Buying kids fashion online? That's of course nothing new! But getting an entire, personally matched kids outfits delivered to you? That didn't exist until now. Julia and Julia - two two time moms from Berlin are running the company juliusophie together. A curated shopping experience for sustainable and certified baby and kids clothing. They created juliusophie to give parents the freedom of more spare time, by not having to look for kids clothes anymore and wasting lots of time, but still having beautifully dressed kids.
In our blog series #GOODTHING, we talk to women who dedicate themselves to making our planet more sustainable. We love the products they create and want to know the story behind them. We hope to inspire each other with these interviews and believe that women should support and encourage each other whenever they can. Today, the two founders Julia Lehmann und Julia Pingsmann introduce their curated shipping service for kids fashion and explain how their brand supports sustainability beside the quality of the clothes“.
Julia und Julia live and work in Stralau, a peninsula on the river Spree in Berlin, not far away from the Alexanderplatz and right next to Treptower Park, They love being moms and love being entrepreneurs just as much. They adore good food, sport (most Julia Lehmann), music (mostly Julia Pingsmann) and their families. Their kids are their daily inspiration.
They describe themselves as typical working moms who live through the daily craziness of being a manager, mom, wife, friend and woman, all at the same time.
The two founder Julia and Julia
Your label is called “juliusophie - your kids clothes shopping helpers.” What's the story behind this project and who are the shopping helpers?
Julia P: juliusophie - that's Julius and Sophie, my two kids. They didn't just give us the idea, but also the name.
Julia L: and the shopping helpers - that's us. We help parents discover sustainable, organically certified and gorgeous kids outfits. With us as helpers they don't just discover single items, but receive a fashion box of wonderfully matched outfits.
How did you come up with the idea?
Julia P: I really care about kids outfits that is sustainable or at least made from high-quality fabrics and materials. But shopping in Berlin with two little kids can actually turn into a pretty big nightmare. Distances are way too long and stores are full. I also didn't want to browse on online shopping sites forever - i did find some nice tops there, but never the perfectly matched outfit. Services like ours exist for adults, but not for kids. That's why i founded juliusophie, to make easy shopping possible for all parents.
Julia L: I was one of the first customers and immediately convinced by the idea. The selection of great materials, the combination of kids outfits, the packaging - everything was just perfect.
Julia P: We started talking more because of her positive feedback. We actually already knew each other through the kindergarten because our daughters are friends - and so we refined the business model and the go-to-market strategy together. Now we are running a growing business together that we really care about.
Julia L: For example, in our talks we developed the sustainability aspect further. Now our customers can actually send the pieces that they bought on juliusophie back to us once their kids have grown too big. In exchange, they get a store credit for their next order. Returning customers also have the option to go for second-hand for a part of the kids outfits in their fashion box. We believe that it's much better if clothes can be shared between families, instead of ending up in the trash bin.
Little Shoppinghelper with the Juliusophie Box
How do you select the items for each box?
Julia L: Our customer start by filling out a questionnaire online. Afterwards they have a call with our stylists to discuss the final details, like - is the fashion box more for an adventurous girl or a little princess?
Julia P: Is the boy more of a little rascal or a small prince? And of course, what budget does the family have? Do they also wish to get accessories like hats, scarves, pijamas or a certain jacket? Every kids outfit is completely unique and individually put together.
Do your clothes need to fulfill certain criteria? Where do the labels that you work with come from?
Julia P: Yes, all our brands need to at least produce with organic cotton. But most of them also have an official certification like OEKO-TEX, EU ECOLABEL, Woolmark or ideally, GOTS. Meaning the entire production process is sustainable.
Julia L: We are moms ourselves and always looked for sustainable kids outfits. That's why we already knew many labels from before, but we also often visit exhibitions to discover new brands. Many of them come from nordic countries, but also from Germany or Poland.
Did you always work in kids fashion? Or did you do something else before?
Julia P: My background is in Consulting, where I also worked with companies from the textile industry. So i know my way around this world a bit. I spent the last few years with Deutsche Telekom, where i helped to build up hub:raum - the incubator of the Deutsche Telekom - and worked with many startups. Now i'm in charge of one myself together with Julia Leoni.
Julia L: For real? (laughs). I'm a lawyer. I have a doctorate in criminal law and worked as a syndicator in the financial services industry for some time. Any more questions? ;) But in private I would definitely describe myself as a kids fashion expert. With two kids, you learn very quickly what works and what doesn't.
What's your favourite fashion item for kids?
Julia L: The Wollwalk Jacket by Disana. Because it perfectly matches functionality with a beautiful design and cut. It's produced in the Swabian Alb, and of course certified.
Julia P: The Merino Wool Pajamas by Joha. Made of 100% merino wool, it keeps your kids super warm - Julius and Sophie wear it every night and absolutely love it. It absorbs moisture without getting wet.
What was/is your biggest challenge working on juliusophie?
Julia P: To become known.
Julia L: Our product is marvelous, we solve a need that really exists. And the feedback from everyone has been amazing. But true - just like Julia said - we need for more people to know us. That's the biggest challenge right now… next to many others of course. ☺
How do you manage combining being a mom and an entrepreneur? Do you have special tips that you can share with other moms?
Julia P: I always had a job - also between having my two kids. For me it's really important to be a role model to my kids and to fulfill my own dreams too. I really adore being a mom, but like being an entrepreneur just as much. I can manage everything, because the office is close to the Kindergarten. In addition, my husband - who is also an entrepreneur - supports me wherever he can. It only works out together.
Julia L: Absolutely. One advice for other moms: just do it! Believe more in yourself. If your product solves a problem, then there will be a market for it.
Orbasics and Juliusophie
Is there a daily ritual that you integrate into your working life?
Julia P: (looks at Julia L and laughs): Lunch! That's where we can talk in peace over (tasty and homemade!) food about what's happening and what our priorities are.
Julia L: I'm really into crossfit and try for Julia P to join my weekly sports routine. One day it'll work out (both laugh).
What is your biggest sense of accomplishment and is there something that motivates you again each and every day?
Julia L: Positive feedback from customers.
Julia P: When customers simply keep the entire fashion box and don't return a single item because they love the selection so much.
Please complete the sentence: “Children are wonderful, because…“
Julia P: They always tell the truth.
Julia L: … well, mostly ☺
What definitely is true: Your idea to buy kids fashion online, without having to think about what top matches what bottom, is really amazing! We wish you all the best with your wonderful kids outfits and really appreciate this great interview!
This is how your fashion box arrives
Melina is passionate about travelling and sustainability. Her new-year's resolution for 2018 is to avoid any plastic - and it’s still on! On her Instagram Blog she shares her excpierence about other countries and cultures. As an assistant to the founder Lilija she knows everything about the spirit and the vibe of Orbasics.