What kind of fitness tests do our pieces have to go through before the designs are approved?
Really, they have to run a gruelling marathon in design terms and we make no apologies for our high standards.
You see, at Stella Phoenix, we’re not looking for the cheapest, easiest option. We’re not trying to find any old fabric we can slap on a coat hanger and sell for maximum profit without a single care in the world what happens for you after you’ve taken it home. Nope. We are, instead, customer-centric. What does that mean? Allow us to explain, but with the preface that it’s awesome news for YOU.
Our new Fashion Designer, Laura, started about a month ago and has been doing an amazing job at designing our new collection (side note: we know a lot of you are absolutely dying and having Stella withdrawals waiting for more info on this. We will tell you more soon, our pretties! Soon!) Last week she made an interesting comment that stopped us in our tracks. Not because we’d never considered it before, but because it’s so normal for us now, we forgot how special it is (for a brief moment). She said: “It’s so nice designing for a brand who cares about what’s right for the customer.”
She is, of course, referring to the painstakingly technical Stella Phoenix design process. Many hours, months, discussions, drawings, contemplations, tests take place throughout our design process to make sure that the outfits are as perfect as we can make them – for you.
Our designs are underpinned by a philosophy of being clever, yet simple. Special, yet practical. If it’s too hard to wear, to tie, to love, to care for, to interchange, to clean we’re not interested in it. We’ve had playsuits survive cake smashes and blue make up mishaps, we’ve had dresses survive the beach and we’ve had t-shirts go through 50+ washes and come out looking perfect on the other side (extra level sparkle included). There are times that the team has been drowning in fabric swatches hunting for that perfect unicorn fabric. While nothing is indestructible, if you care for your Stella, it’s made to last.
Here’s some examples of the kinds of tests we put the outfits through:
- The twirl test: we’ve mentioned this before, but yes, all our dresses and skirts go through a twirl test to make sure the twirl is magical. We take it very seriously at Stella HQ!
- The scratch test: during fabric selection, we put swatches through a scratch test and any that fail this test are rejected
- The wear test: when our models try the outfits on, what is their first reaction? Do they love it, or hate it? If they start skipping, twirling and dancing about, we know we have a winner. Each piece must be nothing short of magical for the wearer!
- The comfort test: how comfortable is the item to wear? How does it feel against little, soft skin? How easy is it to adjust and interchange? It may seem like the functionality of our outfits are effortless – and they are. But, the process to get them there? Very technical, with the combined genius of many minds.
- The practicality test: what little functions can we add to outfits to make them easy for parents? For example, all of our playsuits have snap clips up to a size 5 because no one wants to get stuck trying to untie a playsuit during a toilet emergency. We consider questions like, how does it go zooming down a slide? What about a sandpit or climbing a tree?
- The wow test: if a sample arrives and it doesn’t make us ‘WOW’? It’s a no go.
And after this is all finished and we receive the outfits themselves? They go through two separate quality control checks, that can take up to an hour per piece.
We realise this all seems like a lot of work for us, and it is. But, more work for us means less work, and more fun, for you. To us, the many emails we get describing our outfits as “perfection”, the stories we hear about little girls refusing to take their Stella off, and all the gorgeous adventures they have in it, are absolutely priceless. Hearing that customers are packing our outfits away in treasure boxes as family heirlooms fill our heart with gladness. Being customer-centric means caring about the customer most, and this is why our customers keep coming back to us. Refusing to waiver on this standard means customers have come to trust we’re here to look after them.