How I Make It Work by Alienor Falconer, Founder of The Bright Company

Buy Calder Sleepsuit by The Bright Company at Our Kid, Manchester

One of the best parts of our job is meeting the amazing designers and creators behind the brands we sell in the shop. From the outset, Alienor Falconer of The Bright Company stood out as a woman to watch. Her award-winning British sleepwear brand has become the go-to for any self-respecting style blogger's offspring and more recently, she expanded the range (literally) to include mum styles. We caught up with her on the eve of her Spring/Summer 2017 collection launch to find out how she juggles business, family and a passion for the great outdoors...

Please introduce yourself and your brand…

Hello! I’m Alienor Falconer, creative director of The Bright Company, we make design led, organic and ethical nightwear products for modern families.

What inspired you to launch your brand…?

After the birth of my first child I returned to work but found the demands of a busy job for a major fashion house was too much to handle with our new family dynamic. I wanted to keep working though and needed the creative outlet that work had provided. I had found a huge amount of amazing kids clothes out on the market whilst on maternity leave but really struggled to find pj's that matched up to the same standards, they either fit really badly or were just awful designs. So I decided to take my wealth of experience of working in a fashion house and use that to start a nightwear brand.

How did you get started and can you give our readers a piece of advice for getting an idea off the ground?

It took me a year to get the brand to a launching point, I had no contacts in the nightwear world so it was a lot of cold calling, being rejected and stumbling blocks before we found a factory that would make our initial collection for us. What helped us is my background working in fashion before as a product developer so getting a product made is what I know inside out. I know some people do start businesses in an area they don’t know anything about but there are enough learning curves with being the boss that I wouldn’t recommend it really. The most successful indi brands I know are all run by people who have worked in fashion previously.

Mother Of Daughters Clemmie Hooper models new season sleepwear by The Bright Company

How do you juggle being a working mum and business owner?

It’s a big juggle, I won’t lie! I go to work in my studio 4 days a week, my mum helps out after school and I have Fridays with my daughter before she starts school in September. I work every week night after the kids are in bed, and quite often I have to do a little work whilst they play after school. It’s not ideal, and I hate working with the kids about as I find I’m distracted from both activities but I do end up emailing from my phone whilst I’m making tea.

What’s been the proudest moment for your business to date…?

Oh gosh, I think it would have to be launching into Liberty this past winter. They are my absolute favorite department store, I actually worked there as a fashion student and dreamed of selling my products to them so I was ecstatic when they approached us last year.

Looking to the future, what are your brand dreams and aspirations…?

We would love to keep working on some more collaborations and make more interiours products, I see TBC as a whole family brand, so watch this space for more of the adult’s range and home products.

And a bit more about what inspires you…

Everything! in the words of my ex boss Sir Paul Smith ‘inspiration is all around you, if you can’t see it look again’. Our shapes and products are inspired by ourselves and the products we get the most use out of and our children, how they wear things, how they like them to fit etc. I love art exhibitions, our SS17 collection is inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, who’s exhibition I saw at the Tate Modern last year.

Who’s your favourite Instagrammer and why?

Oh gosh, so many! I love IG (perhaps a little too much!) to faves, @Paxandhart for her awesome prints and @chloeuberkid for her amazing kids fashion and interiors inspiration

How do you switch off…?

Getting outside with the kids, being Brighton based we like to walk on the south downs or go to the beach, can’t beat fresh air and exercise!

What product could you not live without as a parent?

Snacks? Not sure they count as a product! Essentials for us include decent outdoor gear so we can get out whatever the weather, and a water bottle, you never know when the kids will be thirsty!

We love holidays at Our Kid, can you recommend a brilliant family-friendly destination/hotel or experience?

We went on an incredible holiday last summer to Bermuda. A friend is based out there at the moment and lent us his house (which is how we could afford it!). The sea was insane, so warm, so clear, full of coral reefs, we could jump off the jetty at our house, and the beaches were incredible, so undeveloped, not a single café on them and tourists aren’t allowed cars so we took the busses everywhere. It was such an adventure with the kids, I only want to swim in warm seas from now on, not sure the English Chanel is quite cutting it for me!

