Photographer: Christian Wilmes
Makeup and Hair: Fiona Tsang for JBeautique
Stylist: Fanny Woo for StyleLittle
We sat down with our friends Ennie and Kendra from Obebe Organic to talk about how they met, became entrepreneurs and their passion for charity and high quality clothing. We hope you can learn from and love these two dynamic ladies!
How did you two meet?
Ennie and I are both wine nerds so it’s no surprise to our friends that we met at a wine tasting. While sipping on Lambrusco, Ennie shared her vision for a new, storybook inspired line of baby apparel. Naturally, I was interested because of my former experiences working as an Early Childhood Educator, and marketer in the organic products’ space. The more we talked about life and business, the clearer it became that our values were perfectly aligned and our skills were the ideal complement to one another.
How was Obébé Organic born?
We attend a lot of baby showers. One day Ennie was re-packaging a baby gift for a friend’s baby shower in a book box (it just looks so much better than the standard packaging) and thought it would be so great if the gifts came pre-packaged in a beautiful box that parents could keep. Also, she had been working with Bring Me a Book and wanted to do something that could really make an impact for the organization. At the time, I was volunteering with Reading Partners, another early literacy program, and consulting CPG companies in the natural & organic space, so partnering with Ennie was such a natural fit. After a few chats, we realised we had the same vision and complementary skill sets so we joined forces, formed the company and got to work!
What motivated you both to enter the children’s clothing industry?
It’s getting easier to find organic food, but it’s still very difficult to find organic clothing that is also fashion forward. It’s important to us to be making products that have a positive impact and the baby space is just plain fun. There is so much room for imagination and playfulness.
Why is charity important to you?
Every Child Deserves A Story is so much more than a tagline. Sadly, many children lack access to quality books and don’t have an adult who reads to them. We wanted to change that because early literacy is the key driver for language development, and the foundation to every child’s success in school and in life. On a personal level, books and reading were critical to both of our childhoods. When it comes to giving, our line of thinking is much like that of Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS. We believe that the most sustainable way to make a difference is through business which is why we’ve partnered with the Bring Me A Book Foundation. By making giving a part of our business model, we’re able to make a bigger impact.
Why organic clothing?
Organic is simply better. We’re committed to using the highest quality organic cotton because it is more sustainable for the farmers, the environment and for our business. And we definitely live an eco-conscious lifestyle; we purchase organic food, eat ethically raised meats, use chemical-free cleaning products and all natural beauty products. We bring our own mugs to coffee shops and reusable bags to the farmer’s market. When dining out, we look for sustainable, farm-to-table style restaurants – those that are built with sustainable materials and cook with organic, farm fresh, sustainably grown ingredients. We find it’s hardest to find eco-apparel. Our stylist and friend, Fanny Woo, is always on the lookout for us, but it’s a big challenge. It’s even harder to find great quality clothing for babies that are so beautiful, you’d be proud to give it as a gift.
Why should organic clothing be important for all parents?
By supporting organic brands, you’re investing in a better future for the planet and our children. Also, our organic fabrics are higher quality, and do not irritate a baby’s sensitive skin or leach chemicals into their developing immune systems.
What do you see for Obébé Organic in the next five years?
We expect the Obébé Organic story to get longer and more exciting with each year of growth. In five years, we hope that parents know our story as women entrepreneurs and our passion for sustainability. Most importantly, we want to to give millions of kids access to quality books.