What started as a fun idea between creative husband and wife team Jakob Wästberg and Helene Stevenberg for a name of a Las Vegas dog beauty parlor turned into a funky, fun and fierce kidswear brand. Shampoodle is famous for their incredibly comfortable Bollywood pants, their signature tracksuit and their ability to come up with new, unique designs for each collection. We've had the pleasure of meeting with Founders Helene and Jakob who shared with us their inspiration and why they see themselves as fashion DJ's.
"First of all, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to offer your SS15 collection in our web store this upcoming spring! We are beyond excited to be one of your 'Shampoodles'! What I love about your brand is the surprise factor; every collection has new exciting and unique pieces. What inspires you?
Jakob: When we first started the brand back in 2007 we saw ourselves as “Fashion DJs” as we would see cool adult wear or exciting fabric prints in a market somewhere in the world and then sample it by adding our own style and producing a mini version of what we were inspired by. Helene is now the Designer and creates all these amazing designs from her own imagination.
Helene, please tell us about your creative process!
Helene: Well, I listen to music tremendously loud while designing, I hate limits and I have a restless mind!
Do you have an all-time favorite piece of clothing from your previous collections?
Jakob: It would have to be the tracksuit for sure. It was our very first design back in 2007 and has returned with each collection but in different variations.
(Some of Shampoodle's various Tracksuit designs and colors throughout the years)
Your clothing is incredibly comfortable. If fact, they are 'Childishly Comfortable' as your tagline suggests. Is that something you’ve prioritized during the designing process?
Jakob: We believe that casual clothes work for any occasion; it’s just a question of how you wear and combine it. That is why most of our clothes are made in different jerseys, heavy or light, in contemporary designs or updated classics with the ‘Shampoodle twist’. Our Bollywood pants for example are not only hugely popular for their fun design but because they are extremely comfortable as they are made with a light woven cotton and dries in a matter of minutes. Perfect for the beach or messy play as you can put them in the sun for 5 minutes, then put them back on - all dry and ready to go again.
(Ruth & Ragnar will carry these incredibly funky and comfortable Bollywood pants in three colors this spring!)
Please tell us your thoughts on the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.
Helene: Sustainability-wise, we have walked down a path we think is right for us but it is an on-going process! It has always been very important for us to have a good and strong relationship with our producers. We found ours in the democracy of India. Work ethic and communication in India are very similar to Sweden. Contrary to what many think, big companies like H&M have worked hard on both environmental & social standards in India, which spills over on us smaller brands. It makes it easier to get a hold of organic fabrics, ethical production set ups and awareness of standards that were very hard to come by previously.
(The Sample Master Jagathish, member of Shampoodle's extended family in India. For more photos and to learn more about Shampoodle's manufacturing practices in India, click here)
Helene: Also, production in general is tough by nature and we believe it’s very important to be aware of the footprints we leave behind. We therefore try to keep that in mind in all aspects of our business; everything from bulb choices, recycling, fabric choices and treatment in production, transportation choices and finally how we can involve the customer in that cycle.
You are a wife and husband team with two kids. Please tell us how you do this so successfully – any tips for balancing work/family life?
Jakob: Working together is amazing. Whenever we are feeling stressed or worried, we are stressed or worried about the same thing. We are in this together so we completely understand what the other person is going through. We also have very clear roles in the company and complement each other really well. I also think it’s key for any working parent to try and turn off work when you are spending quality time with your children.
Goals for Shampoodle in 2015 that you'd like to share with us?
Helene: This year we are going to focus on developing our basics for the youngest crowd!
(One of Shampoodle's 'models' for the Autumn/Fall collection 2014)I get the feeling you’re dog people :). Which is your favorite dog breed?
Helene: Stuffed cuddle dogs are the only dogs allowed in our house right now, haha. But we do have a mini-hamster named Fluffies.
(The Shampoodle mini-hamster Fluffies)
What song can't you get enough of right now?
Helene: I like to jump up and shake it to “Uptown Funk” by brilliant DJ & Producer Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. Stylish upbeat production of the funky ”The Times” era! Play it! I promise, even Granny’s gonna shake it!
Thank you Jakob and Helene! We are beyond excited to be able to offer the spring/summer 2015 collection at Ruth & Ragnar!"
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