Introducing CiCi & Ryann.
CiCi & Ryann is a uniquely fresh girls clothing company for sizes Newborn to size 12. They strive to bring a playfully sophisitcated look to your child’s wardrobe, while being wearable and age appropriate. Mixing bold, vibrant colors and prints with unexpected textures and design! Their full collection is sold on their website and they come out with a new Classics Collection once every 6 weeks to go with the current season. CiCi & Ryann can also be found currently in 40 to 50 stores around the country.
Shop at CiCi & Ryann and receive a 15% off discount. Use the code “reveriefans” for discount. Ends midnight June 23rd, so act quickly!
skye | Tell us a bit more about your story - My name is Karen and I am a business owner, a mom, a wife, a Daisy leader, a carpool driver and so much more.
My story starts like that of a lot of women who had successful corporate careers. I had it all: great job in advertising, wonderful husband with a demanding career, a lovely home, fun vacations, and terrific friends. Then my world view changed. The best thing happened in my life when my son, Grayson, was born and later diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. PDD , an autism spectrum disorder, does not fall in to the category of high-functioning autism. What this meant was that Grayson would need a lot of help to develop some of the simplest academic and life skills. But we all soon learned that he would have no limits to the amount of love and bliss he would give and receive. I left my job and created new meaning and joy for myself as I learned about each of my son’s daily triumphs and challenges.
Around the time my daughter was born, 3 years later, it was clear that we would need more money to support the broad array of therapies Grayson needed. That is when I began turning my passion into profit. I have always been extremely creative and loved to design clothes, home decorations and other projects in my life. So I began sewing girls’ clothing and selling it on eBay. Soon, demand exceeded my ability to sew it myself and I sold designs to other manufacturers and created outfits for local boutiques. I went from Etsy to my own web site.
The big jump happened last year when I created Cici and Ryann, a ready-to-wear girls’ clothing line that is now carried in more than 40 stores across the country and available online. The reception for our debut line has been outstanding and our new fall collection is in production. It has always been my dream to take my passion for design and creativity into a business. But it was my love for my son that gave me first, the purpose, then later the drive to make this happen.
This business is like a love letter to Grayson. And the joy I find in it each day was inspired by the joy he teaches me.
skye | Tell us about your business - CiCi & Ryann is hopefully, the next big thing in girls fashion. We started off with a BANG last year the the Dallas Market Center. Though new, the company has been in the making for almost 8 years. My former company, Two Monkeys Designs, was well-known on ETSY and in the old boutique EBAY underground world. When stores started calling every week to see if we sold the line wholesale, I knew it was the obvious next step. We are now in over 50 stores and expanding everyday on our website. What makes us unique from other childrens lines is that we really focus on the design aspect and create cohesive collections. We are known as being a sophisticated yet playful line. Our mix of textures, colors and prints along with unqiue details make the clothing stand out on the racks but more importantly, stand out on the child wearing them. We are quickly becoming a photographers recommendation for what to wear for a photo shoot as our line coordinates and mixes and matches every which way while having fun pops of color.
skye | Where do you get your inspiration for your designs - I like to draw inspiration from unexpected places. I think that is what makes the line interesting and keeps it fresh. I am inspired by artwork, interior design, nature, photography. But, I definitely have a love for fashion and follow current and past womens fashion designers. My three favs are: Ralph Lauren, Diane VonFurstenburg and Betsey Johnson. I think their three styles sum up my style: classic, simple lines and a little color and funk!
skye | What did you want to be when you grew up - I honestly always wanted to work in the fashion industry in some way. I dreamed of moving to New York after college and working for a fashion magazine. But, I ended up working at an Advertising Agency after college in TV commercial production. I loved being involved in the design of sets and the process of the commercial production and the actual shoot. I do feel that that career prepared me very well for this industry. I still love the actual photo shoots the best! Seeing all of the designs come to life for the first time on the models and getting to put my own funky styling in those looks is so fun and rewarding!
skye | Favorite type of fabric - I love working with any type of textured fabric. We used a gauzy white fabric with frayed details in our White Orchid collection and it was beautiful and whimsical. We are using more gauze in our fall line this year. I also am a sucker for RAW silk. The colors of raw silk cannot be duplicated, they are incredible. I pulled turquoise and white raw silk into a few spots of our spring Calla Lily Collection and will definitely use it again soon.
skye | Biggest guilty pleasure - Ha! I have so many! I love Thursdays, because my new US Weekly magazine comes in. I love catching up on celebrity gossip and fashion all in under an hour! I love watching The Bachelor each season. I am a sucker for a good love story, but secretly love watching the crazy single people and the train wreck each season, hilarious! A good break from my hectic schedule.
skye | Any advice for those who dream of starting their own business? - I would definitely say to be prepared to live and breathe your business for several years. Starting your own business is hard work and I could not do it if I did not truely have a passion for it. So make sure you are passionate about your business. It is important to have a good business plan but even more important to be flexible with that plan because things will NOT always go the way you expected and the new way or different road may lead you to a better place. Also, it is so important to be unique and be yourself. Don’t compromise your principles but be wiling to compromise on other things. Also, cannot stress this enough. be accomodating and reachable to your customers. I really think customer service can make or break a company. Also, don’t forget the people who helped you along the way and always be willing to help others starting out. Everyone started somewhere!
See a preview of the upcoming Fall Collection below.
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