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Blabla Kids

October 1, 2013


So far, one of my favorite parts of being a parent is drawing on my own imagination and watching Margaret’s eyes light up. I love telling her stories; she is such a kind audience, listening ever so intently.

Margaret’s own sense of wonderment led me to blabla kids. I’m in love with everything this adorable company sells (the cutest mobiles, dolls, bedding, bean bags, and clothes) and there are several things I’ll gift for little Margaret’s birthday next month.

I interviewed designer and founder Florence Wetterwald about her incredible children’s lifestyle company. Wetterwald and I chat the trials of running a business based on handmade products, design inspiration, and kiddos. Such a treat!


danapop: You seem to be branching out a bit, going from mostly toys to what appears to be more of a lifestyle brand with bedding and clothing added to the mix. Was that a conscious decision?

Florence Wetterwald: It was a natural evolution … blabla has a philosophy of life and beauty that flows through everything we do. From our characters, our photos, our little movies, our daily lives. Experimenting with cloth was another way to express ourselves. I like to draw. When I design, I often start by sketching ideas on random pieces of paper, napkin, grocery list, paper tablecloth. I cut them and collect them until the doll finally takes shape. So when we started to create a bedding line, my assistants suggested we used my sketches and that’s how it all started.

dp: Since the bulk of your items are handmade, from a business production standpoint, how did you manage to grow your business in ways but still keep up with the output of products that were already selling well?

FW: Our products have been handmade by the same artisans for the last ten years. We have a good understanding of each other’s skills. As we evolve and grow, the experienced knitters have been training a new generation of talent. They are very proud of that. We are also in constant contact with them. We e-mail drawings and pictures back and forth a lot, I go there at least twice a year and we have a team on the ground who supervise production and quality.


dp: What was your first design? Was blabla intended to be a company selling just that single item?

FW: Our first products were hats and sweaters with little finger puppets sneaking out of a pocket. We were charmed by the traditional knitted Peruvian puppets when we discovered them at local markets and started to make a collection of our own, in cotton, with our own colors. Then one day, we decided that it was time for the puppet to get out of the pocket and it evolved into a doll and then another doll and another. The kids fell in love with them instantly and it became really inspiring to create new exciting characters for them. It all fell in place naturally.

dp: How does your own background and perspective (albeit through travels or through childhood) influence your business? Does Atlanta come into play at all?

FW: My unusual childhood in France and my travels around the world, certainly have an influence on my characters and my sense of colors. As far as an influence on our business maybe in the sense that we are a company, which cherish old values like time, nature and people.

Atlanta is a big city, yet it feel like a village, it has allowed us to create a very friendly working environment.


dp: What inspires you and how do you counter that with today’s changing tide in technology?

FW: My inspirations are very unpredictable, they always sneak up on me when I expect it the least. It can be an old movie for a costume, a memory of a place for a mood, a piece of cloth for its color, a family member for his temper, a friend’s pet, a stick’s shape … but mostly it’s about what I would like myself, if I were a kid, that day. Technology … hmm what technology?

dp: Where do you see blabla heading?

FW: Who knows. The kids will tell us. We trust them.

All Images: Courtesy of blabla kids