Behind the Brands at Desmond Elephant - The Bright Company June 24 2014
This is our first in a series of blogs about ‘Behind the Brands at Desmond Elephant’ in which the companies that design and make the fabulous clothes and accessories sold at www.desmondelephant.com explain what they do, how and why. Alienor Falconer, founder & creative director talks UK manufacturing and her dream The Bright Company customer.
We currently stock their fabulous Unisex Pyjamas
How and why did you start The Bright Company?
The Bright Company was born out of a frustration that bedtimes were, well quite frankly, unstylish. I'd worked in Fashion and had renovated four houses so had a keen interest in interior styling. I found loads of great kids brands for day wear but just felt that bedtimes, sleepwear & bedding, were pretty unstylish in comparison. So I set about to change that.
It took months of cold calling & emailing before I had fabric contacts and a seamstress making pairs of pjs up and then finally a factory I persuaded to make our products.
What did you both do before and how does this experience help you now?
I worked in fashion as a footwear developer so my role was to get the designs made into a reality. I loved it but couldn't marry that with family life as it involved lots of overseas travel. Simon, my husband works in marketing in between his TBC duties.
What is unique about The Bright Company?
There are other pj companies out there but I think we stand out for having a much stronger aesthetic. We don't do cutsie and I hope that is what people like about us.
Can you briefly describe the design and manufacture processes?
Great question! My favorite part of the whole process! The season starts with me establishing a colour palate for the season, this inspiration can come from anywhere & anything & I often have combinations stored away for future use. If we are working on a new print I brief our print designer, I squirrel away print inspiration too, so she will draw up the print we are after that we send the new designs & colours off to the printers who send us a strike off to approve. When we are happy I send all the new designs to the factory and we see samples, any new styles we then fit test. Our factory is just outside Nottingham so I try to go & visit every season just to make sure everything is how we want it. There is usually a fair bit of back & forth before we are 100%, adjusting fit or styling, colour combinations etc. Then we have final samples for our trade show & campaign photographs made up. Once we have sold at a fair we place our orders & the factory go ahead & make up.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I started making my own clothes at school & would make things for friends & family & even had some commissions. I've wanted to work in fashion products since I was really young but am not a fashionista; I struggled with the bitchyness of the fashion world.
Who would you most like to buy something from The Bright Company?
There are a lot of super stylish parents out there these days; now the world doesn't just consist of M&S for our kid’s wardrobes. But I'm always most flattered when fellow designers or people who work in interiors buy our products as I know how critical they can be.