A gift made for a friend sparked an exciting journey that led to the making of this vibrant and thoughtful brand, focused on ethically hand-making beautiful accessories for your little ones.
Claire, the face behind Éclair (Fun fact, a childhood friend used to call her that!), returned to Kenya after years living and working abroad, with the entrepreneurial bug having already bit. While figuring out her next step, she handmade a wonderful gift for a friend’s baby and the feedback coupled with the joy she felt creating and making with her hands; birthed 🙂 a vividly coloured, functionally beautiful, high-end baby line. From clothing to accessories, toys and even décor!
Bubbly and driven, Claire set about designing and building her brand, focused on an ethical model that would add value and heart to the products and her work. She sources her signature, striking Kitenge materials from small scale local artisans, aiming to uplift local communities and support the growing #madeinkenya brand. Transforming the animatedly coloured fabric into the sweetest little outfits, functional accessories like booties lined in organic cotton, bibs with moisture absorbent cores, plush stuffed animals and even teethers! There’s an eco-friendly aspect to this brand too, as nothing goes to waste, with the cut-offs and scraps being up-cycled into the adorable, stuffed animals you’ll find in their range.
As Éclair expanded, Claire was able to realize another dream and employ two tailors, amazingly skilled women who’re just as enthusiastic as she is about the brand;
“Finding skilled, efficient and more importantly, trustworthy labour in the informal sector can be quite hectic…when I started out, I had to deal with a lot of poor quality work that I’d have to re-do, or find myself micro-managing because it was the only way things would get done…but then, one day you’ll find people who buy into your dream!”
“I’m passionate about job creation and supporting local artisans every way I can, whether that’s through employment or sourcing my fabrics locally, and hopefully in the future going a step further with training…Also, pay fairly. I believe in empowering my tailors economically…it allows them dignity to earn their livelihoods, in addition to uplifting them and their families.”
And by the easy banter, smiles and lighthearted vibe in their bright work-shop, you can tell that there’s a true sense of shared pride and passion for all that is Éclair. Geometric prints, dashing colours, attention to detail and design that speaks to both comfort and style, all with the little ones in mind.