The face behind the brand... Band of Boys
Here at The Kid’s Store, we carefully hand-pick our suppliers and their products. Anything sitting on our shelves must meet the key criteria of great design, quality materials (after all it’s got to stand up to the ultimate test of children!) and functionality.
Along the way, we’ve come across some awesome brands, developed by some very talented people (a lot of which are also mums!).
We thought it would be fun to introduce you to the face behind the brand, so you can get an idea of what it takes to develop products for children and also get to know some of the people behind the brands that might be sitting in your children’s wardrobe or room!
Here at The Kid's Store, we love Band of Boys, because if you can’t tell from the name it’s a brand developed just for boys! Our son Mackay loves this brand, it’s stylish, it’s comfortable and it wears so well.
As a mother I’m happy if he wants to dress in Band of Boys from head to toe – the only struggle I ever have with this brand is not ordering the entire collection!! In fact last time I was ordering Mackay happened to be around and when I asked him what of the collection he’d wear, he wasn’t much help as he pretty much selected everything! It’s been awesome watching this brand evolve, every season the range gets bigger and better.
The face behind Band of Boys is the super talented and super lovely Susan Vaz, and it’s our pleasure to introduce her to you. So grab a coffee, get comfortable and read on to learn more about Band of Boys!
Tell us a little about the journey that has been Band of Boys including where the inspiration/idea come from to start Band of Boys?
Band of Boys started out in 2013 under the name Harlow Kids and over the past three or so years I have been refining the style of our threads and challenging myself to take the brand further with each season. Like many emerging brands, I started out just wanting to stretch myself and do something I love. At the time, I was pregnant with my second son and I thought it was a no-brainer for me doing something in the boys space, because why not start with something you know! I love fashion, so it all just came together from there. I had already started a business with my husband so it was invaluable having had this experience, not to mention an infrastructure I could draw on as I grew. We now share office and warehouse space as well as some people resource so our two dreams fit really well together.
What are you most proud of with your collections to date?
I am actually most proud of my next collection coming out in February – AW2017! That is totally me though, I am always more excited about what is coming next than what has already happened! I want Band of Boys to be known as a brand that is fashion led and my AW2017 range really sees this vision come to life. When you work so far in advance, sometimes it takes a while for your vision to be seen as there is so much happening in the background that you can’t really share until you’re ready to launch.
What has been some of the challenges you’ve faced to this point?
Gosh, I have had plenty of challenges with getting the right suppliers! I was mucked around so much by one company that put me so far behind, then I had to call it and scramble to find someone else who then over-promised and under-delivered. When this happened I had to make the decision to put the brakes on for a whole year in order to sort out this side of the business. This was really hard, going from having some great momentum to then have to stop and almost start all over again. What a great learning curve though!
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I wake up early and either run, go to the gym or do a yoga class as my husband will tell you I am a much better person for doing so! I then tag team with my husband on all of the normal morning chores that come with getting four people ready to leave the house. After drop offs I get to the office and it’s pretty much head down all day squeezing as much work as I can in – no day in the office is ever the same when you are covering pretty much every role in the business! Some days though the hubby and I get out for a lunch date – one of the perks of working in the same office! The end of my work day is signified by either an after school activity or pick up time from after school care. We then head home for dinner and the normal bedtime/story routine before crashing in front of Netflix or winding myself up for some extra hours of work.
5 quick-fire questions about you:
- What part of NZ do you live in? Auckland
- Favourite food? Strawberries
- Favourite way to unwind and have some ‘me time’? I love a good book
- Favourite way to spend time together as a family? Outside in our backyard with the sun shining
- Occupation prior to creating Harlow Kids/Band of Boys? Marketing Manager
What would one piece of advice be to anyone wanting to start their own business, especially when juggling it with a young family?
Don’t wait too long to be brave! Things might not look like what you want them to when you start, but get the wheels turning and before you know it there will be opportunities in front of you. Just start, and use your kids as your inspiration and this will keep you going. My drive comes from wanting my boys to see what I am capable of!