Soor Ploom is a Brooklyn-based children's line that falls in contrast to the bustling colors and noises of its root city. The collections are "classic and simple, basic but not ordinary," which nicely encapsulates each piece while embracing its every sweet detail. We speak to the brand's designer Marissa Buick who shares us her story of hardship, goals, and ultimately her success with such a venture in the children's fashion industry. Marissa is surely a female maker-to-watch.
Soor Ploom is a rather young company. Could you talk to us about how you got your foot into the children's fashion industry?
When I was looking for my first job in fashion, I wanted to design womenswear, but it was difficult finding a job in such a competitive field. Instead, I was offered a great job designing children's wear for a very popular brand in kids' fashion. After I had my first child, I knew I would not go back to work and so it seemed natural to start my own company designing the clothes I wanted my baby to have.
Everything is made locally in Brooklyn. Was manufacturing in the United States a priority to you?
I love that our clothes are made locally and I am lucky to live in a place where this is possible. I am a true believer that local is always better, for people, our food, our economy, and our planet. This choice comes with a price tag living in New York City, but for now I think it is worth it and I hope our customers agree. Of course, it is much easier to oversee production being nearby, and to have such a close relationship with my partners makes working together simple and fun.
Could you walk us through how each piece is designed and produced?
I am constantly gathering inspiration, and always on the look out for something unique. Once I have an idea for a silhouette in mind, I sketch it and then work on the pattern. Once I have the pattern, a sample is made. At this stage, I like to test it out on my girls; they always help me with fit issues and comfort concerns. Creating a color palette for my collections is my favorite aspect of the design process. A loose theme usually takes form as all of these parts come together.
Did your knowledge in fashion ease the construction of Soor Ploom? What were some of the obstacles to getting the brand up and running?
My experience working in fashion gave me lots of knowledge for construction and design of kids' clothing. Before I worked in the industry I had a different kind of small business, and this experience gave me the confidence to do it again on a slightly larger scale. I have always paced myself with Soor Ploom, taking it one season at a time. With a young family I had limited time, and limited resources, so I could have never started big.
Could you describe Soor Ploom's aesthetic?
Our clothes are simple and understated with a touch of nostalgia for the past. They are timeless, but on the same note refreshing and unique.
The response seems to have been great for Soor Ploom, and a great handful of our favorite shops carry your line. Is this something that motivates you to keep doing what you do? In addition to the positive customer response, what else has been a driving factor for running your brand?
It is a labor of love, and always so gratifying to see our clothing presented in these gorgeous shops. I am motivated by the need to be creative on my own terms. Working for someone else is not for me; I have too many strong opinions. My children also motivate me. I find so much satisfaction when they wear my pieces and aim to please their finicky nature.
It's only the third month of the year, so we are curious about what your 2015 goals were and if there are things that you've already checked off.
It is tricky juggling life and work so setting goals is necessary. There are always so many kinks to iron out, and I am constantly focused on doing things more efficiently. With that said, a goal for me this year is to simplify my process, and streamline it in my day-to-day activities, but also in a design sense. I have shipped our spring collection, which will soon be available through our shops. Spring/Summer 2015 is checked off my long list!
Lastly, as small businesses, we understand your hurdles and all that is to come (when is anything a smooth ride?). What are some of the lessons you've learned that you're able to share with our readers, whether that's about business or our lives in general at this point in time?
Slow and steady… which helps me so much in a stressful moment, as well as in a bigger sense. I live in a city in constant motion and making a conscience effort to slow down is a survival skill. The things we love take time to nurture.
Visit Soor Ploom's website to find a stockist that carries the line!