April 12, 2016
The name is pretty simple. We were inspired to start making clothing after our daughter was born. We weren’t in a place to be able to get many nights out without the kids (babysitters are expensive), so we started creating things in the spare bedroom of our house. Kris would sew and I (Bob) would screen print. Our daughter’s name is Neve and our son’s middle name is Hawk. It felt fitting to name the brand after them as they inspired it. Hence, neve | hawk.
Have you always been passionate about design?
Yes, but not necessarily fashion design or kid’s fashion. I (Bob) am a Creative Director for a tech company in the city and a visual designer by trade, and Kris is a creative to the core. She has always been passionate about design on some level.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
When we had kids, we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for for our kids to wear. So, we started to create the items. We even turned our master bedroom into a small production studio with sewing machines and a screen printing press! Such a fun time in our lives. It snowballed from there, inciting an incredible passion for making clothing in a sustainable and ethical fashion, domestically.
Our brand focuses on making sustainable and ethically made clothes. We also focus on clothes that kids can do anything in. It is important to us that we make clothes that kids feel awesome in and want to wear, which means comfortable and versatile, as well as fashionable. We want those who wear our clothing to be as comfortable in our gear while they are camping as they are at a nice dinner with the family.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
We have had plenty :) Neither one of us knew anything about the fashion or clothing manufacturing industry when we got into this. It has been an advantage and a huge disadvantage to us a lot of times. We learn and grow each season about how to become more efficient and make better, more cost effective clothes. Clothing manufacturing is a harsh world and very cash heavy up-front. Let’s just say we have been battling that since we started, but we think we are getting a grasp on it.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
We have sacrificed a good amount. I think the biggest thing has been time. Time with each other, time as a family, time without checking phones, emails, and stressing about a garment or a production ship date. Of course, like most makers starting out and trying to make it, we have sacrificed money as well… but we don’t need to talk about that.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Man, this is a hard question. Sometimes we are proudest simply at the end of the day, knowing we are still surviving and living our dream. But, on a large scale, we love randomly seeing kids out and about in our gear. Oh, and being picked up by Nordstrom still feels like a dream.
San Francisco is an amazing place. We are forever influenced by the outdoors and the beauty of the California coast, the ocean and mountains. Being in San Francisco and around this beauty has helped us grow our company into our dream- a brand that inspires you to explore and stay creative. This is the base of where we are heading.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Kris is a go-getter with a strong drive. I think she has an extremely strong work ethic that she has developed throughout her entire life. That has probably been our greatest strength. The ability to keep pushing on.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
We started this because we truly love doing this work. It was a passion to create from the beginning. It was never really a huge leap, but more of an organic journey, as cheesy as that sounds. Some of the steps felt like leaps at the time, but in hindsight they were really just bigger steps in pursuing our passion.
Our family and our core values as a family- staying adventurous, exploring the outdoors and inspiring creativity.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Cliche answer: It is not easy but it is worth it. Keep doing it. Don’t give up. But, at the same time, its ok to cry from time to time. This shit is hard.
Also: Find a mentor. Get in touch with people who you look up to and who do what you want to do. Being around like minded creative people is an inspiring thing. It’s always great to have an experienced sounding board. And, get rid of the negative people surrounding your dream.
- If there is anything else you’d like to add about your business that might be unique to you, please share!
Kris hand dyes a ton of our garments with natural materials, something that is really a passion for her. We are growing this part of our business as we have learned that keeping this is essential for our happiness, regardless of growth. Never stop being hands on and doing the things that make your soul dance. Never.