Runaway Pony is 3 Today!

Runaway Pony is 3

Runaway Pony Group-3It seems like it was only yesterday when we counted down to midnight when we launched our very first collection on February 7, 2014 at 00:01 AM. Now we are three years old. We want to take this moment to say: THANK YOU from the bottom of our very hearts for your deep support, loyalty, trust and love in our sweetly baked dresses, sunsuits, rompers, overalls – in our brand, our vision, our mission, our labor of love, our determination, and our dreams.

Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are. Starting a business is never easy and with every challenge and obstacle we learn (sometimes the hard way, Kleenex is always handy), get back up again and grow. With every accomplishment and success, we grab a Kleenex again, and our hearts melt like a cup of delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows on top full of gratitude, warmth and joy. With every design that is made to life, I jump in joy like a child in a candy store and I want to hug the seamstresses and everyone nearby. “It’s so cute!!! Thank you!!!” is often heard in a high pitch note (my voice) and a big smile is seen on our faces. Visions of darling little children in each creation always make my day. You, your support, our inspirations and love for children keep us going. There are days that taste like cupcakes and macarons. That are days that taste like…well, “I have to eat my greens” kind of flavor. But any day being around the sweets we bake is a good day and most of all it’s because we love what we do! With every baby step, we reach a milestone.

Because of all of you: darling customers everywhere, reps, models, photographers, cutter, grader, pattern makers, seamstresses, vendors, everyone of you…we are blessed to be able to step up to where we are. So., THANK YOU from our hearts to yours. Our atelier is full of our nostalgic, playful, classic, fancy, sweet collection for little darlings just like our hearts that are full of love. We love you and extremely grateful for having you in our company’s sweet lifestories.

Love,

Dian & Runaway Pony.

Behind the Seams Series – On the life of the Designer: Dian McManus

Runaway Pony Photoshoot

Hello! I think you know that I am Runaway Pony’s designer. I am Dian McManus, a mom of two little darlings below the ages of 8. When I started Runaway Pony, Fiona, my 4-yo was almost 1 year old. Keira, my biggest is almost 8 now. It was a true-vintage baby sunsuit that Keira’s Grandma Sally gave me when Keira was born that sparked the love for creating vintage-inspired baby and little children’s clothing line Runaway Pony. That sunsuit was worn by Grandma Sally in the 50s. That’s how Sunkissed Sally sunsuits were born when Fiona was still carried in the baby carrier:) Here is a photo of me and my sweet family from our summer vacation in Paris last year.

The McManus Family

I have been meaning to post this series on a regular basis ever since we launched more than 2.5 years ago! Oh dear. How time flies! Having a business of small children and having small children definitely makes time move in the speed of light right before my eyes!

This is an overdue post. I promise I will be better sharing stories here on the blog because it is always fun to share. This journey of idea-creating, garment-making and product-selling is so fascinating to me. Our line has grown and it has been such a blessing. Before LAST YEAR’s holiday season in fall 2015 (it’s been that long since I wanted to share this), we have been blessed to fulfill overflowing (at least to our world!) orders for Spring 2016. (And we are now working on getting things lined up for Spring 2017 orders that have been pouring in as well. THANK YOU!) So my busy days have gotten extremely packed and a week is like an hour. In early Spring this year, between deliveries, we had to restock and reproduce some of the best-selling styles multiple times fulfill more orders! I had never thought that we would be where we are. We are so grateful that now our line is carried at over 40 stores and more than a dozen more will be new retailers next Spring. We count our blessings everyday and are extremely grateful for our wonderful ladies at Lindsay’s Loft and Southern Fried Chicks Showroom*. The stores that carry us are so darling and amazing. We love them and we love our customers!

The collections have definitely grown right before my very eyes. I have learned what styles and designs make my heart putter faster and what make you love our line. Everyday I can just come up with a new look or design in my head. Ideas always burst out. Sometimes, I have to kind of stop myself. Not because I want to, but a lot of times the creative juices flow in when I am driving on the 110 freeway on the way to work! Anyway, we now have the latest collection being shown at markets with Lindsay’s Loft: the Spring 2017! Be sure to check our line at markets if you are a retailer :) Here is a sneak peek! There are SO MANY more cute ones!

