Twice a year, my Itty Bitty Toes team and I work extremely hard to launch new collections! This time around, we are focusing on our FW 2018 Collection – Glitz & Glam with a touch of vintage. We typically launch our new collections every March and September but my goal has always been to launch sooner than that so that our customers can have enough time to prepare their shoots, what they want to wear, receive their outfits etc.
This collection we are doing GREAT timing wise! We are well ahead of normal schedule. We started planning end of March which is right after we released the Spring collection and we are now finally close to launching it: 09/09/2018
A lot of sweat and hard work has gone into this…just like every other collection prior to it! What we typically start with is a theme and we create a board of inspirational images that will help inspire us to come up with the designs for the collection. Zainab did a great job putting the vision board together. We have had countless meetings about the concept, design, inspiration, theme, sketches, fabric swatches, samples, and finally the final products. It is always amazing to see it come to life. When you are in the middle of it all, doing it every single day, frustrated many times that a lot of things haven’t gone the way or at the pace you wanted them to, it is hard to see the bigger picture. Every single time we run into obstacles we didn’t anticipate, yet in the end we ALWAYS pull through. As a perfectionist myself, my goal is to always outdo myself from the last time. The most exciting part of doing what I do at Itty Bitty Toes is challenging ourselves to do better EVERY SINGLE COLLECTION, and look back when it is all done and over and say “THIS IS THE BEST ONE YET”. I kid you not we have truly felt that way every single time and THAT is what keeps me going!
Let me walk you through the whole process of how we shoot and prepare for each collection. I have a photographer on board that’s local here in Kansas City. Her name is Colleen. Then I work with Isabel from Isabel M Rosek Photography in Texas (she was a follower of mine on instagram before I started Itty Bitty Toes and she slid in my DMs one day and asked to shoot for me – the rest is history). For the week to week photos, shoots, and product photography, Colleen is my girl. For the big, collection shoots I typically shoot with Isabel because I like to travel and get a different look for those photos. So usually I fly to Texas twice a year and we shoot the entire collection there. Isabel being a professional photographer already has a group of professional models she shoots with so they are the kids we typically work with for our collections. In addition, however, we also do casting calls, and we ask moms to submit photos of their little ones and then Isabel goes through the screening process and so on.
This year I wanted to bring the whole team to Texas like we did last season and shoot it there. Since then, our team has grown by at least 4 more people. I wanted to rent a big RV and go. But once we calculated all the costs, and all the equipment, backdrops, dresses etc that we needed to bring for the shoot, we would have needed 3 RVs, not 1. And the cost just wasn’t working for us. So instead we decided to do it in Kansas City. We released details of the casting call on our Itty Bitty Toes Instagram and Facebook page and I had Colleen and Isabel as well as my Social media and content girls, Gehana and Zainab go through all submissions and pick the final ones we wanted to have on our shoot.
A common question we get….HOW CAN MY CHILD MODEL FOR ITTY BITTY TOES?
It’s actually quite simple! Follow Itty Bitty Toes and turn on notifications so that you can be notified whenever we do a casting call. Once we post it, APPLY! Send us a few photos and our team will go through it and select based on what we’re looking for, for that shoot. We do not need the kids to be professional models but we do prefer some modeling experience because it helps us all in the end if the kids are familiar with how shoots work. It makes the process faster and more enjoyable for all of us, especially the child and his/her parent.
So we had our FW 2018 collection this past weekend. AMAZING and OMFG CHAOS all at the same time. And we had truly prepared for it too! We had printed names of all models, sizes, shoe sizes, matched them all to the outfits they were wearing, had them all printed and taped on a BIG ASS board, lined all the outfits by size from smallest to largest, lined all the shoes up…bitch we were ready!
But the day came and within half an hour it was COMPLETE CHAOS everywhere. The first day we shot at Loose Part in Kansas City. That was actually quite enjoyable and stress free. We shot outside for about 2 hours right before sunset. It was gorgeous! Moms were cooperating – kids loved being outside so it didn’t take much to get them excited – photographers were getting good shots – my boys weren’t there so having just Ivy made it a ton easier, etc. Day 2 we shot ALL DAY LONG at Itty Bitty Toes and By Egreis Office. We have 8000 sq foot in this gorgeous old building that was completely renovated! We had an area for snacks for the kids, an area to chill and relax, and then the area to dress up and then opposite side was where we shot all photos and videos. It sounds pretty darn perfect, doesn’t it? Well, when you put a lot of kids together and then parents for each one of those kids, who are all running around trying to get their kids dressed, it becomes pretty crazy and messy. I have slight OCD (no, like legit have it), so that was stressing me out. But i cannot thank my team enough for working ALL weekend to make it all go as smoothly as it did. They had it! They had my back! This is why i love these women so much! We have our own little village and we have each other’s back!
Here’s the thing…there’s not enough mess in the World, and enough sweat and sleepless hours that can ever take away from the butterflies I get inside when I see these beautiful little kids twirling around in my dresses and posing in their suits. Now that’s a sight I would wish on everyone to see and feel. They loved every minute of it. That’s what keeps us going. That’s what makes all of the restless nights worth it. I helped zip them up in their dresses, fix their hair and headpiece, strap their shoes on, and hold their hand as they walked all excited towards the backdrops to be photographed in our itty bitty toes designs. That’s a dream. A dream come true.
I am thankful…
On Sunday, we had part 3 of our shoot. This time we shot at 1890 Event Space in Kansas City – a gorgeous house built in the 1890s, now used as event space for weddings. Our Videography team, Kendu and Edith did their thing! They had drones all around the building, shooting in every angle, getting it all! I cannot wait to share all that they did! I took the opportunity to take some photos with my husband and our children. I am often asked why my kids do not model for Itty Bitty Toes. Well, my boys are complete monkeys! They just don’t cooperate with the camera. If i tell you how much I’ve invested in photographers every year, to get that ONE amazing Christmas photo of all of us…only to end up in tears after every single shoot cuz the two boys either hit each other, or just completely had MELTDOWNS. All the photos you’ve seen on my Instagram page that I’ve posted of us…those have god knows how many face swaps photoshopped in there! I don’t even know why i try anymore to get a good shot of all of us. But Sunday I did it again. Surprisingly they did a lot better this time! I am excited to see the photos! We kept it very short so that they didn’t get pissed off and start throwing fits…The rest of Sunday went smoothly! Got some stunning photos and videos! And then Isabel flew home to Texas and i finally made it home to my husband who has been watching the kids for the past 4 months now (i feel horrible).
Kendu already worked on a short video of Behind The Scenes of our FW 2018 Collection. Check it out!
FW 2018 Collection will drop 09-09-2018