Sonnet James Play Dresses For Moms

After the birth of her second child, Whitney Lundeen faced a dilemma common to many mothers of young children. “What can I wear that is practical and comfortable, but helps me feel fashionable and put together?” Let’s face it – even if a mom is fortunate enough to own the latest haute couture, she doesn’t want to risk it being ruined by a child’s sticky fingers, drool or baby food, not to mention all those other messy items…. Most important, however, is the ability to get down and play with her children and still look and feel fashionable and attractive.

In 2012, Whitney had become a single mother and needed to find a way to help support her children. Before having children, she had worked in commercial interior design, but had now been out of the corporate world for over four years. At one very low moment, she even considered taking a job at the local Walgreens. But she remembered an idea that she previously had about producing practical clothes for mothers and decided to pursue that dream and create her own business.

On New Year’s Eve in 2012, Whitney and her family were sharing their goals for the coming year. She had been working hard learning to design and sew, and she was pretty proud of her goal to make and sell ten dresses. But her brother, who was attending Stanford Business School at the time, challenged her to go for 100 dresses!

Whitney named her new company Sonnet James, combining the two names she had picked out for her children, had they been girls. She built a website to launch her dresses, hoping for, but not really anticipating big success. She figured at least her mother would buy one because she “felt sorry for me.” However, Whitney was part of a mom blogging community and one of them, (Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom) posted an item about Sonnet James. Within several days, more than 150 orders had come in! While she now had evidence that she had tapped into a need for mothers everywhere, Whitney was also thrown into a panic and wanted to just shut everything down. Her brother gave her another pep talk and Whitney took a deep breath and began to work out all the details of producing and marketing her playful, practical dresses. On July 1, 2013, she initiated a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $48,000. When the campaign ended a month later, 628 backers had pledged $58,245.

Sonnet James Play Dresses For Moms Shark Tank 2

Sonnet James dresses are made in a simple, but fashionable design, of durable, four-way stretch modal-spandex, and are very easy to clean. Care instructions provided on their website are simple: “Turn inside out; wash cold (no softener); hang or lay flat to dry.” No more trips to the dry cleaners, no fancy washing procedures or ironing needed.

Sonnet James dresses are made in San Francisco, from fabric produced in New York City and printed in Los Angeles. As part of a community of supportive women, it is important to Whitney that the fabric and the production house work environment are a healthy place for the seamstresses to work. As she told The Hive Magazine, even though she may pay more for the production and thereby make less profit, she wants to maintain a close, one-to-one relationship with the production end of her business. It is “important to me to feel good about where these dresses were being made.” And what is her advice for other mothers who might want to start their own business? Despite all the snags, fears, problems and long, hard hours of work, Whitney says simply: “Just do it!”

SonnetJames.com

Shark Tank Air Date: 1/20/19 – Season 10 – Episode 11

 

Sonnet James Play Dresses For Moms Shark Tank 3

- Advertisement -

LATEST PITCHES

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

When Joe Demin took some time off to backpack through Thailand, he expected an adventure. He did not expect that the trip would change...

The Mad Optimist Soap and Bath Products

If you ever wanted to make your own soap, but after looking into the process figured it would be too difficult, think again! ...

Dreamland Baby Weighted Blanket

Tara Williams and her husband Rob needed sleep. So did Luke. At six months old, Luke still was not sleeping through the night. It...

RollinGreens Plant Based Wings and Tots

Ryan Cunningham and his wife Lindsey decided to start a food truck business. Ryan, Executive Chef, had worked as a personal chef (known as...

mcSquares Dry Erase Whiteboard Tiles

Anthony Franco has built and sold five successful companies, and amassed an impressive number of awards in the process: 74 technology awards, 62...

Salted Restaurant Delivery

Jeff Appelbaum is the founder and CEO of the Salted Restaurant Group. Restaurant groups are nothing new. There is Darden Restaurants that owns Olive...