FEATURED CONTENTHow (and where) you can do a good workout to get fit
Behind Sophie since 20212 are Carmen and Marta. For them, having their own children's fashion firm is a real adventure. "Our professional backgrounds came from labor counseling and international trade, motherhood brought us together to shape this great project," they explain to Bulevar Sur.
They recently presented the new autumn-winter 2021/2022 collection and we have taken the opportunity to get to know the brand better. Sophie has become one of the essential Sevillian firms with the most personality.
When and how did the project come about?
«The brand emerged in December 2012. After being mothers (Carmen for the second time and Marta for the first time) we realized that there was a need for different children's clothing, with new colors and comfortable patterns. That's when we created Sophie."
How has it evolved and grown?
«After almost 10 years and 19 collections on the market, we can say that the brand has matured and grown hand in hand with our small customers. We started working at home, and attending all the markets that were organized in our city and surroundings. Later we launched the website and moved to an office on Recaredo street, where we also had a showroom space. Lastly, in 2018 we opened our first store at 6 Monte Carmelo street. Little by little we have been expanding sales channels, working with both national and international multi-brand stores, reaching points of sale in Panama, Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile, Italy... We have also grown in human resources, both in the office, in the store and in the workshop. We can boast of a wonderful team, who are as involved as we are in our project, which means that the work is carried out in an almost familiar environment”.
What specific difficulties and challenges does the children's fashion sector have in our country?
“It is difficult to start any activity in this sector, in general there is a shortage of factories and a lot of competition. For years, Spanish textile and knitting factories have been closing because prices were not competitive in the international market. Although after several years these international prices have been increasing, as in the case of our neighboring country, which has managed to maintain its infrastructure and currently there are not many price differences between Portugal and Spain. In other Eastern countries the price is much lower, but the working conditions do not comply with our company philosophy. Currently, due to the pandemic, other difficulties have been added, such as shortages of raw materials, rising prices and production delays that lead to economic losses.
How would you define your own style?
«A renewed classic, we bet on traditional patterns with different prints and colours. This gives the garments that retro air so characteristic of Sophie. On the other hand, the exclusivity and craftsmanship of the textile line make it very special, many of our garments such as baby blouses, bloomers, skirts and much more. They are made by hand."
You are a 100% made in Spain brand, do you have to increase prices to boast of that?
“Obviously, you can't compare our products with those of large stores that are mass-produced in the East and other countries. We work with factories and small Spanish workshops, although they involve a higher cost, the finishes are manual and that has an added value that is increasingly demanded and appreciated both in the Spanish and international markets”.
You are very active in social networks, how important are they for the brand?
“A lot! It is a screen abroad, it could be defined as a new sales channel. The networks have also evolved and where before only a product was shown, now you get to interact with the customer live»
And online sales?
“The pace of life we currently lead, the lack of time, means that more and more people are resorting to buying all kinds of products online, both for their own use and to give as gifts to other people. Our 70% of sales volume is online. Through online sales we have access to another market, both national and international”.
Which would be Sophie's star garments or accessories?
«Our customers tell us that the knitted products are unbeatable, we use a yarn with an anti-peeling finish, so that the dreaded little balls do not appear. They also have a hypoallergenic treatment, which makes it even more suitable for the baby's skin. This season we have included a factory with integral machines, which is why many of our baby clothes have no seams of any kind, increasing their degree of comfort. We can boast of exclusivity, which is reflected in a unique pattern of our brand, in a yarn that is specially dyed to have a certain color, which combines with our prints, and in swimsuits with prints exclusively designed for us”.
«And we should highlight certain products that have been their own creation. The hat-scarf, a mix between these two garments that helps the little ones to always be warm. Also the boot-type booties, hand-knitted, with a special shape so that babies do not take them off. We were the first to create them, although now there are many brands that "work" this idea. The fabric swimsuits, following the old patterns of our grandmothers. And the striped or star socks, which make our looks more fun if they fit ».
Do you think there are myths when it comes to dressing children or babies? Colors that do not wear, pink vs light blue that we have already overcome, etc?
«We believe that it is not about stopping using a classic color for babies (such as white, pink or light blue), but that the range of tones has been expanded, incorporating another color in the “powdered” range to these basic ones. "such as aqua green, terracotta, blue, grey... Regarding garments, we bet a lot on rompers for girls, we believe that we could be the first to incorporate this type of garment, because a few years ago it was unthinkable to see little girls with something It wasn't a dress."