The New Baby on the Block.

 

After about nine months of preparation that included designing, fabric hunting, endless visits to the pattern maker and our production house, then fun photoshoots with Nicole Benitez Photography , I am beyond excited (and relieved!) that our inaugural collection is now ready for the world to see.

Here are some of the beautiful pictures taken by Nicole:

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All Flower Girl Dresses

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Some pictures taken by me:

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It sure does feel like I just had a newborn baby! With the overflowing joy and excitement, pride, and heart-melting moments that came with the arrival of my new “baby”, I feel that everyday is a new experience to treasure! We feel overwhelmed with love as {another} precious dream-come-true baby adds warmth to our home. It also came with sleepless nights and a very hungry baby that needs to be “fed” every two hours, at least :)

It is an amazing and rewarding feeling being a mother. You watch your child bloom right before your eyes, grow with your child together to bring out the best in each other through every milestone, and to embrace childhood and motherhood together. Runaway Pony sure keeps me busi-ER! :)

If you have not taken a close look to our “new baby photo” aka our logo, here is a closer look.

Our logo portrays the air of nostalgia by picturing the old-fashioned rocking pony. The scalloped frame in an oval shape depicts our classic yet versatile style. We picked Pantone Blue Curacao as our turquoise color that represents freshness, yet with retro feel. The orangey-red color that I always love, and is in our logo for the precious pony, is Pantone 485-C. It represents the faster heartbeats that babies have. It shouts for the excitement that roars boldly everyday when our little children bask in their happy childhood. The light green bow (Pantone Dark Citron) on the pony speaks softly for our delicate love of the to-die-for embellishments on our products. And the name Runaway Pony was inspired by the classic book Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown of which I adore because it talks about the relationship between a mother and her bunny. The story is in line with what I want the world to always remember: the endless love that we moms have for our children.

At Runaway Pony, we love to celebrate children just being children. We love seeing their contentment when they play outside and throw giggles in the air, or paint artwork outdoors, catch a butterfly, swing endlessly, say hello to the ducks, or read a book out loud. Our hearts melt when we see those twinkling eyes and big innocent smiles when they smear themselves with cupcake frosting, chocolate, or marinara sauce while they’re basking in childhood (we like to say this again and again because it’s so, so true). We embrace the innocence, happiness, and sweetness in children through playful, comfortable yet sophisticated clothing that is reminiscent of simpler times. They’re only small once and we want to always celebrate that in the most beautiful way possible.

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Here is the baby’s “birth card”:

Name: Runaway Pony

Gender: Girls and Boys

Weight: tremendous amount of beautiful pounds and gorgeous ounces

City: Designed and made with love in sunny California, USA

‘Hospital’: Production House The Evans Group

 

This sure feels very similar to nurturing a baby. It is an amazing and rewarding feeling being a mother. And it is the same feeling being an mom-entrepreneur. You watch your child bloom right before your eyes, grow with your child together to bring out the best in each other through every milestone, and embrace childhood and motherhood together. I watch the business take one step after another and the familiar feeling is so rewarding.

I learn every beginning step through experience the most. But I learn so much from other independent designers I come across, blogs, friends in the industry, other entrepreneurs, and of course our vendors and production house.  I should tell you a little bit about our  production house in the Arts District, Los Angeles. We love The Evans Group and the always-on-the-ball, always-looking-together project manager Sam! Without them, these precious sunsuits, dresses and overalls would not be here. “Do you know where your clothes were made?” is the sentence that is very important for me. Not only does The Evans Group perform high quality work for our precious pieces, but we get to know every single person who works on our garments! From the founder, project manager, the cutter, the grader, the pattern maker head, and the sewers! I know exactly where Runaway Pony clothes were made.  I know exactly whom I need to talk to, or give my detailed instructions to, or who works specifically on what style. We call, we text, we email, we meet in person. Communication is awesome. They are real live people who are amazing and fascinating. The production house is not a sweat shop. People who work there are good happy employees who are high skilled and experienced. They like what they do (I can tell if someone doesn’t like what they do in the seconds we just met). I felt right at home when I walked in there to meet Sam, my project manager, for the very first time. I was greeted so warmly and I felt so welcomed. When you walk in to the shop, the atmosphere is fascinating…picture this: the warm sound of sewing machines, the smiles on their faces when they see you, and the respect they show each other is shown everywhere in everything they do. It just has a really nice vibe. Seeing the entire technical process of really realizing your dream to come true before your own eyes is priceless. Especially as a new designer and entrepreneur who needs a lot of guidance producing the first collection and launching it, I always feel so welcomed here, never intimidated. I have a practical learning experience by being able to see every step of the making of my production. I love that. Sam gives the best advice on anything you need: from what exactly the meaning of every production term anyone needs to know right on the spot such as: “marking”, “sew-by samples”, “grading”, “digitizing”, “cutting”,…to fabric sourcing, photoshoots, fashion shows, you name it. I am always impressed by Sam’s efficiency, precise-and-clear direction, detailed attention, as well as her (my favorite) million-dollar opinion, sense of humor and organizational skills. So  whenever she gives me a compliment, I feel so honored! Thanks, Sam! I also love sharing just my random brainstorm thoughts with her as she has many years of experience in the industry.

