My Ferocious Lion::Little Goodall

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When I first found out the due date of our third child was November 11, 2009, I immediately started telling family I was having a Halloween baby.  Eleven-eleven was cool, but Halloween was even better.  No one was surprised; I was the first-time pregnant mama on bed rest with a Halloween baby shower thrown by a best friend, and the girl who proudly won a number of costume contests throughout the years with outfits I’d sewed until way-too-late in the evenings.  
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Weeks before Olive’s delivery, I’d found a newborn Halloween costume:  tiny red chili pepper.  I packed it in our mainland delivery bag, and could’t wait for it all to work out perfectly.  I wanted a healthy Halloween baby more than anything.  Lots of people said, Don’t get your hopes up.  
Olive was born naturally on Halloween morning, and my husband, our doula and midwife filled the room with love for our little chili pepper.  

Each year when the calendar turns October, I can hardly wait.  This year, as our boxes of orange and black came out of our Craftsman eaves, something wonderful came to our door.  And in our home where Halloween jammies are a year-round thing, oh-my-goodness Molly, Olive loves her new Ferocious Felt Lion Coat.  
Everything about the lion coat is fantastic.   I love it, Mama.  I love lions and this.  My new coat is my best.  It’s a stuffed friend I wear, said Olive.  
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Today I’d like to welcome artist and designer Molly Goodall of Little Goodall.  

Molly is a mama and a maker, and an amazing watercolor and gouache artist. With a Parson’s School of Design degree and a love for uninhibited imagination, she created a children’s wear line that’s durable and decorative, comfortable and creative.  Molly has an affinity for vintage patterns, travel and the series This is… by M. Sasek.  Within these books, worlds are told through vibrant simplicity and there’s a clear path from this literary inspiration and her very own designs.  
Little Goodall’s coats are made of eco-felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. Her designs are built to last, sewn with sibling hand-me-downs in mind or put-aways for the grandkids of one day.  

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You can find Little Goodall on Etsy and on their new, fancy website [here].  With such impeccable craftsmanship, these coats aren’t just for Halloween.  They’re for imaginative play in our days; they’re for whimsical weekends and free-spirit Fridays.  Olive loves lions, and the yellow works like a modern take on a pacific northwest rain slicker.  If lions make your child timid, there’s Toddler Teddy Bear, Spotted Leopard, Sweetheart Owl, Cheeky Green Dinosaur, Fantastic Little Fox, and Wild Grey Wolf to choose from.
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Baby by the Sea:  What inspired you to start your own business?
Molly:  It was a happy accident!  My son refused to wear a hood or hat in the cold, so I thought I might be able to creatively inspire him if I made him a coat that looked like a lion.  It worked, and when friends saw it, thay wanted them too.  One of my friends told me about her etsy store, and it seemed like a good idea since I could make the cots to order and did not have to have a bunch of stock.  I listed the lion coat one evening, and by the next morning it was sold.  We have grown from there! 
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Baby by the Sea:  How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired?
Molly:  I feel very, very lucky and I completely love what I do. My biggest problem is that I cannot get the new ideas out of my head and into the shop fast enough, as new styles can take months to develop.  If a pattern or production issue with an existing product is bringing me down, I take a step back and spend time on a new style I am excited about.  I am also not one to rush a decision – usually problems will work themselves out organically and the best answer will come to me when I least expect it. 
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Baby by the Sea:  Tell us about your background. What lead you to the work you do today?
Molly:  When I was in third grade, I wanted a trampoline for Christmas.  My parents thought it was too dangerous, so they gave me a sewing machine instead and a few patterns.  I was already a good hand-sewer, I loved the aspect of taking something two dimensional and shaping it into something three dimensional, so I took to machine sewing like a duck to water.  Otherwise I was a good artist with developed drafting skills.   After high school I went to Parsons the New School for Design in New York and earned my BFA in Fashion Design in 1997, where my senior thesis projects were all children’s wear. 
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Baby by the Sea:  What is your favorite part of the job? 
Molly:  Bringing a style from concept to creation, and seeing a child in one of my coats! 
Figuring out how to do labor intensive things in a timely manner, and keeping up with the business side of the business.  In my perfect life I could just design and tweak samples all day! 
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Baby by the Sea:  How does the balance of work, family play out for you?
Molly:  Fairly well, now that my son is 4 and goes to an awesome Waldorf-style school several days a week.  Since he is an only child it provides him with friends to play with, teachers who love him like their own, lots of tree climbing, and time to be his own person away from mommy.  In the early days of Little Goodall I began getting up at 5am or sometimes 4am so I could get a few hours of work in before my son woke up.  I still do, and I find those first few hours when the world is quiet are the most productive of my day.  I take my son with me to visit vendors and do other business in the afternoons which he enjoys.  Usually we spend Fridays taking the train into Dallas where we have lunch and visit museums, and weekends mean bike rides to the farmers market.  My husband is self-employed as well (as a builder), so he often takes Carter to supervise job sites with him during busy times for me.   It has not always been easy – working from home while being a stay at home mom is an exercise in frustration if you do not develop a strategy which will meet everyone’s needs, including yours! 
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Baby by the Sea:  Tell us about your design process. How do new ideas come to you?
Molly:  I frequently sketch in the evening when I am relaxing with my husband so I always have some ideas percolating. Ninety eight percent of them will never see the light of day, but I need to go through them to get to the two percent with potential. In design school we were always told to do 100 croquis (sketches) of a concept to find the best five.  Sometimes it is a color of felt or other fabric which gives me the idea (this is how the fox coat came to be), and sometimes it is a whim – my son is really into robots at the moment, so I’m working on a robot coat right now.  The designs really come into their own as I make and refine the prototypes.

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I am so excited to be working with Little Goodall this Halloween season.  You’ll be seeing a lot of her insanely adorable craft in the weeks to come.  
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So tell me, what is your child’s favorite animal?

9 Comments

  • Tracey says:

    That has got to be the most adorable coat I have ever seen. What a fantastic idea for little ones and I can't wait to show my daughter. I really think the wee one needs an animal coat!
    The wee one that comes here loves dogs, any and all dogs.

  • Elissa says:

    oh MY, jen…. her things are AMAZING. what i wouldn't give to have those kinds of sewing skills as i just started on my kids' halloweeny costumes as well. those coats though are to DIE for and, yes, not just for costume. holy dukes. i want one!

  • cute cute cute cute and CUTE!
    Thank you for sharing!
    XO

  • she is precious in that coat! and i love that you had your halloween baby 🙂

    my eldest likes horses, the second likes dragons, the third likes rabbits, the fourth likes dinos, and the fifth, well, who knows?

  • karen says:

    how nifty that you were right about a Halloween baby? Mother's intuition of course. She is adorable in her animal coat!!

  • Kim says:

    That coat is adorable; as is your little Olive! What a beauty she is already. I thought my first baby would be a Halloween baby too…but she made her debut on Nov. 3rd. It's quite an exciting week in our house; Halloween AND a birthday? Time to party!

  • ivey patton says:

    oh my word! that coat! we love halloween here too!

    oldest…cats
    middle…narwhals or manta rays
    littlest… hhhmmm, don't know?

  • Lori ann says:

    oh what a sweet coat and a precious model, happy almost birthday!

  • Margaret says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problemjs with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out iff its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

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