A lot of people forget what goes into making clothing. We are living in the world of fast fashion where the quality of the garment and the people that make it are in question.
When Violet turned 1 I made her a crop top and harem pants out of a bright and colorful African fabric I had laying around. She wore it for her birthday party and my friends and family went wild, they loved it. That outfit made me think there might be more to it than just a cute outfit, this could be my next step.
I always knew I was going to be a fashion designer, from the age of 9 I started honing my skills. I went to art school, graduated with a degree in fashion design and started working in fashion professionally in 2001. I had a few collections and sold to some of the best stores in the city. It was a good time in fashion. But as the years went by changes started to happen and as our economy collapsed people started turning to fast fashion for their fashion fix. American sewing factories I used were going out of business left and right and by 2007 there were hardly any good factories left. Today we are at the point that we need to grow these factories again and bring back American manufacturing. For two years I have been growing Ultra Violet Kids into what you see now, a 25 piece collection with 2-5 color ways per style. I make everything here in Los Angeles and manage every part of manufacturing. I believe in making everything in the USA, growing our local economy and giving people jobs. We pay these workers living wages and that is the reason our garments are more expensive than the brand that mass produce overseas.
A typical garment goes through these stages
1. Design the garment
2. Make the pattern
3. Get a sample made
4. Fitting #1
5. Update Pattern
6. Get a sample made
7. Fitting #2
8. Update Pattern (if needed)
9. Get a sample made (if needed)
10. Fit #3 (if needed)
11. Take pattern to the grader to get it put into the computer to have the sizes graded and a marker made
12. Take marker with fabric to my cutter to have my cuts done
13. Take finished cuts to my sewer along with the sew by sample, all the tags needed for the garment.
14. Check a TOP (top of production) to make sure the sewing in up to standard
15. Voila - You have a garment in production
Every single garment that Ultra Violet Kids makes goes through at least these steps. Our manufacturing is small, I would even say tiny. We use 95% deadstock fabrics that we scour the market to find and build a collection off of. Once a style is sold out, you will never see it again. Each seasonal collection is designed by what inspires, moves and excites me. No two collection will ever be the same and that's what makes Ultra Violet Kids what it is. We were a team of 3 people and recently there are only 2 of us. We manage everything from Social Media, Website, Wholesale, Manufacturing, Accounting, Retail Sales, Designing Seasonal Collections, Branding, Photoshoots and the list goes on.
When people think that my company is bigger than it really is, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for supporting a small brand like mine and following our journey. Thank you for choosing to be a conscience consumer by buying from my small brand. When you buy from Ultra Violet Kids be assured that the money that you spend goes to the people making your clothing, it goes into fabric and trims that that make that garment unique and the time it takes to make sure we are giving you a quality product that is consciously made.
This FW16 season is bright, colorful, funky and inspired by my childhood Punky Brewster style. The deadstock fabrics we were able to find are beautifully made and the Intuition & Starry Night prints I designed myself.
Your support gives me the fire in my belly to keep going and growing with gratitude.
Lots of love coming your way,
Michelle, Violet and team UVK