Do you know what goes into making the clothing that you and your family wears? We are living in the world of fast fashion where the quality of the garments and the people that make it may be compromised to give customers a fashionable quick fix. Though more expensive, making quality garments in the US is what path I have chosen for myself.
When Violet was turning 1 I made her a crop top and harem pant set and a dress out of a bright and colorful African fabric I had saved for the right project. For her 1st Birthday party she wore the outfits and my friends and family went wild, they loved it. I had never been able to find anything quite like what I had made at stores so I started researching the market. Once looking at the internet, local boutiques and of course Etsy, I realized that outfit I made might be more to it than just a cute look, this could be my next career move.
My background was in design. 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 three years I have been growing Ultra Violet Kids into what you see now, a 25 - 40 style with 2-5 color ways per style each season. 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 digitized, graded and have markers printed depending on the width of your fabric.
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% dead stock 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 2 currently managing everything from Social Media, Back End of Website, Wholesale, Manufacturing, Accounting, Retail Sales, Designing Seasonal Collections, Branding, Photoshoots and the list goes on.
This company is a labor of love. 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 small companies. 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 SS17 season is bright, colorful, funky and inspired by Palm Springs in the 1960's. The deadstock fabrics we were able to find are beautifully made.
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