So, when you ask me why I made the clothes in the US instead of overseas, my answer will be this. We take all of the above as a high value that is priceless to us. It’s what I believe something you cannot beat. It just makes sense. My sew-by samples (the samples before we run a production) can be made within days (assuming you have all the materials to make it, especially a clear pattern, marking and detailed sketch for each sample). I love what Sam told me on the first day we met after seeing my most intricate sketches with so many contrasts in one style (for Sugar and Milk), “Dian, we don’t fail. We might make a mistake, but we fix that mistake and we don’t fail.” I was sold and it’s the truth.

If we can help the American workforce and economy to stay happy, healthy and busy, and we get to practice fair trade and receive first-class treatment in doing business, then it is definitely a good choice for us as we only want the best products from a valuable trade for our customers. We want you to be happy with your products and proud of what you purchase for your children: classy, high quality, sophisticated and adorable clothing. We want you to create beautiful nostalgia with your little ones. Don’t forget to take so many photographs of them laughing and giggling together with you.

TheEvansGroup

 

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Read this amazing article about The Evans Group: High Design with a Heart

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We thank you for being excited for us, and some of you even were counting down with us the night our website store went live. Thank you for the support and tremendous amount of joy you have shown! It will always be treasured in our hearts!

From my tender heart to yours,

Dian

The Story.

Runaway Pony

Greetings from California!

Welcome to the Runaway Pony blog site. I am Dian McManus. I am vintage-classic minded, a momtrepreneur, a “stage mom” and a mommy to two sweet darling little girls under the age of five who keep me up on my toes everyday. My little girly girls are my true inspiration, my breath and my angels who bring out the best in me.

Ever since my darling little 4-year-old Keira was discovered in my belly, I knew I would be having so much fun being a mommy. I always love fashion for me but I am also crazy about children’s fashion and dress-up play endless items. So when I discovered I was going to have a girl, I was beyond overjoyed. Not that a boy would have frozen me on the spot with disappointment! Keira is exactly what I had wished for, in every amazing detail. Girly, smart, a chatterbox, confident, beautiful and most of all, healthy. She also loves art, math and reading. And did I mention likes to learn how to play chess? Then three years and five months later, I got another blessing that was equally exciting. We got another sweet baby girl, Fiona, who could look like Keira’s twin sister except for Fiona’s curly baby hair! Fiona was born nine pounds and four ounces, and ever since she was in mama’s belly, I knew she would be a smart good eater baby and have so many fun personalities! She definitely is and she loves food dearly, though not so much milk. She is a very opinionated girl just like her big sister. I really think that being a mommy to these two girls has really made my mind think more creatively. I have become a crafty mom, a more-than-ever baker mom, and a cook mom. I thought I was only into home decorating and tastemaking. Apparently, I am all into making things that have a lot to do with home, with my girls, with my friends’ kids, and lately, with the community! Having two girls has brought me here: I love dressing up the girls and making pretty things so much that I want to have my own clothing line. I feel incredibly grateful for my sweet Keira and Fiona.

When Keira was a baby, we lived at a different place that had a spacious walk-in closet for all her baby clothes. Her closet looked like a children’s clothing boutique. And so did her drawers (and still do). Her closet’s collection was so inspiring to me. All those beautiful gorgeous colors and styles. And then one day my sweet (and the most awesome) mom in law gave me a pile of real vintage sunsuits and baptism dresses along with baby overalls. The sunsuits and I met. I FELL IN LOVE deeper with vintage children’s clothing. The sunsuit belonged to the baby who is now the girls’ Grandma Sally. Yes, Grandma Sally wore it when she was not even a year old. I was choked up. What an honor to have been given the precious heirloom and how amazing is Grandma Sally for keeping all these precious pieces all these years!

The sunsuit collection in Runaway Pony is a tribute to Grandma Sally. Here is a picture of Keira at six months old wearing her grandma Sally’s baby sunsuit!

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And here are snapshots of Fiona!

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I wish I could freeze time. I want them to be small for a long time. Classic children’s clothing pieces bring back childhood memories to me. Classic children’s story books bring me a sense of comfort, warmth, and cuddly-feel. I want to re-live the classic childhood play days, the simpler times, and re-create more fond memories by just being with my girls. I want to play with them, read them that extra story, cuddle tight with them, spend summer days and nights with them at every waking hour, do all the things that I know will make them glow with euphoria. Even when I feel like falling into pieces from a long day. I just want them to remember how happy they were as children. And I want to share all of that with you and the little darlings in your life.

Welcome to the glory story of my love for children, for the classic childhood memories, for the vintage-inspired children’s fashion that is adorable, playful and beautiful. And most importantly, the kind that tells a story of the unconditional mother’s love.
Samples are coming this summer! I cannot wait to introduce our line to you!

A thousand tender kisses and lots of love,

Dian
Creative Director + Designer