Today, I would like to share the story of how I first came to design Konny Mom’s Wear.
Before becoming a mother, I may not have been the most fashionable but I definitely knew how to choose clothes that looked good on me. I liked simple clothes made with good fabric—especially comfy ones that I could easily spruce up with. Whether they were clothes for home or to go out in, I was able to easily find the style I was looking for, with just a little bit of time and effort.
But as I went through pregnancy and childbirth, I suddenly lost my clothing options. It was really difficult to find one or two well-made pieces, not to mention ones I liked. I only had options that were either too “cute” or too big.
There were too many pieces made with cheap fabric and finished with untidy stitching. Perhaps this was due to a lack of care, as nursing clothes are supposedly worn only for a year or two. I was willing to pay more for better quality clothes, but I simply couldn’t find them. Cheaper clothes made me feel cheap as well.
The selection for homewear was even worse. Below is a picture of me in a breastfeeding innerwear that I wore for 100 days after childbirth. I was not only shocked by the fact that I would have to wear such innerwear which I’ve never worn in my life, but also ashamed by the style of it. I even had to wear a cervical collar due to a cervical disk problem over the gray top and bottoms. I felt like a gigantic utility pole. Postpartum hair loss, a pudgy belly and the tight innerwear that exposed my cleavage made me feel embarrassed to even face my husband. I started to avoid looking in the mirror. I wasn’t quite ready to accept my appearance.
The breastfeeding clothes resembled a robe of a Buddhist monk
As the weather changed and temperature went up, I started to look for clothes that were cool and breastfeeding friendly. From a nursing dress by a global brand to a pure cotton dress that was popular on Instagram to a zip/button-down dress to a maternity dress made with Tencel to a capri tank for breastfeeding… I pretty much tried every style of breastfeeding clothes for about a year—except for those covered with cartoon characters.
The pictures above are of myself wearing a Uniqlo bra top and Steteco pants. They were comfy and cool in the summer, but had two problems.
First, I had to change when guests came over.
Second, I had to crop pictures I took with my baby because of my clothes.
That is why I always dressed in my button-down dress whenever guests came over. They were neat and comfy to breastfeed.
I wanted to design nursing clothes that are pretty and made with soft, good quality material; clothes that are comfortable for housework and that allow me to confidently look in the mirror; clothes that are neatly sewed and every little detail shows excellence; and clothes that you don’t need to change when guests or the delivery person comes over. This is how the first version of Konny Mom’s Wear was created and launched.
I lowered the opening all the way down to make nursing easier, reflecting on my past experience of wearing clothes with short openings. I chose soft fabrics that are gentle enough for babies to rub their faces on. All of the materials including the fabric and buttons were carefully chosen by myself, so it took a whole season for me to make only two pieces for Mom’s Wear including the breastfeeding dress. The costs were high as I chose a sewing factory that has been supplying products to department stores for over thirty years. The manufacturing cost was high enough to sell the product at US $69, but I knew mothers wouldn’t spend that much money for homewear. So, I sold them at US $37 - $49, the price that I would be happy to spend for this dress. I was very pleased to hear positive feedback from my consumers about my dress.
The picture below is the cool breastfeeding dress launched last summer. I got rid of the collar and used fabric made of a blend of 75% Modal and 25% Tencel to make it drape well. The brightness of the picture has not been adjusted. As you can tell, nothing much is different from the other pictures on the product page.
I stopped breastfeeding, but I still wear this dress at home. This summer, I added snap buttons to make nursing more convenient. I work at home, so I pretty much wear this dress all day long including when I go to bed. It is very comfy and cool. I don’t feel embarrassed when I open the door for deliveries, and I really like not having to change when my parents and parents-in-law come to visit. I asked my consumers via Instagram about their preferred sleeve lengths, and made a half sleeve dress reflecting their opinions. It turned out to be a great decision.
I never even imagined myself designing and selling my own clothes before. There are so many global brands that sell good quality clothes at affordable prices, and many large-scale shopping malls in Korea that are leading the market. Mass production is the only way to reduce costs, and lowering costs is the key to selling products at a competitive price. Indeed, the fashion industry is the market where economies of scale work best.
Even so, I decided to launch Konny Mom’s Wear because I could not find any good options to wear at home. I thought other mothers would face the same problems as I did. Although there’s not much profit in the small-scale production of clothing made with quality materials, I am happy to do this. I feel like I am doing something good. I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to share joy with others.
I know there is still room for improvement, but I hope you love our Mom’s Wear line as much as I do.