Vancouver Mom had the chance to chat with JB Owen-Sacallis, owner and designer of Agoo Apparel Inc., makers of clothing for the active kid. We asked her about her life as a mom entrepreneur, as well as what she thought made Agoo Apparel so special.
Vancouver Mom: What inspired you to start your business?
JB Owen-Sacallis: My son did – when he was just a baby, I didn’t want to have to cover his perfect skin with sunscreen, which is full of chemicals, just to go out in the stroller. He was also starting to go to activities and various play-dates, so I wanted clothes that were comfortable and more fashionable than the typical looking beach wear, which was all that was available with sun protection. When I found fabric that had UV Protection, wick-away features and stain resistance – I knew right away it was perfect for kids and that parents would love the additional features.
VM: Tell us about your product line. What’s the philosophy behind it?
JB: Agoo is for the active kid, clothes that meet the needs of children who are on the move. Be it school, play, sports or just doing what they love, agoo is designed so kids can enjoy the things they do in comfortable clothing. Four-way stretch fabrics, UV Protection, Stain Resistance and Anti-Bacterial are just some of the features in our clothes. We like function with fashion and want our garments to meet the needs of an active lifestyle.
VM: What should moms know about your products?
JB: Agoo is made for kids, with kids in mind. Magnets instead of zippers, easy waistbands, hand cuffs to keep the cold air out, comfortable fabrics, secert pockets all make especially with childern in mind. We don’t just make regular clothes smaller, we add our technical features and unique styling that allows our clothes to feel better and fit better on little bodies.
VM: How would your clothes fair in the wintertime in particular?
JB: Agoo has a very strong outwear line. Waterproof coats, wind-resistance bomers, cozy fleece, and a plush line of reversible jackets for baby to age nine allows kids to Stay out and Play (TM) a little longer. We pride ourselves in offering practical, functional outerwear for any weather with great styling that kids just love to wear.
VM: What motivates you?
JB: Kids, they are so exuberant and free-spirited, they know how to be in the moment and can enjoy even the simplest things. I love the thrill and excitement in their eyes when they experience something for the first time, and that has become the inspiration behind everything I do at Agoo.
VM: How do you balance being a mom and an entrepreneur?
JB: It’s hard, but I tell myself everyday that while adults understand the demands of business, kids don’t. So, whenever my kids come to me, I try to put my work on hold and give them my attention. Most of the time, it takes just a few minutes, and then I can get back to my work, and they feel important and happy.
VM: What do you love most about what you do?
JB: I really love making stylish clothes that have unique features and added functions. Instead of just a simple garment, I want to create something that offers more to my little customers. When a four-year-old puts on one of my jackets and says ‘This is cool!’, it’s the best feeling.
VM: What single piece of advice would you give moms who are starting a business?
JB: Believe in your vision, and trust your own ideas. If you have a great concept, write it all down in detail before you tell anyone, because as soon as you do, people will tell you a hundred ways you should be doing things differently. Always refer back to what you wrote and stay true to your ideas because those are the ones that ultimately achieve success.
Adapted from an article previously published in GoGoMamaGo.com.