I am so excited to introduce my talented friend and Mompreneur to the Smarty circuit. I first met Allie Kaul in my cul-de-sac, (I was stalking the Realtor who was trying to sell the house next door) when I nonchalantly walked down the driveway to check my mail. She called over to me and asked about the neighborhood. My first question (naturally) was do you have kids? When she answered yes and that they were the same ages as my girls, I knew it was meant to be. I immediately called our current neighbors to tell them we approved, and the rest is history! Little did I know she was a children’s clothing celebrity. Allie and her mom, Yvonne, were creating beautiful and timeless pieces of art in the front room of their house for their business called Little Bunny Foo Foo. Both of my girls became obsessed with going over to their house just so they could look at all of the beautiful colors of fabric and watch “Abu” work. Needless to say, Christmas, first-day-of-school and birthday outfits were figured out for life! Not only is Allie an involved and loving momma to her two awesome kids, but she is a HUGE community giver. She works with other Charlotte Mompreneurs to spread the love in the Queen City.
So without further adieu, meet Allie and Little Bunny Foo Foo!
Smarty Stats:ALlie Kaul
Mom to: Celia (7), Daniel (4)
Married to: Stuart for 10 years
Lived in Charlotte: 10 years
Alma Mater: Florida State University (It’s a house divided with Stuart being a Florida Gator)
Tell us a little background on Little Bunny Foo Foo. What inspired you to get started?
My mom has been sewing since she was a little girl, and I was lucky enough to have custom-made clothes from my mom and grandma growing up. Once I had Celia (7 yrs ago), we started sewing for Celia, and friends started asking if we could make them items. College football season was really our first big request time and then Christmas. Before we knew it, we had a Facebook page and we’re busy making sweet creations all over Charlotte and the states.
How do you pick your designs?
We have some tried and true pattern designers we love, but most of our designs are chosen to be somewhere between cute and comfy. We always strive to make sure that our customers can get more than one year’s wear from our creations. We love knowing that one of our dresses can grow into a tunic and then a top.
Where do you find your fabric?
Fabric is my real love. The colors, the designs, how good quality cottons fall and twirl to make a pretty dress perfect. I’ve educated myself on quality designers and manufacturers that source and create unique and beautiful pieces. I’m confident enough ordering online but love stopping into little fabric and quilt shops wherever we may be visiting. I’ve been known to ask my family around the states (and even in Spain) to go fabric hunting for me when I find a pattern or design I love. The best part about fabric is the variety. I love making a little ones dream come true when I find fabric that has little pugs just like their beloved pets at home or a favorite hobby like rock and gemstones. Making birthday or first-day-of-school visions come true makes us so happy. We are always so honored to be a part of the big days that carry so much weight in a child’s memory.
Where is your production site?
We are so excited that my mom recently bought some cool new digs here in Charlotte (after sewing long distance from Orlando) so we have moved everything to her basement. It’s the best set up with our wall of fabrics and then our machines set up with a huge cutting table in the center. Having a space that’s just for us has made us so much more productive. The kids have a dedicated work/play area there too so it’s a whole family affair.
What does a typical day look like for you?
On my days off I start with regular mom duties- getting everyone a full belly and a good start to their school day. I try to squeeze in a workout but usually settle on a glass of celery juice before I take the to-do list to my mom’s (where she is usually just getting her celery juice down). We go over orders, organize, divide and conquer. This is such a fun part of my day. We are really productive now that we have both kids in school. I answer all the customer messages and requests, invoice, cut fabric and patterns while my mom works her sewing magic. We chat about future plans or current events until it’s time for me to go pick up my youngest. I always travel with something for car line like bows to trim or packages to pack and label. After my youngest gets down for a nap, I pick back up again- managing the details and doing a few house duties like getting dinner prepped. I’ll do round 2 of pickups later in the afternoon and after cooking, playing, reading and baths, I’ll make sure the to-do list is ready for the next day.
How do you balance your business vs. family time?
Balance is so tricky. My mom is an RN, and I’m an assistant teacher. Little Bunny Foo Foo is really our creative outlet. I try to focus on answering emails/messages early in the morning or after bed. I make sure I have organized order spreadsheets and to-do lists for every aspect of life- including ordering fabrics and supplies. I’m super lucky to have an amazing and supportive husband who makes sure everyone is fed and even works on our website. I’m in the studio 3 days a week and during busy seasons, you can find me darting back over to my mom’s house after bedtime. This is eternally dangerous because my mom and I are both night owls so we can quickly find ourselves cackling at each other around 2 am. The kids love spending time at my mom’s, and she is always on as a grandma. They come before any order so she stops to answer their million questions or create some delicious snack. My oldest has learned how to sew and is now making and selling bookmarks. She loves the process as much as we do, and we love her entrepreneurial spirit.
What does a typical Saturday look like for you and your sweet family of 4?What are some of your favorite day trips to take outside of the Queen City?
We love going to Rock Hill for their Christmasville event or Fort Mill’s Strawberry festival. In the fall we love apple picking and leaf-peeping, through Hendersonville and Asheville. In the summer, you can’t keep us from Charleston and Hilton Head.
What restaurants do you all frequent that are enjoyable for both you AND the littles?
Yafo fuels our crew more often than we care to admit. Pure pizza is our go-to for a fun Friday night. We have a running list of places we want to try and love checking things off.
Drink of choice on a Friday night?
Simple margarita or a kombucha mule (then it’s a health drink 😉)
Last meal sans kids:
Noble Smokehouse, and it was amazing!!
We just came back from Italy which was amazing but I’d love to try something tropical like Bora Bora of Tahiti.
Favorite article of clothing?
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Can I be cheesy and say my husband? He’s just about the best person I know and is so caring and thoughtful. He never once complains about my late-night excursions to sew with my mom or how we took over the front of our house (including the formal dining room table) for over a year. He’s an absolute gem and best partner in the world.
How can we order some of these amazing pieces?
We’re on Facebook and Instagram @littlebunnyfoofoodesigns which means a lot of private and direct messages are how to take orders. We’re working tirelessly on our first website which we hope to have up and running by the end of September for holiday orders.