 

Runaway Pony SS17 - A Sneak Peek

Runaway Pony SS17 – A Sneak Peek

Runaway Pony SS17

Grabbed from our linesheet. Pardon the numbers on these sweets!

I am trying to share more on the blog for this Behind the Seams, a behind-the-scenes series, that posts about work days, the daily stress and triumph, the failures and achievements throughout the day or the week, the things that I cannot type so much on social media. Those who have followed us for awhile on Instagram and Facebook probably have seen glimpses of our behind-the-scenes. You can tell that I cannot keep captions short most of the time. That seems like a natural thing for me to NOT make things “simple”. Ha ha! I am sure not a minimalist. That shows a lot in the way I am dressed everyday (and how I “dresss” our home and atelier, too). – I am a big fan of the American interior designer icon Dorothy Draper (and interior designer Kelly Wearstler, for the modern take of Hollywood Regency style) – My neighbors and moms at school are used to seeing me “fully decorated” on a daily basis, I think? :) Even when I am not in downtown at the atelier and just working from home.

Without FURTHER DUE, here are some pictures from our atelier and how it looks like when we are busy delivering and producing with little ones in tow!

Some of the first batch deliveries…Runaway Pony Shipping Spring 16

Everyone got busy! Especially on their school break! (A really dear friend Sandra and her kids came to say hello to us and then I got extra help! Thanks, Mommy Sandra, Audrey and Alex!)

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After water-color painting and helping mommy with “decorating” a pattern, she needed some downtime…I don’t give her this luxury often ha ha!

Runaway Pony

Runaway Pony

I wanted to cuddle next to her so much! But work needed my cuddles too.

Runaway Pony

Runaway Pony

I also wanted to share some behind-the-scenes photos I never shared earlier this year! Julie Daniels from Julie Daniels Photography has been our photographer for our lookbooks and I just love working with her and our French stylist friend Karen Ayadi (with her gorgeous jeune fille, Emily).

Julie Daniels

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They created those super cute clouds!!! (Among many thoughtful props they brought to the set!)

Runaway Pony Photoshoot

For more story of how I juggle this whole thing, an amazing documentary and an award-winning wedding photographer Erwin Darmali wanted to follow me around one day. He wanted to capture my everyday story that he thought could inspire others to bring more positive vibes to the world. I asked him why me. He said because I was the most positive person he had ever known and my life inspired him. I am very honored. So I told him my days were crazy and full of gear switching, suggested him to take a lot of coffee and see if he could catch up with me. He said “Even better.” So I let him follow me from dawn to way over dusk. He arrived at 6am in the morning and I forgot he was there as my shadow as soon as the day started. This 8-min clip on Erwin’s site captures a glimpse of my day at our home and work. Home was in Santa Monica, where Runaway Pony was born before we grew more and moved my atelier to downtown LA. This summer, our family just moved to a new house we just purchased, a California ranch house, in Palos Verdes – which we LOVE. I especially love our backyard, the ocean and city views and space. Phew, we got a lot more space now. The film was taken in our tiny old place but full-of-memories home in Santa Monica. Though we miss our friends there, we love our new house in Palos Verdes. It’s like living on the countryside but it’s only half an hour from downtown LA! (That’s amazing for LA traffic). We keep the atelier in downtown for more efficient and effective work flow. Love that we make our garments right there in downtown. In the atelier’s “backyard”. To see my short documentary he created, click here.

Erwin preparing for my  interview. This guy is so focused no wonder his work is second to none!

Interview

Runaway Pony Movie on www.erwindarmali.com

Runaway Pony Movie on www.erwindarmali.com

 

My life still has been pretty much the same ever since we moved to the new house – still driving back and forth with Fiona almost everyday while Keira is at school – only more exciting with more home-improvement projects and home decor things, another passions I love doing. It’s amazing what space can do and what decorating can do to space. Just like what fashion can do to how we and our little darlings feel. It definitely feels more relaxing now that we have a big wrapped-around backyard for the girls to play more – no electronic gadgets at all everyday!!! They play Barbie endlessly, make arts and crafts, ride their wagon around the yard or run around through the sprinklers.  When I am in our backyard, I feel so peaceful. Sometimes peacocks show up to say hello. I always love country living yet I am still a city girl.  Maybe one day we will have chickens, cows or horses! But for now, I love decorating our farmhouse with French and Southern countryside style mixed with Hollywood and Parisian glam touch. All that. I love many things, but I am still picky. Follow my days on Instagram @dianmcmanus  (I will soon launch my personal blog/site!).

