Jennifer Wilson is the creative mind behind the beautiful baby apparel line, VONBON. After finding it challenging to source stylish baby clothes and blankets, Jennifer decided to create her own. Two years later, VONBON has over 40,000 followers on instagram, along with an incredibly loyal following of moms who love her chic, original designs.
How did you start your design company, VONBON?
I was working as a Dental Hygienist and was finding my job too physically demanding. Tension headaches and arthritis were becoming daily challenges for me. I knew I needed to make a career move. At that time, it seemed that all of my friends and family were starting to have babies. With a small background in sewing, I decided to start creating fabrics of my own and hand-making the stylish pieces that I couldn’t find in store.
Can you tell us about your design process?
I don’t think that most people realize just how much work goes into designing a single garment from scratch. Not only do I design the actual piece of clothing, but I also design the fabric that it is made with. From concept to final garment, there are so many revisions to get it just right. This all takes time, lots of time and patience!
When I first started VONBON, I was hand-making every piece out of my home. As demand quickly grew I had no choice but to out-source our production to a local manufacture. I still have a very close hand in how everything is made and am there during the entire process. I work very closely with my production team to make sure that each piece is quality made. We could take our manufacturing over-seas, but chose to stay local, as it is very important to me to support our community and invest in other small business within Vancouver.
We love the VONBON fabrics – what makes your fabrics so unique?
Our fabrics are one of the things that I think sets VONBON apart from other baby brands. The designs are created by myself and exclusive to VONBON. Much of the inspiration for the fabrics is found in my everyday life. For example, our new Linx pattern was inspired by a photo of a chain link fence that was taken by Kyrani of Klik Photography. Inspiration is everywhere!
How has social media impacted the growth of the VONBON brand?
Social media has grown my business to what it is today. Not only through brand awareness, but through creating some genuine relationships with other female entrepreneurs, bloggers, influencers and customers. I feel so blessed to have met and connected with so many amazing people through social media.
How did the VONBON x Minimoc collaboration come about?
Amanda and Jeff reached out to me shortly after I had launched VONBON. We had so many mutual customers and our products went so well together. Over time our relationship grew and we ended up being pregnant at the same time with our first children. Remy and Esti were born only a few weeks apart. So when they approached me about collaborating on a shoe, it just felt right. The entire process was so easy and the final result was a perfect mix of both brands. We couldn’t be more happy with the final result. Esti wears hers everyday!
What is a major challenge that you’ve had to overcome with your business?
When you start your own business you put everything you have into it. It’s your passion, your baby. When the time comes that you can’t do it on your own any more, you need to hire help. It is so hard to let go of total control. Finding the right people to join your team is always a challenge because you want people who are just as passionate about your business as you are. People you can trust! I was lucky enough to recently add to my team and found an amazing young woman who is helping me take VONBON to the next level.
What is the best part of running your business?
The best part of running my own business is the satisfaction I get from creating something and seeing someone else get enjoyment from it. I feel beyond blessed every time someone chooses VONBON to wrap around their newborn baby. Seeing the many photos posted of our tiny customers dressed in VONBON leaves me smiling every single day.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Without a doubt it was the day that my own baby was first wrapped in VONBON. I created the line before I had a child of my own, so to finally be able to dress Esti in my own creation was very special.
What’s next for VONBON?
It’s so hard to say when the sky is the limit! I am working closely with a fabulous mentor and we have been throwing around some ideas of opening a flagship store in the future. Exciting idea for when the time is right.
Right now my main focus is getting a good grip on my work-life balance. Esti is only so small for so long and I want to make sure I savor each and every one of these moments with her.
Way to relax
Poolside with a Pina Colada in hand and a warm breeze
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Beauty Must Have
It’s a tie between my One Love Dry Shampoo and my Noir lash extensions
Hidden Gem in Vancouver
The Union- they make a killer Bahn Mi
Hostess Gift to Give
Woodlot candle and fresh blooms
Currently Listening to
Miguel Migs- Brand New Day
Guava Rose Sorbet from Yaletown Gelato
Images courtesy of VONBON
and Studio 86 Creative