Artisan Spotlight: Iva, Blueberri

August 07, 2017

The wait is finally over! There is beauty in simplicity and Little A & Co. is over-the-moon and beyond excited adding organic and eco-friendly clothing in our product line! Let's all welcome, Iva Sopiqoti, founder & designer of Blueberri, an infant and toddler clothing brand based in Toronto. Now, sit back, relax and read on as we sit down with Iva:  

 

What inspires you to design baby and children clothes?

I have always loved designing and creating since I was a little girl. In high school, I enrolled in Fashion Design courses, and went on to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at Ryerson University. However, it wasn’t until I become a mother that I discovered how I wanted to apply my love for the industry.

When my son was about to turn 1 year old, I went looking for a special outfit for his first birthday. I wanted something unique and made of high quality fabric free of chemical dyes. I quickly realized that my options in Canada were limited, and online shopping on non-Canadian sites meant paying shipping, taxes and duties, and a premium due to our exchange rate. That was when I decided I would fill this gap in the industry with my own line of locally made childrenswear that would be stylish, sophisticated, and made of fabrics that are free of allergens and toxic chemicals.

What is your design philosophy for these clothes?

At the core of my design philosophy is the goal of creating the best for our little ones by ensuring all products are organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and locally made. That is why all Blueberri garments are made of 100% certified organic cotton that is comfortable for kids to wear and is soft and gentle enough for babies’ sensitive skin.

I design Blueberri’s collections to be practical, versatile, and stylish. Since I believe that beautiful design is simple, our apparel uses clean lines and practical silhouettes to serve the everyday needs of our growing children.

 

Would you share to us a little bit of your creative process on how Blueberri clothes are made?

My creative process starts with design. I always keep my notebook on hand so I can sketch ideas on a whim and make note of things that inspire me daily. Sometimes a really amazing fabric can inspire a collection. Other times I will find inspiration in a time period or a silhouette. I also always keep a finger on the pulse of worldwide trends, and try to build on those ideas and translate them into something that would appeal to me as a parent. After I determine the style and silhouette I would like to develop for that specific season, I will source organic, high-quality fabric and create technical designs and line-sheets. From there, we develop our first samples, review, and we make any necessary changes to the patterns. Once we are happy with the samples, the collection goes into production. I work closely with the local team that makes all of Blueberri’s products to create a garment that kids love to wear and parents can feel good about buying.

What does your customers like about the style & fit of your designs?

When purchasing Blueberri apparel, our customers know they are getting unique, well-made garments that are always Made in Canada using the highest quality fabrics. Blueberri customers appreciate the quality and simplicity of each design. I always aim to design chic and classic collections that are as functional as they are stylish. We cater to the environmentally conscious parent who is looking to purchase clothing that is beneficial for our babies and the planet.

Why do you think it’s important for new moms to invest in organic & eco-friendly clothing?

As a new mom myself, I always make it a priority to invest in quality over quantity when it comes to buying apparel for my son. Having studied and worked in the apparel industry for many years, I have first-hand knowledge of the importance of using organic fibres in clothing. Cotton is such a common natural fibre used in apparel clothing, but it is also one of the most chemically treated crops in the world. Organic & natural clothing is the best way to keep our little ones safe from harsh chemical treatments, which is why Blueberri only produces clothing that is 100% natural, safe, and chemical free. When developing Blueberri, it was also really important to me that everything be made right here in Toronto. I am a big believer that it is always worthwhile to ensure you are buying products that are safe for you and your family, that are easy on the environment, and that support your local economy.

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