More on the Little Hip Squeaks Relaunch

We've been tossing the word 'relaunch' and 'brand rehab' and phrases like 'awesome things are in store' for what feels like forever.

Eight months ago, my sales were steady, it was a perfect combination of really busy, with enough time for me to enjoy my son and husband, and actually eat meals. SIX months ago, that went down the toilet.

Our sales TRIPLED within 30 days; December 2012 was our biggest month EVER at the time, and then January 2013 just blew it out of the water. TRIPLE. I was sewing as much as I could, and had two other seamstresses busting out work as fast as possible. We made a lot of missteps with offering pre-order, and made-to-order items, and that dug us into weeks of back log and and an overwhelming number of open orders (over 700. not fun.) Add a dozen new retailers to the list, and to say I was burnt out is the understatement of the year.

In late January, when I realized that this little brand of mine was growing into something more amazing than I could have ever expected, I started to set a few goals for 2013. Revenue goals, product line goals, social media goals -- and most importantly, dealing with our biggest flaws. Our production turnaround time, our fabric quality, and my ever fleeting sanity.

I was lucky enough to have a seamstress who was able to recruit a friend, and our sewing staff grew - but even then, we were selling things faster than we could make them. I decided I needed to look into the idea of working with a facility that would be able to produce my goods at numbers that me and my three gals just couldn't handle alone (at least not consistently and with a quality I'd be happy with). After weeks of research, by total accident, I was introduced to a super local (literally, the place is 27 blocks from my apartment), small-staffed cut and stitch shop that works exclusively with small businesses, in small quantity, with an ethical labor policy in place. After checking the facility out, I knew this was the perfect fit.

The next step was finding the means to be more flexible with the types of fabric we were able to print on and, more importantly, a method that would never fade no matter how many washes it went through (because kids are filthy, ya'll). We decided to work with another small company who could print our designs on ANY fabric we choose with a hand-pulled silk screening method. The inks are still non-toxic and water based, but now we have access to neons, metallics and virtually any color in the Pantone book (designers' paradise) and can choose to print on a variety of fabric types that can change with seasons, styles and collections (wait until you guys see the cardigans this Fall).

While things seemingly fell into place perfectly, the idea that I'd be transitioning to a "small business" instead of a "handmade business", or that I'd have to start ordering my fabric in 800 yard quantities were some terrifying decisions - but I knew this was a step I needed to take if I wanted LHS to grow and thrive (and if I wanted to ever convince my husband to have another baby).

Another huge part of this transition was opening our own ecommerce website, and undergoing a complete redesign of our brand. I have absolutely loved selling on Etsy, but each successful business comes to a crossroads where they need more functionality and capabilities from their storefront. We are so thankful to have been able to work with the amazingly talented folks at Aeolidia for our redesign. Even more exciting is that our website and our summer collection have aligned perfectly and that we're able to launch everything together on June 21st (the first day of summer)!!

The last six months have been arduous, complicated, confusing and stressful beyond words, but I am so so pleased with the outcome that I absolutely know we have made the right choice for our little brand. With this growth, comes a huge promotion for my right-hand-lady, Amy Boyle, who is now acting as Vice President of Operations. The two of us alone are still running everything else behind the scenes-- customer communications, wholesale accounts, packing and shipping orders, I am still designing all our pieces, selecting all our colors, fabric content, and very much losing my sanity.

We are so very excited to share our relaunch with you, and it's is only a FRACTION of what's to come; we're still wrapping up our dress, romper, and tank top for summer, and have already finalized our Fall Collection designs and color palette.

We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this point, and are so excited to share all the good things in store with you!

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