Thank you all for reading! And most of all, thank you all for supporting Runaway Pony and celebrating childhood moments with us! It means the WORLD to me.

Smooches and blessings,

Dian

My Little Darlings

  • Southern Fried Chicks showroom is no longer represents our line. For our sales rep info, please go to here

Creme Brûlée in Yellow Floral and Turquoise Floral!

Runaway Pony Creme Brûlée dresses in yellow and turquoise floral and Petit Croissant in hot pink romper

Super-best seller alert! :)

My production team and I have been extremely busy these past couple of months. I have been in heaven creating and perfecting a new Fall Winter 16 collection while producing endless sweet dresses and sunsuits for all the little darlings in this world! We are so beyond grateful, delighted, honored and flattered that our line will be carried at many beautiful upscale stores even more this season. Thank you, retailers for your excitement and generous praises on our line! With that being said, we have started shipping our Creme Brûlée dresses including these lovely floral print ones to the lovely retailers! Soon these sweet babies will be on our website, too. Thank you for supporting us and our gorgeous retailers! If you cannot find a style and size once these cuties are up, let us help you!

Love,

Dian

Runaway Pony Creme Brûlée dresses in yellow and turquoise floral and Petit Croissant in hot pink romper

Runaway Pony Creme Brûlée dresses in yellow and turquoise floral and Petit Croissant in hot pink romper

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Runaway Pony Yellow Floral Creme Brûlée dress

Runaway Pony Yellow Floral Creme Brûlée dress

 

Runaway Pony Turquoise Floral Creme Brûlée dress

Runaway Pony Turquoise Floral Creme Brûlée dress

Happy First Birthday, Baby.

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One year ago, near midnight like right now, we were sitting anxiously and excitedly in front of the computer screen waiting for a countdown for the launch of our brand. It launched and it seemed so surreal. Many of our close friends and family cheered for us that very moment online, on the phone and in person. It was like becoming a mother for the first time ever again. What was once just a daydream became real. From just thinking and talking about it to mothering it full of passion. Like a long-awaited precious little newborn baby, Runaway Pony was born to a welcoming loving home that has been nurturing and raising it with nutritious love and cuddles. A year has flown by so fast, and we have been so blessed that we are supported by so many of you who make Runaway Pony bloom everyday. This little baby has gone through many learning curves, has survived many challenges that often led to amazing new opportunities, and has achieved milestones that are incredibly rewarding and heart-melting. Every day is an exciting day full of new things to learn. And that’s because we have you who care about our baby. Thank you for allowing us to blossom together with your sweet, tender-hearted little darlings, celebrating the precious childhood moments we will always treasure in our hearts. We are eternally grateful for your support, love and cuddles. Happy First Birthday, Runaway Pony. Mommy is so proud of you.

Let’s party tomorrow, Saturday, February 7th, 2015!

Time: 12PM in the afternoon (possibly after soccer or ballet practice?)

Where: Social Media

Love,

Mommy Dian
1STBIRTHDAY

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! It’s never enough words to say how grateful we are for you, your little ones and our little ones. With their tender hearts, giggles, cries, smiles and frowns, they give us so much power to love them more than we could ever imagine and with all that, they give us the best inspirations of all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you all!

With love,

Sean, Dian, Keira, Fiona and the whole dream team of Runaway Pony!

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Nostalgia of Our Summer

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It’s bittersweet for me this year more than ever that summer is over. It happens every year though I love fall and even love winter more. But there is something so playfully amazing about summer, and it’s hard to end it sometimes.

I hope that your summer was fabulous! The bright days sure give us the exuberant joyful spirit and the days are longer for the little ones to play. I cannot believe we are officially in fall season and the holidays are just around the corner. (We have even bought our Nutcracker performance tickets!)

