Just in time for back-to-school shopping, we’re sharing one of our favorite new mom-owned brands. StyleChild is a fashion-forward line for kids, founded by Jade Sklaver, mom to Liv, 4. After building a career in corporate fashion, she became a wife and mom, and then, like many women, found herself going through a divorce.
We spoke to this inspiring single mom about starting her own business, offering entrepreneurial opportunities to other moms through her Kick Starters program, her favorite must-haves for Back-to-School shopping, and more.
Want to shop StyleChild? Click here and use code LOCALMOMS for 15% off your first purchase!
Can you please tell us a bit about your path to entrepreneurship?
I was born in NYC and lived there until middle school when my family then moved to Boca Raton, FL. Growing up in Boca I actually never thought I would come back because I loved fashion and only wanted to be in NYC. However, after living in “the City” post-college and working in corporate fashion for many years, I was ready for a change. After getting married, my then husband and I moved back to Boca, knowing it was a perfect place to raise a family. Fast forward a few years, a house, a baby, a divorce…I realized that the “white picket fence” just wasn’t enough for me and I truly needed something to call my own that I was passionate about.
StyleChild is such a fun brand. Can you share a little about it?
StyleChild is a fashion forward children’s sneaker brand for boys and girls of all ages. Our brand is designed with style and ease in mind. Our unique label offers convenient easy-to-wear styles with elastic laces, velcro, or side inner zippers. StyleChild can be dressed up or down; from school to lounging at home, our on-trend brand allows kids to sparkle at an affordable price. On our website we carry not only our brand, but a few other clothing and accessory brands we love that help complete the look!
Sounds great. What else separates it from other kids lines out there?
Our sneakers are designed with style and ease in mind. As a mother to a 4-year-old, I know the struggle it takes to get a pair of sneakers on and get out the door—and it is real (especially when they want to do everything themselves!). With that in mind, I made sure all of our sneakers could be easily and quickly put on and taken off by little hands. While many of our sneakers are designed with laces, you’ll notice they all have a side zipper for easy access, and the laces become part of the aesthetic once fit and tied securely to the foot. Whether it be with zippers, velcro, or elastic laces, it is imperative to us that we continue this concept throughout our line. Along with the accessibility of our sneakers, all of our styles are designed to be fun, fashion forward, and give children confidence in every step they take! Give a kid the right pair of kicks and they can conquer the world!
Love that! How did the idea for the business come about?
While pregnant with Liv and yearning for a passion project, I started building the foundation for what is now StyleChild. The business started by reselling cute and trendy “no label” sneakers and clothes, and as popularity grew, I knew I needed a brand of my own to stand behind. Fast forward two years and going through a divorce at a young age, I wanted to do something on my own and be my own boss. I was determined to prove to myself that I could build something despite the constant advice to “get a real job” after my divorce. Nothing motivates me more than proving I can do something that I am told I can’t. I took a leap of faith and put all my money into building StyleChild as a brand. I committed to working directly with factories to design, manufacture, and produce sneakers under the StyleChild label. Since then StyleChild has grown into over 30 exclusive styles, retails in stores all across the country and in Canada, and has a highly trafficked website. Now as a growing business, what truly continues to motivate me is my daughter Liv, and seeing how proud she is when she comes into the showroom. I am motivated every single day to teach my daughter independence, determination and confidence as a female in the world today.
Amazing. What is the Kick Starters program and why did you decide to add this into your business model?
With our brand launching its exclusive line right before the pandemic hit, we had to pivot our focus from wholesale to direct-to-consumer. With that came the idea of launching our Kick Starters program. With everyone at home and many people looking for an alternative source of income, or something to focus on, we launched this program for women to sell our line directly from their homes—without having to stock a single thing! Our program pays out commission on all orders placed via their personal affiliate link and ships out directly from our Boca Raton HQ. Through social media, social circles, and community out each the women have built their own StyleChild following under their curated platforms. The team is in constant communication with each other which has created a great likeminded community of peers. Through sales bonuses, various goals and other incentives, it has become a fun and exciting way for these women to have their own small business! This division is continuing to grow as we are always welcoming new woman from across the country!
Where can people buy your line?
Our line is sold direct to consumer on our website www.StyleChildbyJL.com as well as in many stores across the country. You can find this list on our “find us in stores” page on our website. We are also being sold on Maisonette as well as a few other online retailers.
Can you tell us about the Maisonette collaboration and others?
We are launching in the EGG New York stores and have a some exciting pop-ups coming up. We will be in Southampton August 1st and NYC Sept 17/18 offering exclusive access to our new styles as well as free custom personalization. We are also part of the Maisonette back-to-school campaign as we think it is such a great site for “all things kids” and we are honored to be a part of it!
What does your daughter think of your line?
Liv is absolutely obsessed with StyleChild. She wants to “do shoes” when she’s older (well…”do shoes” and be a doctor who delivers babies…guess we’ll have to figure that one out!). Coming in and “working” at the showroom is her favorite after-school activity. It is a super fun and colorful place and she really wants jobs to do when she comes! She can name every single sneaker (they are all named after my friends/Kick Starters children). She often times will correct me when I say the wrong style name! To be honest she happens to be able to do a good sales pitch when customers come in and she tells them what they “need”. Her favorite sneaker is of course the “Liv” which was the very first exclusive style, which we recently redid and made even better! Every time I have a favorite we design a new one and it changes! I am SO looking forward to showing everyone SS22 with amazing new branding!
What are your essential picks for Back-to-School?
I think for back-to-school you can go one of two ways…basic or bold! If you are in school and they require uniforms and dress codes, a fun and fashion-forward sneaker like the Avery is a great way to show your personality! However, if you just want a little sparkle and something more basic, our classic Henley will do the trick! I think adding personalization to any style is a GREAT back-to-school addition so your name is always on them.
Do you have any advice for other working moms, or single moms, considering entrepreneurship?
DO IT! The worst you can do is fail the best you can do is succeed, but you will learn from both and never have to wonder “what if”! You’d be surprised how much your kids actually love watching you work and develop an interest in what you do. Don’t get me wrong, of course there are times where I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions at once, or “mom brain” is in full force. However, while It always seems to be a juggling act between my schedule, Liv’s schedule, after school activities, work deadlines and travel, along with somewhat of a social life.. I actually realized that that is exactly what keeps me going. They say you’re more productive when you have more to do and I truly believe that!
This story is sponsored by StyleChild.