December 3, 2015
Get ready for some serious cuteness overload! Liboosha designer Amanda Thrall is bringing her stunningly creative kids’ clothes and accessories to our Chicago Holiday Fair. Now all we have to do is find some kids to dress up…
I love being asked this question because I really love telling the story behind it. My heritage is Bohemian and I’ve always been fascinated with the history. The name Liboosha is derived from Libuše (Li-boo-sha). Libuše was a legendary queen of Bohemia in the 8th century. She was believed to have the ability to predict the future and used that to her advantage in order to marry her true love, a ploughman. She also is known to be the founder of Prague. I chose to name my brand after her because her story is the one that lives in every little girl’s heart. A story of make believe, love, success and the strength of a woman.
Have you always been passionate about design?
I have. I didn’t always know that it was my passion but for as long as I can remember I longed to stand out and to be different. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to create something that spoke to people. Over the years, I’ve expressed these feelings in just about every way. Whether it was fashion, drawing, painting, knitting, poetry, novels. You name it, I have tried it. And I still dabble in many of those now and then. But I have found my niche and that is designing fashion for the mini yous.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
It was right before my daughter, Happy, was born. I honestly didn’t even know that baby fashion was a thing until I was getting ready to welcome her into the world. I came across an Instagram feed one day that completely changed my world. I can’t even remember the name and it sounds so silly now, but this mother dressed her baby in the CUTEST baby clothes I had ever seen. One IG profile led to another and here I discovered this whole world of designer baby clothes. So I started creating my own. I’ve been through a couple of small businesses and a little over a year ago, I opened Liboosha and it has been the most rewarding and fun adventure yet.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
Deliciously yummy vintage textiles. One night as I was getting lost in the sea of Etsy, I stumbled across these gorgeous Thai fabrics. They were handmade down the threads and the details reflected the sweat put into making them. They were the beginning of the whole concept of Liboosha. I had never seen any one use these in designer children’s clothing. It really defined my brand from the beginning. Since then, I have used textiles from all over the world. As far as I know, Liboosha was the first to use textiles such as, Indian Kantha , vintage Chenille and Moroccan wedding blankets, Mao embroidery and other beautiful fabrics, in children’s clothing. As my brand evolves and grows, I have started designing my own textiles as well as working with other artists to create unique fabric prints. But I always keep vintage textiles on hand for those one of a kind favorites.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I have a bad habit of taking on too much work. I want so badly to please all of my customers that most days, I have to schedule in breathing. With being a mother of three and running a business, every day is a sacrifice. And I find that I cannot put 100% of myself in to either at the same time. However, I do not regret anything. I use every struggle as a lesson in how I can be a better business owner and foremost a better mother, tomorrow.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Liboosha has created a lot of amazing opportunities for me but I would say my most cherished is my trip to Thailand with my best friend. We flew to Chiang Mai to shop for textiles at the Hmong Market and then flew down to Phuket for a little fun. Okay, okay, ALOT of fun. It was a trip of dreams and I cannot wait to go back.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
I like to leap and build a parachute on the way down. Sometimes I hit the ground but every time I leap I am able to build the parachute better and faster. I’ve been working in the small business world for about four years now and I am still learning new things every day. I don’t believe that it is knowledge or experience that you need. It’s the ability to climb back to the top and leap again.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Before I started self employment, I was a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom is amazing and far more difficult than running any business. But we were struggling and I wanted to give my children a better life. I wanted to show my kids that I would work as hard as I could to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. Everything that I do, is for them.
What are some inspirations for your work?
Inspiration is a tricky little booger. I can’t name one place that I find inspiration. I’ve found it in a boxing movie once, and once on a cereal box. I can say that it is too easy to find inspiration in your market and that is the only place you should not be looking for it. When people are pulling inspiration from others in the same market, everyone starts looking the same. Some of my best creations have been inspired by the oddest things. Nothing worth while, comes easy.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Never forget why you took the first leap.