So when a beautiful summer is over, it’s hard for me to let go. I had many fond memories of the sunny days this year more than ever as a mom (and momtrepreneur). The girls are bigger now. Keira and Fiona can now play so much more together, which makes a lot of activities so much more fun. When on the road, they chat, they sing, they giggle and soak up the sisterly love together.  At home, they play Barbie dolls together (though there are times Keira needs to have her own playtime alone, “uninterrupted” from her 2-yo little sister). But the two of them are the sweetest things in my life and they love each other to pieces.

So, here is something that brings up that warm feeling inside…

Summer schedule in our house has not been structured at all. The girls have more “loose” schedules so they can enjoy their childhood and long sunny days even more. Keira finished her Kindergarten this summer  (with flying colors! As colorful as Kindergarten reports can be) and was fully at home with mommy and her baby sister this summer. They made so many messes at home, though we did get out for a couple mini vacations, in Palm Springs then Cannon Beach, Oregon, and had a blast. Keira opted for no camps this summer because she said she wanted to be with mama and her little sister, whom she calls “Little” these days. I have to say I am flattered she likes to spend time with me. I love having them home within arms’ reach. Yes, it was challenging, working as a momtrepreneur while caring for the two little sweethearts. (Painting nails on a daily basis, anyone?)

Aside from our mini trips here and there, we had a couple of amazing times at two of our Trunk Shows. Thank you to Kumquat Baby and Jaxx Boutique for hosting and carrying our lines. We had a blast at both events! It was so fun to meet the customers in person and see what they thought of our clothing designs! Thank you for those who came and all of you who support us!

Regardless what you did with your kids this summer, I really hope you had plenty of soaking up playful, loving time with your little darlings. I want to invite you to take a look at what we have done this summer. May the exuberant feeling of the fun-in-the-sun days last in your heart forever!

Summer makes us think of endless playdates on the warm sand…frolicking with friends and creating more memories. Here are Keira and Fiona’s dear friends playing in the sand early this summer. No matter where life takes them one day, we always remember the abundant love they have for another.

Nostalgiacherished

flower girl dresses

Summer makes us think of mini vacations and have a lot of fun on the trip!

Here are some pictures from our Palm Springs mini trips this summer. Yes, we did it twice this summer! Nothing hotter here in California than the deserts. We always love going to Palm Springs and staying at the Viceroy Palm Springs. There is something about feeling the California desert heat, being in the pool (family pool, that is) all day, and to me, personally, the charming Old Hollywood glamour mixed with bold chic-modern interior decor style that I always adore, that brings back the Hollywood golden days in Palm Springs. Or in anywhere. (I am a big fan of the American home decorator icon Dorothy Draper and today’s icon Kelly Wearstler) Oh! Be dazzling, dahhling! It was about time. It had been a few years since the last time we stayed there (we started this “tradition” when I was pregnant heavily with Keira (our “babymoon”).

Stole a moment on the road

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Always in love with this Citron restaurant in the resort

(photo courtesy of Viceroy Palm Springs)citron1

Fiona doing “bunny jumps”, so happy to have arrived in the villa  discount BRIDESMAID DRESSES 2016 and 2017

I had my usual urge to take a picture of both girls. Don’t you just love this wallpaper? This was taken in our dining room in the villa

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How Fiona lounged by the (family) pool :)
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Pools. We just love pools. Especially this family pool.

(Photo courtesy of the Viceroy Palm Springs)
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Fiona acting as a sleeping baby. This girl can act!

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 With love from our “home” in the desert

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 This picture below: top part of the picture was taken about 6 years ago, the below part of the picture was taken this summer. Some things do change!lookingback

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This below picture was taken by Keira :)

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We also loved our short vacation in Cannon Beach, Portland. We rented a cottage right on the beach so we got to see this view everyday.

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We got to see the annual Cannon Beach Sand Castle Festival during our stay there and I just loved these flags (along with the amazing sand castles, of course)

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One of our new designs also had a mini vacation with us :)


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Another reason to love summer for me is: America’s birthday! (And my birthday :)! So, every year, we celebrate the two events together and I am lucky that the festivities always include a parade and watching fireworks. Look who did not take a nap until really late this Fourth of July, in her all-American romper!

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Here are some pictures from our Trunk Shows this summer!

