Sisters Lindsay Oakley and Lauren Carpenter have launched Lila & G, a customizable children’s clothing line celebrating the handmade craftmanship their mother Karen Eubank used in creating their own clothes as little girls. Drawing inspiration today from their lives as mothers to two little girls of their own (Lila Kate and Gwyneth Anne), Lila &G makes the process personal: mommies and daughters design the outfit; Mrs. Eubank constructs the final product.
What inspires your designs? I remember us drawing out our Easter dresses and my mom would mix and match patterns or draft her own and make them. She did that for our prom dresses too. So really that’s been a part of our lives for a long time, since we were kids. [Lindsay and I] noticed that there was a market for young-looking, sweet clothes made the way [our mother] dressed us.
How did you make the leap from stay-at-home mom to entrepreneur? I was a teacher for three years; I taught music [prior to Gwyneth’s birth]. When we’re out in public Gwyneth wears clothes that I designed and my mom made, and people asked where they could buy what she was wearing. And the same thing happened to [my sister and me]when we were growing up. Since we’re home now, [our starting the business] just made sense. It really just seemed like a natural thing to do.
Explain the Lila & G concept. We looked for things you can’t find in stores and we looked for things you can mix and match. The idea is that the mom and daughter get to design the outfit together and we get to make it. They start with our template, and they pick the fabric and trim. [At our design parties] we bring samples in every size, fabric, and option we offer. It gives the client the chance to look at everything, to try it on their daughter, and decide how [they want to customize their outfit] based on one of the top and bottom options. Every outfit will turn out different because there are so many options. (Pieces run between $30-$70 for the Spring line.)
You currently only have pieces for girls. Any plans to expand for boys? [Laughs] Currently I’m pregnant with a boy, so yes, we’ve already talked about adding a boys line to Lila & G in the future. Now that we have a boy in the family that’s probably coming soon. [In terms of expanding the line] we’re also going to have an heirloom line with silk fabrics, satin ribbon and French lace; it’ll be for special occasions: flower girl dresses, christening gowns, Easter dresses, etcetera.
One last question: what’s it like working with your mother and sister? It’s good; it’s been really fun. We all have similar ideas of how we think little girls should dress or would want to dress. And it’s given us a new way to connect with each other and spend time with each other.
Images via Lila & G