Sustainable Children’s European Style Online Store
Classic Childhood is a new “thoughtful brand” designed for children that is inspired in today’s European fashion trends. Handmade in Austin
Please describe your business idea and the overall impact it would have on the Austin community.
There are thousands of companies selling children clothing including Amazon and eBay. However, it is quite hard to find dressy European Vintage Style apparel in the U.S. The leading brands are more inclined to sell “casual” and “mini me” looks. Racks at stores are full of cute outfits for girls but very limited options for boys, and the few high quality and dressy options out there are expensive.
Classic Childhood is the online GO TO store for European style vintage fashion for children in the U.S. where moms are able to find the complete outfit and a broad variety of gender neutral pieces at attractive prices. Our core mission is to be a sustainable company and contribute to the environment and to our community by repurposing scrap fabric and turning it into baby accessories, and empowering women who are struggling either socially or financially by giving them a flexible job in our production team.
Our ideal customer is the mom who is socially and environmentally responsible and care about high quality locally made products that are sustainable. She knows her investment in our clothing garments translates into respect for our natural resources, as well as financial support for other women in her community.
Which [Re]Verse Pitch Material Supplier byproducts would your business repurpose?
We want the ‘Accessories Department’ to be one of the main departments at our store, because “finding the complete outfit” it is a key differentiator. Therefore we will be repurposing scrap fabric from Stitch Textiles to create accessories such as hair bows, neck collars, and filling for stuffed toys and cushions to ensure zero waste.
What makes your proposed business model viable?
Children’s products are among the most powerful industries in the U.S. and Classic Childhood fills a gap in the market for dressy European Style fashion that is affordable, comfortable, carries many gender neutral clothes, gives the option to buy the entire look and, above all, cares about the environment and the common good.
The Market Size of Infant Apparel is $2 billion with an annual growth of 13.6% according to the IBIS World Report.
The number of births in the U.S. for 2015 was 3,978,497, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
If we make a rough estimate of our potential, looking at it conservatively, we can assume that only 10% of new moms like European style, so we would be looking at a target market of 397,850 prospective clients. Out of that amount, if 20% of them make a purchase, Classic Childhood would have 79,570 customers with a $60 average monthly spend, resulting in a $4.8 million/year revenue, which is 0.24% of the market share.
We don’t need a colossal investment to develop this project and we can adjust our growth path to our resources. Additionally, a benefit from using scrap fabric reduces our costs allowing us to create living wage jobs and offer attractive prices to our customers.
How scalable is your proposed business model?
As part of our plan, we are focusing on growing the “Traditional Online Shopping Experience” where customers can access our online store and execute the purchase following a traditional e-commerce process.
We plan on scaling our business by developing a subscription platform where customers will be given the option to join our CC Club and receive two outfits per month, on a convenient cost-saving subscription basis. CC Club members will accrue reward points both from the subscription and from all their additional purchases.
How it works?
OUTFIT SELECTION: At the beginning of each month, members will receive an email with images of the outfits we have curated for that month, and they will be prompted to confirm size, style, and colors.
OUTFIT CONFIRMATION: Members will have a five (5) day window to confirm or change
SKIP OR CANCEL: Members will have the option to skip that month’s purchase or cancel the subscription at any time during that five day window. Otherwise, their credit card will be charged on the 6th day and their outfit will be sent out.
EXCHANGE AND RETURN: Members will be able to easily exchange and return their outfits.
What funding will be required to fully implement, and then scale your idea? What funding do you plan to seek (beyond Reverse Pitch funds), and what will make your idea attractive those funding sources?
We need a minimum initial investment of 25K to rent a workshop / office space and to buy furniture, industrial sewing machines, and a fabric shredder. To scale our business we would need 300K to invest in technology, inventory, and cash to operate at a greater scale.
We will prove with revenue traction and actual team efforts that the project is profitable and contributes both to society and to the economy of this country.
Describe your team and how your experience relates to your ability to execute your business plan.
Our team is strong because we are passionate about this project, we are moms who relate 100% to our customers and we enjoy working together. Our Founder holds an MBA in Global Leadership, more than 10 years experience in finance and accounting fields, entrepreneurial lessons learned by experience and fashion design skills. Our Creative Director holds a degree in Visual Communications Design with more than 3 years of experience as a Communications Designer specializing in Branding. Also, her past experience as a Business Analyst and CRM Administrator brings added value to our organization.
There might be people out there with the better credentials. However, we know about fashion, we know no cultural boundaries, and above all, we want to set an example to our children by showing them that hard work and persistence leads to measurable success.
We think children are the future of the world. Our long-term vision is to build a brand that supports families, regardless of their social and financial status, through community programs that will focus on empowering working moms, as well as making quality children clothing available to low-income families.
How will your business impact the Austin economy? Include the quantity and quality of jobs that the business would create and how the business would support other Austin businesses.
We are committed to creating jobs that will target women who are socially and/or financially disadvantaged and help them achieve economic independence. By improving the lives of the women we hire, we will be having a direct impact on their families and the local community.
We currently employ two seamstresses who work from home and get paid by piece at a fair price. Our method ensures that they earn between $12 to $30 an hour depending on their skills. With proper funds, we project to triple our number of seamstresses - meaning 6 for the first year. As we grow, we will continue increasing the number of women in our team adding administrative, marketing, and sales roles. We also plan on outsourcing labor from other Austin organizations dedicated to empower women in the workforce. We are currently in conversations with Open Arms and we are already planning a future collaboration. We have also reached out to Pro mama in the hopes that we will also work together in a near future to employ women in Austin.
Please describe the overall environmental and zero waste impact of the operation, including whether the product design allows for the material to be diverted to its highest and best use at the end of the product’s life.
Over 16 billion pounds of textiles are thrown in the U.S. each year (source U.S EPA 2014). Therefore, by repurposing and recycling scrap fabric, we will be contributing to reduce the pollution and the energy waste that is used to produce new fabrics.
We will ensure “zero waste” by using all scrap fabric as filling for accessories, baby pillows, and stuffed toys.
Based in our revenue projections and according to our forecasted accessories production units and an average weight, we will be able to repurpose around 800 lb of scrap fabric the first year, 1,800 lb by the 2nd year, and 20,000 lb by the 5th year.
At Classic Childhood we are fully aware of the fabric waste coming from the so called “fast fashion” industry, so we are committed to creating high quality garments that last longer, as well as programs that help reduce the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment. For instance, besides recycling scrap fabric, we also have a program in place on our Etsy store that gives our customers the option of upcycling an adult shirt and turn it into a baby romper.
Because we are borrowing this world from our children, we will always be striving to create initiatives that help reduce waste to keep a cleaner earth that we can pass down to future generations.