Kumquat Baby Boutique, Eagle Rock – Los Angeles

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Jaxx Boutique in the Westside Pavilion Mall – West Los Angeles

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Last but never least! We always have to visit to the strawberry field in summer! We went to our favorite Underwood Family Farms, their smaller farm this time, but equally beautiful, in Somis, California. (Their other farm we have visited also is in Moorpark, California). The girls had fun “harvesting” strawberries and blueberries! (Although, the latter was more difficult. Especially when Fiona just kept eating what we picked! Ha ha!)

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And for those who would love the strawberry jam recipe, here it is! We love summer and hope you and your little ones are having a fabulous summer!

Strawberry Jam Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 quart = 2 pint = 4 cups of fresh strawberries (about 2 pounds)

3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup if you like it sweeter)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (3/4 of one whole lemon approximately)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Wash and hull the strawberries

Put them in the processor to coarsely chop them

Transfer to a large skillet on medium heat

Pour sugar

Pour lemon juice

Stir frequently while bringing it to boil (about 10 minutes)

Put on low heat, stir again, simmer for 3 more minutes

DONE!

Now pour into jars and refrigerate before serving for an hour

BONUS:

Your kitchen and home will smell deliciously! As well as your face:) I got a kiss from Fiona and she said, “You smell like strawberries, Mama!”

I could go on and on with this post but I had to stop as it has too many photos already and I probably made you yawn;)

I am ready for fall and winter now (though it never gets so cold here in California!)

What is your most favorite summer nostalgia this year?

XOXO,

Dian

Calling West LA (and Beyond!) Trunk Sale at Jaxx Boutique!

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Hello, Westsiders and beyond! We are SO thrilled and cannot sit still! We are SO looking forward to showcasing our Spring-Summer 2014 collection in person once again to you! If you missed our first trunk show last month in Eagle Rock, CA, this time we are not going far from our home base Santa Monica: West Los Angeles.  Jaxx Boutique, a darling gorgeous boutique at the Westside Pavilion Mall in West Los Angeles will be generously hosting our next trunk sale!

Come see the colors we admire for your little darlings right before your eyes on Saturday, September 6, 2014! We will have an entertainer for the kids as well as little treats and beverages for you while you shop! There’s plenty of sunshine left, don’t be shy!

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CELEBRITY SWEET 16 DRESSES

A Trunk Full of Colors

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This is what makes us dream in color:) Our colorful collection! Here are photos from our first Trunk Show that will always forever treasured in our hearts. What a successful event and an amazing day. I definitely had a dream-come-true kind of day. We thank Kumquat boutique in Eagle Rock for carrying our line, hosting the trunk show event and supporting us tremendously! We thank all of you, our little daily pow-wow team, sales team, design team, the production team, fans, friends and family for always supporting us wherever you are! Our life wouldn’t be this colorful without you. Thank you. We work hard but when you love what you do and you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like working at all. We are so grateful for all of you. Until the next event!!!:)
xoxo,
Dian :)
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My sweet (and often timid and shy) Keira :)

 

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Fiona finally chose to model while she was napping :)

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With my sweet mommy!

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We are extremely grateful for these three lovely and amazing Kumquat Ladies!

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We were so thrilled we were visited by this one fabulous and stylish talented little child model Miss Peyton at the trunk show! She walked in wearing her own Sugar & Milk ruffle sunsuit in sky blue and walked out in her newly bought Sunkissed Sally in red gingham (and heard she didn’t want to aje it off at the end of the day) She then posed without hesitation when her (equally fabulous) mama @abbeelani asked her, “Peyton, take a picture, please!”. TOO cute!!

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I wouldn’t survive the ups and downs of challenges while running the business and caring for two little ones without these two best friends of mine :)10525936_535974036504188_5988831149119136989_n

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With all my heart I am thankful for everyone of you!

Runaway Pony Trunk Show 2014!

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We are so thrilled that Kumquat Baby, the sweet little gem that carries our line in Eagle Rock,  will be generously hosting our first Trunk Show on Saturday, August 2, 2014!

Please join us for a fun Saturday with your little darlings at Kumquat Baby Boutique in Eagle Rock, CA! Enjoy 30-40% OFF on all classic, playful and sweet nostalgic styles of Runaway Pony Spring-Summer 2014 items including the newest designs! Made in Los Angeles. Made in California. Just add sunshine and sweet little faces.

Hope to see you all there! Thank you for all your support to both Kumquat and you! See details below.

XOXO,

Dian

 

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