Before opening up Poplar + Birch it was very important to me to have baby and children clothing made by Moms. Let's face it, Mama knows best. They know what fabrics they want or how things should fit. I met Rachel the maker behind
Quinn and Dot through a mutual friend and am so glad I did. Quinn and Dot is a family run business made in Niverville, Manitoba and it is made with love and attention to detail. I knew upon meeting Rachel and seeing her work that we had to get her in the shop.
We recently caught up with Rachel...let's be real this Q & A has taken a little while because she is a busy Mama of two girls, a full time maker and has been attending so many markets! Follow along to get to know the face behind the brand.
Who is Quinn and Dot?
Quinn and Dot is a family run clothing business based out of a small town in Manitoba. I started it as a hobby shop after the birth of my first daughter and it now employs a handful of women who help with the sewing and marketing of the business.
What inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
I've recently become a morning person with the help of my timed coffee maker. I find if I start my day by myself, with a bit of reading and am able to get through my emails and DM's in peace, then I can tackle the days activities with my kids much better. When you're a mom to young kids and you work from home, your alone time becomes almost non existent and it can be tough to mentally balance the two.
Describe how your business came about?
I started my business as a hobby shop when my oldest daughter was about 8 months old. I was really just looking to make some cute items for Quinn and to bring in a couple extra hundred dollars a month. The more I learned about the business and the handmade community, the more I fell in love with it. It was with the help of a few shop friends that I really found my passion and realized the full potential of my shop.
What is the key to a good work/life balance and how do you do it?
Hahahahaha. I wish I knew the answer to this. I think it's important for entrepreneurs to be realistic with the demands of their business. Sometimes you need to get up an hour earlier or stay up late a few nights a week. I have also found batching my work to be very beneficial. So when I need a product photo, I'll make sure to take a lot of them at once so I have the photos I need for the next few weeks as well.
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time is spent with my kids. I love to take them to the park for some fresh air and get in a workout myself while they play.
Who do you look to for inspiration, support and advice in small business?
I've been lucky to make a few amazing small shop friends who have been my sounding board for ideas and challenges that come up in my business. They are usually my go to people as well as my husband.
What has been your biggest challenge to date and your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest challenge has definitely been time management. My business really took off while I was pregnant with my second daughter. I didn't take a maternity leave with her, as I didn't want to lose momentum with my shop, so that year was very challenging. I've always felt the most accomplished after we wrap up a market. Getting to meet my customers in person and hear that they love the items they've received from me is the best part of it.
If someone didn’t know your brand and was scrolling through Instagram, how would they know that they had stumbled upon Quinn and Dot?
I think my brand has a very strong modern image. We focus on staple pieces that are gender neutral and can be worn by any child. I feel that our 2 tone rompers have a very distinct look and are always recognized as well.
Final Question. What is one thing on your wishlist for Spring/Summer this year?
I would LOVE to branch into more women's clothing. I've made a few items (raglans, rompers, beanies) but am really hoping to add more permanent items in the future.
This or That
Coffee or Wine - Hardest decision ever, but mama needs her coffee!
Daytime or Night - I'm a total night owl!
Early mornings or Late nights - Both! Haha, but I would love to sleep in if I could.
Summer or Winter - Summer 100%. I could do without snow entirely.
Lake or Ocean - Lake, because I watched jaws as a kid and am forever scarred.
Mountains or Beach - Mountains!
Designer or Etsy - Etsy! I love finding and supporting amazing makers.
Savoury or Sweet - Savoury.
Find Quinn and Dot: