I am so excited to introduce you to my third mamapreneur of 2011, Kiki Fluhr from “The Measure“. If you follow my blog, you know her gorgeous clothing already. If you don’t follow me then you can check out my earlier posts HERE and HERE! Also, if you would like to automatically receive my blog each time I post, all you need to do is click on the “Subscribe” tab on your left and submit your email address. Additionally, you can click on the RSS feed icon in your address bar. So, without further ado…..Kiki Fluhr from “The Measure”!!
The Measure; All the Numbers
How did you come up with that name:
All the Numbers was my first shop. The name came from something my mom said to me every night when she was tucking me in, she would say, “I love you ALL the numbers!” meaning, I love you SO much! I always loved that saying, and when my shop became about designing for little ones, it just seemed natural to use that idiom. At the top of my shop I have written the definition: All.the.num.bers – (adv.) Definition: The measure of how much I love you. I opened The Measure when I started to branch out and sell my pieces wholesale, and “The Measure” is taken from that definition. I wanted something separate but related.
How can we buy your designs?
How long have you been in business?
2 ½ years
Please explain a little bit about your product/business and how you developed the concept behind it:
I was really sick for a long while. I have something called POTS: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is a confusing way of saying my body isn’t good at regulating autonomic functions, like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, circulation. And though I am much better at the moment I wasn’t able to work outside the home for over a year when it was at its worst. I sewed because I loved to sew, and it gave me something to feel accomplished about, something I could look at and say, “I made this today” instead of feeling completely useless (an easy feeling to succumb to when it’s hard to stand up for any length of time.) I bought some vintage patterns off Ebay, one of which was a little girls pinafore that reminded me of things my mom made for me. After making a few and substantially changing the pattern, I thought this might be something other people might be interested in, and I opened a shop on Etsy. Almost 1500 sales later, the rest is history!
What makes your product/business so unique?
I’ve never been a fan of cutesy clothing for children. A pint-size sufferer forced to wear Polly Flinders dresses myself, I will always go for simple instead of ruffles, bows and smocking. Not that there isn’t a place for those things, but I find so many baby things to be completely overwrought, and I always run on the other direction. I try to create styles that will appeal to mom as well as child – nothing wrong with a bit of sophistication for the little ones.
I also try and incorporate eco-friendly practices. I make dresses out of upcycled Oxford cloth shirts. (I also accept them in trade!) And I also use vintage fabric and vintage homegoods in designs. My latest line has a lot of crochet detail – inspired by a box of vintage cotton doilies I came across. In using details such as these, I think a feeling of nostalgia can be expressed without looking dated, when they’re paired with modern silhouettes.
What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?
I do not have a lot of business acumen. The logistics of marketing, bookkeeping, record keeping are a real struggle for me.
How many children do you have. What are their ages? And ages when you started your business?
We have boy/girl twins who are almost 8 months old: Mairwen Athena (Mae) and Will Harrison. When I started my shop they were only a wish upon a star!
What are some of the creative ways you have found to juggle being a woman, a mother, a business owner, and a wife?
I am struggling with this because the addition of mother to the list has really changed everything. I have an assistant Sioux that I absolutely could not live without! She does a lot more now than before the babies arrived. Truth be told, I will take any advice anyone has to give me on this front!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many people that started out just like me, with just an idea and a passion and sort of created a niche and a job for themselves. Specifically, I love to read the blog The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau– it’s about entrepreneurship and creating the type of life you want, learning that you don’t have to live inside the boundaries we’ve always been taught exist for us. It’s inspiring in that it enables me to alter the frame through which I see life – and that’s pretty powerful stuff!
Now for some fun and easy questions….
Give me a burger and a Guinness and I’m a happy camper.
Hands down, apple pie.
Favorite restaurant (can be anywhere)?
Favorite piece of clothing or accessory?
My Frye boots I don’t fit the normal shoe-aholic stereotype – I’m fiercely loyal to my one and onlys.
Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with a beach and friends.
Favorite childhood memory?
I was a big tree climbing enthusiast. Until logic asserted itself at a later age I truly thought If I could just find a high enough tree I could reach those pesky clouds. I love that I thought that was possible, and I hope for a similar reality-skimming existence for my little ones.
On any given day, what makes you smile?
When my babies wake up and see me for the first time in the morning, they get this huge smile on their face, and a look like, “Oh THERE you are!! I missed you and now everything is okay.” And it melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.
When you have free time (ha!) what would your ideal day entail?
Hot coffee in my favorite mug. Indie music on the satellite. Sewing. Creating. I love what I do.
I am blessed beyond measure….