We are thrilled to have Meera, from LA based heirloom clothing line, Devon’s Drawer join us for this week’s Chit Chat Tuesday.
Launched in 2012, Devon’s Drawer is a family run business, creating modern yet classic pieces built to last many generations.
JS: Hi Meera, can you start by telling us a bit about your recently released, Spring 2017 collection? We love the colours and patterns you have chosen to include, is there a story or inspiration behind this?
MB: My Mom (Cynthia) does the design and my sister (Angelica) and I help with creative direction so I’ve answered the questions with their input. Our Spring 2017 collection was inspired by Wes Anderson’s movies, and especially (my current favourite) “Moonrise Kingdom”. Our designs are also inspired by my mom’s upbringing in 1960’s Los Angeles, and my Grandma’s impeccable style (perfectly tailored dresses, high waisted shorts, beautiful peasant blouses. I have a bunch of hand me downs from my Grandma, and they are by far the coolest items in my closet!). My Mom is a huge fabric nerd, so she is also really inspired by the fabrics and prints we find each season. For spring, we loved pom poms and Ikat fabric, and built the collection from there.
JS: Do you have a favourite piece or style from the collection?
MB: For my daughter Emily (16 months) I love our Flower romper. For my son (5 years) I our love our chambray shirt with natural/cream shorts, which can be seen below.
JS: When was Devon’s Drawer first launched? Is there a story behind the brand?
MB: Devon’s Drawer has been a long and slow project for us. The kernel for the brand was born with my son, Devon (who is now five). When my Mom started making beautiful clothing for Devon, and my siblings and I urged her to make her hobby into a business. A bit of background is probably helpful; my Mom has a background in costume design and fashion history and made all our clothing growing up. We grew up on a very small (but beautiful) island near Vancouver called Salt Spring Island. It just wasn’t possible for her to turn her passion (and training) into a business, we were in a small and remote community and this was pre-internet (and pre-computers for most people). So my Mom had always wanted to turn her passion into a business but the time wasn’t right.
Flash forward to Devon’s birth, and the timing just seemed right. My mom started really small, she sold clothing to friends and family, and at craft fairs. We’ve slowly ramped up the business and started growing a lot about two years ago. We went from having our stuff in about 6 stores for our first collection (Spring 2015) to about 15-20 for our Spring 2017 collection (we’re still taking wholesale orders for Spring so we’re not sure yet).
Gianna from @gbeloved wearing the Franklin dress from AW16
JS: What an interesting history! It’s always encouraging to see a brand who are environmentally conscious, can you talk us through your ethical production methods?
MB: Yes! We are really passionate about making our business sustainable for the long term. This means that we use ethical and local production, and use locally made materials (as much as we can). Our line is made in downtown LA. We use organic fabrics as much as possible, and as much as possible we use local fabric designers. For example, the flower print we used for our Spring 2017 line was designed by a small independent company out of Santa Barbara that specialises in organic fabrics and prints.
In terms of production, we have a wonderful production manager who makes sure we get our product out on time. We use skilled sewers (who are compensated fairly) to make our clothing; each item is crafted with care. We also oversee production and all the details. When our line is being made each season, my Mom is there every day working with our team.
Jace from @gaylinnicole modelling the Russell Turtleneck from AW16
JS: Are there any exciting new plans in the works you can tell us about?
MB: My sister and mother went to Turkey recently, and connected with a Canadian woman living in Turkey who makes beautiful organic cotton Turkish towels and bath robes. So, we are in conversation with her about a collaboration to make organic children’s sleep and lounge wear. We are also working on re-launching our cashmere sweater and accessory line. Stay tuned!
JS: Now that is one collaboration we are definitely excited to see! So Devon’s Drawer is a family run business, what role do each of you play in the business?
MB: Cynthia, my mom does design and production and runs a lot of the business side. I take care of media/communications and help with creative direction. My sister works in advertising, so she helps us with some advertising and creative direction. My brother and his wife are accountants, so they help with crunching the numbers. It’s a small business, so we also all just pitch in to help wherever is needed.
Elliot from @MissVerse wearing Russell turtle neck top and trousers from AW16
JS: When you aren’t busy with Devon’s Drawer, how do you like to spend your time?
MB: I have so many projects, I feel like I’m always running! I work full time as a lawyer (I work for the government in Vancouver, BC). I also have two small kids, so that takes up most of the rest of my time. I have practiced yoga for 18 years, so I try to practice every morning before work. I also am involved in a yoga centre (I’m on the Board of directors), and I have a few other miscellaneous projects I’m involved in, for example I just started blogging about work life balance for a lovely Vancouver based blog called Peaks and Harbours (www.peaksandharbours.com). I should add that I don’t do this all on my own. I have a very supportive husband who picks up a lot of slack, and a lovely nanny who makes sure my kids are well taken care of while I’m working.
View the Devon’s Drawer AW16 collection and take advantage of a special reader offer valid from 20th September through to 27th September 11:59 PST.
Use code JUNIOR20 for 20% off the AW16 collection (offer excludes SS17 and sale stock).
Devon’s Drawer Profile on Junior Style.
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