Hope Lobkowicz is the owner and founder of Kindred Kid & Baby. Her brand is one of our favorites in the shop. The attention to detail and commitment to ethical and sustainable practices really resonates with us. We recently had the opportunity to catch-up. You can read all about it, below!
Lauren: Hi, Hope! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Your brand has been one of the brands with us since day one and we are huge fans of your products. We'd love it if you would be willing to share a little bit about you with our friends.
First, we'd love to hear a bit more about what inspired you to start Kindred Kid & Baby!
Hope: It was really a combination of so many things, probably first and foremost it was about heeding a calling to do something on my own. After having my first baby I quickly realized that working myself to the bone at a corporate job just for monetary success was not filling my cup! I was really drawn to building something on my own, and specifically something that I felt like I could make a difference with.
The idea for an ethical and sustainable kids lifestyle brand evolved over time. I was very inspired by brands (and still am) who were pioneering the conscious movement and having success selling responsible, small batch and hand-crafted home goods, but I noticed that there were not a lot of options for young families and new parents. As I shopped for my own home, I specifically noticed the shortage of organic bedding options that weren’t really in-your-face, cutsie, or kid-themed. When I decided to launch Kindred I decided that organic bedding would be my flagship product for this reason! I’ve always been super passionate about organic, because the impacts of growing non-organic cotton are so devastating for the planet and for the people who are growing it. On a very personal level, I also feel inspired and proud to serve other moms who want to make their homes a beautiful place. I truly believe that parents deserve to enjoy their whole home without exception, including their children’s spaces, and kids deserve more than the very limited options that many large brands are offering them. It’s like, somewhere along the way, someone decided that we needed to choose between a unicorn themed room or a dinosaur themed room, and it’s just crazy. I’m also continually inspired by my travels and I wanted to create a brand that inspires curiosity and while also taking care of the planet for the next generation.
Lauren: We love that and it resonates with us a lot. We can also admit it's one of the reasons we are such a fan of your products... in fact, the indigo quilt goes everywhere with our son.
What is something about Kindred Kid & Baby you would like to share with the readers that they otherwise might not know about you?
Hope: I have zero technical background in textiles or product design! Just a passion for sustainability, beautiful spaces, and far-away people and places. And kids. :) A lot of people are curious about my background. My education and career experience is centered in environmental issues. But not specifically in the textile industry, which is a whole different ball of wax. I did a tooonnnnnn of research to learn about the industry and to find the vetted partners that I work with (right now, Kindred sources from two Fair Trade factories that produce bed linen and one artisan collective that makes our hand-sewn and plant-dyed quilts).
Lauren: Well, you had us fooled! What's been one of the hardest things about operating Kindred Kid & Baby?
Hope: That’s a hard one! Where do I even begin? I think it’s the feeling like I need to be in all places at all times at once. Learning slowly how to be ok with mistakes, recognizing that there’s a learning curve to starting anything new (especially a business), and easing up on myself when I can’t do it all are all things I’m still working on, and in the beginning, it was much harder and there was a lot more self-induced suffering. Logistically speaking, navigating the production delays in the past year due to COVID-19 has probably been the single largest challenge for the business - figuring out how to grow and increase revenue without more product has been a challenge.
Lauren: That's real. We feel it too, and often. Can you share some of the new and upcoming products we should expect in the near future?
Hope: We’ll have new gorgeous plant-dyed toddler quilts online soon, we are launching the bedlinen collection this summer, and hope to have baby swaddles in by the fall. I am also considering bringing online a curated collection of artwork for kids rooms, as well as moses baskets and mattresses and changing pad baskets.
Lauren: The new toddler quilts are gorgeous, you've really outdone yourself. And the bedding! We can't wait to see all of these and cheer you on throughout it all. Anything else you would like to share with us or our readers?
Hope: We’re so happy to be a part of the McCoy Kids extended family!
Lauren: We feel the same about you!