Tween Daughter & Mom Introduce New Line of Clothes
Shannon Tennyson and her tween daughter Callie have teamed up to create Calzico a brand new line of clothing for tween girls. Her fourteen year old son is also in on the family venture, helping with multimedia and graphic projects.
I love sharing stories of parent/child entrepreneurial ventures because the adult and the kids get so much out of working together.
Shannon and her daughter may agree on a lot when it comes to their entrepreneurial spirit, but they have different opinions when it comes to their very favorite item in the line. After learning more about their company and clothing line, be sure to check out each of their favorite Calzico items below!
Bright Girls: Why did you develop Calzico?
Shannon Tennyson: My daughter Callie and I created Calzico to give pre-teen girls better choices in clothing — more versatile, more comfortable, and more inspiring than choices available from fast fashion retailers. Often clothing choices for this age are of poor fit, poor quality, and too youthful or too mature. So we set out to create pre-teen “tween” girls clothing choices that inspire creativity and choice, and that enable girls to do more, with fewer pieces. Creating quality pieces that are fun AND functional is at the core of our designs. Our prints are also inspired from around the world.
BG: Do you have a mentor, advisor(s) or any other type of help to get your new entrepreneurial venture on the right track?
ST: I worked with several consultants and fashion mentors last year to help me learn about the industry and to navigate steps to take with factories and vendors in order to launch our collection. In addition, we hosted events for parents and tweens in order to gather input and feedback on our designs, fabrics, fit, samples and even future styles. We were able to make some early changes based on this feedback. In addition, we’ve sought the advice of other entrepreneurship coaches via local startup advisory groups and services, and have a financial advisor that provides input to our annual strategic planning. Lastly, books and online forums provide a wealth of information for us on creating and growing a business.
BG: What role does your daughter play in the company?
ST: Callie is our chief tester and is involved throughout the creative process. She provides input on design features, fabric swatch selections and is one of our fit models during the pattern and sample making process. Its very common in our house to hear her and I discuss tags, the length of a sleeve, or the height of a collar. In addition, my 14 year old son creates many of our multimedia pieces and does some graphic related work as well.
BG: What have you learned from working on Calzico with your mom?
Callie Tennyson: How to handle situations when things don’t go as we thought. When creating new styles it’s important to create things we may not like but that others like and then listen to feedback from others to improve it. It takes a lot of time.
BG: Is there a particular item the two of you are especially excited about in the line? What is it, and what do you love about it?
ST: Yes! We each have a different favorite. For me, its the zipskirt because that’s the item that started it all–the idea of a convertible skirt with a removable layer. For her, its the four-in-one reversible jacket, because it can be worn so many ways. She likes that it reveals the prints on the interior when worn in reverse and that it has buttons on interior and exterior rather than a standard zipper up the middle.
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