priority to value it and respond. I so admire her "big picture" way of thinking and that these tees of hers are just a stepping stone in that direction. I'm honored to feature her here and say that my boys and girl are not always so gender typical, but they are undoubtedly individuals! I'm so glad that she found such a creative and fun way to send such a positive message to our children. I was able to do a little bit of a Q&A session with Martine. Check it out below and learn a little bit more about her!

Martine and her precious fam

How did "Quirkie Kids" come come about?

I’ve always been someone to question things and ask why. One night, my hubby and I were talking about how ridiculous it is that things for boys are blue and things for girls are pink. If you have a son who likes pink, you have to shop in the girls department but most clothes for girls have bows or lace or some other detail that a boy may not like. If you have a daughter who likes something other than rainbows, kittens, or butterflies, you’re also out of luck. My hubby mentioned that someone should make pink t-shirts with cool designs you don’t usually find on a pink tee and so the idea for Quirkie Kids was born. I held a successful Kickstarter campaign and was able to raise start up funds to launch the business. 


Who/What would you say has been your biggest inspiration?

My boys! Being a mom has made me realize just how innocent children are. Until recently, my boys (Tyler age 6 and Tristan age 3) had no idea that according to society certain things including the color pink should be off limit to them. The idea that a color is either masculine or feminine is absurd to me. I think all kids should be free to wear pink regardless of their gender, which is why I started Quirkie Kids. I like to say that some boys like green. Some boys like blue. And some boys like pink and why not?


What advice would you pass along to someone considering starting their own business?

Ask for help! Few people have all the skills needed to launch a small businesses. I didn’t let the fact that I can’t draw stop me from launching a line of tees. I asked an awesome designer for help and he said YES! I am so grateful to have him as part of our team. The same goes for photography! I knew I needed good images so I asked a photographer that I admire for help. She took some fun images of some kids wearing our pink tees that made all the difference in our Kickstarter campaign. 


What is a dream you have for your shop?

I am going to dream big here, because I’ve decide to be fearless! To me, Quirkie Kids is about more than pink tees. It’s about encouraging kids to embrace their uniqueness and giving both boys AND girls more options to express themselves through their clothing. I want boys to be a able to wear a pink t-shirt without feeling self-conscious or worrying about getting teased. And I want to girls to be able to wear a t-shirt with a dinosaur or a space alien without feeling that they are being different or weird. 


What does a typical day look like for you?

The kids are home for the summer so, it’s definitely more challenging to find time to work! I usually work for a few hours in the morning while the kids play. Then we go out and have fun! We just moved to CA and are having a blast exploring new places to visit! I work for another hour or so when we get back and then at night once the kids are in bed.


What is something most people wouldn't guess about you right away?

I was born and raised in Holland. My boyfriend (now my husband) and I moved to England when I was 19. I never intended to not come back but it sort of just happened. We love living here, but it’s hard to be away from family and wish that we could visit more often. 


If you could only have three things to bring with you on a deserted island, what would you choose?

My first reaction is my husband and our two kids but they’re not things. So I am going to say sunglasses (I wear them even when it’s cloudy), coffee (I’ve tried going without but I love my morning cup of coffee too much), and a pillow (I cannot sleep without it).


I LOOOOVE your business advice! Ask for help! So simple, yet not always the first thing we think. So good. As long as you have the vision and the determination, there's probably a way. And way to go with using kickstarter!! So cool and glad that it was successful and helpful! Love what you are doing, Martine, and seriously wishing you all the best as you move forward. Thanks for sharing!

Martine is being super kind and giving all my readers 15% from now until August 31st!! All you have to do is use the code thelittleslife15 when you're checking out. Just go to  www.quirkiekids.com
and take a peak at all the other great tees she has to offer! Also be sure to follow her on Instagram (@quirkiekids) to be the first to know about give aways, new releases, and sales!! Thanks again Martine!!

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