Shop The Bright Company at Our Kid

March 10, 2017 by Tess Grindle

The Bright Company: To The Moon And Back

If you love stylish design for kids, you'll fall head over heels for our latest collection from The Bright Company 'To The Moon and Back'. The gorgeous 'Polka Moons' print has been designed with exclusive illustrations from the children's book illustrator Sarah Dyer. This collaboration is a fun take on the night sky and the many faces of the moon. 

Kate has been styling the Our Kid edit in her own home and the results are absolutely stunning. We all want a bedroom like her eldest son Max! If your virtual curtains are twitching at the very thought of a peek inside our homes don't worry, we've badgered her into shooting a whole story on cool toddler room styling featuring more of our new interior collections. Coming to the blog soon.

Once again demonstrating an admirable passion for the comfort and practicalities of kids bedtime attire, The Bright Company have delivered a really magical collection. This season we've opted for Slim Jyms in midnight and aubergine colour wave and have splurged on their bedding and blankets because let's face it, finding cool bedding for little one's can be impossible!

September 04, 2015 by Tess Grindle

Me and #mykid...Alienor Falconer, founder of The Bright Company

To celebrate the arrival of our amazing new sleepwear collection from The Bright Company, we're delighted to share a special Me and #mykid from the label's founder Alienor Falconer, mum to Corwin and Effie.
 
Love singing… along to Space Pirates in the car or singing and dancing in the kitchen to the radio, especially when The Cure comes on
 
Love cuddles with…all the Cocos (jelly cat rabbits, as named by Corwin when he was 18 months old), little white scratchy Coco is no.1, then there is Big Coco, Brown Coco and Effie’s Coco, Effie loves a muzzy too.
 
Secretly… I love dressing the kids in matching pjs, it’s rare our washing is ever that organised but when it is I love it!
 
Couldn’t live without…my mum who does a huge amount for us as a family, including looking after both kids for two days a week.
 
Always read…stories before bed, we love Sarah Dyer and Dr Zeus
 
Love going on holiday to…anywhere as long as we are together, we have got to have a beach and swimming though, and of course some sunshine!
 
Can’t wait to… ave full on chats to Effie, she is just learning to speak and it’s amazing how much is in there just waiting to burst out.
 
Have the most fun when...we are on the beach with a picnic, the sun is shining and we have no-where else to be.

 

October 02, 2014 by Tess Grindle

Bubble London: Part 1 Stockpiling for Autumn/Winter 2014

We've just been on a Spring/Summer '15 buying trip to London taking in top trade show Bubble along with appointments at our favourite labels Ruff&Huddle and Boys&Girls. Having spotted some interesting new talent emerging during our last jaunt, we felt ready to place orders to take us through the winter season and into 2015.

Our first 'ohmygoditmakesmyheartsing' moment came early on with the discovery of The Bright Company, a super cool kids pyjama and bedding brand. Think strong graphic prints with colour pops in the softest slim jym jersey. We'll be welcoming them to the Our Kid family for AW14 so make a note to invest early in your festive pyjamas as these little beauties won't hang around for long. 

Any regulars at our pop-up events will be familiar with our signature knitted leggings (coming to the site soon). The only downside to this hugely popular range is that it starts at 6 months leaving all the squiddly little babies out in the cold. With this in mind, we've decided to take on Slugs&Snails for AW14, the original tights for boys brand that has branched out into a rainbow range of irresistible designs and patterns for girls too. Available on the site from August.

Having sweated our bumps off inside Bubble, we hot footed it over to a private appointment with our old friends Ruff&Huddle. This has got to be THE coolest kids streetwear brand in the UK and we miss them in our life having only stocked them for one season. These are real investment pieces and we're in the final throes of making a decision on a few key styles for special occasions. I mean really, can we afford to resist??

Keep an eye out for our Spring/Summer 2015 kids clothing trends article coming soon...