amsterdam_macarons_fashion_interview

INTERVIEW MIT JULIE KOHLHOFF

amsterdam_macarons_fashion_interview

What did you do before you started your brand? Why did you decide to found macarons?

Before starting macarons in 2012 I worked as product manager for a big german fashion house for a couple of years. I looked a lot into production sites in countries like China or Bangladesh. Veit worked as strategic consultant specializing on Eastern European markets. So our strength is my fashion background from an education and studies in fashion since finishing school and Veit has the business and entrepreneurial background besides the fact that he comes from a family of architects and his mum is a big textile collector so he has indulged textiles and a certain design aesthetic since early childhood. We started macarons with the interest to develop and engeneer organic textiles and to work against the current hype of mass production. I have seen so much that we wanted to prove that it is still possible to produce under fair conditions and that organic fashion doesn’t mean boring design or uninspiring colors. We rediscovered small family productions here in Germany who make the macarons project possible and who we could inspire with our strength, our passion and our aim. We want to be known for impeccable eco-standards, cool edgy design and inspiring organic textiles within the business.

How was the name of the brand born?

The name for our company comes from my childhood love for the sweet “Macarons”. Growing up with a french mum, this was my treat. Especially the rose colored ones are my favourite. When we decided tolaunch our label, the name seemed so obvious: exquisite, colourful, small, irresistible pieces for babies and kids!

What is your favourite fabric for kids?

Actually our speciality are our sophisticated knits. We are crazy about our waffle knit and the IQ-Fabric fabric. We just love these special surfaces and the double sided effect that our knits have. We use the best natural GOTScertified yarns that we can buy on the markets. Which means that we achieve a wonderful high and durable quality. We are obsessed with natural fabrics and the very pure feeling on the skin. Especially since so many children nowadays have to fight allergies or other skin irritations.

Is there something you would never put on a child?

Fur, glitter and skinny jeans!

What’s the biggest thing you feel like you’ve learned since your first collection?

At the beginning we really had to learn soo many things and the whole macarons project still is a very intense but also fascinating learning task every day. We are now specialists in fabric development, which we weren’t before and we had to learn how to achieve top quality garments with organic untreated yarns. We also had to learn about the fits of our garments and about building up a team where everybody has special competences and experiences. This is our secret of success I guess because only with a good team you can make a project happen. If you think you can do everything by yourself you are mistaken!And of course you have to learn to be strong and fight for your idea and not break in, because it takes much more energy, time and money to make it happen then you think beforehand.macarons has been a real journey for us. Of course we struggled at first with the idea to quit our well-paidsecure jobs and at the same time it was so exciting and so clear that once the plan was set up there was no wayback. Life is full of surprises and chances and I believe that it is better to take a risk and start something new than always saying: “Oh, I wish I would have done that, tried this.“ I have to say though that I would have never founded macarons by my own without my husband. To have your own company means besides freedom, a lot of work and sacrifice. And all of a sudden there are too many business fields you have to master: sales, marketing, logistics, design, production, accounting. It is a 24/7 job plus we have our own family with three little kids. It is very good to be able to share all upcoming tasks with someone you can really rely on. My husband and I are equal partners. For the family I think being self-employed is a good way to actually be able to spend time together. We are with our kids all the time. They grow naturally into the business. And we are able to set our own time frames and share the daily tasks. We never aimed for the ordinary, where the parents work the whole day and other people look after the kids. We wanted to find a way to balance work and family and thanks god we chose the children fashion industry (: An understanding for children is mandatory if you work in this field. All our business partners have always respected our familiar sense and were open in bringing our kids to meetings or fairs for example. With macarons we can realize our own ideas and vision. Fortunately we have been able to enthuse the people that work with us and surround us with the macarons feeling!

What was your favourite thing to do when you were a child?

I remember that we had a big oldfashioned suitcase with wonderful dress-up clothing that my mother gathered together from travels, flea-market finds and old hats from her grandparents, who had an impressive hat collection. When friends came to our house we dressed up and invented theatre plays for hours and hours.

What kind of advise would you give to yourself in the childhood being a grownup?

Play as much and long as possible. Be outdoors in nature as much as possible. Free play leads to creative open minds. A kids day shouldn’t be over-scheduled by parents inforced activities or school.

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