If you like dressing your unboring boy in hip and unique clothing, chances are you've bought something from Knuckleheads. Part retro, part skate/urban, totally modern, Knuckleheads knows boys, always coming out with the coolest, hippest styles to fit any personality up to size 8.
Read on for our interview with Melissa Nash, owner and designer of Knuckleheads clothing. Plus, one lucky Unboring Boys reader will win a surprise pack worth $100 from Knuckleheads! Simply sign up for our e-mail updates in the box on the left through March 15. (see complete details below)
Unboring Boys: A lot of moms wish there were more unique clothes for boys available out there, but few of us actually go so far as designing our own clothing lines and opening boys-only boutiques. What was it that made you go from just thinking about starting your own boys' clothing company to actually doing it?
Melissa: I have always been very business minded, always owning some sort of business. I used to own a jewelry and hairbow business called Hipbabies, but I sold that when Knuckleheads took off. So, I was kind of already familiar with the industry. I just did my homework and jumped in.
Unboring Boys: What were some of the challenges you faced early on, especially in regard to focusing on boys' clothing? What continues to be a challenge today?
Melissa: Probably convincing store owners that moms do want to buy for their boys too, not just girls. There are so many choices for moms with girls but not a lot for boys, so store owners typically haven't done well with boys items because they didn't sell. And they didn't sell because they were kind of "lame" looking. So we still have to convince store owners to spend money on OUR boys items because they will sell.
Unboring Boys: What inspires your designs?
Melissa: Mostly vintage patterns/magazines. We have a HUGE vintage pattern collection and we use parts and ideas from those. We also mix in the skate industry and draw inspiration from bands, both old and new bands.
Unboring Boys: Which items are your bestsellers?
Melissa: Our greaser jeans, skivvies, anything with our logo on it, and our coveralls. We can hardly keep 'em in stock.
Unboring Boys: Of your current offerings, which item is your favorite?
Melissa: We added a new leather jacket this season, which I am dying over, it is so cute on and such amazing quality.
Unboring Boys: What's new for boys in Spring/Summer 2009? Any trends you can tell us about?
Melissa: Lots of layers... layering hoodies under jackets and tees under long sleeved shirts, anything as long as you can layer it. Also, stripes. Stripes are HUGE this season, we probably added more stripes than ever before.
Unboring Boys: Where do you see Knuckleheads in 5 years?
Melissa: We are pretty happy with our growth so far. We have grown so fast that we really don't want to grow that much faster. We like keeping it small and simple. We can provide for our family and we don't have a lot of stress. We have 5 full time employees and 10 outside sales reps that work for us. And honestly this is a good balance for us. It works and we don't want to mess too much with it. I like being hands-on, and we don't want to lose that with too much more growth.
Unboring Boys: If you weren't in the children's fashion industry, what would you be doing?
Melissa: PR and marketing. It was my major in college. I still do all our PR and marketing and I love it. I actually own a PR company on the side and I help small businesses in this industry figure out their marketing plans, and we have affordable prices so you don't have to spend thousands of dollars and sign with a PR firm.
Thank you SO much, Melissa, for taking time to talk to us! Readers, don't miss out on this opportunity to win some fabulous Knuckleheads clothing for your unboring boy. One winner will be randomly selected on March 15. Signing up for updates is an easy way to catch up with what's new on the blog and we promise not to flood your inbox with emails. :) Good luck!