Handmade children’s clothes designed for individuals

Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.

Children often spawn adult creativity and Lizi Sayer, the 38-year-old owner of children’s clothing brand The Hidden Flamingo certainly taps into this with the aesthetic of her products.
“I make handmade children’s clothes and accessories from birth to seven years,” Lizi explains. “I try to create clothes inspired by children and the natural world, so I like to put animal faces and animal prints on them as this is what children are usually interested in.
“I was a secondary school performing arts teacher for 10 years. I struggled with work life balance when I tried to continue teaching after I had my second child in 2013 and left teaching following the Christmas of 2016. I started making textile themed gifts like cushions and purses, while children’s clothes came much later in the summer 2017 when I started making some simple summer dresses for my six-year-old daughter, Imogen.
“Another motivating factor that got me into kids clothing is that I felt they should have a genuine choice in clothing, because commercial boys and girls clothing is very stereotyped. My daughter loves blue and my son loves pink clothes. And another example of how boys and girls don’t fit stereotypes is that recently I made some unicorn style dungarees out of the same material I used for a girl’s dress for a boy who loved unicorns. I try to make clothing that suits the individual child and their individual tastes.”
But the road to becoming a popular clothing brand is paved with challenges. “One of the biggest challenges is figuring everything out from scratch. I had no previous business experience, so working out social media marketing and photography was hard, but I worked at it and I have come a long way in both.
“My biggest success is creating a new business from scratch when before I was a teacher and a mum. I am proud to still attend assemblies and parents evenings while generating an income as part of a flexible working life/family balance. To me, success is not about how much money you have. It’s about having a rounded experience of life with family, an income and some time to yourself to look after your own mental health.
“With my clothing brand The Hidden Flamingo I have struck the perfect balance, so I would encourage others to start their own business too.”

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